Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zack Taylor is back

Dale T. Phillips is today's guest. The tournament chess player and former JEOPARDY contestant is an indie author who lives in New England and has studied with Stephen King.

So I hear there's some new guy on the block. Name of Zack Taylor. Wasn't there a U.S. president with that name?

Long ago, yeah. This guy ain't no president, though. I hear he did a little hard time.

What for?

Busted up a Fed that leaned on him too hard. He wasn't dirty, but they thought he knew something. He was a bodyguard for some mob guy. But get this-- he doesn't like guns.

A bodyguard without a gun? 

Yeah, some kind of martial arts expert. Didn't last too long in that job, though. Been a drifter, bouncer, that kind of thing.

What's his story?

Had some trouble in his past, never got over it, never settled down. Then someone killed his friend. Bad mistake. Everyone thought it was suicide but this guy. He left everything behind and went up to Maine to find out what happened.

Did he?

Hell yeah, but he tore everything up doing it. Guy's like a bull in a china shop. Got the crap beat out of him, almost got killed a few times, ran into some bikers, a real mess. Just keeps going until he gets answers, doesn't care who he pisses off. Even breaks the law to find out what he needs to.

Sounds dangerous.

Yeah, you never know when he's going off the rails. Funny thing, most of the time I hear he's a nice enough guy, even if he is a bit of a smartass. Reads a lot, keeps to himself. Get him mad, though, and watch out.

What's he like when he's drunk?

Heard he don't drink. Almost boozed himself to death when he was young, so he never touches it.

So where is he now?

Stayed in Maine. Even got himself a new girlfriend up there. I guess she's got him into some trouble again, though. Some cousin of hers accused of murder. Whole town thinks she's guilty.

Somebody better watch out.

You can say that again...


Hey there. I'm Dale T. Phillips, and those two guys were talking about the protagonist of my new mystery series. Last year, Zack Taylor made his debut in "A Memory of Grief," and is now back in "A Fall From Grace," now having the official launch. Both were released by Briona Glen Publishing, a small startup publisher. The third book in the series, "A Shadow on the Wall." is due out later this year.

Since I'm a big fan of John D. MacDonald's, this series was influenced by his work, especially the Travis McGee series. McGee was not a professional lawman, but a man with certain skills who helped out people troubled by dangerous predators. In the evolution of my own book's character and the place, a series came to be. It's got a tough-guy aura, so fans of Robert B. Parker's Spenser should enjoy it as well. Writing pros who've read the series like it, and the response has been terrific.

But why no guns? Well, I've read too many books where the hero gets into bad trouble, and whips out a gun for an instant solution. Life's a little more complex than that, and I wanted a protagonist that would have to think and fight his way out of trouble. And he does that. A lot. More interesting to write, too.

Maine's a different kind of place (Stephen King has proven that) and there are a lot of stories to tell. After spending too much time in places like Miami and Vegas, Zack comes to like the laid-back lifestyle, but even in Vacationland, he keeps finding trouble.

I've published over 20 stories, including mystery and crime tales in Crime & Suspense, Big Pulp, Short.Story-Me! and Over My Dead Body. I've collected five of them into an ebook (Crooked Paths) out on Smashwords.

Being an independent means we have to find readers the hard way. I'm inviting you to sample the work first, which you can do on Amazon and Smashwords, links below. You can also hear chapter 1 of "A Memory of Grief," which I've recorded as an audio file and is available on my website:

Lots more information on the site as well, with a link to my other works and writing blog, and an article on Stephen King I wrote-- I had him for a writing teacher, back in Maine. I've got special pages on the site for writers, with recommended reading, good links, and other writers of note. Drop on by.

A Memory of Grief
Amazon    Barnes and Noble
Smashwords ebook in all formats (no e-reader required, PDF and browser also available):
A Fall From Grace
Amazon         Smashwords


Kevin P said...


Dale T. Phillips said...

Kevin, we can tell you're a man of taste and distinction. Let me know what you think!
Thanks for paying attention.