Murder In Rock & Roll Heaven
by Robin Ray
No one ever “re-dies” in Heaven; unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to singer Amy Winehouse. Her death, an unprecedented event in Heaven’s history, has thrown a once docile world into unfortunate chaos. Because of the new uneasy alliance between angels and citizens, a freshly-arrived detective in the rock & roll town has been tasked with investigating the prime suspects, the members of the 27 Club – Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. To make matters worse, a powerful angel from one of the upper levels of Heaven will soon arrive to make her ten-year inspection, a task that fills the other angels with dread since she has the power to banish anyone of them to the underworld. So, with time running out, the PI and his newly acquired sidekick, both aided by rock legends such as Eddie Cochran, Mama Cass, Kurt Cobain, Karen Carpenter and others, must quickly uncover the mystery that threatens not only to close Heaven’s doors forever, but promises to send a ripple effect through the entire universe that can rip it apart.
5:15 PM and still no Jim Douglas Morrison. The bearded singer of ‘Five to One’ was keeping his company of three waiting: Gregory pacing back and forth in front of the window, Tony spinning around on a padded, reclining office chair pretending to understand what he was reading from the law book opened in his hands, and the polygraph monitor, Eric Witherspoon, himself a past bassist in a bar band from Nebraska and former student of the angel D’Ariel. Eric, the recent consumer of four slices of 6-cheese pizzas, three stuffed cheesy breads, one piece of chocolate cake and a giant-sized cup of organic, craft brewed root beer, was comfortably sleeping with folded arms in his reclined chair. Completely forgetting he was with company, he twisted to one side, eased off his butt, and made a fart sound so loud and wet he’d better check his drawers, like, immediately. Gregory opened the window to spare himself the pleasure of the cheese-inspired wind. Just then, Jim came staggering into the office, his pants wet from who knows what, his shirt disheveled, and a road sign in his hand. Instinctively, the PI and Tony helped him sit in a chair before he collapsed on the floor.
“Before you fellas start lecturing me,” Jim managed to spit out, albeit slurred, “just know I have a history of being fashionably late.”
“What is this?” Gregory asked, pointing to the road sign as the examiner woke up.
“What?” the confused singer asked then look down and noticed the wooden item.
“Who gave this to me?” he asked, stunned. Nevertheless, he read the sign:
Jupiter Barbers – Luxury Styles
“Anybody want a haircut?” he laughed. Not amused, Gregory wrestled the sign from the singer and placed in on the desk. “Come here and give me some love,” Jim beckoned the small gathering, outstretching his arms for an embrace; when no one accepted his offer, crestfallen, he folded them across his chest. “You guys are chumps,” he groaned. “I want my money back.”
Interview with the Author:
- How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing, off and on, all my life, from high school through college and beyond. Because I had to get a “real” job, my artistic endeavors, writing and music, had to take a back seat to nursing, driving a taxi, working the grill at McDonald’s, adding condiments to pizzas at Pizza Hut, overnight stocking at Wal-Mart, etc. About four years ago, when I could no longer maintain a “real” job, I started writing in earnest. These days, it’s pretty much all I do.
2. How long have you been a published author?
My first professionally published book, “Wetland & Other Stories,” was published through Sound Off Press about three years ago. Back in college, I did “publish” three books, but those were released by my own set up, Sound Off Press.
3. What titles do you have available?
The titles currently available are “Wetland & Other Stories,” “Commoner the Vagabond,” “Tears of A Clown – A Novella,” “Stranded in Paradise – A Novella,” “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven,” “and You Can’t Sleep Here – A Clown’s Guide to Surviving Homelessness.” “Commoner the Vagabond” is the only that is, so far, also available as an audiobook.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
I was originally going to write a book of interviews of the dead; that is, me actually interviewing past geniuses such as Einstein, Da Vinci, Tesla, Mozart, Beethoven, Turing, etc. When I found out that idea was taken, I wanted to write a mystery novel since I’d never done that before. Not totally abandoning my interviews of the dead idea, I thought I’d incorporate that into my mystery. That meant, of course, the setting would have to be the afterlife which, in this case, meant Heaven. Now that I’d generated the idea of a murder mystery in Heaven, I had to work out the who, what, when, where, why and how of the book.
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
I’ve been working diligently on “Obey the Darkness – Horror Stories” for the past few months and would like to see it released in the next coming months. After that, I’m already making plans for a children’s book. That will be a first for me.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
I’d say my favorite genre is horror, and it’s actually interesting I’d be fascinated by it given my history of abandonment and abuse. Still, it does intrigue me, whether I encounter it in folktales, fairy tales, movies, books or even music. Horror is a relatively easy subject matter – see the monster, run from the monster, kill the monster, live to die another day. Maybe the monster is a metaphor for the things in real life that can drive you crazy, like an oppressive boss, drunk father, cheating husband, ornery bully, aggressive pit-bull that likes to give your Fifi endless grief, etc. I have a fascination with sci-fi, too, but sci-fi is very difficult and time consuming to write (and read!). I guess I like the simplicity of horror fiction. It’s often not mired in narratives that can distract from, and slow down, the overall motion of the story.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
The first draft is my favorite part; the subsequent drafts, not that much. I’m not a good artist, so my sketches of sets can be a little tedious. Research for various subjects slows me down, too. Writing the outline of the story can also be a bit much, but it’s an absolutely necessary evil to see the flow of events.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Since I’m a fan of Stephen King, I’d co-write with him. He knows how to tell a good story, how to develop character, and how to make brick loads of money from Hollywood. Seriously, though. It’s interesting how Stephen King takes liberties with his grammar and no one complains about it. To wit: he begins sentences with conjunctions, writes sentences that are just fragments, or employs other aberrations that could give grammar Nazis a stroke. He also uses vulgarity which some publishers shun, subject matter which some publishers shun, and deliciously violent content which some publishers shun.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Robin Ray emigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad & Tobago at the ripe old age of 12. Already steeped in the rich culture and mysteries of his native land, it would only be a matter of time before he, too, became a musician and storyteller. After a short stint at Iowa State University, he became a nurse for practical purposes but never abandoned his musical and literary aspirations. Eventually, he did play guitar in several bands, committing himself to localized tours and album releases. Leaving the music world behind, he delved headfirst back into his second love – writing. To date, he has authored six screenplays, two novels, seven novellas, around fifty short stories and many poems. Thus far, he’s published six books – five fiction and one non-fiction, all available in paperback and e-book formats. His latest novel, Murder In Rock & Roll Heaven, can be purchased from the following Amazon link.
The book is on sale for only $0.99.
Robin Ray will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: