Monday, February 26, 2018

Shelton L. Williams in Author Spotlight!

Shelton L. Williamsgrew up in Odessa, Texas where he graduated from Permian High School. He attended the University of Texas in Austin from 1962 until 1966, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree and Honors in Government.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Williams attended what is now the Paul H. Nilze, School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopikins University, located in Washington, D.C. He received a Ph.D. from SAIS in 1971., is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Studies at  Austin College in Sherman Texas. He is also the President of the Osgood Center For International Studies in Washington D.C.
Williams is a specialist in issues relating to nuclear proliferation. He has served as an adviser to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and also as a special assistant to Madeleine Albright

Shelly... as his close friends call him writes fiction, murder mystery novels taking place in his home town of Odessa Texas. 



Take a look at his newest book called COVEY JENCKS

Covey Jencks grew up in Odessa, Texas. After college, he joined the Army, attended law school, clerked on the Fifth Circuit, and suffered a stint at a D. C. law firm. He quits a life of white privilege to return home to solve the mysterious 1979 murder of Freddie Johnson, a black employee at Covey’s family business. Her life matters to Covey. For cover Covey opens a small firm filled with big characters. Eventually another black woman reenters his life to become Covey’s crime-solving partner. Mexican gangs, Boston mobsters, and racist cops complicate but do not derail the successful investigation.

Excerpt: 
I not only kept Fatman’s and the south side a secret, but I also kept Bonnie Jay secret. B.J. was my age. She sometimes worked at Fatman’s. She was a cheerleader at Ector High School, the mostly minority school in Odessa. And she was smart, funny, and sexy as hell. After a few visits south, we became friends and then slightly more than friends. A kiss here, a close dance there. Excitement always. That I liked her and that I kept her a secret was, of course, like my dad. Daddy always led two lives and one of those lives was on the south side and much of it involved Freddie Mae. Later it hit me that I, too, was racist. I, too, played at a double life. I, too, acted like only one side of my existence mattered. The funny thing was that B.J. was a totally upright citizen and I behaved towards her even more gentlemanly than I did towards Callie.

I finally broke it off with B.J. after six or eight months of seeing her at Fatman’s and taking her on dates to Ben’s Little Mexico on the south side. We talked a lot and made out a little. I think she really liked me, but I broke it off. I did not do it because she was black, not because she ever complained about not going downtown to the movies with me, not because I feared exposure of my secret life, but because B.J. did not put out. I mean, I never really tried with her, but I thought that it would just happen. Deep inside my racist soul I thought a black girl would have sex more easily than a white girl; she would have an easy virtue; she would solve my “problem.” She would initiate it.

“Why did you go and break it off with that girl, Covey Jencks?”

Freddie Mae was cleaning the inside of a blue Ford Fairlane as I drove it from the vacuum to the steam cleaning station at the entry way to the car wash. We often grabbed conversation in 30 second trips from the vacuum to the steam pit. Usually a full conversation would take the better part of a morning, but this time no car was behind the Ford, so I did not get out when we reached the pit. With Freddie I was always totally honest-eventually.

“What did B.J. say?”



 AUTHOR INTERVIEW

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? In high school basically. I wrote poetry and short stories. In college I minored in English, but political science took me to graduate school. I wrote my first book at 24. 
  1. How long does it take you to write a book? It takes years to think of what kind of book to write, but when I start, I usually finish in a year. 
  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? I have always had a full-time job when I was writing, so the book is extra. I usually write 5:00-8:00 AM. 

  1. How do your books get published? I have always written the book first and then looked for a publisher. Have never used an agent. I just keep submitting, but fortunately something works out. 
  1. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? My ideas come from reality around me, but I try to imagine how the ordinary person caught up in extraordinary events would experience them. 
  1. When did you write your first book and how old were you? I was 24 and in graduate school. I published a book before I wrote my dissertation. 
  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing? When not writing, I focus on work but think about what to write next 
  1. What does your family think of your writing? My family supports me but sometimes it is more like tolerates me. My grandkids love it. 
  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? The most surprising thing was how many people I got to meet in the research, promoting, and long-terms effects of the books. I had a conversation yesterday about the first book I wrote in 1969. 
  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I have written 5 books and made significant contributions to two others. My favorite is the one I will write next. Fortunately, folks tell me that their favorite could be anyone of the ones I have written. 
  1. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? To become a better writer, read as much as you can and edit your own work more than that. 
  1. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I do hear from readers because many are my former students. Washed in the Blood, the story of my cousin’s incredible murder, still generates inquiries and comments 15 years after it appeared. The comments are usually gratitude for having told her story and shock at how the trial acquitted her killer.  
  1. Do you like to create books for adults? All my books are for adults, but older teens really love Washed. The feedback from older folks about Covey Jencks make me very happy. 
  1. What do you think makes a good story? A good story is a universal story that transcends time, place and economic status. Finding the universal in the particular is good writing.  
  1. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I have always wanted to be a professor and I am in my 50th year of it. 
  1. Any books in the works? I have currently writing a second Covey Jencks book. I hope there will be many more.
  2. What are your plans for the future? My plans are to keep writing and to tell stories to my grandkids. 


NEW BOOKS COMING  - Washed in the Blood and Summer of '66

WANT TO READ MORE?
  
Here is the Amazon Link: 

International Books Link:

Follow Shelton at Facebook and Twitter

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Author Kerry D. Redford in the Spotlight



If death had a face, it would be hers.

Typically serial killers are thought of as awkward and socially challenged, less than human, beings. The worst monster of all is a real one. When one examines the life of a serial killer, usually, it becomes less difficult to pick him or her out of a crowd. What if, a serial killer was so noticeable because of her undeniable beauty, yet the last person anyone would suspect? 
Celestine Clemence is just that. A rare violet eyed creole vixen that can’t be denied. Set in New Orleans against a 1940 backdrop, Alabaster Bayou tells the story of this troubled murderess. 

Celestine is the illegitimate daughter of Senator and rich playboy Dylan Vaughn. He is a cold man who’ll use anyone to get his way, including Celestine’s mother Mary Anne. After so many years of being Vaughn’s dirty little secret, Mary Anne threatens to expose the power hunger Senator in hopes of forcing him to acknowledge his own daughter. Dylan Vaughn then kills Mary Anne to rid himself of the problem. This sets Celestine off on a revenge seeking path.

Once Celestine achieves her target and takes out her enemy #1, she discovers that her passion for killing has gone from justice fueled to murdering for the satisfying thrill of it all.

She is quiet, premeditated and most of all discreet. It doesn’t take long for Celestine to become the full-fledged killer she can no longer deny. Alabaster Bayou is filled with an on-going sense of a cat and mouse game, with Celestine’s good side and dark side at a constant tug of war. This story gets up close and personal with an eloquent and calculated serial killer who sees murder as a necessary art form. Since she is a killer who does so for her own dark pleasures, a real problem is proposed when pieces of her art start to surface from the bayou and along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Now her whole secret life is in threat of being exposed.

This crazy cat however, enjoys toying with detectives. An even bigger twist is thrown into the mix when Celestine meets a man that calms her killer side and brings out the loving lady side in her. Will she stay with him out of love or will she flee the perfect man because of a killer instinct she can’t refuse?

18+ - Parental Discretion Advised

Author Bio: I have been writing since the age of 7. I was published 1st at 16 again at 19 and then proceeded to release several novels and short works. I am passionate and writing will always be the air that I breathe.



Author Interview

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?=At the young age of 7. I won a poetry contest and my school counselor told me I should be a writer when I grow up. I already loved to read and create stories so it just fit. 

How long does it take you to write a book?= Anywhere from a week to a year or two. It really depends on the story and the research needed. 

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?=This one is funny and will probably sound crazy to some. I work 24/7 when it comes to writing. I create in my sleep when I cook, even when I have conversations with people that have nothing to do with writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?=I feel the need to act out and talk to my characters. I live and think as they would, except for the whole murder or law breaking parts ha ha.

How do your books get published?=There was a time I was self-published and I have been traditionally published. Recently, Southern Owl Publications gave me a chance to be with an honest and true publishing firm. I have to say they are good professional people of their word and they treat every author not only like you would treat a best friend but also like family.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?=Mine come completely from within. The stories or ideas and characters come to me and then I take off from there.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?=I wrote my first full length book at 16.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?=I love to rehab old properties and seek out interesting collectibles from the prohibition era. I also have a great passion for the state of Louisiana. The history and the way of life are something that has always captured my heart.  

What does your family think of your writing?=They are very supportive and have always believed in me. There of course has been some not so supportive people but I never let it stop me.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?=How to be myself. It was okay to let everything go and share what was on the inside with readers.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?=About 13, but I really only count the ones I really found my true writers voice and style. My favorite, thus far, is for sure Alabaster Bayou.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?=I actually live by a motto that has always helped me, “Make it real enough to be believable and fictional enough to be entertaining.” Second would be, write your own way. If you have to say I want to write like “ “ or be like “” then you haven’t found your true style and writer voice yet of which is uniquely yours.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?=I do and I have some wonderful fans! They tend to be the sweetest and most insightful people I ever meet. They tell me how well written my books are and how they felt like they were actually living the story. Probably my favorite is when a reader tells me how they used to use books to help them fall asleep but they used mine to stay awake. I was very humbled since this was my ultimate goal when writing my books.

Do you like to create books for adults?=I do write fiction that is geared for adults, but my sense is there is always a sex appeal of sorts to my characters.

What do you think makes a good story?=When a writer actually puts so much heart and soul into a story that they die a little inside when it comes time to write, “The End”

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?=I was actually asked that question in second grade and my answer was, “Dracula.”

Any books in the works?=Yes! Always! Let’s see, hints, hints, hints. Louisiana,1922, moonshiners and a lot of close calls. That’s all I’m willing to let go of right now.

What are your plans for the future?=Keep writing until my last breath exits my body! Aside from that, it has also been a dream of mine to open a Speakeasy bar. With good food good times and have all the friends I can!  

Purchase Alabaster Bayou at AMAZON. COM

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