Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
To all of you…have a Happy Thanksgiving. May these times find you with good fortune and family.
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of joining Mike Boyle on his Front Range radio program to talk about my new novel Bloodlines. Mike’s show has been a Colorado fixture for years. While he primarily reviews restaurants he is also an avid reader and likes to discuss books from time to time as well. He was very gracious to me on and off the air and I’m proud to call him a fan. His show can be found on Saturdays and Sundays in both the Denver and Colorado Springs markets. He loves to broadcast from different restaurants each week. If you haven’t heard his show you should tune in. Better yet, join him on location as he reviews a local restaurant. I’ve embedded a link to the interview below (in Blue font) for those who missed it. I had to import it as a PowerPoint slide show so just open the link and start the show to hear it. My interview begins a few minutes into the segment. Thanks again Mike!
I was recently contacted by the editor of Suspense Magazine to tell me that they had reviewed my first novel The Scent of Fear. I had sent the book to them over a year ago and sort of forgot about it. I’m sure they get thousands of submissions so I was excited to learn that they were interested enough to look it over; let alone write a review. I have to admit I was a little nervous. You never know how your hard work will pay off and strike a cord with others. Needless to say I’m very happy with the review!
There is a murderer loose. He preys on unsuspecting women and heartlessly stalks them and kills them in particularly gruesome ways. He is seen by Sarah, a criminalist, fleeing from his latest kill. Sarah follows him, and is nearly killed herself. She’s put herself in his sights, and he determines to eliminate her. Daniel is a former special ops soldier, home, and trying to readjust to everyday life. He is working for his uncle, who runs the forensic center where Sarah works. When they meet, there is an instant attraction. But Daniel is still jumpy, and he withdraws and wonders if he can ever have another romantic relationship. As she is stalked by the killer, Sarah works to understand unusual clues as the murders keep happening. Daniel’s uncommon background leads to his arrest as the killer. As their attraction grows, Sarah must overcome her fears in order to exonerate Daniel. The killer comes closer and closer as Sarah follows the evidence.
This tautly written thriller is exciting and almost impossible to put down. Tom Adair has crafted this book with an eye to engaging the reader from the first page. I read this in one sitting because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next!
Congratulations, Tom Adair for your success with your debut novel! I look forward to reading many more!
Reviewed by Holly Price author of “At Death’s Door” for Suspense Magazine
Indie authors like me don’t often get an opportunity to appear on mass market media. I don’t have a slick PR firm pounding the pavement. It’s just me, my fans, and hard work (with some luck thrown in for good measure). So I was thrilled to be invited on the Ross Kaminsky morning radio show a few weeks back to talk about my career in forensics and how that led me to writing my latest novel Bloodlines. Like a lot of authors I send books out to some people as promotion. Most of the time I never hear back. It’s possible that the books never make it. I often wonder if some intern takes it home or simply throws it in the trash.
Ross was not only kind enough to take a peek inside, he invited me to share the novel with his radio audience. I’ve only done radio once before and I was just as nervous. My biggest regret was forgetting my camera! You’d think that was common sense for a guy that had one around his neck for most of his career.
Ross was a true professional and his praise of Bloodlines was heartfelt. Ross is a gifted writer in his own right. You can find his work here. He has a thoughtful and deliberate approach and I found him quite genuine in character. He treated me with true professionalism and did additional leg work to get me a copy of the interview to share with you. I’ve included it below for those who missed it. When you click on the link it will open as a PowerPoint file. I had to do this to make a compatible format for this site. Just click on the speaker icon in the center and the interview should play.
My idea of a great vacation is getting into some remote part of the back country. No cell towers, no internet, not even a radio station. In my former job I was always at someone’s beck and call so cutting free of those ties has been rewarding at times. Last week I took my family to just such a place in southwestern Colorado. We were in a deep valley along the Rio Grande river. It was surreal. Deer walked right through camp as if they had never before seen a human being. I could fly fish until it was too dark to see my casts. In a word…perfection.
We hiked six miles in right up to the Continental Divide with only Marmots for company. It’s moose country and we were hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the most majestic creatures in the Rocky Mountains. We never ran across any but a cow elk and her calf walked right past our camp one morning. We made our meals in cast iron cook wear and had great conversations under a blanket of stars each night. It’s amazing how connected you can get with another person when you disconnect from the rest of the world.
Then two days ago we decided to head into the closest town (45 miles away) and check things out. It was a good thing we did. Unbeknownst to us there was a huge wildfire raging about 15 miles from our camp. We stopped at the forest service extension and got an update on direction and strength of the fire. It didn’t look good but we seemed to be out of the immediate path. Good news.
Then some not so good news. I got an e-mail from my aunt that my favorite author Vince Flynn had lost his battle with cancer. I had downloaded his audio book Kill Shot for the six hour drive so he had been on my mind. Not that I knew him or had ever met him but, like a lot of his fans, I had seen interviews he had done. He seemed like a solid family man and, if nothing else, that was enough for me. He was also a great writer. He could get me on the edge of my seat. He was only a few years older than I and way too young to be taken. It makes you think. Makes you appreciate the good things in your life and the fact that this ride is much too short.
On the drive back to camp we saw another plume of smoke. This one was smaller but closer to camp. 4 miles to be exact. It didn’t look like much at the time but my gut told me it was too close. Later that day we saw whiffs of white smoke peeking over the ridge above us. When Mother Nature sends a plume of smoke over the ridge above your camp its her way of saying “pack up your shit…you should go now,” So we did. It was a good thing too.
We met another couple that decided to leave like us but some others in the valley didn’t seemed too alarmed. In less than 24 hours the entire valley would be engulfed in flames. We drove the next few hours under a cloud of smoke and ash. Not too reassuring once you realize you have 20 gallons of fuel and firewood in the bed of your pickup! In the end we made it out without incident but events like that force you to think. There are a lot of “what ifs”. What if the fire came in the night while we slept? What if we had been separated? What if the road was blocked?
In the end life deals you your hand. You have to make the most of it. I try to impart that reasoning with Sarah in my novels. She tends to leap before she thinks but she is learning to trust her instincts. Sometimes they will lead you astray but, more often than not they serve you well. At least that’s been my experience. In love, life, and loss I believe you make the most of what you’ve got and try to learn a lesson from every test life throws at you. That’s how we learn and that’s how we ultimately live life to its fullest.
There’s a reason movies and television shows have soundtracks. Music evokes any number of emotions in the viewer and truly sets the mood of the scene. Horror movies wouldn’t be very scary if they played carnival music in the background. Unless of course the killer is a clown and then it would be creepy! Music can be a source of inspiration as well. It has been an important part of my life since I was little so I guess it’s no surprise that music influences my writing as well. I’ve talked to a number of authors at conferences but the topic of music influence never seems to come up (in relation to writing). I assume many authors use music for scene development but maybe I’m wrong. In any event, I thought it might be fun to share a few pieces I used in writing my novels. If you’ve read them then maybe the scenes will become more vivid to you.
Sometimes I’ll research a selection for days or weeks before writing a scene. Sometimes I have something in mind and the scene just develops from it. Other times the music takes me in a direction I never anticipated. The right music helps me visualize the characters, the setting, and the pace of the action. In many ways the song becomes a writing partner; a companion. Each song or selection serves a purpose. Once I find the right selection I immerse myself in it. If I don’t have the right music I won’t write the scene the way it needs to be.
The Scent of Fear:
The opening scene from The Scent of Fear was very important for me. It set the tone for the book and introduced Sarah’s character. I love the cello and I had been researching a number of scores for that scene when I found Escape Artist by Zoe Keating. It was exactly what I had been searching for. There is a story within each score of music if you allow yourself to hear it. I must have listened to that song a hundred times as I refined that scene. I recently heard snippets of it in an episode of the television show Elementary so I know I’m not alone in appreciating it among crime writers.
Another song that has great symbolism is Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. I had that song playing whenever I had an interaction between John and his mother.
Of course I love faster paced music as well. One song I heard years ago really struck a cord with me and I knew one day I would draw upon it for inspiration. During the chase scene in the hotel between Daniel and the Reaper I played Citizen Soldier over and over again as I fleshed out the details of their encounter. It’s not particularly fast-paced but it evokes a lot of emotion which was perfect for balancing Daniel’s concern for catching the bad guy, avoiding civilian casualties, and in the end losing his prey. For any of you who have ever chased real bad guys you know what a mix of emotions such an event can create.
Although the sequel to The Scent of Fear; Bloodlines had a very different tempo. It’s a story more of character than crime. There is a revealing scene Art recounts to Daniel from his childhood (I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read it yet). Jamie Commons’ Lead Me Home seemed the perfect fit to me in capturing the emotion and feel of Art returning to his boyhood town. If you sit back and close your eyes you can picture Art and Daniel snaking their way through the back highways of Kentucky.
Selecting music for the book trailer was even more challenging since I had to select scores that I could buy the royalties for. I must have listened to several hundred selections before finding ones that captured the tone I wanted to set.
So how about you? Does music play an important role in your writing process? Are there particular genres that you gravitate towards or avoid? Maybe some of you prefer quiet or the sounds of nature. Some may have to endure the sounds of kids destroying your home or the neighbor’s dog Whatever the case, I’d love to hear back about your favorite songs. Does music have the same influence on your writing as it does for me? Leave a comment and let me know!
Exit Question: If your protagonist could be represented by a single song, what would it be?
Like many authors I get asked about the content of my novels. I’m always ready to spout forth the book blurb but, when I think about it, the stories are really about character. The crimes are just a bit of color added to the canvass. I just use crime as a vehicle to challenge my characters and readers with questions I deem important in life.
In The Scent of Fear the question became “what are you up against?” Life throws a lot of challenges at us. We may all one day face a litany of troubles like disease, finance, or the loss of a loved one but, few things are as vital as that of crime. Violent criminals present a danger that threatens our very existence. Unlike other challenges that can be handled over time; criminal acts require immediate reaction. Most of the time we face these dangers alone. Few things threaten our lives like a violent criminal. In that novel I chose to depict two distinct killers. One a professional assassin. The other a sadistic rapist. While their motives may vary the danger they represent did not. Like real violent predators they don’t see the world the way we do. They can not be reasoned with. They can not be bargained with. You can not appeal to their humanity or sense of right and wrong. They are devoid of compassion, empathy, and reason. They exist only for themselves. They take.
Hopefully you’ll never meet one of these demons but, it pays to recognize they exist. I’ve often told my readers that there is one simple message I want them to take away from The Scent of Fear. Evil exists in this world…be prepared to meet it. This is no trivial statement. How we react to the scent of fear may determine how we ultimately survive… if we survive. Sarah and Jenny react very differently than say Amy or Kimberly and that reaction makes all the difference. While encountering these dangers may be rare, you can’t afford to ignore the danger.
In Bloodlines the question becomes “what are you fighting for?” I don’t want to throw out any spoilers but there is a metaphor of the ‘silver box’. The contents of that box serve as a reminder to us to determine what’s important in our lives. What defines our character? I try to bring this concept together in the last few chapters of the book. Defining those things that you hold dear will strengthen your resolve and reveal the content of your character.
In the next novel (and final of this particular trilogy dealing with the Gerovit killer) the question will be “how does one fight evil without becoming evil?” It is a question that haunts many men and women charged with chasing monsters. The simplicity of the answer may surprise you but, I’ll leave that for the pages of the next book. These are vital questions. They are central to preserving our humanity. Someone once said that a knight in shining armor is a man whose never had his metal tested. Many of us struggle to do the right thing in life. Knowing what’s right and wrong isn’t always easy and doing the right thing can be scary. Character can serve as a compass to our dealings with each other. To meet a standard. To treat others as we wish to be treated . Without it we risk falling into the abyss and becoming that which we claim to despise. Character is the best armor against evil; please don’t forget that.