Ahoy and Avast Ye Me Swabbies!
Through the chill of unforgiving seas and surrounded by damp and icy mists, our intrepid ship THE WHIMSICAL HERALD makes its way to rendezvous with our most distinguished Spotlight Author Stan Schatt! His intriguing and suspenseful release, ‘HELLO AGAIN’ is available on Amazon and already wowing readers who love high tech thrillers.
Dr. Schatt includes teaching at the University level, Consulting, and writing not only many of his own novels but also instructive guides and in depth works detailing the lives and novels of celebrity authors like Daniel Silva and Kurt Vonnegut.
We are hoping to get the inside scoop on his inspiration for ‘HELLO AGAIN’, as well as his take on writing in general!
EX BIG CITY ATTORNEY BILL EISNER IS ABOUT TO DISCOVER THAT DOWNSCALING TO A SO CALLED ‘SIMPLER LIFE’ CAN BE DOWNRIGHT DEADLY!
Detective Francis “Frankie”Ryan stared at the rubble. The explosion blew the car high in the air, and its parts rained down on the asphalt along with shards of glass and metal. She stared at the enormous hole the explosion created and sensed her partner Peter Specter behind her because he had a tendency to invade her space. She heard him chomping on a donut; that helped explain why everyone called him “Crumbs”when he wasn’t around. “Could you do me a favor and start knocking on doors? Maybe someone heard something. ”The chomping stopped and Frankie felt her partner step back. “Good idea. I saw one door labeled Manager. I’ll see if we can get a list of residents; maybe we’ll be able to identify who’s missing before the forensics folks come back with an ID.”Onewoman wearing a CSI jacket called her over. She held a small piece of metal colored a bright red. “We should be able to narrow down the make and model.”“Anything on the driver?”Frankie turned and she saw that the horrendous scene had affected someone as experienced and hardened as Patricia Warden. “One of the officers found part of a leg and foot with a woman’s shoe still attached on the other side of the parking lot.”“Any ideas yet on the explosive device?”Warden nodded. “Yeah, it definitely was a pipe bomb set to go off when the driver turned on the ignition. We don’t know the type of explosive used yet, but it doesn’t look that exotic.”“It did the trick.”“You could say that. We should have more in a day or two tops.”
Bill Eisner escaped the high-powered world of dog eat dog and opened a neighborhood coffee shop. His way too high-maintenance girlfriend stayed behind. Now all he wants is a second chance in life, a chance to do something he enjoys and meet someone who can love him for who he is, not what he can buy her. The community loves him, the press loves him, and even the homeless think he’s one of the nicest guys around.
Finally, he thinks he’s found true happiness with the woman of his dreams. Until she’s murdered. At her funeral, Bill discovers that the woman he loved had a lot of secrets and told him a lot of lies. But does it matter? She’s gone forever. Or is she? Her text messages say otherwise.
The police don't believe Eisner and suspect he might be responsible for his girlfriend's death. Meanwhile the text messages become more and more threatening. When a car bomb blows up his car he is forced to accept that someone or something clearly wants to kill him.
Hello Again combines the spine-tingling tension of a paranormal mystery and the descent into madness of a psychological thriller.
1.In your illustrious career you have taught at the University level as well as written books about celebrity authors like Daniel SIlva and Kurt Vonnegut. What impact did studying them have on your own career as an author?
You can add Michael Connelly to the list since I’ve also written a book about him. From Connelly and Silva I learned a good deal about plot and structure in composing a mystery or thriller. Vonnegut was a novelist who cared a good deal about ideas but realized that ideas had to be sugar coated with a story that would attract readers who don’t want to be hit over the head with big ideas but wanted to read for pleasure. Also, there is something to be said for books that are fun to read without the need to do what professors and grad students do —analyze the books until they drain any pleasure out of them. I corresponded with Vonnegut and he professed amazement at what critics found in his work.
2.You’ve written many fictional novels and have been quoted as saying, ”Occasionally a character will surprise me and take over a book”. Did any of the characters in “Hello Again’ surprise you in this manner?
Bill did in the sense that he’s an ex-lawyer, someone very much grounded in this rational world. I placed him in a situation where he reluctantly and slowly gave way to accepting the supernatural. To me his gradual slide into the irrational seemed to make sense. I
have to say that I grew to like Bill a good deal and wanted the novel to end on a positive note. I never would have killed off Bill.
3.Technology is a major factor in this novel-tell us a little about your background and research in this field.
I have had a number of very different careers. I was an English professor who even spent a year as a Fulbright professor at Tokyo U before transforming myself into an expert on various technologies including data communications and telecommunications.
Over the years I published several books, including college textbooks, on those subjects and spoke at trade shows on wireless security issues. I held senior management positions at several global technology research firms where we consulted and tried to predict which technologies would be successful for clients such as Microsoft, Cisco, and IBM. I became fascinated with the concept of local area networks and Wi-Fi long before they became popular. My Understanding Local Area Networks became an all-time seller (at least for that type of book). I know that sounds nerdy. Even more nerdy, I became known as “Stan the LAN man."
4. What inspired the humorous Speed Dating scene?
I know someone who participated in a speed dating session and described his frustration at the process. I researched speed dating and read articles written from both the female and male perspectives. It is fascinating to think that some psychologists say that people can determine within a few seconds whether or not they want to take the time to know someone. To me there are so many variables that speed dating becomes simply luck. What happens if that particular morning you see a large zit on your nose and it colors your personality because you feel people are staring at you? What if you have a near accident on the freeway going to the speed dating event and still feel shell shocked? What if, like Bill, you get obvious brush-offs from the first few women you meet when you already feel like you have little to offer? One day I went to teach at the university wearing a black shoe and a brown shoe. How would people matched to me for speed dating have reacted?
5.How would you describe the protagonist Bill Eisner? Which of his personality traits make him someone readers can relate to?
Bill is smart as evidenced by his ability to graduate from an ivy league law school. He also has a good heart and creates a welcome space for the homeless. People usually don’t think twice about someone like Bill who might greet them and take their order for coffee, yet he does have depth.
He is capable of earning the friendship and trust of those around him. He also is a responsible person ——he cares about the people who work for him and wants to do whatever he can to keep his place open for them.
6.What three things should aspiring writers keep in mind when attempting a first novel?
Let’s start with the plot. Unless you are Stephen King, you do need to plot your novels ahead of time and know how they will end, particularly if you are writing mysteries. A lot of publishers, particular in the areas of mysteries and science fiction, like books that become series, so a writer needs to pay a lot of attention to developing characters and making them appealing enough to warrant a sequel. So, plot is critical and more than one character should be three-dimensional. Finally, a new writer should read lots of books in the genres in which he or she plans to write in because each genre has its own requirements that its readers expect. So, for example, mystery readers expect to be able to re-read a mystery and find that there were subtle clues that logically should have led them to the criminal if only they had noticed. They hate having a newbie writer springing a completely new character in the last chapter who admits he’s the killer. Perry Mason type endings just don’t work. Point of view is critical as well. Nineteenth century readers liked having an all-knowing narrator who confided what was going to happen in the pages ahead. Today, readers would run for the hills.
7.There are plenty of cultural references in ‘Hello Again’-do you use them in all your fictional works?
I do use a lot of cultural references in my books but I don’t necessarily use the same ones in different books. I tend to write books with modern settings, so I try to “place” my characters in that world while steering clear of politics whenever possible. One thing that is interesting is that I included the theme of battered women with two different characters well before the “Me Too” movement.
8.Why do you think protagonist Bill fell so fast and hard for Amber from the get go? What was he thinking?
Bill hasn’t had a lot of recent dating experience. If you ever read Phillip Roth you might know that there is a common theme in Jewish-American fiction where a Jewish guy is attracted to “forbidden fruit” in the form of someone as different as she could be from the Jewish girls he has been dating. Amber is exotic, beautiful, and mysterious. She seems unobtainable and therefore very desirable.
9.What reader demographic would enjoy this novel?
I’m hoping it will appeal to a large segment of the public. I know female readers represent around 80% of the novel buying public, so I hope female readers will be fascinated with Amber and find Bill appealing. I hoping the book appeals to readers who like paranormal mysteries and thrillers. As for male readers, I hope the technology theme will appeal to them.
10.’Hello Again’ ends with a chilling twist-was this intentional?
Yes. I really do want people to read the book up to and including the last page.
11.Can you give us a teaser from a current work in progress?
Sure. I’m working on a mystery that takes place in a research facility where scientists are trying to enhance animal intelligence. BoBo is a gorilla that has an IQ higher than a lot of people. Like CoCo, a real gorilla who recently died, BoBo knows sign language and communicate complex feelings and ideas. Why have there been several attempt to kill BoBo as well as some of the other animals? Why did someone kill one of BoBo’s keepers? If BoBo didn’t kill the keeper, who did? Another question to ponder is why does BoBo confide that his real name isn’t BoBo but Jesus.
12. What is ahead for you in 2019 as far as publishing and appearances?
I alternate between writing mysteries/thrillers and science fiction. I recently published Alien Blood, a science fiction novel that incorporates many of the current conspiracy theories circulating on the web. When astronauts find a crashed saucer on the moon that has been there a million years, the question comes up as to why was it there. What happens when descendants of the same aliens who flew that saucer announce they are returning to Earth?
Aye and it’s a bittersweet parting as we wave farewell to our esteemed Author Guest Stan Schatt. We are left with much food for thought and a hunger to delve into his thrilling new work, ’HELLO AGAIN’. Be sure to one click it for a roller coaster ride of thrills and mystery!
Until next time, I remain your humble servant,
Patricia Mattern, Mistress of Madness, THE WHIMSICAL HERALD
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)