Monday, April 17, 2017

Book signing


Sunday, April 23
Book Signing

With author Harley Mazuk signing his novel,

White with Fish, Red with Murder,

at the Mystery Writers of America table, between noon and 3 p.m.
White with Fish, Red with Murder will be for sale at the festival, or bring your copy for an autograph.



Kensington Day of the Book Festival

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Howard Ave. at Armory Ave., Kensington, MD

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Harley will be signing books and discussing noir, pulp fiction, and wine with friends old and new.

Noon to 3 P.M.

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Come on by!

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Harley Mazuk

White with Fish, Red with Murder


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Boy Who Cried Virginia Woolf

I signed up for a Stanford Continuing Studies online writing course, “The Gripping Read.” I’m trying to work on a new piece for the workshop. It flowed along fairly well for a few days, then Saturday, I had a very difficult time moving through a scene I was trying to write. Frank (the P.I.), and Vera, ( his ex-and-present lover and assistant), are trying to question a suspect in St. Francis Wood, a posh area of large homes. They go to one built against a hillside, a bit of a Spanish style that rises up, and they walk under a carriage house into a courtyard. There they see the suspect on the patio, one flight up. After a little banter she agrees to talk to them and walks across the patio and enters at the French doors. I had inordinate trouble with this. It must have taken me an hour and a half to put down 150 or so words. I struggled getting Frank and Vera invited up, and getting my suspect off her patio, and through the French doors to receive them. Even now, I’m considering chucking what I’ve written. It just wasn’t flowing.
But I saved that work and turned to the class reading which was from Frank Conroy’s Writers’ Workshop. I hadn’t seen this before but I very much liked it. Conroy breaks writing down to its most . . . elemental . . . elements, and he caught my fancy. Then he told a story of Virginia Woolf, who I believe played bass guitar for the Bloomsbury Group. Asked how her three hours of writing had gone one afternoon, she said, “Very well. I got them through the French doors and out onto the patio.”

My characters were going the other direction, but it was my Virginia Woolf moment. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Blog on

I have a lot of material out in the Blog-o-sphere to share with you. I’m still learning about this blog tour as I go, but it seems a number of sites have posted the interview I gave to the Dark Phantom Review:
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, White with Fish, Red with Murder. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   
A: White with Fish, Red with Murder is the story of private eye…

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Joseph Arellano, of Joseph’s Reviews gave me a very positive, generous review:
White with Fish, Red with Murder is a debut work by Harley Mazuk.  This is a mystery novel with some clever locations, quirky characters, and pitch perfect 1940s dialogue.  The narrator, Frank Swiver, is a private detective in San Francisco – circa 1948, who is eager for a paying client.  As luck would have it, Frank’s interest in wine is the ticket to a job!  Retired General Lloyd F. Thursby has planned an excursion on his private rail car with wine tasting as the entertainment.
Here's the rest of the review
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A number of fine sites have pushed out an excerpt from the book. Here’s one:
EXCERPT:
A few lights were on in the lounge; I could see burgundy wallpaper with dark wood trim. To my right were two dining tables, each with four seats, and on the left an upright piano with a light oak finish. Beyond that, a group of folks sat in the far end of the car. I led Vera partway down, until the man facing us spoke.
“Ah, you must be Frank Swiver,” he said.


Friday, March 17, 2017

The Blog Tour Continues

Here are some updates on my Blog Tour. Please support these fine bloggers who support my book:
The Story behind White with Fish, Red with Murder
by Harley Mazuk
White with Fish, Red with Murder is a noir-ish private eye tale. There’s a love triangle, tough guys, lying dames, a couple of murders, greed, lust, jealousy, and nefarious schemes. It’s the kind of stuff I like to read, and I thought I should write what I like.
It started out with my 50th birthday. Read more: 
https://thestorybehindthebook.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/the-story-behind-white-with-fish-red-with-murder/

The Writing Life with Harley Mazuk
What’s inside the mind of a mystery author?
Murder most foul. I lean toward noir stories, so lying dames, corrupt souls with depraved sensibilities, double-crosses, nefarious schemes.

What is so great about being an author?

Talking Craft with Mystery Author Harley Mazuk at the Dark Phantom Review
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, White with Fish, Red with Murder. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   
A: White with Fish, Red with Murder is the story of private eye Frank Swiver, who accepts an invitation to a wine tasting on a private rail car, and brings along his secretary and lover, Vera Peregrino. They’re two thirds of a love triangle. The host, Frank’s client, General Thursby, wants him to find proof that a friend whose death was ruled accidental was in fact murdered. Thursby suspects Cicilia O’Callaghan, widow of his late friend, an old flame of Frank’s, and the third leg of that triangle. But Thursby takes two slugs through the pump, and the cops arrest Vera for his killing. Frank spends his nights with Cici, and his days trying to find Thursby’s killer and spring Vera. But soon he realizes he must change his way of thinking, or risk losing both women . . . and maybe his life.
Read more: https://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/talking-craft-with-mystery-author-harley-mazuk/

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fun to see a good review from Bookloons

I’ll bet it seems like you can’t go to the Interwebs anymore with seeing “Harley Mazuk.”
A couple more stops along the way on the blog tour: 
First, a “Chapter Reveal” (an excerpt from Chap. 1):

A few lights were on in the lounge; I could see burgundy wallpaper with dark wood trim. To my right were two dining tables, each with four seats, and on the left an upright piano with a light oak finish. Beyond that, a group of folks sat in the far end of the car. I led Vera partway down, until the man facing us spoke.
“Ah, you must be Frank Swiver,” he said.


Then I got a swell review on Blookloons:
“Author Harley Mazuk begins a debut series with White with Fish, Red with Murder taking place in 1948 San Francisco. Protagonist Frank Swiver is at a point in his life where paying the electric bill would cut into his purchase of wine, and his fondness for the company of women.

At the moment, his romantic attention is centered on the secretary in his Private Investigator's office. When he is invited to wealthy wine connoisseur Frank Thursby's wine tasting held in the man's private railroad car, he readily accepts. To his astonishment, an ex-girlfriend is also there – the widow of a man well-known in the wine community. Cicilia has been accused of deliberately serving her husband, Rusty, eggs loaded with poisonous mushrooms.”


Friday, March 3, 2017

Book Cover Junkie


If you've seen this blog, From the Spitbucket, you've seen my book cover. What's behind it? Book Cover Junkie blog asked me these questions:
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
My publisher, Driven Press, likes to do its covers in-house. So I talked a little with my editor/handler at DP, Suzanne Kneeves. We thought maybe an Art Deco look, with a hint of Tamara de Lempicka.
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Suzanne says to credit Mumson Designs for the work, but I think she played a major role.
How was your experience working with the designer?


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Release Day Is Here


After many years aborning, White with Fish, Red with Murder was released Feb. 28, 2017 by Driven Press. White with Fish, Red with Murder is the story of Frank Swiver, a private eye in a love triangle. Frank accepts an invitation to a wine tasting on a private rail car, and brings along his secretary and lover, Vera Peregrino. The host, General Thursby, wants Frank to find proof that a friend whose death was ruled accidental was in fact murdered. Thursby suspects Cicilia O’Callaghan, widow of his late friend and an old flame of Frank’s. But Thursby takes two slugs through the pump, and the cops arrest Vera for his killing. Frank spends his nights with Cici, and his days trying to find Thursby’s real killer and spring Vera. But soon he realizes he must change, or risk losing both women . . . and maybe his life.
I hope you'll read my book, and if you like it, please leave a review on Goodreads, or Amazon, or . . . ?
Close writer friend Seth Harwood noticed that this blog was not very up-to-date—last post “Pearl’s Valley” was about six months ago. I know it’s a poor performance, but interestingly, I have been blogging. In fact I’ve been on a blog tour of sorts.

This post went live March 1 on Book Publishing Secrets:


Here’s a guest post I did for the inimitable SleuthSayers: http://www.sleuthsayers.org/2017/02/guest-post-harley-mazuk-author-of-white.html