Monday, July 18, 2016

A Conversation with Mystery Novelist Ram Muthiah

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Ram Muthiah

We are delighted to welcome author Ram Muthiah to Omnimystery News today.

Ram's debut mystery novel is Tell My Dad (Waimea Publishing; June 2016 trade paperback, audiobook and ebook formats) and we recently had the opportunity to spend some time with him talking about it.

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Omnimystery News: When starting a new book, which comes first for you: the storyline or the characters?

Ram Muthiah
Photo provided courtesy of
Ram Muthiah

Ram Muthiah: I am a visual person. I think most writers are. The plot comes first. I usually have the complete plot ready before I start writing the first chapter. I will change the characters, scenes, dialogues, etc., along the way. But, the plot remains the same.

OMN: Suppose the lead character of Tell My Dad were to interview you. What would be his opening question?

RM: My lead character is Harrison. He may probably ask "Why did you choose to write about me?". I would not even blink before answering, "Because I am a father too. I know what you lost and I know what you are going through. Instead of just sympathizing with you, I want to tell your story to the rest of the world so that both of us can send a message about the menace that is plaguing America."

OMN: How did you go about researching the plot points of your story? Did you come across any particularly challenging topics?

RM: I do combinations of Internet research, consulting with experts and also the first-hand experience. I am trained in Shaolin Kung Fu and Krav Maga. That helped me to create hand to hand combat scenes vividly. I talked to police officers in Belmont, CA and Hayward, CA to understand how the cops investigate. I talked to FBI to understand the intern selection process and the responsibilities of interns. (One of my characters is FBI intern).

Most challenging and difficult task was doing the research on crimes against children. It's truly horrible to read about so many atrocities happened to young children. I had to control my tears when I read about a girl begging the kidnapper for mercy using her eyes. (The monster blindfolded the girl before killing her because he could not look at her eyes).

OMN: How did Tell My Dad come to be titled?

RM: My book is inspired by a tragic event that happened in Southern California, where a five-year-old girl was kidnapped because of her kindness in helping strangers. When the girl was taken away by the kidnapper, the girl's last words to her friend were "Tell My Grandma …". That's where "Tell My Dad" came from. I wanted these words to define the story and send a message to the readers.

OMN: What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

RM: One reader wrote a review that really touched me. She mentioned, "The book involves a very painful subject but is tastefully done." From the very beginning, I made sure that the victims in the story are shown with dignity. The reader totally understood my intentions and appreciated it with genuine feedback. This is the true reward for writers!

OMN: Suppose Tell My Dad were to be adapted for television or film. Who do you see playing the lead role?

RM: I believe that Harrison Ford would be an ideal person to play the lead character in Tell My Dad. In fact, this is why I named the character as "Harrison"! I had him in my mind when I wrote the scenes.

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Ram Muthiah is a technical manager by day and a writer by night. He learned fiction writing at the University of Iowa. He lives in San Francisco Bay Area.

Since childhood, he has loved reading and storytelling. He was inspired by Irving Wallace, Lee Child, and Jeffrey Archer, to name only a few of many. He favors a fast-paced writing style to create a movie-like experience for the readers.

In his free time, he enjoys blogging about technology and finance. He volunteers for many non-profit organizations including Taproot Foundation, Toastmasters International, and local schools.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at RamMuthiah.com and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tell My Dad by Ram Muthiah

Tell My Dad by Ram Muthiah

A Mystery Novel Inspired by True Events

Publisher: Waimea Publishing

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)

"Stay away" — Those are the two words written on the forehead of every pedophile murdered in San Francisco Bay Area.

Joshua Theaker is tasked with finding the killer whose killing methods involve strange weapons. Theaker and local law enforcement find it hard to agree on where the trail goes while local FBI is distracted by child kidnappings. For Theaker, there is a pattern among the victims. But just when Theaker thinks he is getting closer to the killer, he strikes again. And again.

Tell My Dad by Ram Muthiah

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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