Wednesday Spotlight

Today we have a change of pace from romance to mystery. Please welcome my friend and fellow author, Elbert Marshall.

Following up on his first solo novel, “Nomad” (2012), Elbert  continues the “Glamorgan Mystery Series” with another whodunit, “ElbertWho Slew Bonnie Blue?.” The series began with the publication of “Plotz” in 2011, which was co-authored with Sandy Bruney. Marshall is a former newspaper sportswriter, reporter and editor; therefore, he relies on his 29 years of experience in the newspaper trade to allow the reader a glimpse at the inner workings of the editorial side of the print business. In 1994, he left newspapering to become the executive director of the Anson County (N.C.) Chamber of Commerce, where he served until his retirement in December 2005. In 2001, he partnered with Chamber co-worker Sandy Bruney to form Marshall Bruney Media Consultants, a website development and multimedia consulting firm, until December 2009.

Our readers can see we go a looong way back! Okay, now for the interview.What does your writing area look like?

Everything begins all neat and organized, but as I write and look for a certain note, things become disorganized. Somehow, though, I always find what I’m looking for. If not, I go to Wikapedia or Google.

How do you come up with titles and character names?

I usually don’t have a problem. Titles come to me while sleeping, driving or sitting and watching television. Character names usually reflect a recent acquaintance or a name I hear on TV and I mentally store it for future reference or usage.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write. Write. Write. A scribbled notation on a napkin or scrap of paper; a poem; or a snippet for a chapter in an untitled work in progress. I have spiral notebooks, called “Collections,” in which I have written notes (some I have no idea what they mean). The idea for “Nomad” was a hand-written, two-pager back in a 1984 “Collections.”

Great advice. Almost every writer I know carries a notebook around with him (or her).What author (dead or alive) would you like to meet?

Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels that fascinated me back in the day. I respected his detailed account of snorkeling somewhere in the Bahamas (page after page) and his art of description when it came to Bond, his villains and his Bond girls.

 What is something unique about you that others don’t know?

I cry while watching a movie – especially when the actions of the hero/heroine are synced with the soundtrack.

Wow! Takes a real man to admit that! Now tell us, what is your favorite …

Animal – Cat

Movie – “Inception”

Music – Pink Floyd

I’m with you on numbers one and two.. my favorites, too. Now tell us about “Who Slew Bonnie Blue.”

Two yearBonnie Blue covers after the serial killer, Nomad, terrorized the fictional city of Glamorgan, N.C., Glamorgan Police Department detectives Maxine Mudd and Jeffrey Pitts find themselves investigating the murder of Bonnie Blue, a ’70s porno queen who had spent 30-plus years in prison for a murder committed in 1977. During their investigation, Mudd and Pitts find themselves revisiting the “old” murder files to assist them in solving the “new” murder case.

In “Who Slew Bonnie Blue?,” author Elbert Marshall writes a “tale of two cities” — flashing back in Book One to 1977 to explore the underbelly of Glamorgan when drugs, sex and X-rated videotapes were the city’s criminal foundation. A new character emerges in John Wesley Parrish, who is the Gazette’s crime reporter. Parrish finds himself walking a tightrope with the “wrong crowd” — to include penning a movie script entitled “The Xanhedrin Rhapsody” for porno king, Jackson Brown Black, a.k.a. Blackjack; and writing the novel, “Fallen Angel: The True Story of Bonnie Blue,” after Miss Blue is convicted of murder and sentenced to prison.

In Book Two, Marshall flashes forward to 2010. Bonnie Blue has served her prison sentence and returns to Glamorgan seeking redemption for her sinful acts. When she is found murdered at a local motel, the Gazette newsroom is abuzz. The new city editor, Evan Parris, assigns his crime writer, Norma Rae Smithers, to interview John Wesley Parrish, who still resides in Glamorgan County and is a successful sci-fi fantasy writer. Meanwhile, Detectives Mudd and Pitts stumble on a possible connection between older police department detectives and the 1977 murder case. They begin piecing the puzzle together — right up to a fatal shootout in a cemetery that will leave readers wondering, “What just happened!”

Having read the book, I can guarantee it’s a page-turner. Where can our followers buy it?

 amazon.com for softbound and Kindle copies, bn.com for Nook readers; and heritagenookbooks.com (for folks living in my hometown of Pound, Va.)

Thank you Elbert! We enjoyed your visit and look forward to book number four in the Glamorgan Mystery series!

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