Monday, 16 June 2014


Alex Shaw tagged me in the 'Meet My Main Character Blog Tour' so here's my entry.

1. Tell us a bit about your main character? Is he fictional or a historic person?
I did think about writing about Jimmy Dalton, but there’s enough of him out on the net. So, I would like to introduce you to a feller, that’s going to be around for a while, Private Investigator, Frank Ballard. He is fictional, a former Army Ranger sniper. He came home from Vietnam and kind of drifted into police work. His first assignment was vice, back in SF-PD, but he got kicked back into uniform when some dirt-bag pimp complained he'd roughed him up during a bust. He moved to New York, joined the force there, where he worked narcotics. The first week on the job he killed a dealer in a gunfight. He was shot in the back. The Review Team cleared him–he'd shot first and Frank nailed him going for the window.

He got a commendation, but they put him back on the beat. That was okay for a while. The people in the community knew him, they got along. He caught two guys coming out of a bodega, stocking masks over their heads, one had a shotgun. He cut them both down. Turned out one was thirteen years old. How was he supposed to know?
They sent him to the department shrink. Nice guy. Gave him a lot of tests, asked a lot of questions. Never said much.
The shrink's office was in Manhattan. The locks were a joke. He went back there one night and pulled his file. It made interesting reading. Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder, fundamental lack of empathy, blunted affect, addicted risk–taker.
He'd been a sniper in Nam, so they tried him on the SWAT Team. When he did what they hired him to do, they pulled him off the job. Took away his gun.
Then they gave him a choice. He could take early retirement, go out on disability. Emotionally unsuited to law enforcement, that kind of thing. He walked, and not long after that his wife and his kids walked too. Frank is one fucked up individual, he sees the world in blacks and whites with nothing in-between. When he gets something in his head he can’t let it go, so the bad guys better look out if PI Frank Ballard comes calling, ‘cause they’ll be going to hell, with a card from Frank saying ‘wish you were here

2. When and where are the stories set?
The stories are set in San Francisco and it’s environs, sometime in the 70’s, full of dames, guns and strange characters with names like Monk, Fast Eddie, and Jimmy the Dog.

3. What should we know about him?
He’s basically as screwed up as some of the people he goes after, most of the time he’s able to keep a handle on it. He sometimes acts without thinking of the consequences. In the early stories he will be okay, but as time goes by, some of the darkness within him will start to leak out.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Vietnam left him screwed up inside, his wife leaving him didn't help either. Also a lot of what he saw on his return, street pollution as he terms it, puts a dent in his world beliefs.

5. What is his personal goal?
To have a normal life, to be free of the darkness within him. To fix his broken smile.

6. What are the titles of your novels, and can we read more about them?
The Ballard stories will all be shorts, the first is appearing in the Woman’s Aid charity book, Shadows and Light, which will be out in July. The Ballard Files book 1 will be coming out around the same time. Each Ballard book will contain three or four stories.
7. When can we expect the next book to be published?
July 2014, and I’m hoping to get out about three or four before the end of the year.