A Writer’s Lament

Sometimes writing can be frustrating. My first book is published and for sale in all the usual places. Working on marketing the book takes away from time for writing, but that’s not my complaint. Once I completed Prayers Were No Help, I began work on my second project, Some Wounds Never Heal. That story was coming along well. Then I hit a roadblock. My characters were getting involved in things that required further research. Unfortunately, I’m waiting on others to respond to questions that I have, so the project is on hold.

Oh well. On to the next one. Or so I thought. After writing a few words, I realized that I need to do some research. So, I’m waiting on others to respond to my queries. Now I have two projects on hold.

So, I started writing a third one. I quickly realized that i needed to do some research before writing any further. Arghh!

So, I started writing a fourth one. After writing the first chapter I realized I had reached a fork in the road. My character had to either be somewhat daffy or own something of such value that others would be working diligently to wrest it from her. So, I’m on the horns of a dilemma. Which route should I take? Writing a story about a woman who is somewhat daffy requires a great deal of characterization. Writing a mystery is much easier, because it’s action based, not character based.

I fell like I’m juggling three balls while studying a fourth one trying to decide what it is.

And, of course, life constantly intervenes. Children need their grandchildren watched. Who can say no to that? Dishes have to be washed. Trash has to be collected. Meanwhile, my characters all sit and wait, patiently, for me to pay attention to them again.

Yes, I know other people have much bigger and more pressing problems. People in south Texas are desperately trying to survive and I’m fussing about writing problems.

I’m not complaining. Merely observing how curious life is and how its curves are unforeseeable.

David Todd Blogs an Interview With Me

Check out this author interview that David Todd did with me. I don’t recall where we met online, but David sent me email and asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed. I said yes, and the rest is history.

Who is David Todd? He’s a prolific author and a civil engineer. He has written a fascinating book titled Doctor Luke’s Assistant that is a fictive account of how Luke wrote his gospel. Here’s the description:

Luke, the beloved physician, returns to Israel to write a massive biography of Jesus. He hires a Jewish assistant, Augustus, to help him as a researcher, secretary, and scribe. Luke’s work is opposed by both the Roman government and the Jewish authorities. He runs afoul of an ambitious Roman, who does his best to restrict Luke from completing the work.

I don’t know what attracted David to my work, but I’m glad he chose to highlight it.

Who Killed Vivien Morse?

Who Killed Vivien Morse? is a mystery set in the countryside of Britain. Filled with quirky characters, the mystery weaves its way through the clues, enticing the reader along, until the final, unexpected outcome. It is the fourth in a series of mysteries involving the character DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Hatherall along with an interesting plethora of supporting characters; a chain smoking neurotic housewife, her bat crazy daughter, and rightfully angry husband along with a pleasantly plump dowager and her paramour, a hippie Druid priest. And let’s not forget Fiona, Hatherall’s right hand—uh—woman, who has more than one secret of her own. (Honest, I’m not making this up.)

Through the twists and turns of this delightful story, you will be hornswoggled more than once by false trails and misleading clues until finally the case is solved—except not completely. In the end, Hatherall, in a moment of inspiration brought on by a stranger in a pub, puts the final pieces together and closes the case.

Sherlock Holmes this is not. A fascinating, compelling story that draws you in and hooks you subtly, Vivien Morse will leave you wanting to know more about Hatherall, a thinking man’s detective who never gives up until every piece falls into place.


Innocence is a story about corrupt police in Britain. The prose is short and choppy, filled with incomplete sentences. It gives the story a gritty feel, almost like rough sandpaper. In addition, it’s filled with British slang that I’m completely unfamiliar with. As a result, I found it confusing and difficult to follow. I had to figure out what a lot of things meant from the context, and some things were a complete mystery to me. For example, apparently the word “nick” has several meanings in Britain. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the context of its usage threw me for a loop.

I suspect this book might be more interesting to people more familiar with the slang. For me, it was a very difficult read.

Lateral Hazard

I just finished reading Lateral Hazard. If you enjoy reading mysteries, you will enjoy this one. It has more twists and turns than a mountain trail. At various times I suspected several of the characters in the book, only to find that I was completely wrong. Once you’ve read it, and know who committed the murder, you will, like me, shake your head and say, I didn’t see that coming.

The writing is excellent. The story moves along quite nicely. At first I was bothered by the fits and starts, jumping from one character’s story to another’s, but in the end, it all made perfect sense and was quite enjoyable.

It’s quite easy for me to see this book being made into a movie, a movie that does quite well at the box office. One of the main characters is a quite despicable, amoral attorney. Another is his lovely, talented and much-ignored daughter. Each of the characters in the story is inflicted with faults and failings as well as admirable qualities, and all are quite believable.

Buy this book. Read it. You won’t regret it.

Spirit Dancer

Spirit Dancer is the second book by Cissy Hunt that I have reviewed. The first was A Rose Blooms Among The Thorns. I don’t even know where to begin with this book.

It’s a story about a young woman who marries and follows her husband across the country in a Conestoga wagon in the early 1880s. The story is filled with pathos and tragedy and celebration that will stir your emotions deeply. Cissy’s writing style is evocative and descriptive and puts you in the moment. You feel every pain, experience every fear, celebrate every triumph

The story speaks of a simpler time, when people had a faith in God that is all too lacking in our modern culture. Beset by storms, and troubles aplenty, Hannah and Caswell suffer more than their share of tragedy. Yet through it all, their faith in God remains a central core of their lives.

If you’re a practicing Christian, you will enjoy this book immensely. If you’re not, perhaps this book will cause you to question your priorities in life.

Cathleen Townsend Blogs About Prayers Were No Help

Cathleen Townsend decided to blog her review of my book. As a published author, she had some very nice things to say about my book.

this volume has superb writing in a line-edit sense—I didn’t have a single wince as I read,

That’s high praise coming from someone who edits professionally.

She also had this to say.

Pacing-wise, the story moves right along, and that is also a rarer thing than I could wish. If you’re looking for a faith-based narrative without a saccharine aftertaste, Prayers Were No Help is a worthy read.

I found the latter sentence especially pleasing, since the goal of my writing is to do that. Rather than smack people in the face with religious doctrine, I try to introduce them to godly living through all-too-common human trials and tribulations that find their resolution in spiritual healing.

Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie

This book is a collection of short stories, all of them in the vein of myths and fables you might have read as a young child.

I’m not a fantasy buff, but these are very well written stories. I found the tales delightful, with a whimsical quality that made them quite enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the Gargoyle and A Fair Exchange. If you enjoy stories that involve fairies, leprechauns, and trolls, you will enjoy this book.

My First Book Review

Author Kara Liane has posted a review of my book on Amazon. I was stunned to read “I will begin by saying that Paul is a phenomenal writer.” I was not expecting that.

I was pleased to read ” What I liked about this book is it did not beat me over the head with religious references, it was more spiritual; which I suppose those go hand-in-hand anyway, but he wrote it in such a meaningful way.”

My goal, in writing my books, is to portray people in real life situations, dealing with emotional issues that many may relate to. Then, someone enters their life providing a new perspective, which causes them to reconsider the direction their life is taking or brings healing to their heart and life.

Christians are like everyone else. They endure tragedies, they experience loss, they encounter conflict. The difference between them and the rest of the world is the source of their strength. Portraying that in stories is my way of communicating what it’s been like to walk with God for decades.