Tag Archives: joe hefferon

The Last Meridian – A new novel by Joe Hefferon (@hefferonJoe)

It’s been some time since I’ve showcased an author. I took a break to pursue other commitments but when friend and author, Joe Hefferon, told me about his upcoming book, I wanted to share it and do so by way of a Q & A. I have interviewed Joe before, so his name will be familiar.

He’s taken a different approach with his current novel. Find out what he did and why.

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(Eden) Hi Joe, great to have you back. Your latest book, The Last Meridian is published by Evolved Publishing, a hybrid small press. Why did you decide to publish with them?

(Joe) For one, they agreed to work with me. I’d been testing the market for traditional publishers and found Evolved. I like the concept behind the hybrid model; it suits the changing landscape of publishing. The short of hybrid is, upfront money that might typically go to the author as an advance is spent on production and larger royalties are afforded the author, post production.

A good model to keep in mind, thanks Joe. I’m intrigued by the setting of your book. Why did you set The Last Meridian in the sixties in Los Angeles?

It’s a time of wonderment for me. As a kid, movie stars intrigued me. They lived in a glamorous world I could only glimpse on Oscar night, a huge television event. I loved movies. I like the styles of the sixties, that Mad Men look. I like the suits, the hats, the highballs, the smoking of cigarettes that seemed cool. I like the mid-century modern style of houses, though I prefer the updated version, wired for the internet. Although there is, politically speaking, good reason to leave the past where it is, the pre-war sixties are alluring. I love crooners like Tony Bennett and Sam Cooke, bourbon over ice and a cigar on the veranda. It seems simpler.

Not a fan of cigars, but I love Sam Cooke! Tell us about the book’s main character, Nina Ferrer. What inspired you to write her story?

It started almost as a lark, a kind of writing exercise. I wrote some hard-boiled dialogue just for fun and decided to see where I could take it. I began to wonder who this woman is, driving to Bakersfield with the top down. What’s her intention? Why does she need a private eye?

I have an adopted son and any adoptive parent will tell you they’ve often wondered about how or why the child’s life took such a dramatic turn. I wondered if the mother might ever think about him. I spoke to a number of women of various ages and backgrounds and they all told me the same thing. You’d never let it go. Somewhere inside, you would care. It started the stone rolling.

Nina is a complicated woman, like many I’ve met in my life. She’s tough, witty, wicked smart and creative, but she has secrets and demons that keep her up at night. She can be almost cruel, but it’s to keep you from being cruel to her. She’s had a hard life, was raised poor and she isn’t going to let anyone take what she’s worked so hard to build for herself. She’s funny, and has a soft spot, I think and that makes her likeable.

I like her already. Are any of the characters based on people you know, and how did you develop them?

They all are, either directly or in the round. Nina is a combination of a couple of women I’m close to with a little Joan Didion wisdom thrown in to challenge me. After twenty-five years in police work, I’ve met all the characters: good, bad or pretending to be one or the other. I once read everyone has a public, a private and a secret life. There’s a lot of truth to that.

They develop over time as I form a mental picture of them, the way they walk or respond. Dialogue helps. As I’m putting the plot together the characters reveal themselves. It come from their motivation for pushing the story one way or another. Each character has their own goals and working to achieve or acquire those things within the context of the story drives the action.

I love that saying about how we all have three lives. What is the central theme of your book?

Loss. Nina had given up her newborn son for adoption and suffers quietly with the remorse she feels over having done that. Her marriage is failing and both spouses have lost the desire to fix it. There is also an underlying yearning to make something right, that perhaps, whatever that turns out to be, will have a halo effect on other aspects of her life.

Your book is considered a hard-boiled mystery. How do you define this genre and who have been your favourite authors of it? What is it about their work that influences your writing?

Hard-boiled is defined by the noir aspect but also by the character archetypes; femme fatales, battle-worn-bourbon-swilling private eyes and slimy bad guys. I love the old movies and the classics of the genre, such as, Raymond Chandler. I also like Elmore Leonard and gristly newspaper men like Jimmy Breslin. In fact, my reporter’s first name is Jimmy; that’s for Breslin, although the character is nothing like him. I’m influenced by the no-nonsense style. I write much like a musician who plays by ear. I may not have had the formal prose training, but I know people.

That’s a good segue into my next question. Has your profession as a former law enforcement officer helped you to read people? And did it help in writing this book?

Yes. It helped in the interrogation scenes and the police procedures but more important, it helped in developing a dislike for phonies and people who lie to your face while screwing you. I’ve met and worked with them all—they’ll all find their way into The Last Meridian or in one book or another. Writing is great revenge. In police work you see people at their best and worst. It’s definitely made me more cynical, but also wiser and it’s broadened my view of the human animal.

Writing is definitely great revenge, and you won’t get jailed for it. 😉 What do you think crime fiction readers will like most about The Last Meridian?

I hope they like the characters and the dialogue. I tend to write visually. By that I mean I should probably write screen plays. I see each chapter as a scene from the movie, so the prose is less important than the action and dialogue. Everything about a person is revealed in what they say and how they say it. In life and in fiction, nothing is by accident.

I tend to agree. What was the most difficult part of writing this book? And the easiest? 

Short answer? the plot was the hardest, because it’s not so much about the murder mystery but about how the characters react to what life throws at them, be it a philandering husband or a murder suspect. I knew I had something to say, but finding the right mechanism was difficult at first.

The easy part was the dialogue. Once you know who is speaking, what they say comes naturally.

Yes, your dialogue flows smoothly throughout the book. What’s next for you, Joe?

I’ve just completed a draft of an action novel called (tentatively) Countdown to Osaka. This is my homage (French accent please) to Elmore Leonard. It’s all action and dialogue peppered with comedy, no philosophy (well, perhaps). It follows Koi, a Yakuza enforcer who wants to leave her clan. She’s given one last mission, but it’s her most dangerous—tracking and killing the elusive Le Sauvage, the world’s most notorious gunrunner. Le Sauvage holds the codes to a secret cache of gold hidden after the fall of Osaka Castle, but Interpol is closing in on him. She must get to him before the law. If Koi fails, her dying mother will pass without honor. If she succeeds, Koi will kill her father.

Countdown to Osaka is due to drop on Cyber Monday, 2017. I had a lot of fun writing it and can’t wait till it’s ready to roll out.

Sounds amazing. This short blurb has me intrigued already!

Thank you, Eden, for making the time for me I had fun speaking with you.

And me with you, Joe. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Readers, find out all more about Joe’s upcoming book below. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon

The Last Meridian – crossing it was her only choice.

A telegram sets off a chain of events that destroys five lives, throwing Hollywood insider Nina Ferrer’s life into turmoil. The infant boy she gave up for adoption in Chicago sixteen years earlier has been arrested for murder. A plea from the boy’s adoptive mother pushes her to act, but Nina has a big problem—she never told her husband about the boy.

Nina must come to terms with her guilt, while accepting the reality of her fragile life and her cheating husband, who’s embroiled in another deadly plot. As her life unravels, the boy’s fate grows ominous. Set against the backdrop of the Hollywood heyday of the early 1960s, the quick-witted, smart-talking Nina, a designer for the well-heeled of Los Angeles, hires a private detective to uncover the facts about what happened back in Chicago, and save her boy. Maybe… just maybe… he can save her, too.

Or perhaps Nina will have to save herself, the most frightening prospect of all. To do that, she must cross The Last Meridian, the place beyond which life as she knows it will no longer exist.

About the Author

 Website |  LinkedIn | Twitter: @hefferonjoe | Facebook

Joe enters the writing world after a 25-year law enforcement career in the city of Newark, NJ. He’s written for several online publications, including over thirty profiles of high-achieving women from around the world for About.com. He has an inexplicable curiosity about Texas noir, and set two short stories in the southeast corner of the state between Laredo and Corpus Christi. Many of the awful things his characters inflict on one another are based on real events from his former career. The sarcasm is in his bones. Joe lives in New Jersey but enjoys learning about other cultures and perspectives. He’s fascinated by human motivation, and doesn’t believe much happens by accident. He often listens to movie soundtracks when writing to help with visualization.

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Five stars for ALICE by @HefferonJoe #NewRelease #Review

I’m thrilled to announce a new release by author, Joe Hefferon. Alice is the second instalment of his Texas Trilogy. I introduced the series with his book, Scattergun back in October.

I just finished reading Alice, and I’m still catching my breath—that good. You can find my review below and on Amazon.

Both Scattergun and Alice are a steal at only 99 cents, so grab them. You’ll definitely want more.

flourishGritty, raw, well-crafted. ALICE is a great story

*** 5 stars ***

With a narrative that is taut and fast-paced, author Joe Hefferon creates a formidable villain in his novella, ALICE, the second book in his Texas Trilogy.

Slate Canyon is described as a man with regrets the lifespan of a housefly, whose two best skills are killing and forgetting. Nothing is sacred to him, which makes his character both frightening and fascinating.

The book also sees the return of Captain Lamar McNelly from SCATTERGUN. He teams up with the likeable detective, Chucho Zarate. Together, they pool their unique skills to hunt down a killer.

ALICE is filled with numerous memorable turns of phrase. There are no clichés, no stereotypes. The prose is fresh and inspired. Horrific scenes tear at you but glue you to the page because they are written with such control. Even the minor characters are imbued with so much life that you will want to know more about them. ALICE is not just well-crafted; it is superb storytelling.

Mr. Hefferon is someone I greatly admire in the crime fiction genre. Read him. I cannot say enough about his talent.

alice

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Detective Lieutenant Chucho Zarate picks up the molecules of a decaying corpse drifting on the midnight air of Christmas Eve. No one in the small church notices, but his nose never lies; he knows some poor bastard has met a violent demise.

What he doesn’t know is this murder will unlock an internal gate holding back a spree killer, soon to be set loose upon Southeast Texas.

As the bodies pile up and the frustration mounts, the governor orders in the Texas Rangers to end the madness, and Captain Lamar McNelly, the synesthetic lawman, leads the team.

Together, McNelly and Zarate find themselves in a race to catch a phantom, with the next victim just a happenstance away.

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Connect to Joe Hefferon

joe hefferon

A former police captain with a penchant for dark humor. Joe has a keen interest in what really motivates people and the secret lives behind the facades.

Joe was interviewed on my blog November 29, 2013.

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New Release ~ SCATTERGUN by @hefferonJoe on SALE Oct. 10th

I’m proud to announce a new release from author and friend, Joe Hefferon. His short story, Scattergun – A Reckoning in Two Acts is available by pre-order now and releases Oct. 10th!

Please learn more about Joe’s latest book and put in your order. At only 99 cents, it’s a steal!

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scattergun

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Scattergun is the first short work in a series examining the dark side of the human condition, set in the aberrant world of a synaesthetic Texas ranger, Lamar McNelly.

Book One: Riding shotgun in the mind of a wandering killer, stalking the plains of the rural west, until a violent confrontation in a Colorado rail yard pits the cerebral McNelly against the mammalian brain of an outlaw.

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Connect to Joe Hefferon

joe hefferon

Joseph Hefferon retired from law enforcement after twenty-five years and now writes full-time. Scattergun is the first of a series.

His novel, The Unlost, will be released in early 2015.

Joe was interviewed on my blog November 29, 2013.

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Dads and Daughters ~ Read a guest blog by @HefferonJoe

Over the next months, I’m encouraging guest bloggers to share about themselves. As we all know, writers, like other professions are multi-dimensional beings. Authors have lives and interests outside of writing.

Given that, I’m opening up my blog to writers to showcase their style, their loves and passions, their humour, and their knowledge on various subjects.

The goal is to allow the author’s own voice to create an interest in who they are.

So … let’s get started.

Remember Joe Hefferon? I interviewed him in December. He complained vehemently that he was one of my last interviews of the year.

He was joking … maybe.

Regardless, I’m making him my FIRST guest blogger of 2014. See Joe? I was listening. 😉

If you missed his revealing Q and A, please go here. It’s a good one, and I’ll wait for you.

There are many sides to Joe as you can see, and one of them is a soft side. He might not want to admit it, but it’s there, and you don’t even have to scratch far beneath the surface to find it.

Read his humorous, heart-warming post about dads and daughters.

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Who is Joe?

Joe was in law enforcement for 25 years before he retired as captain, and is a single dad and father of two. He keeps his hand in law enforcement, teaching classes in Personal Safety and Recognizing Signs of Danger for corporate clients.

He writes a terrific column for About.com called the Inspiring Women Series.

He is the author of the noir crime novel, The Sixth Session and a personal development book inspired by the principles of architecture called The Seventh Level. Joe’s books are available on Amazon.

Joe is currently working on a noir crime novel set in L.A. in 1965.

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Dads, Daughters and “Honey, Where’s My Blue Shirt?”

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” – Charles de Gaulle

I can explain all my unfortunate lapses in common sense to any woman who has had the infuriating luxury of living with me.

I have a daughter.

Look, I love her to pieces and would slay dragons for her, but I’ve also had entirely too many awkward conversations in my life, way more than my friends who just have boys. They’re easy-shmeasy compared to these complicated girl creatures. My daughter is 27, so I’ve already experienced the following brain-seizing moments:

  • Hey, guess what? I got my period.
  • I’m in love with this boy at school. Yes, the one with the blue hair.
  • No daddy; it doesn’t wash off.
  • Do you want to talk about sex? I’m sixteen now and…

Most of the time, when our little girls say these things – out loud because they’re tiny sadists – we get instantaneously non-functional. Our mammalian brain takes over and our breathing becomes shallow; the room dims and our synapses misfire at will. We can only hear voices in a slow-motion, distorted garble. We can’t think or speak; our eyes twitch spasmodically; the hives make an audible popping sound as they pierce the epidermis and finally, just before our lungs collapse, we hear a progressively louder banshee wailing in our brains, “no-No-NO-NOOO!!!!”

But we recover, ’cause we’re guys. We are born with a dump switch in our brains that helps us forget most horrible things. It’s what makes it seem like a great idea to call an ex-girlfriend up for a dinner, even though she’s now a hermitic, raging, venom-spitting alcoholic because we dumped her. But that was like two years ago.

Now pay attention guys – I’ve figured something out about these dastardly damsels that might help, or not. Those girl-becomes-woman moments are designed to torture men. It’s like live-fire girl-school training day. They’re instantly good at it, and damn proud of their rite of passage. The worst part is; daughters tell you these dreadful things in a relaxed, detached tone that only tightens the straps on the jacket. “Here’s a crayon, daddy. Why don’t you draw your feelings.”

They have kept their desire for these moments cleverly hidden under hugs, tea parties and wounded teddy bears, but they’ve been waiting patiently, even adorably. Sometimes they smile in that “Oh and senator… love your suit” kind of way as they deliver the shiv. (For the cinematically challenged, that was a Silence of the Lambs reference. Try to keep up.)

Women get mad at guys for sprinkled toilet seats and selective deafness, but hey, we’ve been under a lot of stress. We have daughters. But here’s what else I’ve figured out. Now relax and focus because I’m going all multiverse on you.

Women have a way of communicating through an intricate system of parallel universes and even though they can inexplicably hate each other for wearing the same shoes to a party, when it comes to guys, they army up.

Whenever any of us do something unimportant like say, put an empty milk carton back in the fridge or check out her mom’s rack (not bad for 56), they send out a message through the ethers. Their scouts retrieve the messages from right under our hairy noses on Pinterest and Skinny-Girl margarita bottles and pass along the fire-when-ready orders to pre-pubescent daughters. Get it now? It’s actually brilliant but I’ll never admit it.

Knowing this only adds to my paranoia and my frustration. I saw two heavy-set Nigerian women whispering in the mall yesterday and I know they were talking about me. (add accent) “That’s him right there, holding in his stomach for the sales girl. He said he loved her, but he lied. Kill that one slowly.”

I get frustrated because I know that every guy who reads this will forget it as soon as Sports Center starts, and will thus be horrified during football season when his teen-angel bends over for a tostido chip and flashes a whale-tail in front of his buddies. He won’t know what else to do but sit wide-eyed as the lager runs from his mouth. “Maybe they didn’t notice,” he’ll growl in his empty head. But someone did just a few months ago – a woman, a mother.

In early July at a neighborhood cookout, his friend’s teenaged daughter climbed out of the pool like a scene from Wild Things and well, he noticed – so did the girl’s mother. She observed the ‘notice’. The message went out. His own daughter received it through an Amanda Gomez song. Within days she was wearing underwear you could fit in a shot glass.

So what’s the lesson here, relationship-wise? I don’t know. I have a daughter.

We could try putting out the garbage before they ask, noticing their hair and only looking at our own feet when we’re in public. It might ease the stress a little, might make a few days more congenial, but long term it’s a lose/lose.

Guys can’t be blamed for this vicious cycle of stupid acts paid for with insidious revenge tactics. The problem is; the attacks of the girl army only make us more inept. Or maybe we just don’t care. I forget. Stay connected…

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Connect to Joe

Joe Hefferon

Blog | Website | About.com Inspiring Women series 

 LinkedIn | Twitter: @hefferonjoe | Amazon Author Page

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If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

While you’re at it, show Joe some love in the comments, will ya?

Many thanks, 

~ eden

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Get Inside the Mind of author Joe Hefferon (@hefferonJoe)

I’ve gotten to know many sides of Joe Hefferon—author, news junkie, pithy commenter, wine connoisseur, and ex-cigar smoker.

He also has a self-deprecating sense of humor, which borders on the bizarre at times, but at the heart of it — the man is smart, very smart. And I have a thing for smart men.

Joe writes a terrific column for About.com called the Inspiring Women Series. He wrote a wonderful piece on me earlier this year. He’s interviewed many incredible women and offers a thoughtful perspective on each one. His articles are generous and well written.

If you get the feeling he likes women, you’d be right. Read his series and you’ll know what I mean. Continue reading

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I am interviewed for @aboutdotcom by Joe Hefferon ~ @HefferonJoe

Author Joe Hefferon spoke with me about my work and has written an article on About.com for their Women in Business section, where he is a regular contributor.

I am thrilled by his kind words based on a short interview we had, quite shocked by his generosity, in fact.

Please read Joe’s profile of me, and follow him on all his networks.

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Connect to Joe

joe hefferon

Joe Hefferon is a writer, speaker and blogger living in New Jersey. He is the author of the noir crime novel, The Sixth Session and a personal development book inspired by the principles of architecture called The 7th Level.

Website |  Twitter @HefferonJoe | Linkedin | email: hefferon.joe@gmail.com

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