Friday, June 10, 2011

Flawed P.I.s, Gotta Love 'em: A Guest Post by Crime Author Benjamin Sobieck







I've been lucky with my invented PI characters.

First there's Jack "Keeper" Marconi, former prison warden turned private dick who specializes in chasing down escaped convicts, especially the ones who like to murder cops in cold blood, like in THE INNOCENT, or the bad guys who murdered his wife in GODCHILD.

Then there's MOONLIGHT FALLS and the forthcoming MOONLIGHT RISES from StoneGate Ink. Richard "Dick" Moonlight is a former cop and suicide survivor who has a little piece of bullet lodged inside his brain, right smack up against the cerebral cortex causing him at best the occasional blackout or memory loss (especially during times of stress...in other words, all the time), but at worst, the very serious possibility of coma and/or death should the bullet shift. He also always seems to be making the wrong decisions, more often than not, when it comes to women. In a word, he's an easy lay.

What's my point?
When it comes to the PI thriller market, you can't dish up the same old/same old anymore. You've got to give the reading audience a character who will stick out from the crowd and at the same time be believable in all his or her, unbelievableness...if that makes even an ounce of sense.

Up and coming crime fiction star and CLEANSING EDEN author, Benjamin Sobieck, follows the line of the fallible PI pretty closely in the form of Maynard Solomon in a short he did with famous blogger and blog talk radio host Giovanni Gelati for Gelati's ever growing Trestle Press. "Who Whacked the Blogger" is fun, violent, warped, and just plain funny. It's also crafted by two dudes who love their work and make it show. Check out the story anywhere where E-Books are sold.

Mr. Ben...It's time to give us the low-down on Maynard...

11 reasons to enjoy Maynard Soloman

Now before you roll your eyes and say, "Another serialized PI? Puh-leez," I want to tell you why Maynard Soloman is different. I, too, had read a million incarnations of Sam Spade. Maynard Soloman might've worn a fedora, but that's where the similarities end.

Here are 11 reasons Maynard Soloman is worth a look.

1) He was forced into retirement from his career as an investigator for the Obscenities Division of a local police force. He got stiffed on some medical bills, so he has to keep working. Which is why he...

2) Bought a Winnebago. Not only can he see the country (a staple of any retiree's dreams), he uses it as a...

3) Mobile office. He bought a police scanner and spray painted the words "Maynard Soloman Investigation Services" on the side. He's not too worried about the 'bago looking junky because...

4) The Winnebago takes a beating in every story. In "Who Whacked the Blogger?" he had to outrun a competitor when chasing an ambulance containing a potential client. In "Maynard Soloman Solves the War on Drugs," some punks break windows and spray paint graffiti on the side panels. That had Maynard...

5) Cursing in his own special way. A typical Maynard line would be, "Some punk-ass fruit bats spray painted the 'bago with a gal-damn penis." He's got a potty mouth rooted in a mix of early 20th Century cuss words and his own inventions. "Fruit bat" is someone who is both fruity and bat-shit insane. He also invented...

6) The 'nard Bag. As he can't afford an extra large sleeping bag, he invented the 'nard Bag. Simply pick out a pair of the largest sweatpants you can find. Cut the legs and sew them together so there is only one leg. Says Maynard, "It's pure mollycoddling." He enjoys stretching out, especially when...

7) He has health problems. It's an overarching theme across the stories. It's not clear yet what they are, but Maynard knows he can't outrun time. Speaking of time...

8) Maynard is clueless about technology. It's always baffled him. In "Who Whacked the Blogger?" his client runs a blog. Maynard spends most of the time trying to figure out what that means. He's also behind on...

9) Crime trends. In "Maynard Soloman Solves the War on Drugs," he is solicited by a teen to buy some cold medicine for him. Maynard becomes suspicious when he hears the medicine must contain pseudoephedrine. "Sounds like a fake drug to me. Are you trying to play a prank on me?" Maynard says. Of course, readers know pseudoephedrine is kept behind the counter because it's used to make meth. But the clueless Maynard Soloman thinks he...

10) Knows everything. He's absolutely convinced the world is much stupider than he. It's the big dumb world's fault he can't walk up to a drive-through and place an order. He can see the obvious answers when no one else can. That's why he can be so bold as to proclaim he's solved the War on Drugs in, "Maynard Soloman Solves the War on Drugs." But he's not so bold as to...

11) Use weapons of any kind. He was denied a concealed carry permit, probably related to the messy forced retirement situation. But he says the real reason is, "I cross too many state lines in the 'bago. Don't want one of my old police buddies to throw me in the slammer."

I hope you'll check out Maynard Soloman. I had a ton of fun writing him. More adventures are on their way. In the meantime, check out "Who Whacked the Blogger?" and "Maynard Soloman Solves the War on Drugs."

For more on Benjamin Sobieck: http://www.crimefictionbook.com/

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for reminding me how much I love Maynard! I've got to make time to read the first book in his new series!

    Michelle V

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  2. It is a real honor to have my little ditty posted here. This fits in all the better since I'm reading "The Innocent" right now.

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  3. Right on Ben...Glad to have a fellow journalist/author...
    Vin

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  4. Vince: love the new digital digs. Nice work.

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