Thursday, November 8, 2012

Deadly Plunge by Greg Messell: Interview: PUYB Tour Stop

 


 

 

Greg Messel has written four novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by Expiation in 2010 and The Illusion of Certainty in 2011. Last of the Seals is the first in a series of mysteries which are set in 1957 San Francisco. The second book in the series Deadly Plunge will be published around Christmas of 2012. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist while working for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

Visit Greg’s website at www.gregmessel.com.



 

Last of the Seals:

The year is 1957 in San Francisco. Sam Slater is a lifetime minor league baseball player for the San Francisco Seals. The Seals have just one more season left as San Francisco is about to become a major league city. The Giants are coming to town in 1958 and the Seals will be displaced. Sam has come to the end of his baseball career and is going to join the private detective agency of his best friend. When his friend is brutally murdered, Sam must go it alone and try to find out why. Along the way he is swept off of his feet by a beautiful Elvis-obsessed TWA stewardess named Amelia Ryan. Sam and Amelia try to unravel the mystery together. Sam’s best friend, Jimmy inadvertently saw something he shouldn’t have. Sam and Amelia have pictures in their possession that have crime families in San Francisco and Chicago very worried. Then a young woman Sam has been searching for is found dead on the beach. Suddenly, Sam and Amelia find themselves in danger. On dark and foggy San Francisco nights, trouble is lurking just around the next corner.
 
Book Trailer Link:

Last of the Seals:

 
 

Deadly Plunge:
 
Former baseball player and newly-minted private investigator, Sam Slater is hired to find out why a rich, politically-well connected San Francisco man, Arthur Bolender, suddenly ended his life by plunging off of the Golden Gate Bridge. All those who know Arthur say unequivocally that he did not commit suicide. However, Bolender’s body was found floating in San Francisco Bay and his car was abandoned in the traffic lane of the bridge. Meanwhile, Sam’s romance with glamorous TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan continues to blossom and deepen. She is now his secret fiancee. Amelia also eagerly helps Sam solve his cases when she’s in town. The key to unraveling the mystery seems to be a strange old Victorian-style house. Bolender’s widow, a rich, seductive socialite named Maggie Bolender, was not even aware that her husband owned the house. What is really going on behind the doors of the mysterious house? Finding the answers will plunge Sam and Amelia into a dangerous world of political intrigue in the exciting sequel to “Last of the Seals.”

Book Trailer Link:

Deadly Plunge:
 
 






 
 


Tell us about your current release.

It is “Deadly Plunge” which is a sequel to “Last of the Seals.” It is now the winter of 1958. Former baseball player and newly-minted private investigator, Sam Slater is hired to find out why a rich, politically well-connected San Francisco man, Arthur Bolender,  suddenly ended his life by plunging off of the Golden Gate Bridge. All those who know Arthur say unequivocally that he did not commit suicide.  However, Bolender's body was found floating in San Francisco Bay and his car was abandoned in the traffic lane of the bridge.  Meanwhile, Sam's romance with glamorous TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan continues to blossom and deepen. She is now his secret fiancee. Amelia also eagerly helps Sam solve his cases when she's in town. The key to unraveling the mystery seems to be a strange old Victorian-style house. Bolender's widow, a rich, seductive socialite named Maggie Bolender, was not even aware that her husband owned the house.  Uncovering these secrets is going to expose Sam and Amelia to some very dangerous, shadowy characters. I like the political overtones in this story. The politics of the late 1950s was very interesting.
 

Tell us about your next release.

I’m working on the third book in the series--San Francisco Secrets. It will pick up the story where it ends in “Deadly Plunge.” In fact, “Deadly Plunge” has a bit of a cliffhanger ending. The last chapter introduces the coming conflict for Sam and Amelia which continues in “San Francisco Secrets.”  The new book involves a blackmail plot which Sam is investigating. A prominent San Francisco doctor has a secret in his past. A recurring theme in “San Francisco Secrets” is that everyone has secrets. Few can withstand a bright light on their life. A mystery woman returns from Sam’s past. Meanwhile, Amelia’s new boss, a roguish pilot on the European route, begins sexually harassing her. Women had very few options to deal with sexual harassment in the 1950s. Amelia’s new adventures take her to London, Paris and Rome. I have several things to work out this winter while I’m finishing “San Francisco Secrets” but I’m excited about the story and where it’s headed.
 

Does travel play in the writing of your books?

I guess you could say that. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and it is very familiar to me. I draw on my memories of San Francisco and California in the 50s and 60s while I was writing “Last of the Seals” and “Deadly Plunge.”  My book “Expiation” used my memories of San Francisco and Berkeley in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  I took almost the same trip to Europe--traveling around England and going to Paris--as the characters in my book “The Illusion of Certainty.” I love to try to capture a sense of place. I read a book recently but there was no sense of “place.” It could have happened any where. I disliked that about that book. I think the location is a character in the book. San Francisco and it’s foggy nights, the bay, the bridges, all add a lot to the texture of the story.


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I’m ready to get into my “winter mode” of writing. I generally take the summer off to recharge my batteries, enjoy the great weather and think about my next book. I’m really ready to jump back into finishing “San Francisco Secrets.” I have lots of ideas. I usually write in the afternoon for a few hours each day. Rainy fall and winter afternoon in Seattle are great times to write.
 

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

Before I wrote “Last of the Seals” I had been diligently searching for a concept so that I could write a series. A couple of years ago I was walking around San Francisco and I was remembering what it was like growing up there. I also started thinking about the world of the Bay Area in the 1950s and tried to imagine what that was like for my parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. It was then I imagined a detective series set in the 1950s and in San Francisco.
 

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

You’re kidding right? I grew up when both came onto the scene. Not a hard choice. I have every Beatles’ song and “Daydream Believer” on my iPod. Guess that’s my vote. The Monkees were OK but had a dopey TV show and had to take guitar lessons. The Beatles are incredible musical geniuses. I’ve seen Paul McCartney in concert twice now. It was practically a spiritual experience for me. Incredible three hours performances. Not bad for an old guy.


New York or LA? Why?

It’s exciting to go to both places. There is no place like New York City. I’ve been to Los Angeles several more times as a Californian. I love to go to LA in the winter. Great place to be in the fall and winter. New York City feels like the center of the universe when you are there. I think I’d pick New York City by a narrow margin

Do you have a Website or Blog?

I have a blog and a web site. My blog is at www.gregmessel.com. I have a web site with information about all of my books at

 

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