I want to thank Tim for allowing me an opportunity to talk about myself, something we all like to do! If you haven’t gathered, he’s a funny guy, a talented writer, and British. I’m not sure how that all works, but it does, and he’s been fun to get to know. (Thank you, Rick).
My pen name is Rick Murcer, but my real name is Rick Murgittroyd. My ancestors came to America from somewhere in Southern Scotland, in about 1735, so that explains my affinity for golf, Celtic music, and, the ocean. At least that’s how I see it. I love the ocean and it has lead to numerous cruises, and I also love to read when we cruise and will sometimes read four or five books on a week-long cruise. Those two circumstances led to my first novel, Caribbean Moon.
My favorite genre is the police procedural thriller and after searching diligently, I realized that there were almost no novels set on a cruise ship in that genre. I thus nominated myself as the man to take on such a project. There was just a small matter of learning how to write. How hard could it be?
After about five years of reading how to write, writing on how to write, being lectured on how to write…I was a total mess. I didn’t understand how things had gotten so complex. Hadn’t I already had the first short story I’d ever written published? That’s supposedly before I had a clue. After personifying that tidy little saying regarding the definition of insanity, I decided to go with what I knew - myself.
I plugged in my smooth jazz collection, mostly Paul Hardcastle, infiltrated a little Celtic music, and four months later the first draft of Caribbean Moon rolled off the printer. I had written 93,000 words in a relatively short time, and had greatly enjoyed the process. I’d tossed away all of the suggestions on how to formulate an outline, how to pay attention to POV issues, how to show and not tell, etc. I just sat down and let the natural flow. Not very organized, but it worked for me. I’m still working on the technical side of writing, but it’s coming quite nicely. And I don’t let it hold me up.
I guess I’m a natural storyteller and with the influence of great writers, like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, James Patterson, and Thomas Harris, I'm learning how to channel that ability to paper. I’m a bit eclectic and have learned something from all of them. But I simply LOVE to write my own twists. It makes my heart beat a little faster.
One thing I’ve noticed in the suspense/thriller/police procedural genre that I’m not all that thrilled with, and, of course, everyone has their own taste here, is why the hero or heroine is often an anti-hero, or at the very least, not so likeable. I wanted to write someone that reflected more of the comic book heroes I grew up reading about in the 60s and 70s. Detective Manny Williams, the protagonist in my first three novels, is that character. He loves his wife, he’s noble, and he cares more about catching the bad guy than drinking or sex. He’s far from perfect, but he’s working on it. Think hot Boy Scout. If you think heroes like Manny are a little corny you might be right, but in this day and age it’s nice to have some reading options, don’t you think?
I think I’ve discovered what works for me and I believe every writer has to go through that process. You simply must go with what works for you…"to thine own self be true" kind of thing. I’ve had my style compared to folks like Kellerman, Konrath, and James Patterson of old.
Extremely flattering and heady stuff for a first-time author to be sure, but I think my voice is my own, and that’s how I intend to write the next 15-20 novels, God willing. I think that’s what everyone should do. If you want to write, then write and sort out the bodies later!
My second novel, Deceitful Moon (the cover below which is a WIP), will be released by the end of May 2011, and the third in the series, Emerald Moon, will be released by the end of September. If you asked my high school mates and teachers if that would ever happen for me, you’d probably be taken into the local Police station for drug and alcohol testing. I guess there’s no telling what one can accomplish if he or she puts their mind and heart to it, capishe?