Monday, July 2, 2012

Mar Preston's Rip-Off

About Mar Preston

I grew up in northern Ontario and love its lakes and forests. But I lived in Santa Monica for decades watching big money, land development, and politics clash.

Getting a good murder mystery novel out of what goes on behind the scenes in grassroots politics, glitzy businesses, and developer skullduggery makes all those dreary Santa Monica city council meetings worthwhile.

I live now in a village in the California mountains, not that far from the edge of the Los Angeles sprawl. There's too much to do here: I'm writing crime fiction seriously, but I can't get away from the SPCA, local environmental politics, and the writing community.
Life is good.

Mar's website:

Mar's new book, Rip-Off, featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department was just released June 15, 2012. Today, she's sharing something about its journey to publication.

Print Link:
Kindle Link:

Here's What Mar Has to Say:

So what the world says? Well, so what is that one phase of hard work ends and another begins.

Looking back now, writing the book was the easiest and most pleasant work. I got to live in the heads of two people I like a lot—Dave and Ginger—the major characters. Dave’s a cop. Ginger is Dave’s community activist girlfriend, a troublemaker in the first book, No Dice.

A lot of people liked both characters and I made a decision in Rip-Off to make what happened to Ginger the way it would be in real life. In the first book she is abducted by a psychopath and the threat of torture and death is danced in front of her eyes. Only by using her wits does she manage to escape, and no, it’s not by leading him on a chase through the mean streets of Santa Monica where both novels are set. It’s a unique escape, growing out of the character’s resources and the context of the story.

I like realism and characters I might want to know in real life. Once I see a character shot in the shoulder who then rappels down the side of a building to chase the villain in a car speeding away, I’m likely to just clap the book closed. Sometimes I read for escape, like a delicious Maeve Binchy novel, but I know what I’m getting and that’s what I want.

But if I pick up a book to find the protagonist is a hard-bodied intellectual who is a martial artist, speaks Chinese and is a chess champion, un uh. Nope, I don’t know anybody like that. And he’s a sharp shooter too, you say, and a retired millionaire? Oh, yeah, not interested.

In Rip-Off, Ginger is suffering the effects of PTSD knowing how close she came to being tortured to death. She reacts as you and I would. She got the stuffing knocked out of her and becomes less of the breezy, community activist who is a thorn in Dave’s side. She discovers how hard it is to find a new job.

I’m hoping that seeing a likeable character grow and change and adapt themselves to life as we know it will interest readers as well.

Print Link:
Kindle Link:

Mar's website:

Please leave a comment to welcome Mar Preston to Make Mine Mystery.


Morgan Mandel said...

That pic with you in the hat is so cute, Mar!

Morgan Mandel

Helen Ginger said...

I may have to get a pic of me in a hat!

And I will have to get this book since your characters clearly were named after my husband, Dave Ginger. I agree with you. I want to read characters who are real and act like real, vulnerable people.

Anonymous said...

Its great to meet Mar and good luck with Rip Off and with the hats!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Mar, I agree with you. I like realistic heroes.

Anthology Authors said...

I'm more into realism, too, Mar. Characters capable of doing things that real people can't turn me off quick.

Living in Culver City, I'm familiar with SM politics, at least through the news. (g) Heck, do you remember that case about the jet buzzing the pier? I testified as a witness and, boy, was that an eye opener to just how boring real cases can be.

Both books sound great, Mar! I'll have to check them out. :)

Marci Baun

Kate Dolan said...

I like your commitment to realism, strange to say I think we need more of it in fiction. My husband always says, don't worry about getting it right, it's fiction. But if it's not right, it can take a reader out of the story, and once you're out, you usually never really get back in.

Morgan Mandel said...

Very true. An author does need to make the world building believable.

Morgan Mandel

Mar Preston said...

Thanks, everybody, for the comments.I've had computer problems and it was really frustrating not to be able to comment.

First the hats. I'm really a raddled old hag, but I have the best photographer in the world, my good friend, Liz. Hats really work on bad hair days.

As to realism, there's a whole set of us, I see, that want to keep one toe on the ground when we read fiction.

I look forward to checking you all out and keeping in touch.