RESEARCH

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One of the perks of writing, is that you get to learn about a lot of different things.

If you want to set your story in Tahiti, you research the hell out of Tahiti. That way you won’t get caught using a snowstorm as a plot device  — unless, of course, something has gone terribly wrong.

You can only write what you know. So you draw from personal knowledge — or you go out and GET some.

Now, I’m sure you can find a flaw in my writing. Hell, you can find flaws in a masterpiece like CASABLANCA. Casablanca_080Pyxurz

 

Nobody’s perfect, and if you’re looking for perfection when you write, then you’re never going finish anything you write. As someone once said, creative works are never finished, merely abandoned.

But what I can’t stand is a writer who clearly hasn’t done his basic homework, and is counting on his audience being about as sophisticated as a rube who just rode into town on a turnip truck and gets suckered into a game of  Three Card Monty. For example, I once read a piece that had the detective Mirandizing witnesses (you Mirandize ONLY when you’ve taken someone into custody and are interrogating them). That’s a pretty serious error. The writer was a lawyer, too.

I may get something wrong, but I promise it won’t be because I was lazy, or took my reader (you) for granted.

Besides, I LOVE doing research. It’s a demented kind of “fun.”  I love digging out facts, crossing the t’s, making all the pieces fit, connecting all the dots, making the porridge not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

I hope you’ll enjoy the result.

 

aac

 

 

 

 

The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung Yet

 

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Reviews of ECLIPSE OF THE HEART are starting to come in. There are only a couple right now, but so far they’re generally favorable.

I sure hope people like ECLIPSE because, armed with my trusty Underwood, liberally lubricated with tequila, and with Wes Montgomery groovin’ on sunset, I’m about 65,000 words into the sequel, tentatively entitled, SPARTACUS JONES AND THE FILM NOIR COWBOY.

Can’t help myself. It’s like a mild form of Tourette’s.

ECLIPSE leaves a few things unresolved, and in the sequel, I plan to resolve them.  Some of them. Sort of.

But…

There are a lot of ways this story could go, and, frankly, I’m not 100% sure where we’re going until we get there. Some characters seem to have a will of their own, and refuse to be subject to any kind of puppetry. Nevertheless, as I get feedback from readers of ECLIPSE, I’m using that feedback to help shape the sequel. Maybe you have questions about our plucky protagonists you’d like to have answered?  Let me know what they are — especially you ladies. If you were in Marlo’s place, what would you do? What would you say? What questions would you have?

If I incorporate your questions or comments into the direction of the story, it’ll be my pleasure to give you a shout-out in the credits, and a signed copy hot off the presses.

So let me know what you think.

Thanks!

 

aac

 

 

 

 

 

“Enjoyed every bit of it.”

 

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“One wild ride of a story and in today’s world it will take you up and down a roller coaster ride and places you could just find your self in the same wild world we live in today. Chapter by chapter it made you want to find just who this wild man really is lurking out and where he will take you next.
Enjoyed every bit of it.”

— Black R., on Amazon.com

Signed, Sealed, Delivered — I’m Yours!

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A couple of folks have asked if they could get a signed copy of ECLIPSE OF THE HEART.

Absolutely. It would be my pleasure.

Send me a check for $20.50 (that’s $14.99 + 1.20 tax + 4.30 for U.S. shipping) and let me know how you would like it signed (within reason!).

If you live outside the United States, might be best if you sent me $14.99 + 1.20 plus a stamped, self-addressed envelope — shipping outside the US costs us an arm and a leg!

The address would be: 1045 Coddington Road  Ithaca, New York 14850

Anyway, I’d be happy to sign a copy for you.

Thanks for asking!

 

aac

 

THANK YOU!

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THANK YOU to everyone who entered my Goodreads ECLIPSE OF THE HEART Give-Away — all 1256 of you!

And congratulations to the lucky 20 winners!

Your books will be on their way to you on Monday.

I hope you’ll enjoy ECLIPSE OF THE HEART. Please let me know what you think of it, pro or con.

Thanks again!

 

aac

 

 

 

Goodreads Give-Away

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Eclipse of the Heart by Adam Adrian Crown

Eclipse of the Heart

by Adam Adrian Crown

Giveaway ends June 09, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

“…a powerful and compelling read.”

3pogoplug.com

Eclipse of the Heart is Adam Adrian Crown’s first novel. He definitely knows how to tell a good story. Though not my typical fare, I was drawn into Eclipse immediately, in spite of myself.

Eclipse is ostensibly a memoir, of sorts, written by the protagonist to reveal his past to a woman he has fallen in love with. It is more character-driven than plot driven, although two threads do pay off nicely, making this a work that lies somewhere in a no-man’s-land between literary fiction and genre fiction

The protagonist, “Jack,” breaks the typical hit-man/vigilante mold. He’s not a cold-blooded psychopath. He’s not the usual “ex-superman:” ex-Marine, ex-CIA, ex-Special Forces ex cetera, ex cetera, ex cetera. He was once a police officer, but he has no superpowers. He’s just a regular guy. Most killers kill because they feel no empathy; Jack kills because he feels tremendous empathy.

In true picaresque style, Eclipse of the Heart is episodic in structure. Although the chapters are inter-related, most of them could easily stand alone as short stories. Several of them would make terrific movies. Although the protagonist has moments of loquacity, the style is generally terse, taut and edgy, like a good film noir. It is replete with profanity, violence and sex – but none of it gratuitous.

“Jack’s” recollections wander. They aren’t precisely chronological. He gets lost, goes off on tangents, and sometimes repeats himself. The effect is the creation of a character that is extraordinarily believable, and an account that feels very much like reading his uncensored, unedited diary. More than once I had to remind myself that this was a work of fiction.

The author does not tie up all the loose ends at the conclusion, and leaves an important question unanswered, left for us to contemplate. Maybe there’s a sequel in the offing.

From moment to moment, Eclipse of the Heart is in turn poignant, funny, disturbing, gentle, violent, ugly and beautiful. It is a powerful and compelling read.

 — Laura Souris

…an excellent storyteller. At times, I could have sworn I was reading an autobiography…has an edge and a rugged appeal …truly one of the talented writers who deserves recognition.

— Francine Zane for Readers’ Favorite

 

Now available HERE.

 

 

Poker for Suckers

 

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You meet this guy at your favorite watering hole. Seems like a regular guy, just like you. You start to see him in there pretty regularly, and, naturally, you start giving him a nod of recognition when you do. Maybe there’s a boxing match on the tube, and it turns out the guy’s an aficionado of the sweet science, just like you. You get into a conversation on it, one that ends in substantial agreement, and he buys the next round. Then you buy a round. And so on.

You talk. Boxing. Women. Politics. Turns out he’s a kindred spirit. The chat turns towards gambling. Horses. Cards. Poker.

He tells you about this poker game. Straight poker. A regular game amongst a tight circle of chums. You can only get into the game by invitation, and he’s got an entertaining story about how he got invited, even though he’s really an outsider, and only knows this one guy in the group, and doesn’t even know him very well. It’s a serious game, for serious money. Though he’s won a pot or two, he usually just breaks even for the night, himself. But he’s seen fifteen or twenty large change hands of an evening. Even more, on occasion.

Well, hell, you’re a pretty good poker player, yourself. You’re pretty confident you could break even, if not come out ahead. So you ask about getting into the game. How much is the buy-in? And so on.

Being on the periphery of the group, himself, he’s pretty sure he doesn’t have the clout to invite anybody else in. But he promises to ask about it at the next game. And what do you know? Good news. You get an invitation. Probationary, mind you, but it’s an invitation.

The game’s at a quiet, out-of the-way hotel. The host gives you a gracious welcome, your pal introduces you around, and you get a variety of responses ranging from curious to skeptical to suspicious to friendly. They’re waiting for you to show your starch. And your money.

One guy is a regular regular. Another guy from out of town looking to get back what he lost last time, to the previous big winner They tell stories of the different times one or another of them went home with the girl the gold watch and everything. . Although there’s a good deal of friendly teasing and shit-talking, the winners always seem to be gracious, and the losers always take it like a man. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, see? There’s some skill involved, sure, but it’s mostly, literally, the luck of the draw. It’s a classy game among gentlemen.

The host supplies an array of booze and a buffet spread, and a pair of wanton-looking valkyries keep the players supplied with refreshments, so you don’t have to leave the table, except for the immutable laws of nature.

It’s a long night.

It’s a night that lasts well past dawn of the next day.

When the dust settles, you’re about two grand ahead. Not the big winner, but not a loser, either. As the game wraps up, you get some compliments on how you played certain hands. One guy good-naturedly vows revenge for your taking a pot on a bluff. You get invited out for breakfast – the big winner is buying. Noblesse oblige. You get invited back, too.

So now it’s three or four or even five games later. You’ve come out even once, but ahead every other time. You fit right in, now. All the regulars calling you by your first name, and such. One guy tosses a pair of concert tickets your way, gratis. Great bunch of guys.

Then it comes. A BIG game. Couple of high-rollers coming in from the coast. One of the regulars jokes that he loves one of these guys because he’s got money to burn and can’t play worth a fuck. The other guy isn’t a bad player. But mostly these are guys who try to buy the hand by raising past your poke.

It’s going to be epic. You scrape together everything you can lay your hands on so you’ll be able to keep up with the betting and get a crack at some big money pots. You gird yourself with cash. With a little luck… you start spending the money in your head.

The first rule of luck is this: it runs out.

This time around, you start losing. Not every hand. But the important hands. The big pots. Like a punch-drunk fighter way past his prime, you’re foolish enough to think you have one more good fight in you, that you can turn your luck around the next hand. But it doesn’t happen. The high-rollers lose, too, but not to you.

You lose and you lose BIG.

REAL big.

House, car, first-born and jock-strap big. Every buck. Every dime. Every red fucking cent begged, borrowed or stolen. You’re wiped out.

But you take it like a man. You don’t complain. You grit your teeth and put on your best “fuck it, it’s only money” face.

Your pal from the bar is a winner, though not the BIG winner. He tries to console you. Cheer you up. He shakes his head in sympathy. “Don’t worry about it,” he says. “Anybody can have a run of bad luck. You’ll make it back next time. Listen,” he adds, “ I came out ahead. Let me buy you breakfast, at least” You shrug. “C’mon, he insists. Come have a good steak on me, ok, pal? Next time I take a beating, you can buy me breakfast. What do you say?” What can you say? You don’t want to be the asshole of the merry band. You go to breakfast, eat your steak and lick your wounds with a stiff upper lip, resolving to play a whole lot better next time.

But there is no “next time.”

Your benvenuto stops coming to the watering hole. His phone is disconnected. You never see or hear hide nor hair of the game again. You wonder what happened.

See, it was a con game, and you were the mark.

Your pal from the bar, his job was to rope you in. Everything after that was bullshit. All the guys in that game were in on the con. The whole set-up had one purpose and one purpose ONLY: to fleece YOU.

They played you like a Stradivarius. Got you to practically BEG to get into the game. Let you win a little to set the hook. Made you a member of the group, accepting the group norm of “no complaints” should you lose. Every single fucking word they said was a lie. It was all part of the set-up.

And that charity breakfast?

That was your pal cooling out the mark, so you wouldn’t get pissed and try to cause trouble when they gave you the kiss-off.

After taking everything but your socks, they toss you back a little chump change, a measley steak and eggs bought with your own fucking money, and the guy who takes you to breakfast it to you acts like it’s supreme largess on his part.

If you think about it, these guys act just like the government. Maybe the government itself is a one great big long con. After they fleece you for everything they can get by “taxing” you every time you sweat, spit or scratch, they toss some chump change back to you and call it an “entitlement,” like they’re doing you a big fucking favor. Giving you back a tiny fraction of what they stole from you. They call it welfare, or medicare, or social security, and act like it’s the government’ money. But it isn’t and never was. It was your money in the first place.

Those “entitlements” are just cooling out the mark, so you won’t get pissed and try to cause trouble when they give you the kiss-off. Because they know if you get hip, if you spot the con, you will get pissed.

And you know where they live.

And you’ve got rope.

 

 

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