Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Number of pages: 239
Word Count: 60,000
Cover Artist: Kelsey Rice
Book Trailer: None
Detective “Frankie” Ryan tracks a sadistic killer while the press attacks her as a feminist vigilante who takes the law into her own hands. The only one who can help her is a tabloid reporter who can’t decide if he’s a psychic who sees ghosts or is just going insane.
As they search for the killer in a sunny seacoast city’s seamy S&M underside, they begin to question everything they know about sexual identity. How can they find the killer before he strikes again when he defies any description?
Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.
About the Author:
Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology. He is co-author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel.
He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming.
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Please welcome Silent Partner author Stan Schatt to Diane's Book Blog.
What is your favorite part of the story, Silent Partner?
My favorite part of Silent Partner is when Josh Harrell turns thirty. Sitting alone with a drink in his hand and mulling his life, he suddenly sees a ghostly figure. When he tells her she’s not real, she tells him to close his eyes and take a second look. Of course, she’s still there. That’s the way Josh’s relationship with Andy begins.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was an eighth-grader who loved to read science fiction. One day I couldn’t find a book in the library that caught my interest. I decided to write my own. Okay, it wasn’t very good, but I knew the one reader I was writing for and the book pleased me when I read it. My first published novel was based on stories I told my two grandchildren. They insisted on a new story every night, so I kept creating new episodes. The result was The Smartest Kid in the World. The lesson I learned from both books is to have specific reader in mind when you write a novel. That way you pitch the book at the right level.
What is your favorite book that you wrote?
Silent Partner, my latest book, is my favorite. I found myself getting more and more interested in the paranormal part of the story. I also realized that both major characters, the female detective as well as the psychic reporter, gave me a lot of room to expand their stories. As a result, I’ve already completed the sequel and I’m starting to think of the third volume in the series.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Lately it has been Michael Connelly. In fact, I sat down and read everything he wrote including his two dozen novels, his short stories, and even the articles he wrote as a police reporter for the Los Angeles Times as well as a Florida paper. After mulling over the material and re-reading much of it, I sat down and wrote Michael Connelly: A Reader’s Companion. It’s the only book I know that goes through and explains everything Connelly wrote. What influenced me when I read Connelly’s novels is how well he develops his main characters. He develops back stories for them and ages them in each book. Someone reading all Connelly’s Bosch novels, for example, see a man age and change over twenty years. After all that time looking into Bosch, the reader feels he knows the detective as well as a member of his family. The other trait that impressed me when I read Connelly’s novels is his plotting ability and his ability to leave just enough red herrings to keep his books moving.
What is your typical day like?
I spend a lot of time writing, but not necessarily on a single book. I usually am dangling several books at once. As an example, recently I was completing the sequel to Silent Partner (tentatively called A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer). At the same time I was working on the sequel to my Amazon best selling Journey to a Different Dimension ( a children’s novel set in the world of the popular game Minecraft). I also was working on my part of a book I’m co-authoring entitled Jane Blond, International Detective. Since I like to multitask, it keeps me fresh and not bored.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery. That does not mean that a ghost tells you who the murderer is. In fact, Silent Partner is a police procedure mystery where a detective solves crimes using her skills as well as solid police procedures. Still, a psychic columnist for a tabloid becomes a part of the investigation when he “sees” a murder through the killer’s eyes. What makes this tabloid reporter kind of special is his relationship with a sexy ghostly figure that identifies herself as Andy, his guardian angel. She offers him advice on a variety of topics including his relationships. The story evolves as the detective adds the psychic reporter to her team, much to the disgust of her partner. The problem with being psychic is that it’s not dependable. Even worse, it doesn’t help you avoid death when it’s your time to go. I hate buckets that we have to put books in. After all, how many can Silent Partner fit in? It’s a mystery, a paranormal mystery, and a thriller.
What book are you reading now?
I’ve been reading a lot of Jonathan Kellerman’s novels lately. I’ve just finished Guilt and moved on to Killer. What I like about Kellerman is that he has continuing characters who grow, interact with each other, and change over the course of several books. I also like the psychological angle he likes to focus on. His major character is a psychologist while Milo, the detective, is a fascinating character as well. Kellerman also has an excellent sense of place. His novels are set in Los Angeles, and it’s clear he knows the city very well, so well in fact that Los Angeles itself becomes a character. The same can be said of Michael Connelly’s novels.
What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks?
That’s an interesting question. My son just published a non-fiction hardcover book that retails for $60. I think the days of hardbacks are just about over because publishing costs have made their retail prices prohibitive. I love paperbacks because I’m still old-fashioned enough to life the feel of the book as well as the thrill of picking one up and seeing my name on the cover. I publish all my books as ebooks, because a generation is growing up thinking that ebooks are the only way to read material. I’d like to see some compromise between Hachette and Amazon. I don’t like the idea of charging readers $13.95 for a product that costs pennies to produce. On the other hand, I don’t like the idea of pushing the price down to .99 cents to the point that publishers and authors both fail to make enough money to survive. I don’t necessarily buy Amazon’s point that people take the savings from a low-priced ebook and then buy a second ebook. I think they tend to buy other non-book products on Amazon so that it wins and authors and publishers lose. Let’s shoot for a fair price point where readers, publishers, and even Amazon can do well.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope they enjoy Silent Partner. Mysteries generally are easy reading, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to say. I think this book provides a lot to chew on. What’s the nature of evil? Why do people do what they do? How much free will do we actually have in our lives? What is the relationship between life and death and what is the point of everything? How do women succeed in mostly male workplaces like police departments? What makes Frankie a better detective than her male counterparts? Also, one of the major themes in the novel has to do with gender identification. Are you defined by something as simple as your X or Y chromosome?