Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mystery Author of the Month, C.L. Swinney

Patricia: Chris, I'm pleased to have you with us this week. Tell us, where did you grow up? Did your childhood contribute to your desire to be a writer?
Chris: I grew up in Lakeside and Santee, California (even though I tell everyone I grew up in San Diego).  I was an only child and pretty spoiled.  I’d say my childhood contributed to my writing since I had a strong sense of adventure and always questioned everyone and everything.  This lead me to be an investigator and I landed in narcotics.
Patricia: Where do you live now? Do you use that locale for settings in your novels?
Chris: I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I haven’t used the area specifically in a book or story, but I use some of it in the poetry I write.  I’m leaning toward using the Bay Area in the third book of a series, but I’ll have to wait and see if the location works.
Patricia: What inspired you to write your most recent novel?
Chris: I love the outdoors, fly fishing, and investigating large-scale narcotics trafficking.  While flying into the Bahamas for a fly fishing trip, I was blown away by what I saw and learned from the locals.  A concept for my first novel, Gray Ghost, sat in my mind for fourteen years.  I wanted something special and unique; apparently it took me fourteen years to find it.
Patricia: When did you “know” that you wanted to be a writer?
Chris: I wrote a featured article for Fly Fisherman Magazine while in college.  Seeing that story in print really boosted my confidence.  I knew then I’d always write.
Patricia: Name three of your favorite authors in the mystery/suspense genre. What makes them your favorites?
Chris: Tony Hillerman- The man was a brilliant story teller.
Daniel Silva- Paints a picture with his words that is unmatched.
Tami Hoag-Suspenseful plot and beautifully crafted dialogue.

C. L. (Chris) Swinney is a narcotics investigator in the San Francisco Bay area. He has investigated hundreds of narcotics, homicide, gang, and Mexico cartel cases along the west coast of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Swinney has been invited to speak at law enforcement conferences throughout the United States and is recognized as an expert in narcotics, homicides, and cell phone forensics. He developed the concept for the first book in his Bill Dix series, Gray Ghost, while fly fishing in the Bahamas. His passion for the outdoors and law enforcement is intertwined throughout his writing. The world of narcotics is dark and mysterious. C. L. Swinney pulls the reader into this fascinating world in his debut novel.

While on a fly fishing vacation to Andros Island in the Bahamas, narcotics detectives Dix and Peterson discover their fishing guides were killed when a sudden blast of gunfire fractured their speedboat, Gray Ghost. Local gossip has it that Gray Ghost went to the ocean floor with a hundred million dollars worth of cocaine in the hull. Dix and Peterson are drawn into helping their island friends, and chase down leads in Miami as well as the Bahamas until they identify the diabolical plot of the man known only as The Caller…and then the trouble really starts. 

"When two Miami narcotic officers take a fishing trip to the Bahamas, they can't leave the drug world behind...Deftly told by the author, detective and avid fly fisher Chris Swinney, this book will hook any reader of mystery fiction." —Sunny Frazier, author of the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries
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  1. Thanks, Pat, for the close-up look at Chris Swinney, who has become an on-line friend and supporter of so many fellow writers. Chris, it sounds like things have really come together for you. You combine your passions for outdoor life, your work as an investigator, and writing, and that's a winning combo. Bravo!

  2. Thank you John. I've learned so much from you guys (MMA and Posse)! I appreciate everyone's support on this really fun journey! An thank you Patricia for letting me post on your blog.

    1. My pleasure, Chris. Thanks for being my guest.

  3. Glad you're in the "spotlight", Chris. Much success!


    1. Thank you Madeline. I hope you are well and everything is great with you :-) I appreciate your support!

  4. You're on fire, Chris. Thank you for this little peek into your background. I knew I liked you-- we onlies have to stick together. ;)

    Thank you, Pat, for the fine interview.


    1. YOU WERE AN ONLY?!?!?! LOL! I did not know that. We have a connection for sure! I was very fortunate to be on Patricia's awesome blog today :-) I hope you are well.

  5. Haven't got around to Gray Ghost yet, but it's moving up on the TBR list. Any guy who likes mysteries and fishing has to be alright. Good interview, Pat and Chris.

  6. Thanks JR! It's a quick read and I think you'll like it :-) Thanks for your support and I appreciate your comments.

  7. Terrific interview! I've got your book but haven't had a chance to start it yet. Soon, I hope. You have such an interesting background that your books are certain to reflect that. Thanks for sharing!
    Marja McGraw

  8. Thank you Marja. I hope you get a chance to read Gray Ghost. It is a fast fun read. Thank you for your support!!!