Author Guest Post
For one reason or another, the magazine article was never written but the conversations stayed alive, tucked in some dusty corner of my mind. When I was searching for ideas for my second mystery novel and doing research on the problem of human trafficking, I remembered the conversations and combined the two themes, smuggling from Canada to the US and human trafficking, to write The Dancing Boy.
Another question I’m asked is, once you have an idea for a story, how do you develop it? Unlike some writers who carefully plot their stories before writing (something I strongly recommend but constantly fail to do), my writing occasionally resembles a strange plant that grows in unpredictable ways. This often leads to the question: now what the hell do I do? One method I've found helpful for keeping the story moving is to write the beginning sentence of the next chapter before quitting for the day. Usually after sleeping on the problem I’m able to roll the story forward…although at times it rolls backward and I have to make a Sisyphian leap out of the way and search for other routes.
About The Author
Michael Matson was born in Helena, Montana, and was immediately issued a 10-gallon Stetson and a pair of snakeskin boots. After formative years spent in New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, California, Hawaii and Japan, Michael earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Following a brief military stint in Oklahoma, where he first encountered red, sticky mud, heavy rain and tarantulas, he returned to Seattle and worked as an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and video producer.
In 2007 he (regretfully) left Seattle for Mexico to have time to write and has since published The Diamond Tree, a fairytale for all ages; Bareback Rider, an inspirational adventure for children; and Takeshi’s Choice, a mystery novel. His short story Gato was selected for inclusion in Short Story America’s 2014 anthology. His second mystery novel: The Dancing Boy, was released by Dark Oak Mysteries, a division of Oak Tree Press in April 2014 and is available at Amazon.com.
He lives with his wife María Guadalupe (Tai), in Morelia, the colonial capital city of Michoacán, where, despite all the bad publicity given the area by U.S. news media, he has never seen a narcotraficante.
His website is: www.findmichaelmatson.com
The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson
Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries
Publication Date: April 6, 2014
Format: Paperback - 256 pages
BUY THE BOOK: The Dancing Boy
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours.
Treat Mikkelson is not exactly a burnt-out case but he’s grown tired of his life as a criminologist, weary of memories of a marriage gone wrong and of his time in Vietnam. Trying to burn the bridges to his past, he finds and remodels a cabin on a small Pacific Northwest Island, settles down to enjoy fishing, setting his crab pot, digging for clams and documenting the lives of his island neighbors.
When an elderly woman in the nearby tourist town of La Conner is found dead however, the victim of what appears to be an accidental fall, Mikkelson is persuaded to look into her death. The discovery that it was murder leads to something even more shocking: the human trafficking of young boys brought into the US and Canada.
My Book Review:
In The Dancing Boy, author Michael Matson easily draws the reader into this riveting mystery story as retired criminologist Treat Mikkelson is called out of retirement from his secluded cabin on Drake Island, a small Pacific Northwest Island off Pugent Sound, to conduct a murder investigation of a local elderly lady from La Conner. Treat's investigation becomes more complex and dangerous as he uncovers and exposes an even darker and seedier criminal activity, the exploitation and human trafficking of young boys into the US and Canada.
This is a fast-paced and intriguing multi-layered storyline that is gritty, raw, tension-filled, and riddled with a level of violence that is not for the faint of heart. It has enough suspenseful twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next as they turn the pages. The author does a really great job of interweaving the murder and child exploitation investigations. The story flows smoothly and keeps the reader riveted with richly vivid descriptions and details that makes this story so hard to put down.
As a fan of noir mystery novels, I loved how the author provides the reader with a gripping mystery that slowly builds upon the tension and suspense throughout the story, he makes it exciting and enjoyable, especially since he delves into the difficult and hidden social issue of child exploitation and human trafficking.
With a large cast of characters; witty dialogue, dark humor, and dramatic interactions; and a riveting storyline that keeps the reader captivated until the surprising conclusion, The Dancing Boy is a must read for the hard-core noir mystery fans.
RATING: 4 STARS
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 1 My Life, Loves and Passion – Book Excerpt, Book Review
Thursday, July 3 Room With Books – Book Spotlight, Book Excerpt
Monday, July 7 The Writer’s Life – Author Interview
Monday, July 14 Read My First Chapter – Book Spotlight, Book Excerpt
Tuesday, July 15 Readalot – Book Review
Thursday, July 17 Emeraldfire’s Bookmark – Book Spotlight, Book Review
Friday, July 18 Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Author Guest Post, Book Spotlight, Book Excerpt, Book Review
Monday, July 21 As The Page Turns – Author Interview
Friday, July 25 Bound 2 Escape – Book Spotlight
Monday, July 28 Deal Sharing Aunt – Book Review
Thursday, July 31 The Top Shelf – Book Review