Thursday, November 12, 2015

Books My Fun Between the Covers

            When I as a kid at home, if I wasn’t outside playing, I had a book in my hands reading. My mother, Sybil Beck complained because I would be reading two or three books at a time. She would fuss saying that I had a book open on the arms of the couch and the chairs. She couldn’t understand how I could do it. I tried to explain that school teaches students to do that. The teachers don’t make us read through the math book before we go on to geography or English books.
            I get the love of books from her. She liked to read and often she would read to us kids. One time in particular, I can remember that we begged for one more story. She relented and began to read about Mr. Partridge and her family. Several paragraphs in, she accidentally said Mrs. Fartridge and became flustered. She never finished that tale, but sent us to bed.
            As the disease of Alzheimer’s claimed more and more of her faculties, she complained that her vision got worse and worse. She went for eye exams and got new glasses, but to no avail. In reality, she forgot how to read. That was difficult for me to watch.
            My kids haven’t caught the bug to read, but my sister, Kathy Basinger and her daughter, Becky Ritenour have inherited that trait and love books. Because Becky is an English teacher, she doesn’t want to read books that I’ve written with her critical eye and that’s okay, my sister likes them.
            Reading books weren’t enough for me. I enjoy writing and have reams of poetry and scribbled words stacked beside my desk. I love to play with words and like to insert words that have a double meaning to tease my readers. Sometimes it will be a name of the positioning of words.
            I now have written and had published three books about a retired homicide cop with the nickname of Tommy Two Shoes, from Pittsburgh who solves mysteries. I picture him to look like the solid actor William Bendix. My editor calls the stories cozy mysteries. My last book, The Twelve Murders of Christmas does have Tommy remembering murders that he and his partner solved before he retired. All of the murders occurred between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. They are still cozy mysteries. I don’t like to put a lot of violence, blood, gore, and guts in the books. There is enough of that in the world. I just like to put easy reading mysteries for folks to enjoy.
            Saturday, November 14, 2015 I will be reading and offering my books for sale at the Latrobe Art Center from eleven a.m. until two p.m. for anyone who might be in the area and can stop in.

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