Quarterback Trap - Dallas Gorham
This is a great suspenseful and thrilling mystery that, while geared towards men with the football theme, will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.
To be clear, I am not a football fan, and I very much enjoyed this book. I read it all in one sitting, completely unable to put it down until the plot was resolved.
Gorham's writing style is easy to follow and he doesn't bog the reader down with statistics or football-speak that might alienate readers who don't really follow the sport.
I loved all the characters and thought they were excellently written. Chuck is great as the main character and I can see him starring in future novels, such as Alex Delaware for Jonathan Kellerman, etc.
Even if you're not a football fan, if you enjoy a good mystery/thriller, then I can definitely recommend this one to you.
Some Bio Information
Dallas Gorham is a sixth-generation Texan and a proud Texas Longhorn, having earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated in the top three-quarters of his class, maybe.
Dallas, the writer, and his wife moved to Florida years ago to escape Dallas, the city, winters (Brrrr. Way too cold) and summers (Whew. Way too hot). Like his fictional hero, Chuck McCrary, he lives in Florida in a waterfront home where he and his wife watch the sunset over the lake most days and where he has followed his lifelong love of reading mysteries and thrillers into writing them in his home office. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America and the Florida Writers Association. He also chairs the Central Florida annex meetings of the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America because he can’t get anyone else to take the post.
When not writing fiction, Dallas is frequent (but bad) golfer. He plays about once a week because that is all the abuse he can stand. One of his goals in life is to find more golf balls than he loses. He also is an accomplished liar (is this true?) and defender of down-trodden palm trees.
Dallas is married to his one-and-only wife who treats him far better than he deserves. They have two grown sons whom they are inordinately proud of. They also have seven grandchildren who are the smartest, most handsome, and most beautiful grandchildren in the known universe. He and his wife spend waaaay too much money on their love of travel. They have visited all 50 states and over 90 foreign countries, the most recent of which was Morocco, where their cruise ship stopped at Agadir (don’t bother).
Dallas writes a blog at http://dallasgorham.com that is sometimes funny, but not nearly as funny as he thinks. The website also has more information about his books, including the characters. If you have too much time on your hands, you can follow him on Twitter at @DallasGorham, or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DallasGorham.
1) What inspired you to write this book?
I had previous written in Six Murders Too Many about Chuck’s high school football career and his friendship with the NFL quarterback Bob Martinez. I got to thinking about how a gambler might fix the Super Bowl game.
2) Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I have a home office. When I’m in writing mode, I’m at my desk by 8 a.m. I write until noon, have lunch with my wife, then write until 6 p.m. My goal is 3000+ words per day for the first draft. Quoting from my blog of Feb 4, 2016:
My first draft of Day of the Tiger followed the principal of “Dump it on the page and get the basics of the story right.” I met a fellow writer who wore a tee-shirt that said, “I don’t care if it’s crap; just get it on the page.” You can’t improve a story that’s not written. Some famous writer whose name escapes me once said, “Every good novel began as a lousy first draft.”
In this case, my lousy first draft ran 77,787 words. That took about four solid weeks chained to my desk.
To write the second draft, I read the first draft aloud to see how the words sounded. I know that you don’t move your lips when you read. But even when you read silently, you hear in your mind how the words sound. I want my words to sound well in the reader’s head. I read the first draft aloud and stopped when something didn’t flow just right. I made the changes to the draft and kept reading. That took two days to read, change, and create the second draft.
The second draft ran 79,809 words. That means that I had to add about 2,000 more words to make the words flow smoothly.
And, yes, I did get hoarse reading aloud for over twelve hours.
To write the third draft, I ran the second draft through a piece of software called Smart Edit, available from Bad Wolf Software. Smart Edit looks for things like overused adverbs, repeated phrases, misused words (such as their when you mean there), clichés, redundancies, proper nouns (to make sure I don’t call a character Monty one time and Marty the rest of the time), and so forth. The third draft had 78,626 words and took another two days.
The fourth draft took just over a week to go through my “List of words to restrict use of.” It’s a list of over fifty words or parts of words that writers sometimes overuse: about, almost, also, anyway, can or could, get, going or going to, etc. See my blog of March 3, 2014, How to be a better writer–words to avoid . That original list had only 41 items on it. Now I have over fifty.
That draft wound up with 74,216 words.
Then I print the fourth draft, sit in my easy chair, and read it just like you would (except I have a ballpoint pen in my hand). That was 211 pages of 8-1/2 by 11 paper. I discovered some parts in an earlier chapter than I moved to a later chapter when the flow of the action made more sense. Those corrections took another two days and resulted in the fifth draft, which had 74,166 words.
That’s the one I sent to my editor.
3) What types of readers would most enjoy your work?
People who read for pure entertainment. I create a world of action, adventure, and intrigue---more of it than most people would actually experience in two lifetimes---all in the course of the few days or weeks that the story happens.
4) What do you hope that readers take away from your work?
A few hours of escapist fun.
5) Who is your favorite fictional character?
That has to be a tie between Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. I admire both characters.
6) How would you describe your writing style?
I am usually a pantser, although I wrote Quarterback Trap from an extensive outline.
7) What’s your ultimate writing goal?
Make a good living from telling entertaining stories.