Welcome Rodd Clark to my blog today in the run up to the launch of my book The Minder!
Hello fans of M/M mysteries and thrillers. I wanted to tell you a bit about myself and why I am interested in writing in our beloved genre.
As a child born in the sticks of Oklahoma I found myself drawn to the stories of intrigue and mystery, but I was amazed by the absence of any gay people inside those books I loved. The tough guy image of private dick seemed plastered everywhere, and there seemed no shortage of inspiration available as long as we had hard-boiled characters such as Sam Spade and Michael Shayne to guide us. But for me, the grainy film noir characters of my childhood were epitomized by the greatest of them all, Sherlock Holmes, with his razor sharp deductions, surgical insights and his keen eye for detail. Though effete at times the character of Holmes was far from homosexual, which only whet the appetite of this young, hungry fan eager to get lost inside the story. Even the witty banter between the husband and wife mystery hounds of William Powell and Myrna Loy in the Thin Man movies only gave us the smallest of glimpses into what was possible and looming just over the horizon.
Without a character I could fully relate too I was caught somewhere in the middle between fandom and dismay. I eventually found the Donald Strachey novels by mystery writer Richard Stevenson and a first openly gay detective. And it was there I found my nirvana. When I began writing mysteries and thrillers it was to offer my own dark perspective, that place where the protagonist or villain might actually be gay. I infused my stories with characters that I could enjoy. They might’ve had similar situations to the ones I’d previously read about…but these were different, more like myself, and someone that I could relate too and make a connection with. I wanted to show the same gumshoe detectives and tough-guys from the black and white films could show a gentler side as well. The brave and fearless men who tangled out of their weight class or against insurmountable odds might also enjoy the sensual company men. My heroes could be could be just as smart and headstrong, relying on their wits and experience to make it out alive or to find that shadowy culprit killer. They could be just as effective as any Dashiell Hammett character that I had read about, and do it all with the style and panache of a gay man.
Regardless of their orientation, I wanted my characters hanging under the same clouds of angst which we all might find ourselves under at times. To feel the same wounds and recoil from the same familiar hurts as what other readers of different persuasions experienced. Doing all of the same things yet showing we can be that and so much more. My story of Brantley Colton began in “Short Ride to Hell” as a tale of circumstance, where a gay man finds out he had inoperable brain cancer and as the clock begins to tick down he learns his best friend is murdered by an unknown serial killer. In his grief and desire for revenge he sets out to find the killer and then trap and kill him. In the second in that series he travels to Portland Oregon where he learns that young runaways and street hustlers are disappearing and then turning up dead as discarded trash left at city parks. Again Colton is pulled into a story where he requires his own form of justice and satisfaction to his revenge.
Excerpt from “A Cache of Killers”
“Colton had driven around the damp canyons of downtown Portland, he had traipsed through residential streets and cruised blocks where drug addicts casts webs, wooing others to their dens, as spiders ingesting blood from the creepy-crawlies they preyed upon. He had seen most portions of the city where the tourists visited and observed parts where the natives didn’t venture, and through it all he was still amazed at how much the city could astound him.
The deaths of the boys had their affect, but it seemed unremarkable to him. The world still revolved, papers were still sold on the corner stands broadcasting additional information and tastier news, business men still walked carrying attaché cases along the downtown streets, and preachers still held court from the pulpit on each and every corner and in every church…but few were obsessing over dead runaways and street urchins like Colton had been.
Somehow he suspected Art Peck was involved in the boys’ disappearances, but there was no proof to that. The only thing he had seen had been evidenced that Peck’s arrest for solicitation had been well-founded. He was a sexual deviant and patron of those purveyors of human sexuality. But that still didn’t make him a killer. As boring as his time spent trailing Peck had been, he rationalized he might have to do it again, choosing to wait until the upcoming weekend. If Peck was going to show him something, it might be then.
So before Peck could leave his office on Friday evening, Brantley knew he would be sitting across the street watching. He would prepare a basket of food or maybe take a canister to piss in if he needed; he considered buying a cheap camera from the same drugstore he had purchased that ashtray at just to get Peck in some candid photographs. If he encountered others Colton didn’t recognize, he may need to review the pictures later and it could prove his affiliation to others, who knew what became of Shane, Rance or Brian.”
I completed the Brantley Colton Mystery series with “No Place for the Wicked” then moved into a romantic thriller series for the same reasons. I want readers to have characters they can become attached to; ones who allow them to feel joined within the story and give them the same opportunities to feel less separated or isolated. Fortunately I have found we are a strong group which holds many members, all fans of the story with its mystery and intrigue. For each one of us could say that we enjoy tracking down the footprints left in the dust or locating every clue along the way. For this reason I can say I am proud to call myself a writer, as long as there are like-minded readers who enjoy the same suspense as I do.
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Rodd currently resides in Dallas TX. He shares his life with numerous cats, dogs and his partner of many years. He has many projects under his belt and is working on many others. His first foray into M/M mysteries became his debut novel, “Short Ride to Hell”, which led to his Brantley Colton series and moved into “A Cache of Killers”. He ended that popular series with the final Brantley Colton book, “No Place for the Wicked”. His newest “Rubble and the Wreckage” is out and quickly gaining an audience while the sequel is scheduled for release later this year. The third and final book in the series of Gabriel Church is planned for release next year.
Where to Buy:
Beau Coup Publishing: http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/rodd-clark