Get Lost in a Story Readers. I'm delighted to introduce today's guest. Mike Befeler puts the pro in prolific. He's my online mystery critique partner, and his stories are each so unique and well written. Mike also writes Geezer Lit. What's that you ask? Well, the protagonist crime-solving sleuth is a senior citizen. Mike is here to promote his newest release, SENIOR MOMENTS ARE MURDER. Please welcome Left Coast Crime finalist, Mike Befeler.
Cantankerous octogenarian Paul Jacobson must solve a series of murders while struggling with the problems of his short-term memory loss. Paul learns about the homeless community, disreputable art dealers and the beach scene in Venice Beach, California, and must dance a geezer two-step to stay out of the clutches of the police and the bad guys.
DONNELL: If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
MIKE: A place with a beach or mountains where all our grandkids were at the same time. Right now we have to commute to Los Angeles and Iowa City and see one set at a time.
DONNELL: What’s your favorite room in your house?
MIKE: My writing office.
DONNELL: Have you ever written a character that was meant to be secondary but wouldn’t go away?
MIKE: In the first draft of my first published novel, Retirement Homes Are murder, I killed off a secondary character. My editor convinced me to not do that and this character has continued to live and contribute through the series.
DONNELL: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
MIKE: I read reviews that I come across or my publisher sends to me. I think over what’s said to see if I agree. The one comment I’ve had from some cozy readers is that they don’t like that my protagonist Paul Jacobson cusses. I’ve talked to Paul about toning down his language but because he has short-term memory loss he keeps forgetting.
DONNELL: Introvert or Extravert?
MIKE: Introvert, but I’ve taught myself to be outgoing.
DONNELL: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
MIKE: Not much. We cleaned it out before going on a trip we’re on right now.
DONNELL: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood and one you’ve passed on to your children?
MIKE: Telling Horace stories about Horace the flying horse.
DONNELL: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
MIKE: When I began writing in 2001, I set three goals: to write for myself, to write for my family and to get published. I immediately fulfilled goal one by writing short stories. Then the first Christmas after I began writing I achieved the second goal by giving my wife and kids a collection of short stories. In 2007 I met goal three with the publication of Retirement Homes Are Murder.
DONNELL: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching a book?
MIKE: This is a small one but it surprised me. I wanted to have a character stay afloat using balloons. So before you read further answer this question. How many balloons does it take to support a 150 pound person? I like most people guessed wrong. I was on a business trip and staying at a hotel with a pool. I bought some balloons and fishing net to experiment with. I blew up the balloons, jumped in the pool and began floating while holding balloons in the netting. People sitting in a nearby Jacuzzi thought I was nuts, but after I completed my experiment I joined them in the hot tub and we had a great conversation. The answer is not five or six as I thought, but one balloon.
DONNELL: Answer this question: If you’re not writing, where would we find you?
MIKE: On a hiking trail or playing platform tennis.
DONNELL: Do you have pets?
MIKE: One cat.
DONNELL: Which is your favorite language other than your native language?
MIKE: In the novel I'm currently writing, one of my characters answers this as the language of love. I was never good at languages but learned French in school and spent six months in France during college. I've forgotten everything. I can sing a few songs in Hawaiian since I grew up in Hawaii but I don't know what they mean.
DONNELL: What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
MIKE: Will you autograph and sell me twenty books for all my relatives?
DONNELL: What’s the first thing you do when you finish a book?
MIKE: Start making notes for the next one.
DONNELL: What author(s) inspired your writing?
MIKE: John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday inspired me to write quirky characters.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN, MIKE. What's your question for GLIAS Readers?
Other than answering, the length it takes to tell the story, what length novels do you prefer reading?
Mike Befeler http://www.mikebefeler.com/
Author of Senior Moments Are Murder,
Living With Your Kids Is Murder (Left Coast Crime Finalist for best humorous mystery), and
Retirement Homes Are Murder
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless otherwise indicated by guest author. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. It is the responsibility of the winning commenter to contact GLIAS with their email address or those participating may leave their email addresses in their public post.
DON'T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Come back tomorrow when Cat hosts, Lena Diaz. ~ Donnell