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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

[ Edited ]

 

 

Charles Salzberg is a New York-based novelist, journalist and acclaimed writing instructor. His new novel, Devil in the Hole, a work of literary crime fiction based on the notorious John List murders, is on the shelves now. He is also the author of the Henry Swann detective series: Swann’s Last Song, which was nominated for a Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel; Swann Dives In; and the upcoming Swann's Lake of Despair. A celebrated and popular creative writing teacher, he has been a Visiting Professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and has taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Hunter College, the Writer's Voice, and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is a Founding Member. He is a consulting editor at the webzine Ducts.org and co-host, with Jonathan Kravetz, of the reading series, Trumpet Fiction, at KGB in New York City.

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

[ Edited ]

Devil in the Hole  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishers Weekly

In this smartly constructed crime novel, Salzberg (Swann Dives In) uses multiple viewpoints to portray an unlikely killer who methodically slaughters his family. When James Kirkland, a neighbor, notices something odd going on at the Sedgewick, Conn., home of the Hartmans, he calls the police. Inside the Georgian-style mansion, police find the neatly executed bodies of Adele Hartman, her three teenage children, and her mother-in-law. John Hartman, Adele’s husband, is missing.

 

Salzberg adroitly creates the voices of Hartman as he tries to establish a new life for himself; Charles Floyd, a senior police investigator who becomes obsessed with finding Hartman; and Kirkland, whose discovery changes his life. A slew of other characters who knew Hartman or who encounter him as he moves around provide snippets of information. The result is not a finished portrait but an intriguing collage of impressions and personal perspectives for the reader to ponder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Swann's Last Song  

 

Shamus Award Nomination for Best First PI Novel

 

The Shamus Award is awarded by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) for the best detective fiction genre novels and short stories of the year. The prize is given annually to recognize outstanding achievement in private eye fiction.

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Please welcome CHARLES SALZBERG!

 

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Charles has provided an excerpt for B&N's Mystery Forum:

 

Devil in the Hole

By

Charles Salzberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1

The Murders

 

 

 

“Le soleil ni la mort ne peuvent se regarder fixement.”

--La Rochefoucauld

 

 

Chapter One

James Kirkland

I knew something was out of whack, only I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Just something, you know. And it wasn’t only that I hadn’t seen any of them for some time. I mean, they’d been living there for what, three, three and a half years, and I don’t think I ever had more than a two or three minute conversation with any of them. And God knows, it wasn’t as if I didn’t try.

All things considered, they were pretty good neighbors. Mostly, I guess, because they kept to themselves. Which is certainly better than having neighbors who are always minding your business, or who don’t mow their lawn, or who drop in uninvited, or who throw wild parties and play loud music all night long. They weren’t like that. Just the opposite, in fact. Why with that great big front lawn and two teenage boys you’d think they’d be out there tossing a football or a frisbee around, or something. But no. It was so quiet sometimes it was as if no one lived there at all. Though I did hear rumors that the boys had a reputation of being hell raisers. Maybe that’s why they kept such a tight lid on them when they were home. Because I can honestly say there wasn’t any hell raising going on in that house that I could see. As a matter of fact, the only way you’d know the house was occupied was when you’d see the kids going to school, or him going off to work, or her and the mother going out to shop. Or at night, when the lights were on.

Which brings me back to the house itself. And those lights. It was the middle of November, a week or so before Thanksgiving, when I first noticed it. I was coming home from work and when I glanced over there I noticed the place was lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s a Georgian style mansion, one of the nicest in the neighborhood, by the way, with something like 20 rooms, and I think the lights were on in every single one of them. But the downstairs shades were drawn tight, so all you could see was the faint outline of light around the edges of the windows, which gave it this really eerie look. Maybe they’ve got people over, was my first thought. But that would have been so out of character because in all the time they’d lived there I’d never seen anyone go in or out other than them. And anyway, it was absolutely quiet and there were no cars in the driveway or parked out on the street.

Just before I turned in, I looked out the window and noticed the house was still lit up, which was odd, since it was nearly midnight and, as a rule, they seemed to turn in kind of early over there.

The next night when I came home from work and I looked across the street the lights were still on. And that night, before I went to bed, after midnight, I looked out and the lights were still blazing.

After that, I made a kind of game of it. Under the pretense of getting some fresh air, I walked close to the house, as close as I could get without looking conspicuous, and listened to see if there were any sounds coming from inside. A couple of times, when I thought I heard something, I stopped to listen more carefully. But I never picked up anything that might indicate that someone was inside. And each night, when I came home from work, I made it a point to check out the house and make a note of how many lights were still burning and in which windows. I even began to search for silhouettes, shadows, anything I might interpret as a sign of life. And it wasn’t long before I whipped out the old binoculars to take a look, thinking maybe I could see something, anything, that would give me a hint as to what was going on. But when my wife accused me of being a peeping Tom, I put them away, at least while she was around.

There weren’t always the same number of rooms lit, but I noticed there were always fewer, never more. It was as if someone was going around that house each day turning off one light in one room, but in no discernible pattern. I began to think of that damn house during the day, while I was at work, or on the train back home. It became a real thing with me. I even kept a notebook with a sketch of the house and notations next to each window that had a light on.

At night, I played a game. I began to think of that house as my own personal shooting gallery and, sitting on the window sill in my pajamas, while my wife was either in the bathroom or asleep, I’d choose one of the rooms and aim my imaginary rifle and pop! pop!, I’d shoot out one of the light bulbs. And, if the next night that particular room was dark, I’d get a tremendous rush of self-satisfaction that carried me through the whole next day. It was kind of like one of those video games my kids play. Pretty sick, huh?

I mentioned it to my wife—not my silly game, but the fact that those lights were going out one by one. She thought I was nuts. “Can’t you find anything better to do with your time?” she asked.

“No,” I said. “I’m entertaining myself. Leave me alone.” Then I asked whether she’d seen the Hartmans lately, because I was beginning to have this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, as if something was seriously wrong. That it wasn’t a game anymore.

“No,” she said. “I haven’t. But that’s not unusual. Besides, it’s not as if I’m looking for them. If you ask me, they’re creepy. The whole bunch of them.”

“I know. But maybe...maybe there’s something wrong.”

“Go to bed,” she said. So I did, lulling myself to sleep with my imaginary rifle cradled in my arms, as if it would actually afford me some protection just in case something was wrong.

A few nights later, I set the alarm for three-thirty and slipped the clock under my pillow. When the vibration woke me, I got up quietly, so as not to wake my wife, looked out the window and sure enough the same number of lights were burning in the house as the night before. I was puzzled and frustrated because I was dying to know what was going on. I even thought of making up some kind of lame excuse to ring the Hartman’s bell. But I didn’t have the nerve.

Two weeks later, only three rooms in the house were still lit. Down from eight the week before, fourteen the week before that, the week I began to keep count. I asked my son, David, whether he’d seen the Hartman kid in school, the one in his class.

“We’re not exactly best buds, Dad,” he said. “He keeps to himself. He’s weird. Maybe he’s queer or something.”

“I just asked if you’d seen any of them lately.”

“Not that I can remember. But I don’t go out of my way looking for any of them. They’re a bunch of weirdoes.”

I went back up to my room and stared out the window for maybe 15 minutes, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. I wondered if I should do something.

“Come to bed,” my wife said.

“I’m worried,” I said, without taking my eyes off the Hartman house. “There’s definitely something wrong over there.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” she said. “Besides, it’s none of our business.”

“No, I can feel it. Something’s...”

She sighed, got out of bed and handed me the phone. “Well, rather than having to spend the rest of my life with a man who insists on staring out the window at the neighbor’s house all night like an idiot, I’d just as soon you called the police and let them put your mind at ease. At least maybe they can get them to turn out all the lights. Maybe then we can get some sleep over here.”

So, that’s how I called the cops.

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Welcome, Charles, to the forum. I hope it will be a fun week for you. Your new book sound very interesting and I may buy that one. Thanks for being here.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!


maxcat wrote:

Welcome, Charles, to the forum. I hope it will be a fun week for you. Your new book sound very interesting and I may buy that one. Thanks for being here.


I've read Charles first books and I recommend them! 

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Charles is battling the sign-in gremlins and gnomes - if he's still unable to sign in, I'll post his responses on his behalf. 

 

Charles, I'm so sorry your having trouble joining us!

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Charles would like to thank the people who have posted so far - he'll answer any questions or take part in discussions via emails since he's unable to post here. I'll paste in his responses.

 

I tried to get on the site earlier and it looked like it was shut down for maintenance. Hopefully we won't have any more problems. 

 

Charles, what are you working on now - or is it too early to say?

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!


becke_davis wrote:

Charles would like to thank the people who have posted so far - he'll answer any questions or take part in discussions via emails since he's unable to post here. I'll paste in his responses.

 

I tried to get on the site earlier and it looked like it was shut down for maintenance. Hopefully we won't have any more problems. 

 

Charles, what are you working on now - or is it too early to say?


Charles responded:

 

I'm working on a fourth Henry Swann novel.  The third, Swann's Lake of Despair, will be out next year.  The one I'm working on now is called Swann's Way Out.

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

I asked Charles if he had any Barnes & Noble book signings coming up. Good news for those of you in the New York City area!

 

Here's his reply:

 

Yes, I have one this Thursday, August 8th, 7 p.m., at the BN 86th Street, on the east side, here in New York City. 

 

http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2278

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

Hi Charles - Did you always want to be a writer? What books or authors have influenced you as a writer?

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

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DeborahSharp
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!

love the short video. Is it a book trailer, or just a snippet of the character's personality? Either way, it's very cool, like a mini-movie. Does the narrator also record your audiobooks as Swann? 

Deborah Sharp
Author of the funny Mace Bauer Mystery series
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!


DeborahSharp wrote:

love the short video. Is it a book trailer, or just a snippet of the character's personality? Either way, it's very cool, like a mini-movie. Does the narrator also record your audiobooks as Swann? 


Hi Deborah! Charles has had problems getting into the site so I'm posting his responses on his behalf. Here's his reply to your question:

 

Thanks, Deborah.  I guess it's what's called a book trailer.  There are four of them, made by my friend, Francesca Rizzo.  And another friend, Ross Klavan, an actor and screenwriter and novelist, who made a good living doing voice-overs, was kind enough to play Henry Swann.  And you're right, they really are like a mini-movie.  Unfortunately, there are no audio books right now, but we are thinking about it, and Ross's voice would be great as Swann.  

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author CHARLES SALZBERG!


becke_davis wrote:

Hi Charles - Did you always want to be a writer? What books or authors have influenced you as a writer?


From Charles:

 

Yes, I can say without hesitation that writing is what I always wanted to do. I even started a novel at the age of 11. It was a roman a clef set in a summer camp.  Very autobiographical.  I probably wrote about 10 pages and then abandoned it. 
 
But I used to haunt bookstores and peruse the racks of books.  I discovered Saul Bellow, Seize the Day, and it hooked me.  And then, of course, there was Catcher in the Rye followed by Portnoy's Complaint.  But I really read everything I could get my hands on.  Soon, my favorite writers and influences were Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Bernard Malmud and Nabokov.  I aspired to write like them.
 
 
Later, I discovered writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and James Cain, and I wanted to write like them, using those other influences to make it "literary."