Author Tom Sedar

Wyoming native Tom Sedar’s life has been a fun ride. As a young man he worked as a ranch hand, rodeo cowboy, rough neck, and commercial diver. In 1984 Tom quit his wondering life to attend Law School at the University of Wyoming. After Law School he had a 25-year career as a trial lawyer. In his career Tom tried over 250 jury trials (that is a lot of storytelling). In 2007 Tom and his wife Charlene, a Federal Marshal, moved to the Caribbean where Tom was the Major Crimes / Homicide Prosecutor for the Island of St. Croix. In, The Gold of St. Croix, Tom couples his lifetime of experience with his gift for storytelling to create a must read for any mystery lover.

Some Reviews...

5/5

Title: The Gold of St. Croix

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Action

Synopsis: Retired Homicide Detective, Mad Dog Cotton, has a reputation on St. Croix. He can find missing things, and Betsy Rourk’s husband is missing. When Betsy asks him to find her husband, Mad Dog says, “no.”

When the price Betsy offers is a single golden piece of Pirate Treasure, common sense is abandoned and he says, “yes.”

There was no way Mad Dog could have known he was walking into a 400-year-old mystery. A mystery where the ancient ghosts of greed, lust and insanity would rip a gaping hole in his tranquil island existence and threaten to destroy everyone he loves.

 

Tom Sedar, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Tom Sedar. His gift for storytelling has lead him to create a must read for any mystery lover. Welcome to my blog, Tom.

TS: Cheryl first, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to do this interview.

CH: Tom, you are quite welcome. So, can you tell us why we should read this mystery within a mystery?

TS: The Gold of St. Croix is drawn primarily from my experiences living on the Island of St. Croix. St. Croix is one of those rare places that will surprise you every day. The first mystery to most people will be the unusual magic of St. Croix. The Island is an environment of extremes. You have unparalleled beauty and the highest per capita rate of homicide in the United States. You have miles of shallow reef next to a virtually unexplored 15,000-foot trench that drops from those sun lit shallows into unexplored darkness. In short, St. Croix is an enigma.

A mystery that develops in an enigma like St. Croix is a mystery within a mystery that offers the reader a surprise at every turn.

We read to be entertained and few things are more entertaining than a good surprise. You should read this mystery within a mystery, because everyone needs a little surprise in their life.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues, or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

TS: Most of the scenes in the book have a small grain of truth in them. An important location in The Gold of St. Croix is the destroyed Grape Tree Resort. When I wrote The Gold of St. Croix, I spent about 2 days exploring the area and I realized it had to be part of the book. Many of the characters are also drawn from the endless array of fascinating people that have settled on the island.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book or is it all imagination?

TS: There is some research in all of my books. In The Gold of St. Croix, a large research project was weaving the history that made the presence of pirate treasure on St. Croix plausible. I worked with a historian by the name of Robert Johnson, who introduced me to the rich history of the Caribbean and specifically, St. Croix. Much of the historical background set in the book came from my long conversations with Robert. He also read the first edition of the book to ensure that my fiction matched the factual history.

I love doing research to support my books. I’m a curious person and love an excuse to explore fun titbits of knowledge.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

TS: In most cases, I get absorbed in the story and just write. I am sure a lot of my inspiration and ideas are drawn from my life experiences, but my story is not directly tied to specific experiences.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

TS: I would say, because I have very little classical training as a writer, and that my style is more conversational than most writers. In this book, most of the book is written in first person. That means, I was able to convey much of what my protagonist, Mad Dog Cotton, was sensing and was thinking. The style makes Mad Dog a flawed, but likeable character that develops for the reader throughout the book. One interaction in the book that was a lot of fun to develop, and I think readers will find refreshing is the interaction between Mad Dog and his wife, Cheri. They clearly love each other, but with the type of respect that comes from a partnership. There are no clear rules in the Cotton household.

CH: Do you enjoy writing complex novels?

TS: I love building scenes using all of my reader’s senses and I love building characters that reveal a little bit of their soul. I would classify the plot of The Gold of St. Croix as full of surprises, rather than being complex.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

TS: My favorite character is Ray Jones. He is Mad Dog’s partner. He is a middle-aged Cruzan man with a hard sense of humor and an even harder sense of morality. I love developing Ray’s relationships with all the other characters. As the book develops, the reader will begin to sense that there is a lot more to Ray Jones than they understand. He is rarely seen, day or night, not wearing his wrap around dark sunglasses. Those sunglasses symbolize Ray. He is a mystery, and just when you think you have him figured out, another layer of Ray’s complex life and personality is revealed. I based Ray on a good friend of mine in St. Croix.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

TS: The villain, sorry I can’t tell you who it is. That would ruin the story.

CH: Since this book is full of unpredictable suspense, action and intrigue, do you prefer writing books with a lot of twists and turns and ups and downs?

TS: Yes, it is me against the reader. If you know what is going to happen next, where is the fun. I don’t like books that intentionally mislead the reader.  I like a book that at the end the reader says, “wow, that makes sense.”

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

TS: The feedback has been positive. I think, the most common response is that The Gold of St. Croix is a fun read–which is exactly what I set out to accomplish. Life is already too full of complications. When someone sits down to read one of my books, I want them to be able to escape: to laugh a little, be surprised a little and if I do my job, escape to a beautiful [sland full of nutty people for a few hours.

CH: Is there a message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

TS: As a homicide prosecutor on St. Croix, I learned one critical piece of knowledge that will haunt me for the rest of my life. The kids on the island, who are committing crimes you and I would be horrified by, are often not evil. They think they are doing the right thing. In the bookl Ray explores this odd, but important bit of life. It was my Cruzan friend, who I patterned the character of Ray after, who explained this conundrum to me.

CH: Is there any additional info you would like to tell us about this mystery?

TS: Nope, it is my job to surprise you, so no more secrets.

CH: What is your next writing project?

TS: I have completed four of the books in the St. Croix series and I am working on the fifth, The Song of St. Croix. Other than that, I am down to the hard part for every writer. I wrote the books, now I need to sell them.

CH: How to Find Tom Sedar:
Tom’s Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2Ew6tAC
Tom’s Author Page: https://amzn.to/2Xg8Zl2
Tom’s Website: www.tomsedar.com

CH: Any closing remarks?

TS: I would just like to thank you, Cheryl, for the opportunity to do this interview. As a writer, opportunities to talk about my books are an important gift.

CH: You’re welcome and thank you so much, Tom Sedar, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

The Gold of St. Croix

Retired Homicide Detective Mad Dog Cotton has a reputation on St. Croix. He can find missing things, and Betsy Rourk’s husband is missing. When Betsy asks him to find her husband, Mad Dog says, “no”. When the price Betsy offers is a single golden piece of Pirate Treasure common sense is abandoned, and he says, “yes”. There was no way Mad Dog could have known he was walking into a 400-year-old mystery. A mystery where the ancient ghosts of greed, lust and insanity would rip a gaping hole in his tranquil island existence and threaten to destroy everyone he loves.