Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Art Adkins, Guest Blogger
Today, I'd like to welcome guest blogger, Art Adkins. Arthur ‘Art’ Adkins is currently a lieutenant on the Gainesville Police Department, Gainesville, Florida. But, he's also the author of a debut mystery, with plans for future ones in the series. And, he doesn't know it, but he and I have something in common. He was born in Punta Gorda, Florida, and my husband was once a partner in a substance abuse and mental health counseling private practice in Punta Gorda. I'm very familiar with Art's hometown. We still have friends there.
Today, Art is going to tell us about his latest book. Thank you, Art.
I would like to tell your readers about The Oasis Project. It is a detective murder mystery set in the coastal community of Cedar Key, Florida. Cedar Key still has maintained the old world charm of Florida and, somehow, has managed to avoid the wrath of the developers. I tell everyone to visit the city – they have a multitude of bed and breakfast inns, an incredible array of shops and art galleries on the pier, and a vibrant historic district. The small community has maintained its quaint style as Florida has exploded with the influx of everyone seeking the warmer climate.
My hero, Slade Lockwood, is a retired LAPD Deputy Chief who has come to Cedar Key to find the part of his identity he lost in law enforcement: himself. Having never married or developed a serious relationship, he is on an inward journey to rediscover the youthful enthusiasm that propelled him into a career in law enforcement. The last thing Slade desires is to be thrown into a murder investigation. When Shirley Waterbury’s family is murdered and their deaths made to look like an accident in the face of an approaching hurricane, she turns to Slade for help. It is Slade’s current girlfriend who forces him to help Shirley. The investigation leads Slade across the United States, helps him rediscover his youthful vigor and lets him find out who he really is. It also sheds light on why Shirley’s family was murdered by an unscrupulous businessman: her brother, Billy, has created a device that would benefit the environment and is worth billions of dollars. It is the secret of this device that the reader must unravel with Slade and it is the ‘mystery’ part of the novel. So far, I have only had a handful of people figure out the mystery until it was revealed.
I got the idea for The Oasis Project from the most unlikely of sources. Have you ever been around someone who is gifted? They do not see the world as most of us. For them, it is viewed from a different perspective, probed from a variety of angles. What if a working class family had a boy genius who was constantly involved in science fairs and was constantly probing the limits of the known world? What if this same boy was making startling discoveries, but his family did not realize the commercial significance of his achievements? Would an unscrupulous businessman kill for it? I have seen people murdered for a lot less in my profession. This set of circumstances sets the stage for The Oasis Project.
I won an award for the novel. I won the award partly because of how I handle the mystery aspect of the work. In most murder mysteries you are trying to unravel the clues and determine who the killer is. I tell you who the killer is within the first several chapters and I even tell you how the murders were committed. What I don’t tell you is what the invention is, why it is worth so much money, how it is going to benefit the human race and how the killer is going to be brought to justice. You get to work with the hero to piece this together. The readers have loved this perspective and their involvement. And as I said earlier, only a small percentage of the readers have figured it out until it is revealed.
The Oasis Project is the first in a series of eight novels I have planned for Slade and company. He is the only hero with an ill tempered pet pelican and I get at least one email per week where people want the pelican, Old Clacker, to be included in future stories. I have just finished Power Grid – a mystery solving the sinking of Atlantis and the building secrets lost for ages – that leads Slade across the world. I am currently working on the third in the series, Mind Walker.
Good luck with The Oasis Project, Art. Thanks for taking time to introduce your book to readers.
Art Adkins' website is www.artadkins.com
The Oasis Project by Art Adkins. Dorrance Publishing, ©2007. ISBN 9780805976045 (hardocver), 296p.