Our next guest on the Crime Cafe podcast is author Troy Lambert. As such, he’s provided this guest post, in which he’s giving away a copy of his novel Overdoses in Olympia, Book #1 of the Capital City Murders series.
To get your own copy of this book, just check for the link below where you can grab a digital copy. Then, download away! 🙂
But first, let’s hear from our upcoming guest!
A Series Shift
The Capital City Murders series has a simple premise:
Nick O’Flannigan, a freelance photographer, works for Travel USA magazine. His assignment? Visit all fifty state capitals in one year, photographing each capitol building and the surrounding areas for an upcoming coffee table book that contains his photography.
Of course, things are not that simple. In every city, he encounters a mystery of some sort, and he can’t help but get involved. With an eye for detail earned through what was a macro-photography hobby that has turned into a career, Nick often sees things others don’t.
Things get complicated for Nick. He develops a romance, has concerns for his aging parents who live in Boston, and faces other personal challenges. At the same time, his reputation precedes him. Media and police departments either crave his help or want him to stay out of things. His editor at the magazine, Emily, would prefer that his name is never in the news except when his photography assignment is involved.
For Us as Authors, Things Got Complicated
This series started as a collaborative project between two authors. The ambition was to release one novella a month for 50 months until the series was complete. Then 2020 happened.
One author, Stuart, had to exit the project to focus on his family and their health. This left me, Troy Lambert, to handle the rest of the series along with other writing responsibilities. Turns out, our ambitions were a bit lofty. So we dialed it back a bit.
That didn’t stop us from producing audio books and compilations along with pitching the series to Netflix (please call us back) and other filmmakers. The series is still chugging on, just a little more slowly than initially planned.
Overall, that’s a good thing. Each episode is longer, better edited, and we have more time and attention to devote to each one.
Writing About Travel When You Can’t—Travel
As if things weren’t complicated enough, the principle of the series is that Nick is traveling from city to city…
Unmasked. Unencumbered by the restrictions of the real world as we know it at the moment. We had to come to a decision. So I consulted with other author friends and made the critical decision to keep writing as if there was no pandemic, no travel restrictions, nothing.
But the events of the year meant restaurants we mentioned in the book closed, never to reopen in some cases. Tourist attractions were closed. Even capitol buildings limited visitors. Still, we write on. We write as if we are either pre-COVID or post-COVID: Nick travels freely. Why do we do it?
Fiction is About Hope
Dirty little secret about me time: I really write fiction for only one reason. Hope. Well, a certain amount of escape, but hope more than anything else, for that is what the escape of fiction, both reading and writing it, does for us.
You see, crime fiction is often pretty black and white. We won’t delve into the moral ambiguity of shows like Dexter and Breaking Bad, but will instead focus on the good guys and bad guys version of crime fiction. At the end of the day, crime fiction shows us that murder mysteries can be solved, the bad guy will get caught, and the world will be safer.
And even if he does get away, we can close the book and say, “That is not my reality. In my reality, good triumphs. There is hope.” And when have we needed hope more than we do right now? I would say perhaps never in history has hope been so important.
So we hope that someday, travel such as what Nick is doing will be possible. Our team of editors, cover designers, and audiobook narrators and producers all live vicariously through our hero. Nick gives us hope, perhaps the greatest gift fiction has to offer.
Hope is also generous. Of course, I want the world to buy my books. But it has been a tough year. Some people are out of work, and others are truly suffering. So there are two things:
First, I’ll give you the first novella in the series, Overdoses in Olympia, for FREE with no obligation. You don’t even have to join my email list. But if you do join my list, you’ll not only get that book free, but you will get a special backstory about Nick, titled Fast Break, for FREE too. That story is coming soon. All you have to do is follow this link, especially for Crime Cafe readers and listeners.
In addition, the entire series is on sale right now on Amazon. You can grab all the books so far for around $20. The next book in the series, Axed in Austin, will be coming in March. Here’s that series link. (Check out the audio books while you are there)
Grab your FREE book. (You’ll have the option to join my email list if you want)
Here’s to great reading, great writing, and hope. After all, what else do we need?
Troy Lambert is a freelance writer, author, and editor, and the owner of a small, niche publishing company. He writes suspense thriller fiction with an occasional foray into humor. His works include the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, the Capital City Murders Series, the Max Boucher Series, Stray Ally, Typewriter Repair Shop, The Angel, Broken Bones, Tilting and Windmills, Miner Inconveniences, and the upcoming Call of Karen: A Karen and Cthulhu adventure.
He lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with his wife, two small dogs, and a large and goofy German Shepherd named McClane who is often enlisted to help write blog posts. When not behind the screen, he can be found exploring the foothills around his home and the great outdoors in general.