Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deadly Audit: A Buckeye Barrister Mystery. An Interview with David Selcer

David Selcer practised law in Columbus, OH for thirty-five years. In his second career as an author of mysteries, he's produced the engaging   Buckeye Audit and Dead But Still Ticking.
Protagonist Winston Barchrist has seen better days. Now back home in Columbus, he's a morbidly obese private eye who is nonetheless a babe magnet-and someone trouble has no problem finding.. Selcer plans a series of Buckeye Barrister Mysteries-set in and out of Columbus.

Here's an interview with David Selcer. Portions of this will be included on All Sides Weekend/Books.

CP: You've had a long and distinguished legal career. All those years you spent being an attorney, did you know then you'd end up writing mysteries with a legal background.

DS: No, I didn't. I didn't know that at all. I knew I loved to write because that was the part of practising law I liked best. I loved writing the briefs. But I didn't know that I was going to write legal mysteries!

CP: How did you get started?

DS:: I did want to try writing. I tried my hand at writing other types of fiction. I wrote a very serious piece of fiction, which my son, who's now 42, said "Y'know dad, maybe you ought to make this character a
humorous character a mystery."  I thought, oh well, why not try that.

CP: Your hero, Winston Barchrist, has a lot of physical characteristics. First of all he's grossly overweight. Why?

DS: I wanted Winston to be the antithesis of the corporate lawyer. I spent 35 practising management labor law, corporate law, and I knew a lot of corporate lawyers, but they were just quite different from corporate law.

CP: Winston wears a wrinkled suit, his idea of personal hygiene doesn't jib with the corporate mentality. He's thoroughly likable, because he's more like the rest of us than he is not. Was that deliberate?

DS: Yes. I like him. I wanted to write about somebody I liked.

CP: You are from Columbus originally. Was your legal career here in town?

DS: Yes, it was. I was with a large national law firm in the Columbus office.

CP: People are told to write about what they know and you know the law, and you know Columbus. did you find Columbus a good locale for you r books?

DS: Yes, a very good goldmine of ideas. There's a lot going in in Columbus. It's a very diversified city. When I first came here, Columbus was a small town. I've watched it grow up and I've grown up with it. I think now it deserves to be a venue of a mystery series or a series of books.

CP: Deadly Audit is the first of the series. Now tell me about the new one?

DS: The new one is called Dead But Still Ticking. It's also set in Colum,bus but it also covers all over the state. It covers a wide pantheon of things going on in Columbus. But Columbus is the focus. First example, our Somali population is now about thirty- five thousand. We have the second largest Somali population in the United States. They play a role in the book. It's not about them but the Somalis play a role. They came here because of the abundance of packing jobs, jobs that they could do.  Only seven percent could speak English when they arrived here . There are other characters. I won't say where they came from!

CP: I enjoyed Deadly Audit. It was great fun and part of the fun was trying to figure out who was who in real life. I made a couple of connections. I'll say no more! Were you dropping hints to people who are from Columbus who read your books about identities?

DS: I hope not!

CP: There are fascinating people in your books, so why not?!

DS: Practicing law here for thirty -five years, I met a lot of fascinating people. I'm not going to sit here and say some of the people in this book aren't  "take-offs"  or combination of people I've met. I had a lot of people tell me they enjoyed the book because they're from Columbus

CP: But you don't have to be from Columbus to enjoy these books....
DS: No, I don't think so. But I wanted to accomplish that because I just like Columbus!

CP: What's your writing process? How do you do this? Do you sit in front of the computer and wait?

DS: No. Thank heavens I've developed a process! I think up a concept, what I'd like the book to be about. I figure out how I'd like ti to start, and what should happen in the book. Then I sit down and start writing out of nowhere..

CP:: Does it take over?

DS: Yes. Absolutely. I write myself into a corner and then the question is how to get out and have it all make sense

CP: How many more books are you planning? Are we going to met more characters?

DS: Yes, we'll continue with the characters we've met but I will be introducing new ones as I go along
I envision five or six books in the bucket barrister series. I

I like to pattern myself after an author I don't think any people know about. His name is Stuart Kaminsky. He wrote over sixty mysteries. He was a professor at Northwestern. I like the way he writes so I pattern myself after him.

CP: You can find these books on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Deadly Audit is the first in the Buckeye Barrister Series and Dead But Still Ticking  is just out. You do spend enough time on buckeye football  That'll hook people in. If you have the passion and the anger for buckeye football,  you are going to enjoy these books.

We'll forward to more. Thank you very much, David Selcer. 

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