At 77, I have now entered the fourth quarter in the game of life. A grueling quarter, hard to move the ball and the defense stacked against you to take away your best plays. I spent my working quarters in the field of gerontology, the last 25 until I retired at 68 as a retirement center administrator. Six years ago, I wrote my first novel as a kind of bucket list thing. The result was an episodic, disjointed piece of junk. It has long since been shit-canned from my hard drive. But I didn’t quit, mainly because I found that I liked writing. I next wrote several short stories and then started a second piece of longer fiction, which I titled Shady Acres, after the name of the long-term care center that is the focus of that tale.
Shady Acres was the first of what has become a series. It didn’t start out to be a series, so in submitting it and subsequent works to Kindle, I checked “no” in response to the question, “Is this a series?” Afraid I can’t get by with that any longer, as three later adventures have followed. Furthermore, I shamelessly refer to previous incidents in the later narratives.
They (the ubiquitous they) say that you should write about what you know. Being of Norwegian heritage I don’t know much, or so goes the old Scandinavian joke, mainly told by Swedes. However, I do know Tucson Estates, the setting for this piece of fiction. Being of limited imagination, I’ve borrowed the specifics in excruciating detail. Saves a lot of work and time in inventing things like street names.
Completely my own are the main characters, four happy go lucky retired guys, early sixties who find themselves, through no fault of their own, the four principals of their own Private Investigator firm. It all started with Gus’ younger brother who just happens to be the FBI agent in charge of the Phoenix office. How that came about is set forth in the beginning chapters of Shady Acres.
A final note regarding the masthead photo. The dude in the photo wearing the pirate’s cap is, no surprise, your Tucson Estates author, Robert Solem, out partying and somewhat tanked. He definitely shows his age. The gorgeous lady at his side and looking at least ten years younger is his loveable late life partner. Would you believe they’re the same age? Birth certificates don’t lie (usually).