Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beyond Blue Interview #5 - Stone and Steele

I spoke with two men during my final interview of the detectives of Beyond Blue Investigations because Rickard “Rico” Steele refused to talk unless his partner was present. Steele is an impressive man: six foot four with long blonde hair and pale blue eyes, in jeans and a denim jacket. He sat with one leg thrown over the arm of an office chair. His partner, Samuel Mason is equally imposing. Very dark skin, three inches shorter than Steele but the same weight and even in his expensive gray suit I could see he was all muscle. He chose to stand throughout the interview.

AC: Mr. Steele, what is your role here at Beyond Blue?

RS: Me? I just stomp the bad guys Gorman sends me after. And call me Rico.  He’s Stone.

AC: Stone. How did you come by that nickname?

SM: I suspect the pun – Stone Mason – was obvious.

RS: Nah, it’s cause he’s so damn grim, and that voice, like something from the grave.  Grave stone – THAT’s how he got that nickname.

SM: But to answer your question better than my frivolous partner, we do a lot of the real detective work. We were both cops for more than a dozen years and we know how to do the leg work to find the perps. Then it’s like Rico said: I knock them down and he stomps them.

AC: How did you go from police detectives to private detective?

RS: We just got tired of all the BS that stopped us from doing our job right.  So we quit. We were partners for so long that neither of us wanted to stay on the force without the other.

SM: We lost patience with the lazy investigators we were surrounded with and seeing policemen use their badges to take advantage of people. And we were accused of planting evidence. I resented the implication that we couldn’t close so many cases by the rules.  So we decided to take early retirement from the NYPD.  In retrospect, it may have been a hasty decision.

AC: how did you get involved with Beyond Blue?

SM: Simple. Gorman called us to this office. He needed people who had worked on the force in New York, who understood how the system works. He offered us a chance to do something that really mattered. And, frankly, I have a family to take care of, unlike this bozo I work with. But it wasn’t just the job. It was Gorman.  The man is really overwhelming.

RS: Look, we were his last hires and after taking on a couple of hot babes he needed some muscle on the payroll. He knows we’re tough, and we got the street smarts you need to make it in The City.

SM: And he knows we’re absolutely committed to making the bad guys pay.

AC: Here’s a question I’m asking everyone.  Fill in the blank: The problem with this world is that there’s not enough _______

SM: This world has plenty of everything it needs: food, money, everything. It’s just not distributed correctly. I guess the world could be a little fairer. But that’s what we’re on the job for. Rico?

RS: Geez, I was gonna say there’s not enough hot women who want to sleep with me. But after your answer…

SM: Well then, you should have answered first.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Beyond Blue Interview #4 - Ruby Sanchez

I've been interviewing the members of Beyond Blue Investigations, who are the lead characters in my upcoming detective novel.  WARNING: Today's subject is prone to rude, inappropriate and profane language.

Ruby Sanchez met me with a sarcastic smile in a Europa Café in Midtown Manhattan.  She’s tall, sharp eyed and full lipped, with a robust figure and flawless skin the color of dark chocolate. Her hair, a tight mass of dark ringlets, hangs just past her shoulders. A lot of men might think her the ideal woman until she spoke.  A few minutes of her high, squeaky, raspy voice was enough.

AC: It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms Sanchez…

RS: Of course it is, sugar.  You a man and, let’s face it, I am the shizzit!

AC: Um, yes.  Well, I’m curious about your background.  Sanchez is Spanish?

RS: Got the name from my Cuban father.  Never met the man myself. Obviously I get everything else, including my good looks, from my mama.

AC: Raised by a single mother… what was that like?

RS: Well, it ain’t like I was growing up along. It was me and my nine sisters in a little apartment up in Bed-Stuy with my Looney Tunes mother who made a living as a fortune teller and running small time con games.

AC: Bedford Stuyvesant is a tough neighborhood. How did you get out?

RS: There was this teacher in high school… Mr. Diggs… noticed I had a gift for observation and puzzles.  Pushed me to check out law enforcement.  If not for him I’d never have got into the FBI. That was a pretty good gig for a while.

AC: I take it you like Beyond Blue Investigations better.  How’d you end up there?

RS: Hey, you go where life drags you.  I learned a lot at the FBI but all the bureaucracy and paperwork just burned my ass. So I bailed and got a job where I could be on the street, as a cop in Jersey City.  I saw a shitload of action there, until I caught a bullet in my lower back. It’s still there, because no doctor has the balls to go after it. Afraid I’ll get paralyzed or some shit. They gave me a medical retirement and I figured I’d go freelance as a private dick… without a dick.  But the day I walked out of HR, Gorman was waiting for me.  Said I was just what he needed in this outfit he set up.”

AC: What’s your role at beyond Blue Investigations?

RS: You kidding? I’m Gorman’s go-to girl when there’s real investigating to be done.  Anybody can kick ass.  I can find the clues to solve the mystery AND kick ass.

AC: Here’s a question I’m asking everyone.  Fill in the blank: The problem with this world is that there’s not enough _______

RS: Whoa! You shitting me?  There’s so much there ain’t enough of in this world. I gotta pick one thing? The real problem ain’t a shortage of anything, sugar, it’s that there’s too many assholes. Guess that’s why I do what I do.  I’m in the asshole removal business. 

You can read an excerpt from Beyond Blue (it's in the updates) and help get the book published, by visiting 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beyond Blue Interview #3 - Gunny Robinson

Paea “Gunny” Robinson is a big man, six foot one and nearly 300 pounds, with a round, shaved head and an easy smile. His chair, behind the big central desk in the Beyond Blue reception area, fit him so well it may have been custom made and he sat with perfect posture. I could see why he’d be an asset to the agency, but I wanted to know more than just his imposing appearance.

 AC: Obviously you’re a Pacific Islander but which island do you hail from?

GR: I am a proud son of the Royal Kingdom of Tonga. Our islands are small but we grow warriors there.

AC: Why do they call you Gunny?

GR: The day I turned 18 I went to Hawaii and joined the Marines. You Americans have trouble pronouncing my first name, but in the Corps we tend to call each other by our rank.  I was a Gunnery Sergeant when I retired and the name just stuck.

AC: What’s your role here at beyond Blue Investigations?

GR: Well, I’m sort of the boss’s Chief of Staff. He’s the company commander and I’m his top sergeant. When I started out I ran the office completely, but then the boss hired Linda. She does most of the admin stuff, so I can do more field work.

AC: I understand you once considered being a sumo wrestler.  How did you go from those aspirations to private detective?

GR: Well, I was Military Police in the Corps but I never really imagined being a civilian cop. I’d been a judo player since grade school and left the military with a third degree black belt.  I love the sport but there’s no money in it, so for a while I considered sumo wrestling, which is respected in Japan like pro basketball is here.  But this is, I don’t know, kind of a calling.

AC: So how did you get involved with Beyond Blue Investigations?

GR: [Laughs] Now that’s a story. Somehow, two days after my retirement the boss showed up at my door. Out of nowhere.  And it was like he knew everything about me. Then he says, “I’m on a mission, and I need you, Gunny.” I got to tell you, I worked for some impressive men in the Marine Corps, but Paul Gorman, he’s in a class all his own. I’d follow that man into hell if he asked me to.

AC: What do you think of the people you work with?

GR: Well, they’re a quirky bunch.  Some days I could do without Chastity’s pretentious attitude, and every day I could do without Ruby’s squeaky voice.  But they are all very talented, capable and dedicated, and I’d happily march side-by-side into hell with any of them.

AC: Here’s a question I’m asking everyone.  Fill in the blank: The problem with this world is that there’s not enough _______

GR: Shrimp.  There can never be enough shrimp. The world would be a happy place if only everybody could have enough shrimp.  Especially me.

You can read an excerpt from Beyond Blue, and help get the book published,by visiting (look in the updates.)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Beyond Blue interview #2: Chastity Chiba

Beyond Blue Investigations agent Chastity Chiba pulled up in her powder blue Mazda MX-5 for our interview in Central Park.  She had insisted on meeting in a public place. She was lovely, with long, black hair and dark almond eyes. Her overly fair skin conflicted with her hard but shapely body. Her appearance prompted my first question.

AC: Tell us about your background? 

CC: My name tells the story. I was born in Japan. Chiba is my mother’s family name. She couldn’t take my sort of famous British father’s name but she graced me with a typical British first name so I wouldn’t forget. 

AC: So you found your father? How is he “sort-of” famous?

CC: I never got to meet my father, but I put the clues together and figured out his identity. He was British Secret Service on a mission in Japan when he met mother. They married, but only for the sake of his cover. He had amnesia for a while and stayed with Mother. When his memory returned he went back to the U.K, never knowing that Mother was pregnant.

AC: That story sounds familiar…

CC: Yes, they’ve written books and made movies about Father’s life.  Using a different name of course.

AC: Um… yes.  I see. So how did you get involved with Beyond Blue Investigations?

CC: Well, I wanted to follow in Father’s footsteps so I developed my skills and learned the tradecraft. When I came of age I presented my impressive talents to both the Japanese and British secret services but they acted like I was barmy and rejected me. I travelled for a while as an independent contractor, until G found me.

AC: G?

CC: Paul Gorman. I think he was arse over elbow when he saw my skills. G saw my value and invited me to join his team.

AC: What’s your role here at beyond Blue Investigations?

CC: I’m G’s blunt instrument. True, I have sharp investigative skills and surveillance expertise, but my martial arts ability makes me uniquely suited to dealing with hard cases.

AC: How did you come to be so qualified for this work?

CC: It’s all in open sources. If you put the time in, in the gym and at the books, you can learn to do anything. Pick locks. Bug phones. Whatever. Just like the fictional Bruce Wayne became Batman.

AC: Why is this work so important to you?

CC: It’s my family heritage. I love the chance to bring down a Mafia Don or expose a corrupt senior official. Stopping the master criminals - it’s what I was born for.

AC: OK. Here’s a question I’m asking everyone.  Fill in the blank: The problem with this world is that there’s not enough _______

CC: Adventure. Most people never even try to get excitement in their lives. Ever climb a mountain? Scuba dive? Skydive? Ever been shot at? I live for that stuff. The world needs more adventure… for everyone.

You can read an excerpt from Beyond Blue, and help get the book published,by visiting (look in the updates.)