Wednesday, October 28, 2009

THE NIGHT WATCHMAN - Mark Mynheir - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I don’t think it’s possible to write any character that doesn’t have traits from the author embedded in them—some more than others, of course. The challenge for the writer is to create characters that will speak, react, and observe the world around them in a way that is different from the author and yet remain consistent and believable. It helps to understand human nature and the differing personality types. Police work and being a detective has really helped me in this area.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

That’s a loaded question. I once swam across a huge alligator infested waterway in the middle of the night. I think that qualifies and more stupid than quirky. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

When I was growing up, writing was the worst thing imaginable to me. I loathed putting words to paper. I’m Dyslexic and the very reason (I believe) that God invented spell check. But soon after I became a Christian, I felt the Lord leading me to write. It didn’t make much sense to me and seemed impossible. I shared what I thought God was telling me with my wife, and she encouraged me to go to school and learn the skills I needed to write.

So, it took about ten years of classes, writing, and more classes. I met my agent at a writer’s conference. He shopped my first novel, which got some good reviews but didn’t sell. I wrote the proposal for Rolling Thunder, my first published novel. He sent it out. I expected it to take six months or so before I heard anything. But about a week later, I got an e-mail from Multnomah, asking if I would be interested in writing a series. I had to wake my wife up to read the e-mail just to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind.

To say the least, I got kind of weepy when I held my first book. But don’t tell anyone.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I have a rather diverse reading list. I like biographies and history, but I also read biblical apologetics, like anything from Lee Strobel. I alternate my fiction reading to include some of the classics, secular fiction, and many of the awesome Christian writers today.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My first novel was Rolling Thunder. Then From the Belly of the Dragon, The Void, and now The Night Watchman.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

My faith in Christ is first and foremost. When I get exhausted and beat down, He always lifts me back up. My faith helps me know that there’s a much larger context to everything that’s going on in the world and in my life. Without that knowledge, I think I would have gone loopy a long time ago.

My wife and kids give me joy daily. I couldn’t function without them as well. We do a lot together as a family.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I try to have names that match the personalities and yet are different enough so as not to confuse readers with names that sound the same. I don’t really have a scientific process. They just seem to come to me.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

My kids. They’re lots of a fun, and they make me very proud every day.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A Praying Mantis. They’re really cool and fight in a Kung Fu-type style. They only problem is that the female at some point usually eats the male. So I would remain single . . . forever.

What is your favorite food?

Grilled Salmon. I could eat it every meal.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Insecurity and fear. I battle with them everyday. I’ll let you know if I ever totally vanquish them, but it hasn’t happened yet.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Stick with it! Many a great manuscript or talented writer will never be discovered because the author didn’t show the fortitude to stick it out through the tough times—and there will be tough times. If you’re called to be a writer, write. Learn your craft, read books about writing, go to conferences, and write, write, write. Don’t let negative voices around you derail the dream God has planted.

Tell us about the featured book?

In The Night Watchman, the protagonist, Ray Quinn, is an Orlando homicide detective who is severely wounded in an ambush and forced to medically retire from the force. Ray battles the haunting guilt for his partner’s death. Numbing the pain with alcohol and attitude, he takes a job as a night watchman at a swanky Orlando condo.

But when a pastor and an exotic dancer are found dead in one of the condos in an apparent murder-suicide, Ray can no longer linger in the shadows. The pastor’s sister is convinced her brother was framed and begs Ray to take on an impossible case–to challenge the evidence and clear her brother’s name.

Crawling from the wreckage of his former life, Ray struggles to find healing and purpose again. But when the case of a lifetime is thrust upon him, Ray must decide whether he’ll succumb to his depression and pain or use the God-given gifts he still has inside him to catch a madman.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Here is an excerpt:

The two men stalking me had emerged from the shadows and then trailed me though the parking lot.

They lagged behind me about fifty feet. I slowed my pace, not that I wasn’t as slow as a tree slug already, to see if they would overtake me or hang back.

They hung back. Not good.

Any human at a normal pace should have passed me by now. I could feel their eyes punching holes in me, waiting for the right time to move.

Since I wasn’t up for dealing with any problems, I stepped it out as best I could. With a new-and-improved plastic pelvis and hip, along with ten months of physical therapy, I should be able to hobble a little faster. No such luck. The cane and gimpy leg would only go so fast. Grandma Moses on a pogo stick could hop circles
around me.

Using the rearview mirrors on the cars parked along Lake Avenue, I kept tabs on my new friends without being too obvious, a little trick I picked up when I worked undercover. No need to give them more of an advantage than they already had.

The big one, a black kid maybe twenty years old, wore a white wife-beater muscle shirt and black jean shorts. Mini-dreads jetted from his head like a frayed ball of yarn. The other kid, probably the same age, was an anemic white with a tattoo sprawled on his neck and a shaved head that glistened under the streetlights.

With each glance I caught, they feigned like they were talking to each other, but I could sense they were planning to pounce. And why not? I was an easy mark—a crippled guy negotiating the Orlando streets alone at night. One more block to go until I was at work.

Eleven months ago I would have enjoyed this game of cat and mouse. But then I would have been the cat, a big hungry one ready to swallow those thugs like the rodents they were. I hoped they were just playing a game.

I stole a furtive glance behind me, and my tails were nowhere in sight. I stopped and shifted all the way around. Gone. Must have headed up an alley. Maybe I was just losing my mind. Hadn’t been out much lately.

I used to love the Orlando nightlife, the clubs and things to do; the pulse of the city at night energized me. It had changed so much in a short amount of time. Faster, meaner, a stranger to me. Like I was living on a different planet. I had grown up here, not long after Mickey scurried in, back when Orlando was more of a cowtown.

Now it’s a big city plagued with big-city problems.

As I approached the corner of Lake and East Jackson, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumber raced around the corner right in front of me, both out of breath. They must have sprinted down the alley behind the store to cut me off just before I reached the intersection.

This wouldn’t end pretty.

“Hey, old man. ”The ugly white kid checked up and down the street, like felons do when they’re preparing to do something monumentally stupid.

His buddy invaded my personal space on my left. “How about some spare change?” he said with an accent, maybe Haitian.

“Don’t have any change.” I eyed possible escape routes, though escape wasn’t likely in my condition. And I couldn’t count on anyone to help me, or even to notice, for that matter. On this corner, in a city of over two hundred thousand people, I was on my own…as usual.

“Then give up your wallet, or I bust your head like your leg is.”

The black kid pressed in on me.

“Okay.Okay.” I held up my right hand while leaning more on the cane with my left. “I’ll give you my wallet. Just don’t hurt me.”

“Hurry up!” The white kid spit as he spoke, clenching his fists at his sides. “I ain’t got all night.” He was the alpha dog of the two.

If they were going to attack, he would lead. He needed to be tamed.

I reached back with my right hand, brushed past my wallet in my back pocket, and slipped my hand up into my waistband. I let go of the cane. The brass handle clanked as it bounced off the concrete, echoing around us. Huey and Dewey beaded in on it, drawing their attention down for the second I needed.

I unsnapped my Glock 9mm from its holster, then drew it to eye level, setting my night sights on the white kid’s forehead. A stupefied look crossed his face, which must be a regular event for him. He wasn’t so alpha dog now.

“The leg’s busted, scumbag, but my finger works fine.” I gritted my teeth and leaned forward. “You wanna test it out?”

Sounds intriguing. I can't wait until I get my copy. How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can visit my website: and my Facebook account.

Thank you, Mark, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks, Lena.

Mark said...

I'd like to enter, thanks

Unknown said...

Sounds like a book I would like to read:) I have read some of his other books and enjoyed them. Please enter me. Thanks!

Hope said...

I have read 2 of his other books and really liked them!
Please enter me in your drawing.

Mark Mynheir said...

Thanks for a great interview, Lena. I really enjoyed it. My the Lord continue to bless you and yours.

Mark Mynheir

The Herd said...

This interview---has me cracking up---especially the praying mantis part--yep the female does eat the male as soon as she has a baby---I learned that this year from my daughter's science class!!!
jnkbull at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Great interview. The Night Watchman sounds great. Please enter me. Blessings.

Unknown said...

I have read one of Mark's books and enjoyed it.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to be entered in the drawing for this book.

Carole said...

I am a big fan of mysteries and police procedurals, and I'm glad to see this type of book in the Christian market. Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net said...

I love the Small Pink Daisy
Flower Hair Clip

dancealert at aol dot com

kristen said...

This book sounds fantastic!! Thanks for letting us know about it.

Julie Arduini said...

Another great interview. This is a new name on my reading radar, so I am definitely looking forward to reading his work.


Anonymous said...

I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the possibility.


Anonymous said...

I'm interested in reading this book...thanks for the opportunity.

kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)Com said...

Would love to read the book!

dancealert at aol dot com

sharon54220 said...

I would love to be entered to win this book. Thanks for the chance.
Sounds very interesting.

mariska said...

you are a new author for me. oh, i love to read your great works !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Rose McCauley said...

I'd love to win this book by an author new to me. This story sounds like it would make a good pilot for a movie or TV series. Is the book on audio CD? I'm sure my hubby would love to "read" it in his tractor while feeding out hay this winter. Also found it interesting to hear that Mark is dyslexic as we just recently found out that our 8 year old granddaughter is dyslexic and dysgraphic. Any advice, Mark?

Anonymous said...

The excerpt got me hooked. I can hardly wait to read this book, please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby

abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words. I hope you enjoy the book. Mark Mynheir

Lady Araujo said...

I'd love to be entered in your drawing.

Marla said...

This sounds really good. Hope to win. Thank you for the giveaway.