Omnimystery News is pleased to welcome crime novelist Steve Brewer, author of the Bubba Mabry mysteries. The most recent in the series is Party Doll (February 2012 eBook).
Today Steve talks about taking story ideas right from the headlines.
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Where do writers get their ideas? In New Mexico, it's as easy as picking up a newspaper.
An example: In a little border town called Sunland Park, a city councilman recently was charged with an assortment of crimes related to a lap dance.
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The councilman, Daniel Salinas, was running for mayor. He allegedly acquired video of his opponent enjoying a lap dance from a topless woman, then threatened to expose it unless the opponent dropped out of the race.
The opponent refused. The video went public. And Salinas was arrested and charged with extortion and other crimes. So far, seven other current or former city employees also have been charged with various crimes related to the case.
Wait, it gets better. The town went ahead with its election anyway. And Salinas won! Unfortunately for him, one of the conditions of his current release-on-bail is that he can't enter City Hall, so he hasn't been sworn in as mayor. Yet.
Ah, it's good to be back in New Mexico. Land of spicy green chile, beautiful sunsets and dirty politics.
My wife and I moved back to the Land of Enchantment in October after nearly nine years in California (which has its own political problems, but never mind). Since then, I've watched in amusement as one corruption case after another has darkened the headlines.
Naturally, political corruption found its way into my fiction as well. My latest story, a novella called Party Doll, features a cabal of strip-club operators who conspire with crooked politicians to turn the state fairgrounds into a legal red-light district, complete with gambling and prostitution.
In Party Doll, bumbling private eye Bubba Mabry is hired to locate a missing stripper who goes by the stage name Joy Forever. Before long, it becomes clear that Joy has information about the fairgrounds scheme and she's feeding it to the feds.
This is the ninth outing for Bubba, who starred in my first published novel, Lonely Street, which came out in 1994. I've written a lot of standalone crime novels since then, but I come back to Bubba ever so often. He's a fun character to write, and there's never any shortage of material in New Mexico.
I don't plan to use lap-dance extortion in a novel (who would believe it?), but you're welcome to it. You can read more about the Sunland Park case on NMPolitics.net.
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Steve Brewer is the author of over 20 books about crooks. His first Bubby Mabry mystery, Lonely Street, was adapted into the 2009 film of the same title starring Jay Mohr as the Albuquerque PI. A former journalist and syndicated humor columnist, Brewer now works as a writing coach and University of New Mexico lecturer. A frequent speaker at mystery conventions, he was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in 2011.
For more information about Steve and his books, visit his author page on Amazon.com.
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About Party Doll:
Bubba bumbles back into action when he's hired to find a missing stripper who goes by the stage name Joy Forever. Joy's boss says business has been off since she disappeared, owing him money. He wants Bubba to find Joy and find her fast.
But there's more here than meets the eye. A federal prosecutor is interested in Joy as well, and Bubba's wife, newspaper reporter Felicia Quattlebaum, is working on a crusade that seems to be entangled with the case.