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Writing Rivers with Craig Anderson

by Michael 4/27/2009 2:53:00 PM
     Here's a new addition to our little literary opus-in-progress, Shrinking Character: Richard Craig Anderson. After the February Southern California Writing Conference in San Diego, I planned on inviting some hot new names in crime fiction to write some pieces for   Rick and I were emailing back and forth in March so I just up and asked him. Rick is a retired Maryland State Trooper, who I met at the SCWC workshop for crime writers, where participants learned about tactical training scenarios, "Shoot, Don't Shoot" scenes. The first two volunteers (no names mentioned,) both managed to shoot an unarmed citizen played by one of us. Rick's debut blog for us is about writing his new novel Rivers of Belief, which I read and loved.   

“Writing Rivers” by  Richard Craig Anderson  

Hi everyone.  My name is Rick Anderson and Michael Thompkins invited me to discuss my latest novel, Rivers of Belief.  Like Michael’s Gun Play, it’s a crime fiction thriller with an emphasis on edgy characterization—characters fleshed-out until we see their souls, their dreams and even their nightmares—traits that humanize us all.  It’s not a new concept of course, but there is a twist and that’s what I want to talk about.

I met Dr. Michael Thompkins during the 2009 Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego.  We’d been invited as lecturers, our paths quickly crossed, and we formed the basis of a growing friendship.  As I read Gun Play, it became evident that he and I had parallel spirits—we’re both determined to write with authenticity, and we believe that crime fiction must explore more fully the idiosyncrasies that we experience as human beings.  Gone are the formula, two-dimensional caricatures; welcome instead irregular characters made strong by the very weaknesses they fight to overcome—and by the dreams they dare to live.More...

Shrinking Writing: More from Shelly Frome

by Michael 3/16/2009 9:00:00 AM
Turning Personal Experience into the Hollywood Crime Novel 

by Shelly Frome


            It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what prompted me to write an antic, edgy novel about L.A..  I could start with Oscar Levant’s vintage remark:  “If you keep peeling away the tinsel, you can finally get to the real tinsel.”  In my case, I found myself stripping away  the illusions I encountered wondering if there was some way to get to something that actually mattered.

As for the illusions.   Once, when visiting an executive I knew at Paramount, she became antsy about moving her pricey sports car.  It seems the vast parking lot doubled as a pond and waterway; a situation she accepted as routine under the near-drought conditions and blazing sun.  At the same time, the mother of my nephew’s best friend was busy a few miles south stalking the sidewalks of Melrose.  This too was routine, trying to waylay Jay Leno and talk him into putting her on his show as a brazen housewife.  Either that or, if worse came to worse, getting him to feature her son Howie who, well past the age of thirty, still hadn’t been alone with a woman.  Anything to connect to the entertainment industry.   My brother-in-law, the pharmacist, was not only impressed by her dogged pursuit, he was still brandishing photos of a movie star who’d seen better days, one he’d corralled a few years back while filling her prescription.  It soon became no surprise when staying at the Avalon at the corner of Olympic and Beverly Drive, everyone behind the reception desk was quick to note they were really actors or would-be screenwriters; the waiters and waitresses undiscovered talent.  It goes without saying that most of those congregating around the adjacent pool were flaunting an outlandish outfit and hawking their charms and winning smile or a script or a new wrinkle for a project.  In turn, the object of their affections was trying to convince the hawkers and flaunters that he possessed an untold pipeline to instant success.  Later on, a short walk up the street revealed a paunchy middle-aged man standing in front of Al’s outdoor news-stand yelling into his cell phone, “Listen to me, Harry!  I’m telling ya the me you think you’ve known has breached the barricade. I’m gonna be on the back lot taking a meeting.  I kid you not! All this, as they say More...

Michael visits Peppertree Bookstore in La Quinta

by Michael 5/1/2007 7:00:00 PM
Come to the Gun Play Author Event at the Peppertree Bookstore Tuesday Evening June 26th at 7PM. Meet the author and purchase a signed copy of Gun Play. Logo tee shirt to the first 10 purchasers of Gun Play.

The bookstore is located at:

78100 Main Street #101
Old Town La Quinta
La Quinta, CA 92253

Tel: 760-771-6130

Michael visits Borders Bookstore in Davis CA April 14, 2007 at 1pm.

by Michael 3/18/2007 2:05:00 PM

Come to the Gun Play Author Event Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 1 PM. Learn more about Palm Springs through the eyes of fictional detective hero, Dr. Tom Reynolds, P.S.P.D. police psychologist as he sets out to solve the murder of an accountant on the eighteenth tee of Tahquitz golf course. Gun Play logo tee shirt to the first 12 purchasers of Gun Play. 

500 First Street #1
Davis, CA 95616

  • Phone: 530.750.3723 



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