Saturday, August 8, 2015

New Crime Fiction by Don Broma

I've got a new story out on Amazon.  Here's a link:
Coyote: A Border Crossing Thriller

And here's the blurb:

Mexico is in chaos. The government’s war on drugs has provoked a bloody power struggle between the nation’s most ruthless cartels. In less than a decade, more than 100,000 people have been murdered.

If Umberto Rodriguez is going to stay alive, he needs to get out of Mexico. And if he’s going to live well, the U.S. offers him his greatest chance. But crossing the border means surviving one of the harshest environments on Earth: a desert filled with sophisticated border control agents and lawless vigilantes who hunt men for sport.

He needs a ‘coyote’—a guide—and El Topo is the best guide in the business. But El Topo has a dark past, and hidden motives. Walking with him will plunge Umberto into the very heart of the struggle he’s trying to escape.

Can Umberto make the crossing, or is he doomed to become another border statistic?

Honestly, I had more fun writing this than anything else I've written in a pretty long time.  Coyote is full of menace and drama and blood, with a thematic backdrop that seems very rich to me.  In fact, the backdrop has so much dramatic potential that I'm hoping to write more stories in the same setting.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Where I'm At - April 20th, 2015

In July 2014--the month after I turned 35--I quit my day job. Since then I've been earning my living as an author. It hasn't been easy, and I've been tempted to give up more than once, but nearly a year later I'm still at it. Sometimes I'm nearly overcome by the challenges, and sometimes I feel nearly drunk on joy. I've achieved some of my greatest dreams, but I've also faced more self-doubt and uncertainty in the last ten months than I have in most of my last ten years. And it's partially because of that manic up-and-down emotional roller-coaster that I'm considering reviving this blog.

I'm hoping that keeping a journal of my writing life will provide me with a more objective vantage point from which to view my progress (or lack of progress). I'm hoping that jotting down my thoughts and feelings will give me a record that I can reference whenever I'm feeling particularly high or low. I'm hoping this blog will help with my long-view, since it's so easy to get completely wrapped up in the here-and-now.

I've also learned a lot and grown a lot since quitting my job to pursue my dream, and I plan on writing about those things here, too. Putting my thoughts into words has always helped me to more fully process and understand those thoughts. It helps me figure out why I think what I think, and I'm hoping this blog will help me on that front. I want to better develop my strategies.

Also, the fact that this blog is public is significant. Writing can be a pretty introverted and isolating activity; I'm hoping that putting my thoughts down in a public venue will help to keep me from falling into insular thinking, even if I'm the only person reading those posts.

So that's where I'm at right now.

Monday, January 19, 2015

a new crime novel, and the revival of an old pen name

Back in 2011, when I first self-published a story on Kindle, I did it under the pen name Don Broma. The story I released was The ElectroLive Murders, and I decided to go with a pen-name because at that time self-publishing was still considered career-suicide for folks who had hopes of one day being traditionally published.

The ElectroLive Murders was a sort of breakthrough for me. Up until then, I'd been reading and writing "literature", meaning prose that was focused primarily on tone and theme. ElectroLive was the first successful attempt I'd made at writing from a more "pulp" perspective, meaning trying to put plot and action at the forefront. And the book that led me there was The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, one of the classic noir detective stories.

I'm a big reader, and I read a broad range of stuff. I love fantasy and sci-fi and horror, but I also love thriller and crime and mystery, especially hardboiled stuff like what Hammett wrote. After finishing ElectroLive, I was pulled farther along the range of more speculative-type fiction, the sci-fi and fantasy sort of stuff where the story takes place in a world that is significantly different than our own. But I've also wanted to try my hand at a more typical crime story, a story firmly grounded in the real world, but also capable of showing us that world from a different angle.

Dry Shores is my attempt at writing that sort of book. It's a crime novel set in Honolulu, and I'd like to think that the setting is a crucial part of the story. The book shows some of the seamy underside of Waikiki, one of the biggest and most Disney-fied tourist destinations in the world. But despite it's somewhat sordid subject matter, the book has plenty of humor and a fair share of action, too. There's even a bit of heroics thrown into the mix. I hope you'll consider giving it a try. You can click this link if you'd like to: Dry Shores: A Hawaii Crime Novel