Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Learning About Home – Guest Post by Douglas Corleone

Today I'm welcoming novelist Douglas Corleone to The Fascination Files. His third novel, Last Lawyer Standing, made its debut last week, and I'm happy to have him here sharing the details of what it's like to live and write in Hawaii (don't hate – just read).

P.S.  Be sure to check out my review of Last Lawyer Standing on The Mojito Literary Society, which you can find here.

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I’ve lived in Hawaii for almost 5 years now, and much of that time has been spent right here – at home, in my office, in front of my computer, tapping away at my keyboard while fairly indifferent about my geographic location.  Hey, trust me, I’m not complaining.  For me, making a living writing fiction is a dream come true, and that I’m doing it while living here in paradise is almost too good to believe.  My point is, I moved to Hawaii to take advantage of all the islands have to offer – constant sunshine, beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and a history and culture unlike any on the U.S. mainland.  But once you move somewhere new, at some point you inevitably begin to take your whereabouts for granted.  A visitor to Honolulu, for instance, is unlikely to pass on hiking up Diamond Head crater during their week-long stay.  I, however, still have “Hike up Diamond Head” on my to-do list.

But thanks to my Kevin Corvelli series of legal thrillers, my to-do list is a lot shorter than it would have been if I’d set my novels in a more familiar location, like New York City or Hoboken, New Jersey.  Aside from trying murder cases and dodging bullets, I’ve experienced just about everything Kevin Corvelli experiences in my first three novels.  I’ve kayaked out to the Mokulua Islands, went off-roading to discover Hidden Beach, and swam the 600 yards through Kaneohe Bay to Chinaman’s Hat.  I’ve driven up Tantalus, walked through Chinatown, snorkeled at Shark’s Cove, and tried just about every bar and restaurant on the island in order to keep my settings authentic.   These are all things I might have otherwise put off if I weren’t doing them for “research purposes.

In short, researching for a novel or a series of novels can help you learn more about your home.  I’ve combed back issues of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for information on helicopter accidents, land disputes, cases of police corruption, and of course, murders.  During the years I spent working on the Kevin Corvelli novels, I kept up-to-date on everything that had to do with the Aloha State.  Alas, the third book in the Kevin Corvelli trilogy, Last Lawyer Standing, will be the last novel I set in Hawaii – at least for the time being.  I’m moving on to a new series of international thrillers that will start with next Spring’s Good as Gone.  Which might slow down my exploration of the Hawaiian Islands—but should make my vacations all the more interesting. 

Get your copy on
Douglas Corleone is the author of the Kevin Corvelli crime novels published by St. Martin's Minotaur.  His debut novel One Man's Paradise was nominated for the 2010 Shamus Award for Best First Novel and won the 2009 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award. A former New York City defense attorney, Doug now lives in the Hawaiian Islands where he writes full-time. Last Lawyer Standing is his third novel. Visit him online at and be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter. 

BLURB:  "A perfect blend of mystery and thriller, with laugh out loud moments sprinkled liberally throughout. Corleone is as good as it gets."--David Rosenfelt, Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated bestselling author of the Andy Carpenter mystery novels

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The 2012 Harbuck Scholarship

I'm sharing the following, which I received this morning from Georgia Southern's Department of Writing & Linguistics and the Creative Writing Program.

Writing & Linguistics Major Chris Combs to Receive Harbuck Award

Georgia Southern University senior Chris Combs, the winner of the 2012 Harbuck Scholarship  Georgia Southern University senior Christopher Combs, of Fayetteville, N.C., will receive this year's Brittany "Ally" Harbuck Scholarship during a reading and reception Thursday, Sept. 6. Award-winning novelist Tina Whittle served as this year's scholarship judge and will present the award at 7 p.m. in Room 1005 of the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology building. The event is free and open to the public.

Combs and nine other nominees will read their entries during the ceremony, and members of the Harbuck family will participate in the award presentation. A catered reception will follow the ceremony.

Combs’ winning submission, a collection of 10 poems, reflect a range of subjects, from serious to playful, including “What the Night Dreams,” “Fifty-two Card Pick-up the Family Pieces” and “Blank Page Phobia.”

"Every time I returned to the pages, I discovered some new facet,” Whittle said of Combs’ poems. “The exquisite tension they held was never diminished by an easy resolution; indeed this writer possessed Keats’ negative capability in spades — to hold irreconcilable ideas in the palm of the hand and not seek to reconcile them. Moving and beautiful and profound.”

The Sept. 6 ceremony will also include readings by Harbuck Scholarship finalists Chad Sanderson and Jackson Sharpe, and award nominees Jennifer Coate, Jennifer Curington, Ryan Evans, Beth Martin, Jamie Morton, Naima Ozier and Jared Sharpe.

Combs is the fourth recipient of the scholarship endowed by David and Debi Harbuck of Savannah to honor their daughter, who died in a traffic accident in April 2005. The Harbuck Scholarship supports sophomore, junior and senior writing majors with at least a 3.0 GPA in their writing courses. To be considered for the scholarship, students must be nominated by faculty in the Department of Writing and Linguistics and must submit 10 to 15 pages of fiction, nonfiction or poetry to the Harbuck Scholarship Committee. The committee narrows the list of applicants to three finalists for judging by an outside author.

Whittle has published two novels: The Dangerous Edge of Things and Darker Than Any Shadow. Her fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, The Savannah Literary Journal and Gulf Stream.

As part of the Harbuck award celebration, Whittle will hold a reading Friday, Sept. 7, at 7p.m. in Room 1005 of the College of Information Technology -- click here for that calendar listing.

For more information, contact the Department of Writing and Linguistics at 912-478-0739.