Omnimystery News is pleased to welcome Les Roberts, whose 15th mystery in the Milan Jacovich series is The Cleveland Creep (Gray and Co., May 2011 Hardcover, 978-1-59851-071-3).
Today Les writes about "one of those questions". And he's also providing two of our readers with an opportunity to win a copy of his book. Visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Les Roberts: The Cleveland Creep" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (6769) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 06/16/2011.)
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Photo provided courtesy of Les Roberts;
Photo credit © Eric C. Mull
As I travel about, doing book signings, lecturing and speaking, and giving radio and TV interviews promoting my latest Milan Jacovich mystery novel, The Cleveland Creep, I'm often asked the same questions over and over again. I don't mind answering them, of course, but one question really gets to me.
"What audience do you aim for when you write?"
I don't know about all other authors, but nearly all those toiling in the mystery fiction field usually have the same answer to that one: "I write for me."
I hope, each time I sit down at the computer and limber up my aging fingers, that I'm writing the kind of book I would enjoy reading. Not that I don't love other novels like The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath and Oliver Twist, but their authors had a different set of skills than I, and I wouldn't dream of trying to write the way they did. I have to put words down on paper the way I feel them -- and any fiction author worth his or her salt will put themselves on the paper, even if their protagonists don't resemble them at all. (Unlike Milan Jacovich, I'm not Slovenian, I'm not 6'3", I don't weigh anywhere near 230 lbs., I never played football or wore a law enforcement badge, my US Army service was in peacetime, I don't smoke cigarettes or drink Stroh's beer, I don't own a handgun and the last time I struck anyone else in anger, I was eleven years old!)
I get dozens of ideas every day -- that's why I always carry a notebook -- but the ones that really inspire me to create an entire novel are things that mostly get me furious. In The Cleveland Creep you'll easily spot the real happenings in life that drive me crazy and make me want to hurt someone else. Since I've been around a little too long to lay someone out with one good swing, I take it out on them with words that I hope everyone will read. And that makes the books I write the ones I'd like to read even if someone else wrote them.
Check out my latest book -- or any of my earlier ones -- and see if they don't hit you where you live, too.
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Les Roberts is the author of 15 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich, as well as 9 other books of fiction. The past president of both the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer’s League, he came to mystery writing after a 24-year career in Hollywood. He has been a professional actor, a singer, a jazz musician, and a teacher. In 2003 he received the Sherwood Anderson Literary Award. A native of Chicago, he now lives in Northeast Ohio and is a film and literary critic. He can be reached via his blog at LesRoberts.com.
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About The Cleveland Creep: A simple missing-person case gets complicated when Milan Jacovich (it's pronounced MY-lan YOCK-ovich) discovers that 28-year-old Earl Dacey left behind a strange collection of voyeuristic videos in his mother's West Side Cleveland house. Was Earl just a pervert shadowing Catholic schoolgirls in Northeast Ohio shopping malls with his hidden camera ... or had he become entangled with unsavory characters in the local adult film business?
When Milan uncovers a possible link to organized crime, the FBI gets interested -- and Milan's "well connected" friend Victor Gaimari gets angry. After a dead body turns up, the Cleveland Police take over, and Milan figures he's off the case. So why does crusty Lieutenant McHargue ask him to lend a hand?
Still feeling the effects of a recent concussion and well aware of his aging body, Milan takes the advice of a colleague and hires an assistant. Kevin O'Bannion is young and eager to learn the P.I. business. An Army veteran with combat experience and a juvenile-crime record, he definitely won't shy away from a fight. But will he be able to control his volatile temper and help get the job done? Milan finds out soon enough -- with his own life on the line.
The Cleveland Creep is published in hardcover by Gray & Company, where you can read an excerpt from the book.
For a chance to win one of two copies of The Cleveland Creep, courtesy of the publisher, visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Les Roberts: The Cleveland Creep" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (6769) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 06/16/2011.)