April 21, 2013

Text of Interview with me in 4/21/13 Daily Gazette newspaper

Peter G. Pollak always realized he had an affinity for writing fiction. What he didn’t have was the time. A 1961 Gloversville High grad who grew up both in the Glove Cities area and Northville, Pollak has produced three novels since his retirement in 2007. His latest book is “Last Stop on Desolation Ridge,” published in January, and he is working a fourth, which he refers to as a “heroic fantasy.” He graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio with a history degree, then spent a year in Atlanta during the Civil Rights Movement working as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer, and eventually came back to the Capital Region, where he got his master’s and then his doctorate […]
April 9, 2013

What this story needs is a good villain!

Ever come across a book whose villain doesn’t quite cut the mustard? I was given to read recently a novel in which the protagonist––a 15-year old female––chooses to become a warrior. Her parents and others were concerned for her, but they needn’t have worried. The author made this character invincible. She defeats all comers, despite often suffering wounds that would kill anyone else. In so doing, he reduces the fear factor of the villains to zero. He made them into comic book characters and took all tension and suspense out of the story. How important is a “good” villain? What makes a villain memorable? Should authors make an attempt to explain what motivates the villain or can they get away […]
April 5, 2013

Noting a Milestone

I’m mailing off tomorrow to my most trusted proofreader (Thank you, B.S.), a copy of the first two parts of what I’ve projected to be (at minimum) a six-part heroic fantasy, entitled The Chains of Time. I started working on that story at least ten years ago, working in spurts on and off until about 8 or 9 months ago when right after publishing Making the Grade (2011), I sent the first 5,000 words to a oft-published novelist for an evaluation. She saw some flaws, but could see the merit. As a result, I’ve put in the effort and have completed the first draft of 3 parts — a total of around 130,000 words or 480 double-spaced pages. (Also, thank […]
December 12, 2012

One Reader’s Take on “Making the Grade”

Here’s one reader’s take on my police procedural, Making the Grade, posted on the Amazon website on December 6, 2012. “Ever wondered what it is like to be a rooky police detective? What if you were the first woman detective on staff? What if your first case was a no breaks murder by a bona fide psychopath? Shannon Lynch is on her first day of duty as a detective and she immediately feels that her new workmates don’t really trust her and won’t until she proves herself. She knows this is a serious job and she is determined to meet the standards. Her new boss, Lieutenant Keller, says he at first will not appoint Shannon to a partner, but attach […]
December 8, 2012

It Made the Grade…

…for one reviewer at least. Making the Grade, my police procedural starring a female protagonist, earned a very positive review recently by an Australian book reviewer. Here’s what he wrote: “Ever wondered what it is like to be a rooky police detective? What if you were the first woman detective on staff? What if your first case was a no breaks murder by a bona fide psychopath? Shannon Lynch is on her first day of duty as a detective and she immediately feels that her new workmates don’t really trust her and wont until she proves herself. She knows this is a serious job and she is determined to meet the standards. Her new boss, Lieutenant Keller, says he at […]
September 21, 2012

Signings Scheduled for October 6 and November 3

You’re in luck if you live in upstate New York or the Baltimore (Maryland) region and you’re looking for a signed copy of my novels, The Expendable Man and Making the Grade. I’ll be doing a signing October 6 at Mysteries on Main Street in Johnstown, New York from 11 AM to 1 PM and one November 3 at Greetings and Readings in Hunt Valley, Maryland from 4 to 6 PM. Both stores offer great selections and warm customer service. So, even if you can’t make it on the day I’ll be there, I hope you’ll consider both when you’re shopping for yourself or for others. Please support these other fine independent book stores–all of which carry my books–as well: […]