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Friday, January 14, 2011

Today’s Book Club Friday guest author is Bob Doerr. Bob spent nearly thirty years in the Air Force with the Office of Special Investigations before he started his new career as an author.  Those years filled his mind with thrilling plots and sinister characters that he is now finding homes for in his Jim West mystery/thriller series. Bob’s third book, LOOSE ENDS KILL, was just recently released.  You can learn more about Bob at his website. 

Bob has generously offered a copy of COLD WINTER’S KILL, which was a 2010 Eric Hoffer Award finalist, to one of our readers who posts a comment this week. -- AP

Thanks Lois for having me as a guest today.  I hope you and all your readers had a happy New Year.

As you know, I’ve been writing seriously now for a couple of years, and like most other writers one thing I thoroughly enjoy is interacting with my readers and answering their questions.  I just returned from talking to a book club here in San Antonio and thought it might be fun to address some of the common questions I’m asked.

Since the three books I have written comprise a mystery series with the same main character, Jim West, I find it interesting that many of the questions I receive are focused at West’s love life – or lack thereof.  Is he going to remarry? Is his ex going to show up in a future story? Am I going to bring back Sarah, Kristi, or Lee in a future book?

Since I have used a different southwest locale for each of my three books, another question I frequently get is where will I set the next Jim West mystery?  For the book I’m currently working on, that question is easy – Colorado Springs.  Beyond that – and to answer the three previous questions – I don’t really know.

However, the number one question I get from people who have read my books - by far:  Is Jim West me?

The simplest answer to that question is no.  The stories and all the characters are purely fictional.  Luckily (or maybe not), my life has never been as exciting as his.  Finally, despite the fact that I’m like West in not having won any awards for being the most attentive husband in the world, my wife hasn’t left me.  For that I am indeed grateful!

On the other hand, I have to admit I created Jim West and made him a retired Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), like myself.  I gave him a home in Clovis, New Mexico, - where I graduated from High School. The settings that I selected for the books and  for his flashback memories of places where he had served with AFOSI, such as Germany, Thailand, south Texas and Colorado, I picked because I had spent time there myself.  I also gave him a personality and characteristics that I strive to emulate.  I hope they also make him a likeable protagonist. 

In LOOSE ENDS KILL, which was just recently released, West gets a call for help from an old friend who has been arrested for murdering his wife.  West doesn’t really want to get involved.  He doesn’t even know what he can do to help. But, he gets in his car and heads to San Antonio, because, as in COLD WINTER’S KILL, a friend has a major problem and saying no is not an option.

No, Jim West is not me. But, I like him, and my readers seem to be happy with him, too.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Bob. Readers always wonder how much of an author is in his characters and how much is pure fiction. Remember, readers, Bob is offering a copy of COLD WINTER’S KILL to one lucky person who posts a comment this week. Check back on Sunday to see if it’s you! -- AP


traveler said...

This fascinating novel appeals to me for the main protaganist as well as the wonderful locales. The Southwest has a mystique to it as does Colorado. Best of success with this book. The story is captivating.


Yes, it does sound fascinating, doesn't it, traveler? Thanks for stopping by.


This is from JoanTuohy who had trouble posting a comment through Blogger:

I had trouble posting a comment on Bob Doerr's very helpful article. My protagonist has a background similar to mine and I've been concerned that I was putting to much of "me" on paper. I'm back to the drawing board, sorry, story board. Thanks

Joan Tuohy

shirley said...

Sounds like a protagonist I should get to know!