Private investigator Richard Dick encounters his most challenging case yet when a prospective client unexpectedly appears in his office. Percival J. Buttersnipe is a multi-millionaire, an incorrigible snob, and thoroughly dead—that’s right, Percy is a ghost!
In this latest, rollicking release in the worldwide bestselling Richard Dick Mysteries series, Percy hires Dick to evict a group of cutthroats from his deteriorating mansion in Chicago’s stylish Lincoln Park. An uproarious tale of ghosts and gangsters, Dick unveils previously unknown secrets of life in the afterlife as he encounters ghosts around every corner. Will Dick become a ghost himself when gunfire erupts during a daring daylight bank robbery?
A new, hilarious novelette from the author of Bite This!, Witches Which?, Naughty or Nice?, and Flying Solo.
Meet Wade J. McMahan, creator of the bestselling Richard Dick Mysteries series
Thanks, Kim, for interviewing me on your blog. I have your list of questions, and…oh wait. First, let me say how important sites like yours are for new as well as established writers. It gives us a chance to pick up a few pointers from our peers—not to say writers will pick up any gold nuggets here today. I suppose the downside is that readers can see how whacked-out writers truly are.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, your list of questions. Allow me to begin.
I didn’t begin writing because I wanted to become an author. Seriously, I didn’t! In fact, I still fumble around, or hang my head and drag my toe through the dust at the very mention of the word. To me it seems, okay I’ll say it, pretentious to refer to myself as an “author.”
Very simply, I’m a writer. I write things—dark things, scary things, funny things, upside down things, right side up things, all manner of things that capture my interest. My writing is not intended to change the world or the lives of my readers. Nor do I aspire to reach lofty heights of literary distinction (as if that was in the cards, eh?). I write purely for entertainment—to entertain myself, and hopefully, my readers.
Why would I do such a silly thing? The primary reason behind why I began writing is simple. I wanted to see if I could. I don’t mean just write, but write to a standard where an established editor would read my work and say, “Holy cow! We have GOT to publish THIS!”
How hard could it be to write a book, right? I embarked on my writing career by spending a year tapping away on my first novel, “The Cave of the Gods.” I wrote, and wrote, and researched, and re-wrote, and edited, and wrenched it and tore it and sweated buckets over it until I finally had my first completed novel shipshape and ready for public viewing. I packaged it neatly, typed up a synopsis, and zinged out query letters to agents and editors across the land. Then I waited for an acceptance from somebody, anybody, and waited, and… Um, don’t go searching for “The Cave of the Gods” at bookstores or online. It resides comfortably on my bookshelf inside a three-ring binder. You guessed it. The book was a total piece of crap.
What did I learn from my first writing experience? I couldn’t write! Honestly! I couldn’t write, and that’s the dog dirt truth of it! I pondered my miserable existence for a while, and finally came to the dazzling realization that I had to get better.
I didn’t want to write another novel only to discover after another year of struggling that I’d created, “Return of Crap.” Therefore, I decided to write short stories and allow them to serve as my training ground. I could whip one out fairly quickly, and get a pretty quick response back from editors. You get it, stimulus-response. It’s kind of like when a doctor taps your knee with a hammer and immediately your foot flies up into the air, stimulus-response.
I stimulated a lot of editors before I received the response I was hoping for. “Vengeance of the Wolves,” a short dark fantasy was accepted for publication by “Crows Nest Magazine.” I think it’s out of business now, but it was an online magazine, one of those digital story mills. In fact, I believe I’ve contributed to killing more than one e-magazine.
If there is a moral to all of this, and you’re an aspiring writer, I suppose it’s to just start writing. No excuses, no more hedging, start writing now! Start this instant!
Um, hello? Are you still with me? If you are that aspiring writer I was just talking to, you don’t take direction very well, do you? That’s okay, I’ve never been one to take direction well myself.
If there is one thing every writer needs, it’s pure dumb luck to be at the right place at the right time with the right product. There are thousands of outstanding writers out there constantly snatching and grabbing at publishers. Let me tell you, boy oh boy, did I get dumb and lucky!
I had just completed my first Richard Dick Mystery, “Bite This!,” when I discovered a brand new publisher, Untreed Reads Publishing. I dangled my little tale in front of their editor and he bit! They not only took the bait, they shipped the story worldwide where “Bite This!” rapidly climbed bestsellers lists at e-bookstores around the globe! That little yarn earned 5-star reviews everywhere, and stayed on the overall Top 10 Bestsellers list at OmniLit for months! Later, Untreed Reads published my fantasy spoof, “Flying Solo,” as well as my subsequent Richard Dick Mysteries, “Witches Witch?,” “Naughty or Nice?” and now, “The Lincoln Park Horror.” Be watching for another novelette in the series, “Fanged!” when it arrives on e-bookshelves this fall—I really entertained myself writing this one.
The above works are available at the Untreed Reads Store—click the book cover above, it’ll take you there. Otherwise, go to your usual e-bookseller and download them to your Nook, Kindle or other reading device. If you’re a Sony user, look for my “Richard Dick Mysteries” bundle at the Sony Reader Store—you know how to do it. Don’t have one of those new gizmos? Not a problem, you can download them in standard pdf format directly to your laptop or PC.
I’m currently working on a full-length fantasy novel, tentatively titled, “The King of Stones. An Irish Ballad.” Soon, I will begin sending out a few sample chapters to my new, dedicated group of beta readers who collectively serve as my “Crap-O-Meter.” How will they react to what they read? I don’t know, but I’m edgy; let me tell you, I’m edgy.
Thanks again, Kim, for allowing me to visit with your audience. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
Wade J. McMahan has published five stories with Untreed Reads Publishing. In addition to his bestselling Richard Dick Mysteries series, Untreed Reads also released his fantasy spoof, “Flying Solo.” Furthermore, his stories have been published at such places as The Ampersand Review, Crow’s Nest Magazine, the df_Underground, and Pine Tree Mysteries.
More Richard Dick works are already in the pipeline, or under construction. Wade is also currently writing a fantasy novel based upon an ancient Irish legend.
Owner of a forestry consulting firm, Wade and his wife Glenda live in the green rolling hills of Tennessee where they enjoy an active life filled with family, friends, sports, travel and three spoiled dogs.
Track Wade on his website and blog, “The Incorrigible Liar” at Wade McMahan
and you can also find him on Facebook.