And, just because there’s still a normal life going on beside Christmas (not forgetting those who don’t like Christmas. I’m sorry I’m boring you with all those stories, I hope with this one you’ll forgive me), here’s a kick-butt story. The first lines of Chapter 1 are simply perfection.
The book is Dead Air – A Glenn Beckert Mystery by Cliff Protzman, a Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Dead Air signals trouble at the radio station. Glenn Beckert discovers his high school best friend is shot in the head while on the air. Beck, the owner of Blue Water Security, is employed to provide security for the station.
He becomes willingly embroiled in the investigation by the not-so-innocent widow. The list of potential suspects is long, gleaned from the numerous extramarital affairs of the victim and widow. The pending sale of the radio station has created friction between his now dead friend, Richie Zito and the major stockholders. Motives for murder becomes increasingly murky after the search reveals an encrypted file on Zito’s laptop.
Beck enlists the help of an old flame, Irene Schade, to break the code, revealing a money laundering network leading to the financial and political powers of his beloved city of Pittsburgh. Their collaboration ignites the flames of passion each had considered extinguished.
A former college teammate, police Lieutenant Paglironi delivers a message to back off. Arrogantly, he ignores his friend’s advice. The threats from less friendly sources are more ominous, forcing Beck to move in an unfamiliar world. A startling revelation from his client forces Beck to deal with his inner conviction of right and wrong, challenging the gray areas of his ethical principles. Betraying his client’s confidence could expose the killer. The alternative is to confront the suspect and take matters into his own hands. Either way his life is in jeopardy.
Dead Air. It was the most unforgivable of sins. I was standing at the bar in Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, PA when the overhead sound system finished blaring “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” the seventeen-minute, two-second version, then dove into silence… and stayed there.
About the Author
Cliff was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Cliff’s family relocated to Northeast Ohio when he was in high school. Immediately after graduation he returned to his hometown to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Cliff planned to major in journalism and write the great American novel. Instead, he switched to Business Administration and began a 30-year career in accounting and finance. He rekindled his passion for writing acquired as a reporter for his school newspaper. He published his first novel, DEAD AIR: a Glenn Beckert Mystery in September 2017. Cliff also writes short stories. He was a winner in the Unfinished Chapters anthology in 2015. Cliff is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Pennwriters.
I had the pleasure to talk with him, and here’s what he told me about a writer’s deepest fears.
He opens the talk with this:
DON’T PLAY SMALL
What is your deepest fear as a writer? Are we afraid to expose our writing to anxious readers? Does the fear of criticism hold us back?
Our necks are on the line every time we put our written words out in the world. As soon as we start writing, the self-doubt begins. Hunched over a keyboard the writer tells their story. Every word choice, syntax, comma, and dialogue produce heart palpitations. Eventually, we reach completion. Yet, despite our diligence, the feeling of imperfection persists.
What is your deepest fear? This question was posed by Marianne Williamson in her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course on Miracles. However, the quote is commonly associated with the movie, Coach Carter.
In the heart of an undefeated season, Coach Carter locks the gym when his players have failed to fulfill their academic contract. The players reluctantly comply, despite an outraged community. The confrontation persists until the school board votes to reopen the gym. The Coach resigns.
Throughout the season, Carter had challenged troubled player, Timo Cruz with the question “What is your deepest fear?” As the coach spoke to the team before leaving, Cruz answered the question.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that our people won’t feel insecure around you. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Don’t play small. Write your best story and let the world know. I guarantee that not all readers will like it. Stand back, welcome constructive suggestions and improve. Ignore those who play small. They haven’t faced their greatest fear.
A link to Marianne Williamson’s full quote.
The movie clip from Coach Carter
Keep in touch with Cliff here:
Follow the tour HEREfor exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!