Sunday, 17 February 2019

Guest Author Patrick Bowmaster of Massachusetts, US

Patrick is a published author who has generously agreed to be our guest this week with a 4Q Interview and is sharing an excerpt from What the Little Dog Witnessed: The True Crime of Ed Hubbard & Willie Roberts from Pulpular Media.

Patrick Bowmaster is an experienced freelance historian and writer who has written for both scholarly and popular audiences and published widely. His writing has been cited in at least thirty historical works including four books published by university presses, two Ph.D. dissertations, two scholarly bibliographies and one foreign language title. Patrick's unpublished research and graduate student writing can be found in the collections of several leading research universities and other prominent repositories. He has been mentioned in the acknowledgments of nine historical works. Patrick is a career archivist and records manager who holds both an M.L.I.S. and an M.A. in History. He is a native of New York who now lives with his wife, child and a cat in Massachusetts.

4Q: You’re quoted as a “crime writer”. What do you think draws us as readers and authors to writer and/or read about crime?

PB: We all agree that in order to have a civilization we need a certain amount of laws. Most of us feel that obeying these laws is our duty as good citizens since we elected the people who made them. I believe that those who view things differently and act outside of the law are interesting to the rest of us. I also feel that studying crime makes us better equipped to avoid becoming the victim of crime.

4Q: Please tell us about your writing, what inspires you?

PB: I discovered a long time ago that if you publish on something about which little or nothing is known, you become the authority on the subject. I’m inspired to write on topics that allow me to break new ground. My aim has always been to write on complex subjects in such a way that the average reader of nonfiction will find it both understandable and enjoyable.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

PB: When I was almost four, I went with my family on a vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando, Florida. We stayed at the Fort Wilderness Campground. I loved playing in a series of log forts on a playground at the campground. I have a very clear memory of it. Something that I do not recall about the same trip is that I somehow ended up getting on a tram without my family. I had to make the loop and come back to where I got on. I gave them such a scare that they never forgot it.

4Q: What’s next for Patrick Bowmaster, the author.

PB: I am currently seeking a publisher for a book I am writing on my uncle. His name was Harry J. Schmitt. He was the type of person who seemed to be good at everything and wanted to be the best at everything he did. As a very young boy he won yo-yo championships. He was an expert musician and had a good singing voice. He tested so high on an IQ test that he was able to combine three years of junior high school into two and begin college when he was only 16. In addition to being a star student he was also a star athlete. He played varsity baseball in high school and college and was offered tryouts by two major league baseball teams. He graduated as the top Air Force ROTC cadet at Queens College in 1956. He wanted to be a jet pilot but an inner year issue disqualified him. 

He trained as a navigator and played semiprofessional baseball while doing so. The year before he died he decided to go to Harvard Law school. His ultimate dream was to go into politics. He lost his life after ejecting from a Northrop F-89 Scorpion fighter-interceptor jet. My family has an incredible collection of documents, artifacts and photographs related to my uncle. His story will be illustrated richly.

An Excerpt from What the Little Dog Witnessed: The True Crime of Ed Hubbard & Willie Roberts.

This is how Pulpular Publishing describes Patrick’s book;

"A conniving couple finds a deadly way to rid a farmer of his wealth, but the little dog Jim isn’t going to let them get away with murdering his master. Career convict and con artist Ed Hubbard and his accomplice Willie Roberts, a young and attractive prostitute, set out to play a long game against the farmer Pleas Burns, who owned a spread on the Spring River in Arkansas. But Willie grows tired of waiting and pressures Hubbard to “fix the old man.” Even with a backstory of multiple marriages, extramarital affairs, an incompetent judge, an extremely messy divorce, a death sentence, two jail breaks, incest, a connection to one of the most infamous criminal gangs of the 1930s, three murders, a terrible miscarriage of justice, and two sensational murder trials, the most fascinating part of the story is an amazing and heroic canine."

Not long after dawn on June 30, 1905, an elderly, wealthy farmer
named William Pleasant “Pleas” Burns and his houseguest of the
previous several days, Edward “Ed” Hubbard, walked a short
distance to Burns’s Ferry on the Spring River, about two miles north of the town
of Black Rock, in Lawrence County, Arkansas.

Burns unlocked the skiff that served as his ferryboat and he and Hubbard
began boarding. A loud bark resounded from under the stairs to the backdoor of
the farmhouse. It was Jim, a little, scraggly black-and-white mutt, the farmer’s loyal
companion. He had just awoken, bounded down to the water and attempted to
join the men on the boat.

Don’t let’s take the dog,” said Hubbard, giving poor Jim a kick. “He might
follow me after we get across and get lost.”

It was Jim’s usual practice to accompany his master when passengers were
ferried across the river. He had done so on countless occasions. But the kick
deterred him, and as the skiff left the riverbank, he remained behind. Jim’s
whimpering betrayed the fact that he was not at all happy about this. Twice, the
scrappy little canine dove into the river and swam toward the boat. Both times
Hubbard drove him off.

As the ferryboat neared the midpoint of the Spring River, Burns was on his
feet when Hubbard moved toward him from behind. With a shove he attempted
to force the farmer into the water. Burns fell forward, a portion of his body in
the water and the remainder in the skiff. His life in jeopardy, he tried to right
himself. But the twenty-one-year-old Hubbard was nearly fifty years younger than
the feeble, elderly man and had little difficulty grabbing Burns by both feet and
flipping him over the side into the river.

For your readers wanting to know more about Patrick and his writing, please follow these links.

Facebook Author’s Page: Patrick Bowmaster’s Author’s Page

Facebook: Patrick A. Bowmaster

Twitter: @PBowmaster

My blog about my book:

My Amazon link:

Thank you Patrick for being our guest this week. Best of luck in your future stories & Happy Writing.

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Saturday, 9 February 2019

Guest Author Angela Wren of the UK.

Like Mysterys? I do too!

So this week, we are pleased to have Angela Wren as our guest. She has kindly agreed to a 4Q Interview and is sharing a brief extract from Montbel.

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, since 2010. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.
I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

4Q: We met on Susan Toy’s recommendation page and as a result I have ordered the first novel in your Detective Jacques Forêt series, Messandrierre. I was intrigued by the subject matter and look forward to reading it. Tell us about your detective.

AW: Thank you and I hope you enjoy the story. Jacques is a really great guy. He began his police career in the Judiciaire (the equivalent of Scotland Yard in London) in Paris and quickly became an Inspecteur Principal (in the British police that would be the rank of Detective Inspector). But, while working on a particular case he was injured, and it took him some time to recover from the wound. It also caused him to re-assess his life and his priorities. After talking to his boss, he secured a post in the rural gendarmerie, moved to the Cévennes in south-central France and that's the location for Messandrierre.

Jacques is intelligent, he loves puzzles, and he is steely and determined. He always gets the baddies, and he does that through honest hard work and carefully following the evidence. He can be a bit of a maverick, though, if feels he needs to be and that it will deliver the desired result.

He has his flaws, too, as we all do. You'll never find him taking a lift as he always uses the stairs. He also has a grudging acceptance of computers and technology, but he recognises the usefulness of such aids. He's always very fair and honest in his dealings with the villagers in Messandrierre, and can be relied upon when one of the local farmers needs a helping hand… and the rest; I'll let you find out for yourself, Allan.

*** Since the interview was prepared by Angela and myself, I did receive Messandrierre and read it. A terrific story. 

4Q: I compliment you on your cover choices. Please tell us about their development.

Photo by Angela Wren
AW: Thanks, I absolutely love them too. My publisher, Crooked Cat, did the artwork. We had an exchange of emails about the look and feel of the covers. I was very keen that we tried to capture the loneliness and silence of that part of France. It is an upland area, and the actual village that I use as my model for my fictional village of Messandrierre sits at around a 1000m above sea-level. The landscape is pear-green in spring and jewelled by clumps of genêt; it gets parched by the scorching summer sun, the acres of trees become a rich tapestry of red, gold and brown in autumn and in winter, if the wind is from the east, the snow can come early and stay late.

Because of the geography, the towns and villages are small and sparse. The city of Mende, despite being the préfecture for the département of Lozère, only has a population of around 13,000. By comparison, Leeds in Yorkshire, is a town of equal importance and has a population of 780,000. In the books, I try to convey that smallness along with the impact of the geography on the ordinary people who live there. So, my characters have to endure the changeable, and sometimes challenging, weather. And, it was an overnight change in the weather that sparked the initial idea for the whole series of books. On September 27th, 2007 I woke up to snow and a stunningly beautiful landscape covered in a glistening white blanket. Shortly afterwards, my thoughts turned to murder and how easy it would be to hide one's misdeeds with snow.

All of this was also conveyed to my publisher through our e-discussions, and I sent them some photos too so that they could get a real feel for the area. About four months later I opened an email and saw the cover of Messandrierre for the first time, and I was bowled over with delight. I even cried… but just a bit.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

AW: I suppose one of my most enduring memories is of being taken to Foyles bookstore on Charing Cross Road in London by my Dad. I was about 4, and I was told that I could choose a book for myself. I remember being completely over-awed by the acres and acres of shelves and books. I did eventually make a selection, and that little rag book went with me everywhere for some considerable time afterwards. It was so frequently read that my Mum used to put it in the washing machine and iron it for me! Sadly, I no longer have it so, if I didn't read it to destruction, then the washing machine must have done the job instead. However, that visit to Foyles, set me on the path of becoming a collector and my house is full of shelves which in turn are full of books and I can happily spend hour after hour in bookstores.

4Q: Tells us about your favorite authors and inspirations.

AW: Wow! That's a really big question and who do I choose? I guess I have to start with the brothers Grimm, Perrault and Anderson. I loved fairy tales as a child, and I still do. I even write them occasionally. Shakespeare has to be on my list too. I've been reading, learning and reciting him since I was six years old. At one point I even decided I was going to be Shakespeare when I grew up! I'm still working on that one. At about 12/13, I discovered Agatha Christie, and then I read everything she had written including her short stories. I still re-read her books from time to time. Dickens, Wilkie Collins, D H Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, Nathaniel Hawthorne and of course, Austin and the Brontes. More modern writers that I love are Minette Walters, James Patterson, Peter James, John Grisham. Oh, I almost forgot, I'm an absolute Robert Louis Stevenson groupie.

An excerpt from, Montbel, my third Jacques Forêt mystery.

la lettre

families fracture, Monsieur Forêt. No one desires it or intends it, but it happens. A harsh, unforgiving word begets a rash and revengeful action, and a sliver of ice takes hold in a dark corner of the hearts of those at odds with each other. And there it wedges itself, the frost gradually deepening and destroying. One of us has to stop the cold, as this impasse can continue no longer. I have to put things right with my son, Monsieur…

june 3rd, 2011

For those interested in knowing more about Angela and her writing, please follow these links.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Website :
Blog :
Facebook : Angela Wren
Goodreads : Angela Wren

Contact an author : Angela Wren

Thank you Angela for being our guest this week. I look forward to more of your stories. Happy Writing!

Thank you, Allan, and I hope regular readers enjoy the post.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Returning Guest Author Bretton Loney of Halifax, NS.

Any Hockey Fans out there?

Bretton was our guest several weeks ago when we talked about his novel The Last Hockey Player and he shared the first two chapters of this intriguing story. As a very kind gesture, he sent me a copy of the novel as a gift. When I received it, I meant to glance at it and get back to it later but became immediately captivated by the story. Not at all what I expected. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I’m happy to say he has agreed to a 4Q Interview.

Please go HERE to read Loney’s bio and the excerpt from his last visit. 

4Q: Please tell us how this went from a short story to a novel and what inspired the short story.

BL: As odd as it sounds, the seeds of this dystopian novel of survival in a bleak, wintery Nova Scotia came to me in 2007, in the midst of a sunny winter vacation in Cuba with my wife and friends. I awoke from a dream about playing hockey on a cold pond some time in a bleak future. I quickly scribbled down a few lines and it became the basis of a short story called Hockey Night in the Canadas which has appeared in two Canadian literary magazines over the years – subTerrain in British Columbia and Between the Lines: A Journal of Hockey Literature, out of Saskatchewan.

People told me that there was a full novel in that short story, including my very wise wife, Karen Shewbridge. After half a dozen years, I too began to see the possibilities. Three years later, after a great deal of help and support from my wife and children, my writer’s circle and my editor, I had a published novel.

In the end I think the combination of imbibing a few too many Bucaneros beer in Cuba as well as good friends and great music inspired the original story idea.

4Q: Would it be safe to suggest you are a hockey fan?

BL: I am a fan and played until, at age 50, I had to hang my skates up due to a bad knee. I come from a hockey family. My father played hockey and so did my two brothers. My youngest brother, Troy, played for about a decade in the NHL and won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Mario Lemieux days. These days I am at the rink watching my grandson play, which is a blast.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote with us.

BL: I remember walking home on Saturday

mornings from Tiny Mite hockey practice. We had a cold rink and my feet would be frozen and start to thaw out as I walked home with all my hockey gear on and my Dad’s old canvas duffel bag swung over my shoulder.
The roads were so slippery I could practically skate along them in my rubber boots and the sun overhead was so bright that its rays bouncing off the snow banks pierced my eyes. My feet hurt and my eyes were sore, but I went back to practice, again and again, every Saturday. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. 

4Q: What can we expect in the future from Bretton Loney, the author?

BL: Something totally different. My first book Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story was a traditional biography of a very untraditional doctor in my home town in southern Alberta. Dr. Nikaido’s life was forever changed by the resettlement of Japanese-Canadians during World War Two.

My second book, The Last Hockey Player, was a dystopian novel. My next book will be a novel too. The only thing it will have in common with this book is that it will be set in Nova Scotia. Hopefully, in three to five years time my idea will have grown into a full novel. 

For you readers that missed Bretton’s first visit and the link above, please go HERE to read the first two chapters of The Last Hockey Player.

Thank you once more Bretton for being our guest. All the best with your writing.

Thank you also dear readers for visiting. Take a minute or two and leave a comment below.