Saturday, December 31, 2016

Guest Blogger Pascal Marco

Type M is delighted to start the year off right with guest blogger Pascal Marco, Pascal, a Phoenix business entrepreneur for over two decades, brings us his newest thriller novel, RENDER SAFE. The December 2016 issue of Suspense Magazine said this about the book, “Marco has . . . created an action thriller worthy of Grisham or Ludlum.” A University of Illinois Chicago Masters in Communications graduate, Pascal’s RENDER SAFE was selected as a national finalist in the thriller/suspense category for this year’s Best Book Awards. His Amazon Kindle #1 best-selling debut, IDENTITY: LOST, which New York Times #1 best-selling author Brad Thor called, “Fresh, compelling and incredibly intricate” also was a national finalist for the 2011 USA Book News Awards. The one-time steelworker from the South Side of Chicago currently resides in Mesa with his wife and high school sweetheart, Karen.

“Oh Brother, Who Art Thou?”

I recently got a phone call from my sister. In and of itself that was nothing new or  unique, since we’re very close and talk often on the phone or via texts. We’re less than eighteen months apart and have been close all our lives. But the ensuing conversation would strike me as being one that was different than any other we had had in the past. Specifically, she had called me to talk about the ending to my new thriller novel, RENDER SAFE. The book is a follow up to my debut thriller, IDENTITY: LOST.

In the first book I introduced my hero, Maricopa County (Arizona) Prosecutor Stan Kobe, and his sidekick, Chandler Homicide Detective Brian Hanley. The crime fighting duo return in book two to handle two disturbing murders, both multiple, both ten years apart, and both with victims who had died extraordinarily gruesome deaths. When she had texted me and said she need to talk to me about the ending to my latest book, I was worried at first that sis didn’t care for what she had read. It’s that little voice that goes off in every writer’s head that says, “Uh oh, what is this person going to ask me?” or “Uh oh, did I miss something and make a huge mistake?”

Fortunately, little sister asked neither type of question (phew!!) but rather was curious about some specific details at the end and wanted to know if she understood them correctly. Or maybe more so, she wanted to know what meaning(s) did my ending have, real or imagined. It was a harmless question, one I actually had fun discussing with her at length. The end result: I wanted the reader to think and wonder exactly how she did at the conclusion of the long and complex journey I had taken them on.

I thought the conversation was over at that point, since she had given me several replies of “Oh, yeah, I get it” and words to that effect. But the conversation wasn’t over. No, not at all. She then gave me one of those wonderful, long pauses we all like to write in dialogue. After several moments she said, “Oh, and by the way, I wanted to talk about that guy in your book and the way he killed those people. It scared me when I read it. I mean, I was thinking, ‘How could my brother think and write those types of things? I mean, Pat (my family and friends call me that), it was so graphic.’”

Aha! I had hit a raw nerve with my reader. I had pulled her so deeply into the story that her world was suspended so profoundly that her only recourse to pull herself out of my fiction was to ask this so, so innocent question. Of course, my reply was, “Well, sis, it is fiction, you know.”

This didn’t seem to appease her. “Yeah, I know, but, my God it was so real. Where did you ever come up with such an idea? I mean, because (another perfect pregnant pause) how would you even know about something like that and make it seem so real?”

At that moment, I felt the joy every writer must feel when they know they’ve mined deep into their reader’s psyche and grabbed a hold of it with an unforgiving and relentless hand, yanking them into the reality you’ve created on the page. Although I did feel a slight bit of remorse to cause my sweet sibling such dismay wondering if her big brother had skeletons in the closet she may not want to ever know about, I let that feeling pass and savored the deep satisfaction of knowing that I had been able to take her somewhere she had never been before. I had pushed her so deep into the story that her only recourse to snap back out of it was to question the writer’s knowledge and motives.

Ah yes, murder can have that kind of effect on people, so it seems. I couldn’t help thinking right at that moment of the sheer chilling beauty in the famous line we all know, “I’ll get you, my little pretty, and your little dog, Toto, too!”

So, when in doubt, just let it rip.

visit Pascal at


Pascal Marco said...

Thank you, Donis, for the honor of inviting me to post on this great writers' site. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Donis Casey said...

Way to start 2017, Pascal!