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  5. Q & A #46 – Christopher Bartley, “Naked Shall I Return”

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Weekends, we climb active volcanoes. We wake up early and sleep late, typing loooots of words per day. Writing fiction gives us purpose. Maha hopes his scruffy look is just a phase, not an excuse to justify his shameless drinking habit. About my library This is a selection of books read in the past few years.

Membership ER. Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. I Agree This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and if not signed in for advertising. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms. Widgets Settings. See Maha Erwin's author page. Members with MahaErwin's books This information is loading. Loading may take as much as a minute if it hasn't been updated recently.

Member gallery 2 see all 2 pictures. Member: MahaErwin Collections Your library 56 , Wishlist 42 , Currently reading 42 , To read 42 , Read but unowned 41 , Favorites 42 , All collections 56 Reviews 12 reviews Tags self-help 1 , intimacy 1 , strong female lead 1 , chance at love 1 , love triangle 1 , women's literature 1 , romance 1 , inspiration 1 , chick lit 1 , humor 1 — see all tags Media Book 56 , Paper Book 51 , Ebook 5 Clouds tag cloud , author cloud , tag mirror About me Maha is a proud American, Erwin is a flying Dutchman.

Most recent activity. MahaErwin rated, reviewed, added:. MahaErwin rated:. I write fiction at night. I suppose, though I am not sure how, that my training and experience as a psychologist must influence my writing. Much of my work has been with combat veterans and trauma survivors, so I have spent much of my life learning about the dark things that people do. The first combat veteran I ever interviewed was my great grandfather who served in Cuba during the Spanish-American war and fought at the Battle of San Juan Hill.

He was laconic, fearless, world-weary, and filled with regret — and of course that was the easy part. More challenging, I had to know how he spoke, what he did, what his history was i. Because that was too obvious, has been done too much already, and a professional criminal would present different challenges and opportunities to take the character. Could Sam Spade rob a bank, make deals with gangsters, or shoot a man in cold blood?

Maybe, but Ross Duncan certainly could. With that in mind, I had to think a little more about setting. It could not be modern day. It had to be a mythic past, a time when smart phones, video games, and reality TV series were not yet changing American society. I went back to the last Great Depression, urban Chicago openly ruled by mobsters, and the Midwest.

It was a time when men still had the power to forge their own destiny outside the controlling hands of the rapidly growing federal government, at least for a short while yet. MacDonald, James M. Cain, and of course the great Jim Thompson — ruled the hardboiled form with literary eloquence and they remain relevant and revelatory even today, over seventy years after their emergence. Christopher Bartley: I currently have four books underway. First, I am working on another Ross Duncan novel. It is a collection of two novellas and a short story that are all set in American and set in , , and I wrote the first one over twenty-five years ago, and just finished the most last one recently.

Collectively, they are held together by the theme of men who have served in war and are now struggling with life transitions in some way.

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Member: MahaErwin

I intend to send it off to my literary agent, Sonia Land, in London, by the end of August. His name will not mean anything to most readers, but he is very accomplished. We decided not to write his real-life memoirs yet because DOD would not sanction them; so, we are writing an action-thriller series of novels about a tier-one Navy SEAL. The series will have a strong character-driven focus, with a dark, hard edge, gruesome humor, dramatic plots, and an attention to tactical, technical, and scientific detail consistent with the realities of modern special operations warfare and current geopolitical threats.

The atmosphere and language channel Chandler, Hammett, and Cain.


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The latter-two are name-checked by our protagonist within the story. Our hero searches for meaning and substance amid the slow-burn mayhem. A dame? Why, yes. We know her well. Or do we? Naked Shall I Return starts with a bank robbery, blazing guns and a car chase. The robbery is in Illinois.


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And a couple months and a brisk few pages later, Ross Duncan is in San Francisco. His girlfriend has less. The package includes a special Blue Orb. This time, a woman. Her name is Jennifer. It used to be Afsoon. And down goes Duncan into the fray, dragging his humanity along at every step.

On the trip back from Sausalito to San Francisco, his ferry slips past Alcatraz. Ross Duncan knows he has choices. He thinks deep thoughts.

Q & A #46 – Christopher Bartley, “Naked Shall I Return” | Don't Need A Diagram

He sees the big picture—or, at least, contemplates what it might or might not be. The shoot-em-up bank robbery beginning is a bit misleading. Most of Naked Shall I Return is point-to-point quasi-detective work. There are many thoughtful, moody conversations interrupted by flashes of PG violence. The story weaves in human refugees. It plays off the waning era of silent films. Through it all, Duncan carries the weight of the world. He is ever wary of ambition, hubris and greed.

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He ponders an alternative self. Before her early death, she had been sure the calling would find me. There were times I almost wished it had. Worldly temptations include the girl, of course, and Bartley serves up a classic here. Beguiling, of course. Helpful to Duncan, of course, and encouraging.

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She is desperate. And appealing. But we know where this is going. She seems so well-intentioned, we are lured into forgetting. Can she? Duncan rides events down to the gritty, final showdowns. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

Q & A #46 – Christopher Bartley, “Naked Shall I Return”

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