Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blood Sins with Frank Scully

 Today's guest is MuseItUp mystery/thriller author, Frank Scully.  His latest release Blood Sins is available from the MuseItUp bookstore and other online sellers.

AUTHOR:  Frank J. Scully
BOOK TITLE: Blood Sins
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

Please tell us about yourself?
There are a lot of things I could say. I am a lawyer, a business man, a manager as well as a husband and father. I’ve been a scholar and a soldier. I have had my share and more of failure and success. I am a student of human nature and a history buff. I am naturally curious and enjoy learning new things. Of course, I am a voracious reader. Mysteries and thrillers mainly but almost anything can end up on my ereader. My imagination has always been active and inventing stories about events has always been something that I have done even though most stories stay in my head and never make it out. Despite having that active imagination, I never confuse reality with any of my stories. And quite honestly, there are times when things happen in the real world that no one would believe if you put it in a story. All in all, I am just like everyone else.

When and why did you begin writing?
I first got started writing long ago while I was in college. One of my English professors gave a number of creative writing assignments. I thought they were fun and the professor thought I had some talent. That was the first time I truly thought about writing a novel. However, that didn’t happen until almost 30 years later. Again it was due to the encouragement of someone else. This time it was my wife. She bought me a word processor and told me to sit down and write some of the stories I had floating around in my head.

What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I wrote was inspired from something I saw in a magazine I read that had some pictures of school children in 1957 during a nuclear attack drill. I had grown up during that time and remembered those drills. A story popped into my head set in that time frame that later became BLOOD SINS which is set in January 1958 in the Midwest. It was such a pivotal time in US history. Russia was first in space with Sputnik. The United States tried to catch up but our first attempt blew up on the Launchpad. There was talk of nuclear war and fear that we were now number 2 in a world where only number 1 counted.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The underlying theme is that some sins stain the bloodline. Just as in Europe where wrongs done hundreds of years ago can lie dormant until something comes along and then the battle starts anew. This was witnessed in the Balkans with the ethnic cleansing and massacres. In BLOOD SINS a crime committed a  couple generations earlier has repercussions for those who want to bring it out and those who want to hide it. 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
Little pieces of my life and events that I have witnessed or know about always pop up in my books. However, the story and the characters are not based on me or anyone I know.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I just finished another of John Sandford’s novels. I was on a trip and it filled my time on a long flight. It  met my expectations and kept me entertained.

What are your current projects?
I am writing on the seventh novel in my Decade Mystery Series. It is tentatively entitled DIGITAL DEATH and involves missing persons, software piracy, terrorists, spies, and murder. My hero in this book is different. A young man who survived exodus from Vietnam by boat has grown up to be a remarkable man.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
I rarely have any problems with writer’s block unless I have taken too much time between writing sessions. I f I do the best way for me to get past it is to start by doing some editing on what I wrote in the last session. That generally gets me back into the story and gets my imagination projecting a movie in my head.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I have a full time day job as a contracts manager for a unit of a large aerospace company. The complexity of the issues I have to deal with keeps me very busy and takes me away from writing far more than I would prefer.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
There was something I discovered in writing BLOOD SINS. While I knew about the general background of the time and how it affected people throughout the United States I was not as aware of the effect that the trail of blood Charles Starkweather left behind in the Midwest forever changed the sense of safety and innocence that people in the Midwest felt prior to that.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
 Only that I hope you find the time you spend with my story enjoyable. I know that your time is important and precious.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
My publisher is MuseItUp Publishing. It was rather serendipitous how I ended up with Lea. I had been under contract to another publisher a few years ago and was within a month of coming out in print when the own of that publisher became quite ill and had to close down. There were a lot of authors with me in the same boat and we kept in touch. One of them mentioned that Lea was going to open a publishing house. I sent her an email to congratulate her and also threatened to send a query.  She invited me to send in a book. I did and she came back very quickly with an acceptance.  I am very happy to be with Lea and the very talented group she has gathered together in MuseItUp.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

Blurb and excerpt – BLOOD SINS


A long-buried secret pulls Bob Johnson into a bloody battle as he unravels a knot of clues to new and old crimes.


Some sins stain not just the soul but the bloodline.
Bob Johnson, a decorated World War II veteran, former school teacher, and now Police Chief of Plainfield, and his family are enjoying a pretty idyllic life in the Fabulous Fifties except for the threat of nuclear war. The economy is booming, cars have fins, and television has three channels of news and entertainment.  Crimes are mostly relegated to the other side of the tracks.
But then Edna Thompson dies. It looks on the surface like the natural death of an old black woman, but Bob thinks otherwise when he notices that Edna’s diaries are missing.
The Berger family is the town’s richest and meanest, with a dark history of bootlegging, loan sharking, and a variety of other crimes carved in its family tree. Now someone is shaking that tree looking for the secret buried in Edna’s diaries.
Bloody sins reach out from the grave. There may not be a right for every wrong, but there is a consequence to every action.
Edna willed the diaries to Bob, putting him on a collision course with those who want to bury the secrets again. Professional killers target Bob and his family. The violence escalates from vandalism to bombs to arson to kidnapping and murder, Bob has to walk into a deadly trap to try and save his family.
Someone will have to pay in blood for those long-dead sins.

Short Excerpt

Looking out from the shadows, the young man watched the police car pass by before he stepped back out to cross the road. That was the last one to leave. He could do his work now.
What had taken the cops so long? Had they stumbled across what he was looking for? Would they know what it was if they had? Did he know what it was?
No matter. He had to look, to continue the battle no matter what he might have to do or whatever sacrifice had to be made.
The wind was dying down. Only the cold remained. In the stillness, he could almost feel the even colder spirits that restlessly sought the warmth of revenge.
“I’m here,” he whispered.
“I won’t stop,” he promised.

Long Excerpt.

In their winter camouflage outfits, Bud and Mac blended into the shadows between snow-covered bushes next to a fence along a dark alleyway. They had been watching the house for the past hour. The falling snow had almost covered them, making them look like misshapen snowdrifts. Their new car, a 1953 nondescript tan Mercury, was parked at the end of the alley on a side street. Both men were armed with their pistols, and Mac was carrying a large bag of his toys.
“Damn.” Mac sniffled and wiped his nose on his sleeve, “it’s colder than a witch’s tit out here. Why can’t we do it now and get it over with before I freeze my prick off. Patty wouldn’t like that,” Mac whispered with a snicker.
“Shut up!” Bud hissed. “We have to wait until seven. Not before and not after. You want that bonus, don’t you?”
“Yeah, man,” Mac replied softly. “For that kind of dough, I’ll stand on my head and fart Dixie for the man at the right time. Hell, with that kind of bonus, I might just retire. But, shit, is he ever picky.”
“Retire, hah! You never save a dime. You’ll just blow it all on some stupid bitch,” Bud said sarcastically.
Bud let the thought of retirement run through his head. It would be nice. Maybe with this payoff, he would. If he did, he would have to kill Mac. He couldn’t afford to have him still working. If Mac ever got caught, he would turn rat in a hurry to save himself.
No, when I retire, so will Mac. He just doesn’t know how.
Bud watched the house quietly and hoped Mac would shut up. It was hard enough waiting in the cold without listening to Mac’s never-ending crap and his sniffling. They had gotten into a well-hidden position just after dark. Inside the house, people were moving around. The operation looked like it would be a piece of cake.
“Are you ready?” Bud asked. “I don’t want to waste any time when we’re in there.”
“Don’t worry.” Mac grinned. “I’m ready to go. When we’re done, there won’t be a stick left standing.”
“It’s supposed to burn, not blow, remember.” Bud was getting fed up with Mac’s attitude.
“Jesus, man, take it easy. I know my job. You just get me in there, and it’ll work. Just in case, I brought along my insurance.” Mac pulled two sticks of lethal-looking dynamite tied together with a short fuse from his back pocket.
“Shit! I told you not to bring that. You’re going to blow us both up,” Bud said sharply. The dynamite made him nervous.
“Relax. It can’t go off that easy. Of course, if somebody shot me in the ass, I’d never know it.” Mac had to hold himself to keep from laughing out loud.
“I don’t give a shit if you stick it up your ass and light it. You can be a Roman candle, for all I care. I just don’t want to blow with you, you dumb shit!”
“Well, you just better take good care of me then, buddy boy,” Mac replied.
Mac went back to sorting through his wares in his bag again. Bud silently fumed over Mac’s lack of mental acuity. The clock in his head ticked off the minutes to jump-off time.
“What’d you do about the garage?” Bud asked.
“While you were over here playing with yourself, I got in there and set up a little surprise. There’s a small device attached to the door that’ll go off when it’s jiggled. When it goes off, so will the car’s gas tank. Good thing he didn’t go in there when they got home,” Mac reported smugly.
“Okay, it’s time to get this show on the road. Get your gun out, and for God’s sake, don’t shoot me. I’ll go in first.” Bud started off quietly toward the back door. He hadn’t seen anyone moving around inside for a couple of minutes. With luck, they could burst in and have everyone under control in seconds. Mac was lugging his bag along behind Bud.
They stood at the back door for a moment before Bud slowly turned the knob. It wasn’t locked. The rubes in these small towns never locked their doors. Bud frowned with disgust. He held his breath and nodded to Mac and cannoned through the door with his gun in front of him.

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