So you want to get to know Dennis Collins and his books. Wow! It must be your lucky day. I just happen to have a little interview here with Dennis, and a snippet about his most recent book. And no need to thank me for this, it is my absolute pleasure. Enjoy!
K.S. Both of your first two novels The Unreal McCoy, and Turn Left at September were published in traditional print form and later released as e-books but your latest book The First Domino has made its debut as an e-book. Why is that?
D.C. That wasn’t my original plan. I was going to begin with a regular publisher and eventually move on to an electronic format but I wasn’t able to find a suitable publisher.
K.S. Do you have representation?
D.C. No and that’s probably my biggest problem. I had a very high profile publicist read my manuscript and she absolutely raved about it, even recommended it to a good size publisher but they still rejected it.
K.S. Did they give you a reason for not pursuing it?
D.C. No they didn’t. Agents and editors are always telling authors to “think outside the box” but it seems like the people who control the industry think very much “inside the box.” They won’t listen to you unless you break the rules but then they reject you because you broke the rules. It’s like the business is being guided by destructive paradigms.
K.S. So you decided to take matters into your own hands.
D.C. I guess you could say that.
K.S. Are you sure that’s the right way to go?
D.C. I’ve been writing book reviews for more than five years and read about fifty books annually so I see a lot of different styles and a lot of different levels of writing talent. I feel pretty confident about my work; I think it matches up pretty well with what’s out there. It may not fit what a particular publisher is looking for at the moment but I believe that my stuff is better than many of the books that I read.
K.S. And your latest book is…
D.C. It’s titled The First Domino, and it’s the story of a young man whose father had been a powerful lawyer who worked for the Detroit Mafia. When the old man dies, his son hopes to be welcomed into the mob but they only offer him a menial job and he feels shunned. He tries to show his value by murdering three Detroit cops. The mob isn’t happy and they order a hit on the young man. He flees the country with Lieutenant Otis Springfield, homicide detective hot on his trail and the mob is not far behind.
The book has a little of everything in it. I even get very deep into the heads of two killers. There’s action, romance, personal tragedy, discovery, revenge, redemption, and terror. It’s more of a story about the cop than the murderer.
K.S. And it’s only available as an e-book?
D.C. Currently, yes. I’m hoping that some publisher might be interested enough to pick up the print rights but if that doesn’t happen; I’ll probably self-publish the print version as well.
Joe Pellerito thought he could murder his way into the mob. The son of a high powered Mafia lawyer and negotiator, he assumed that he’d be welcomed into the Family. When Joe’s father died of cancer he waited anxiously for the invitation to join the ranks. But the call never came. Feeling shunned, Joe devised a plan to show his dedication and fearlessness. From a list of Detroit cops who have been problems for the syndicate Joe chose three candidates and pulled off a string of three brutal murders in less than two hours on a bright spring morning.
The philosophy of the mob has moved into the new millennium and has all but abandoned confrontations with law enforcement. Joe’s actions threaten to undo the progress that took two decades to build. The problem of Joe Pellerito must be addressed.
With a price on his head, Joe is forced to flee and tries to hide in Italy where he attempts to gain a whole new identity.
The diligence of Detroit Police detectives Otis Springfield and Albert McCoy helps them sniff out Joe’s trail but the mob has its resources as well and soon the race is on to see who can get their hands on Joe first.
My professional life was spent in automotive engineering where I enjoyed a rewarding forty year career. I’ve always had a taste for adventure and risk taking spending my idle hours flying airplanes, skydiving, scuba diving, motorcycle racing, and over thirty years of professional automotive powered hydroplane racing.
My first publishing credit came as a complete surprise when an article that I wrote for a powerboat racing club newsletter found its way onto the desk of the president of The American Power Boat Association and he submitted it to Propeller Magazine. My first novel The Unreal McCoy was self published and surprisingly successful. I was able to follow up with Turn Left at September published by Behler Publications, a small mainstream publisher in California. Both titles have been converted to electronic format and are now available through Amazon’s Kindle. The next book The First Domino is now also available on Kindle as well as Nook. My Short story, Calvin was a finalist in a contest sponsored by Futures Magazine. I am a co-founder of the Huron Area Writer’s Group in Huron County Michigan and I write a bi-monthly column and review mysteries for www.myshelf.com
And you dont need special credentials to write fiction..M You write your mysteries in a police procedure style how did you come to choose that style since you have no background in police work or do you? .D Ive never personally been involved in police work but several of my high school buddies moved into that field. .D Several of the locations that Ive referenced no longer exist but they were all there at one time.
Dennis, I think you really nailed something significant when you said that the traditional publishers publicly applaud rule breakers but privately penalize them. I think authors really need to be willing to go outside their comfort zones if they want the success and satisfaction of being published and finding a audience.