Tuesday, May 1, 2012

See, Hear, Taste, Smell, Touch

     New York is my city—that sounds possessive—I was born here, grew up here and it will always be part of my life. The city’s sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch appear in many of the stories I’ve written. Streets, neighborhoods, architecture and parks are an important part of my debut mystery Scene Stealer published as an e-book by Carina Press.
     The idea for Scene Stealer and its three leading characters began when I took the subway to Lincoln Center to buy tickets for a play. A ragged, unkempt man and a well dressed boy were sitting diagonally across from me. The child appeared tense and anxious. I began to wonder if they were related and— if not—why they were together. And why—why was the child frightened. The pair left the train at the next stop but I couldn’t stop thinking about them and they became the characters—the heart of Scene stealer. The child turned out to be Kevin Corcoran—a young actor and spokesperson for the “Cowboy Bob’s Big, Bad Burger,” commercial, the unkempt man—Lawrence Dunn—an aging, underemployed would-be Shakespearean actor. And my amateur detective—Miss Weidenmaier—a retired schoolteacher who won’t be stopped in her quest to find Kevin.
     In her search for Kevin, Miss Weidenmaier explores an off-Broadway casting call, Greenwich Village with its aromas of coffee and spices, a verdant Central Park where a motion picture is being made, a legendary building that once housed song writers, cold, glass skyscrapers that hide the sun, and a church transformed into an off-off-very-off Broadway theatre.
     Added was Miss Weidenmaier’s distaste for fast food, the blindness of night, a fit of sneezing caused by dust, the sound of unexpected foot steps, and the roughness of a canvas drop.
     Characters included—a villainess as icy as the skyscraper she reigned over, a hard-nosed detective—for Miss Weidenmaier to frustrate, suspects including Kevin’s parents, school-friends, his agent, an obnoxious talk show host, an eager ingénue and assorted citizens of the Big Apple.
     I had a great time writing Scene Stealer and a bit of aggravation too—when my villain refused to do dastardly deeds and I had to change my plot. I admit—he was right.

Scene Stealer is available through Barnes& Noble, Carina Press and wherever e-books are sold. An audio version has been produced by



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