Posts tagged ‘the tourist killer’

The Seven Things (about my writing) Challenge


Recently, a couple of my author friends tagged me in a writing project. The assignment: post seven things about your writing.

1. My writing is done at a standing desk.

2. When I start a book, the first and last chapters are written first.

3.  I do not use an outline.TouristKillerNewCover-LRG

4.  In the beginning, notes are made on main and significant characters. As the writing continues, the characters grow and change and take on their own identities and display their strengths and weaknesses.

5.  My plan is to avoid the “dark and stormy night” syndrome. Establish the setting with a few brief sentences, then let the characters tell the story in dialog. Not fond of the omniscient narrator. Instead of writing that the elderly lady sang off key, I bring out the old woman and let her sing.

6.  I read a lot of old books, take notes, then use them for inspiration and ideas in my books.

7.  I enjoy writing dialog. I get into character for each speaker. My dialog has received critical praise. I believe I do good with it because I’m a good listener. My wife says it’s because I talk a lot.

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BONUS: I write for the same reason many readers read—escape. My characters are the voices in my head and I enjoy spending time with these people.

FIND OUT seven special things about the writing of Charley Descoteaux and Jeff Tsuruoka

Skulls and Bones

Find us on FaceBook.

Find us on FaceBook.

The Eight Sentences:

Hula girls and a skull dagger.

Hula girls and a skull dagger.

Claudia asked, “What’s up with the choice of shirts?”
“The dagger bothers you?” asked Debert.
“I’m not sure…” she hesitated wondering what Debert was up to. “Is he mocking me—or is this some dark metaphor?” she asked herself.
Debert assumed a dignified frown, lowered his eyebrows and intoned, “You remember from your study of history, that in medieval times, before the age of printing, events were often documented with marks on the handles of knives.”
“Mmmmm…..that does ring a bell,” Claudia remembered, “and this shirt with a skull at the junction of the blade, handle, and guard?”
Debert smiled, “Well I have no idea how many skulls, or notches on your gun you might have, but I thought one would represent what you do in addition to all of them in toto.”

The Set Up:

In this scene from The Tourist Killer, Claudia is having breakfast with Mr. Debert at the Sandestin Hilton in Florida. His choice of attire becomes the subject of their conversation. And in the news, Claudia got a great 4 star review this past week. Check it out, HERE.

Got eight lines to share? 

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.The  same link will take you to the work of dozens of talented writers. For a treat, please check out their work, too.                                     

Many of the contributors to Weekend Writing Warriors also

participate in the Snippet Sunday group on Facebook.

A Busy Start for the New Year

On New Year’s Day, Chapter Eight of A Year Without Killing debuted HERE.

The next day, my regular Friday blog on Venture Galleries featured the debut of my first short story in over forty years.

The Connection was inspired by the featured photograph and is being presented in two episodes. This is the FIRST.

Then, on Saturday, Jan. 3, I resumed participation in Weekend Writing Warriors, a blog hop in which authors post eight sentence samples of their work (either published or a work in progress.)  My snippet this time was from AYWK and featured a scene featuring The League of Old Men. The snippet is HERE.

Finally, we closed out the weekend with Chapter Nine of AYWK. It opens with one of my favorite passages from the book.

My main character, Claudia Barry is writing in her journal about a dream from which she has just awoken:

The bullet was headed straight towards my eyes. Would it strike my brow just above my nose?


Image credit: Caters News Agency

The markings in the lead from the rifling of the barrel made it easy to see the rotation.

Here comes death.

In ultra-slow motion.

Somehow, I was aware that I had fired the round myself from a hotel room across the street.

Give the gift of murder for Christmas

If you know anything about Claudia Barry, you’ll know that when she speaks, people listen. Especially when she’s armed, which is always.  If you don’t know Claudia, now’s the time to get acquainted before the sequel comes out. She decided we should extend the sale of The Tourist Killer for one more week.Summer Shoot


The e-book version of The Tourist Killer will remain on sale for 99 cents through midnight, Saturday, December 6, 2014.


“Because I said so,” said Claudia.

“Also,” said I, “the sequel begins the next day, Dec. 7, a day already viewed in infamy by most Americans. A Year Without Killing begins its two-chapters-a-week run as a serial novel at

The Tourist Killer’s last eight sentences


Summer ShootThe Eight Sentences:

The shooter relaxed and watched the rain collect on the windshield as the wiper blades paused for a few seconds between cycles. First it was images, then text. It was like e-mails appearing on the screen of her computer but now they were appearing on the windshield right before her eyes. No time to read them as the wipers cleared them away with each wave. Always changing, more messages and no time to read nor savor them.Rain on wndshld

“Did my targets realize their own frailty, their vulnerability, their mortality? Were they able to adjust the length of time the blades of fate hesitate between each event?”
The light changed, the pace of the rain quickened and without a thought, her hand came up, her finger touched the lever, and the wipers went from intermittent to regular speed—with no pauses.

The Back story:

This week’s snippet features the last eight sentences of The Tourist Killer. The narrator once again refers to her as “the shooter,” rather than by name. How easy will it be for her to be Claudia for a year rather than “the shooter?”

The sequel, A Year Without Killing opens with Claudia walking towards her favorite Irish pub in Manhattan. The rain has gone and the sidewalk is wet.

What next?

This will be my last snippet until January. A Year Without Killing begins it’s “two chapters a week” serial run at AYearWithoutKilling- on Sunday, Dec. 7. Every spare moment I have between now and New Years will be spent working on future chapters.  My fourth book is in the planning stages and will be titled, Transfer the Dragon.

Hit us with your best shot!

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.The  same link will take you to the work of dozens of talented writers.

For a treat, please check out their work, too.

Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.SundaySnip

Claudia chooses life and death


The Eight Sentences:

“Abortion isn’t my choice.”
“Why not, I thought you were pro-choice.”
“You’ve known me a long time, Debert, I believe a woman should be free to choose—so I made a choice. You know how I was raised and by whom—you know my religious background is nonexistent, what I know about man and God and law I’ve learned in classes and from books I’ve read. How many people do you know that can say that 100% of their visits to churches have been as tourists?”
“I’ve visited courtrooms to study body language, seating arrangements and behavior more than I’ve been into churches, and speaking of body language, when I can feel something inside me kicking and moving around on its own, without my conscious influence, well, for me, that’s life and I’m not going to end it. You never know, it could turn out to be the president one day — or better yet, a great world leader.”

The Back Story:

At this point in her life, Claudia has already made a career choice and has two notches on her gun. For more on her decision to kill for a living but to give birth to her child, please check out my wife’s blog HERE.

Come write with us:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.904b8-aaa-wwwThe  same link will take you to the work of dozens of talented writers.

For a treat, please check out their work, too.

Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.SundaySnip

A Cloudy Sunset


A sunset made more beautiful by clouds. Cape Cod 2014

The Eight Sentences:

[NOTE: Outrageous punctuation in effect to trim this down to 8 sentences from nineteen!]

“You remember what I told you about sunsets, don’t you?” Lilly had asked.
“Yes, ma’am, I do, I’ll never forget it,” Claudia replied.

“Well, Dr. Thibaut’s passing was a beautiful clear sunset, no clouds to be seen, but a beautiful afterglow,” Lillie put her coffee cup on the table, raised her glasses and wiped her eyes with the ever-present white lace handkerchief.
Claudia thought a moment and at the risk of sounding like a challenge, pressed ahead with her question, “Do you think that people can have a cloudy life — one that would have beautiful clouds at sunset, but, aaah, still have had troubles?”

Joe Btfsplk

“Honey, no life goes by without problems–we all have our clouds. Remember that man in Lil’ Abner?” They shared a laugh and Lilly continued, “I’m sure Dr. Thibaut had his concerns, but they would have been those wispy little clouds that the wind carries away with ease. Sure wouldn’t have been anything like a mushroom cloud,” she winked at Claudia, reached out, and hugged her tight.

The Back Story:

The late Dr. Thibaut had been Claudia’s adviser/supervisor in her quest for a master’s degree. Claudia had visited his residence often enough to get acquainted with “Miss Lil,” his housekeeper. In this scene, they discuss Dr. Thibaut’s life and Claudia finds a moment for introspection with an analogy involving clouds and sunsets.

We’re looking for more writers:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.904b8-aaa-wwwThe  same link will take you to the work of dozens of talented writers.

For a treat, please check out their work, too.

Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.SundaySnip

The Tourist Killer on SALE — 99 cents!

Summer ShootThroughout the entire month of November, Kindle’s e-book version of  The Tourist Killer will be on sale for 99 cents.

Why? Two reasons:

1. The Tourist Killer is a great Christmas gift and consistently receives four and five star reviews. in fact, all reviews have been three stars or better.

2. The sequel to, A Year Without Killing, debuts in December as a serial at Venture Galleries.AYearWithoutKilling- FINAL

Download a copy today, or gift a copy to a friend, and get ready to read for the holidays.

The Summer of ’65


The Eight Sentences:

Claudia had been approved to work all summer as a volunteer at the main branch of the Boone County library. Her goal was to learn to use the library’s resources to do research. By September, she had become proficient with the Dewey Decimal System, the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature and the microfiche device.

1952, the year Claudia avenged her father’s death. Her victim was a corrupt policeman from the Crescent City.

In late August of the following summer, the head librarian, Mrs. Laird, came to the table where Claudia was working and asked, “After two summers of research, have you found what you were looking for?”
Claudia smiled and told a convincing lie, “I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I have learned a lot about genealogy.”
The librarian did not see the article Claudia had been reading from a 1952 New Orleans Times-Picayune. The headline read, “Mid-westerner killed in Garden District drug raid.” Claudia had jotted down the name of the officer responsible — it was Emile Duplessis.

The Set Up:

Claudia was raised by her grandfather due in part to the loss of her father when he was young.

Too young.

He died at the hands of a corrupt cop in New Orleans.

Claudia began to plan her vengeance at an early age by learning to use the library and do research

the old fashioned way, long before the internet. See this snippet for 8 lines about her revenge.


Share your writing with us!

If you’ve got eight sentences (creative punctuation is fine) of a work in progress or a previously

published work, we’d love to see them. Here’s the link for Weekend Writing Warriors and more

exposure is available in the Sunday Snippet group on FaceBook. Check us out!



The Frenchman

The Eight Sentences:


Biloxi Beach, Mississipi, circa 1947 This man is my mental image of Mr. Debert.

“Yes and it’s nice to meet someone who knows French, you never know these days.”
“I spent several years in the Deep South — Louisiana, they speak a little French down there.”
“I know,” his voice was a rich baritone, almost bass, soft yet confident — and so masculine — he could have been the man of her dreams.
“How would you know that?”, she asked.
“I’ve followed you for several years now,” Debert said, “It isn’t easy to keep track of your movements, but then you try so hard.” He could see that she was becoming uneasy with that revelation, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell.”
“I like your voice,” she commented, “You seem mysterious and, at the same time, charming.”
There was a twinkle in his eye, and he smiled again.

The Back Story:

There were two men in the life of Claudia Barry that had earned her respect and trust. The older of the two had been around for years, although they had not had the opportunity for much conversation since a lunch meeting in New Jersey in the fall of 1976. It had always been an occasional fleeting glance. Then one icy day in January of 1999, Claudia was dining alone at her favorite Irish pub, the Tir na nOg in downtown Manhattan, across from Penn Station when he walked up to her table. The snippet above comes from their conversation.

An Invitation to Join Us:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.
The  same link will take you to the work of
dozens of talented writers.
For a treat, please check out their work, too.
Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.
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