Your first book is like your first child. It might not be perfect, but you put a lot of effort into it and hope for the best. Frankly Speaking was published in April of 2014. The idea for the book came to me as I was binge watching The Rockford Files on Netflix. The show followed the adventures of a PI who worked out of a trailer and interacted with local colorful characters. I gave my main character a wisecracking but brilliant sidekick, Clifford “Jonesy” Jones and a dog named Lucy. Lucy was modeled after a dog that my family had that, if I could have afforded to clone her, I would have. She was a Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix and she basically trained herself.
I was nervous about how the book would be received. I spent months sharing chapters on literary sites getting critiqued by other authors. I spent a few months sending it out to potential literary agents and then discovered the Amazon/Createspace platform and decided it was time to let it loose on readers. It’s now gained 59 reviews on Amazon with an average 4.5 star overall rating.
I’m sharing the first chapter of the book with you to give you an idea of how the story flows. If you’re interested in reading the rest of the book, it’s available for $.99 on Amazon and available for free on Smashwords where 830 copies have been downloaded.
The sun emerged from the blue-gray waters of the Atlantic off Jacksonville Beach. The rising fireball amplified the haze that hung in the sky as a precursor of the humid weather to come on this July day in North Florida.
There was a haze of a different type in Frank Rozzani’s brain that slowly began to lift as he felt the moist sticky texture of Lucy’s tongue on his ear as she attempted to wake him from his four and a half hours of sleep.
“C’mon Lucy. Can’t I just rest a bit longer?”
At the sound of his voice, Lucy hopped out of bed and impatiently waited for Frank to follow.
Frank knew that it was now hopeless. Lucy, Frank’s bed companion each night, was a black Labrador Retriever and Border Collie mix adopted when she showed up at his trailer soon after he moved in. It still wasn’t clear who adopted whom.
Lucy enjoyed runs on the beach. It didn’t seem to matter to her that Frank stumbled in at 1:30 AM after his last set at the Sun Dog, the local greasy spoon by day, jazz club by night. He played piano with his jazz trio at the venue each Thursday and Friday night. The Dog drew a small, but loyal crowd that appreciated jazz and those that play it.
Frank could never be angry at the sweet dog. Her persistence in waking him up kept him on a schedule. He needed to keep in shape for his line of work, but he wasn’t always motivated, especially after a late night.
It was a night of Frank’s favorite music mixed with the anticipation of another case, this one to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl. Frank had spoken with the girl’s desperate father as he relayed the story of his daughter’s disappearance from a church retreat. The police had labeled her a runaway. The father believed she had been kidnapped and was in danger. Frank knew from experience that the police had definitely screwed up in other similar cases. Those that had cases bungled by the local authorities often sought out Frank’s services as a private investigator.
Continue reading here: Frankly Speaking