Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gray Ghost Lives Again . . .

by C.L. Swinney

Well, I’m super excited to announce the re-release of Gray Ghost.  It originally came out in July of 2013 and eventually landed on the Amazon best sellers lists for Mystery and Crime fiction in paperback and Kindle.  Sounds great doesn’t it?  Well, it almost was.  Right about the time I was sitting on cloud nine and finishing up book two in the series, Collectors, I logged onto Amazon and noticed my book had been pulled from publication…ouch.

This was unexpected, and obviously caused me some serious grief.  Later I was informed the contract for Gray Ghost with my original publisher was terminated, and the second book contract that had been previously offered was also taken away.  So, that was weird.  But, instead of being a glass half empty guy, I chose to go the half full route.  I’ve got plenty to talk about for my situation, but I’m professional enough NOT to do it here or anywhere else.  Friends and family know what happened, and that’s as far as it needs to go.

So, let’s focus on the re-release of Gray Ghost.  I was able to take all the input of readers, fans, and critics, and re-shape the book.  I did this very carefully, however, because I didn’t want to make changes that would affect how previous readers interpreted the original version (almost 50 five star reviews so I didn’t want to ruin the “mojo”).  I added more scenes, answered a few questions, and threw in a couple more twists.  I was also able to fix four grammar and spelling errors that were missed in the first release.  One of the coolest things we did was change the cover, which your blog will be the first reveal of, and the book will come out in hard cover.  Yeah!!

The characters I create are based on people I’ve worked with, interviewed, arrested, or investigated over the last fourteen years in law enforcement.  I’m a narcotics and homicide detective, so I’ve seen quite a bit of interesting things in my career.  I bring these stories to my novels, while infusing exotic locations and the outdoors.  My style is crisp and short.  I write in a format known as inverted, which means the reader learns fairly quickly who the bad guy is, but the characters do not.  As an added feature, I force the characters to ask the bad guy for help.  It forces the reader to be uncomfortable, worried, and nervous at the same time.  The two main protagonists, Detective Bill Dix and Steve Petersen, are experienced and quirky with certain mannerisms readers find irresistible. 

The inspiration for Gray Ghost came from two significant events in my life, fly fishing on Andros Island in the Bahamas, and the passing of my mentor and fellow detective, Koti Fakava.  In a nutshell, as I made the approach to Andros I noticed several downed planes and began asking the locals about them.  Before I knew it, they were describing the entire narcotics pipeline throughout the Bahamas and East Coast.  From there, I interviewed folks, researched narco-trafficking along the East Coast, and drew on my own experiences as an investigator to write Gray Ghost.  I sat on the book for awhile until I was further inspired to do something for Koti’s family after he unexpectedly passed away.  He left his wonderful wife and five amazing kids behind.  I decided I would try to get published and eventually write a second novel that would feature Koti as a character.  Then, I decided to donate the proceeds from book sales to his family.  I’m happy to say I finished the second novel, Collectors, and it should be out mid-2014.  It’s certainly a dream of mine to provide excellent reading to the readers of mystery and crime fiction, as well as hopefully donate to the Fakava Family.  If nothing else, Koti will be memorialized in a novel, and that’s pretty cool too.

Gray Ghost plot summary:

While on a fly fishing vacation to Andros Island in the Bahamas, narcotics detectives Dix and Petersen learn their fishing guides were killed when a sudden blast of gunfire fractured their speedboat, Gray Ghost.  Local gossip has it that Gray Ghost went to the ocean floor with a hundred million dollars worth of cocaine neatly tucked in the hull.  Against their better judgment, Dix and Petersen are drawn into helping their island friends.  Leads are chased down in Miami and the Bahamas while a carefully planned trap is set for a man known only as, “The Caller.”  The Caller stays one step ahead of the struggling detectives, while Dix and Petersen learn local law enforcement may be working for the Caller.  Dix and Petersen get back to their investigative roots and unearth a mole...then the trouble really starts.

Chris Swinney was born in 1975 and graduated college and began career in law enforcement. Today he's a homicide and narcotics detective in the San Francisco Bay Area.He's recognized as an expert in several fields and is invited to give presentations throughout the United States on topics such as cell phone forensics, clandestine labs, and complex narcotics
investigations. His first writing was published in Fly Fisherman Magazine. His first novel, Gray Ghost, was published in July of 2013. The second in the Bill Dix series, Collectors, will come out sometime mid 2014.  Chris is a big time supporter of Teachers, American Troops, and Juvenile Diabetes Research.

You can learn more about Chris Swimney at the following sites:


Jean Henry Mead said...

Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Chris. It's great to have you visit here for the coming week.

C.L. Swinney said...

Thank you very much for this tremendous opportunity, I really appreciate it. I enjoy your work and your blog and was honored to be featured!


Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Chris.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, C.L. I look forward to reading your book.

M.M. Gornell said...

Yes! Love the new cover, and the way your name was done. Bravo to the designer. Very interesting blog, and good for you and your perseverance! See ya at LCC!


C.L. Swinney said...

Thank you Madeline! Great to see you at LCC! Have a great day!