ABOUT CHARLIE COTTRELL
Charlie Cottrell is a history and special education teacher in Northern Virginia by day and a writer of “speculative noir” (near-future, science-fictiony, hard-boiled detective stories) by night. He likes to blend action, mystery, and a healthy dose of humor and sarcasm in his work. He also writes music and draws comics and thinks he vaguely remembers what free time was, but he’s not one hundred percent sure on that. Charlie hates tucking in his shirt, because he is a rebel. To read more about Charlie, you can visit him on his website.
Release date: December 19, 2016!
ABOUT THE INVISIBLE CROWN:
The city of Arcadia is a craphole, but it’s my craphole. I’ve walked its streets my entire life, always searching for something: a purpose, a suspect, or a stiff drink. My name’s Eddie Hazzard, and I’m a hard-boiled detective. Yeah, laugh it up. It’s a ridiculous job description, but this is a ridiculous town. It’s full of every cliché you can imagine: corrupt city officials, police officers on the take, greedy businessmen, and crime so organized it has an accounting department, a health plan, and retirement benefits. Which is more than I can say for myself.”
Meet Eddie Hazzard: he’s tenacious, a certain kind of clever, and usually drunk. When a beautiful woman comes into his office and asks him to find her husband, Eddie takes the case because the alternative is having his creditors show up at his door and do terrible things to his limbs. But the case takes a series of bizarre turns, getting Eddie caught up in a tangled web of reluctant cops, sketchy businessmen, and shadowy crime bosses. The deeper he gets, the worse things look. Will Eddie solve the case? Will he save the day? Most importantly, will he get paid?
The Invisible Crown is the first full-length novel of a series featuring Detective Hazzard and the bizarre, bewildering array of tough mobsters, genetically-modified creeps, and ruthless scumbags who inhabit the city of Arcadia.
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Crafting memorable, unique characters is a challenge and a joy when you’re writing in a first person perspective. My protagonist/narrator, Eddie Hazzard, is a private detective, and tends to notice certain characteristics about the people around him. He’s always looking for distinguishing marks, hair styles, and physical build, trying to get a read on someone’s abilities and intentions from body language and facial expression. He also tends to pay attention to accents and the way people say things. How someone speaks gives away so much of their upbringing and personality.
Of course, in focusing on the elements he does, Hazzard ends up revealing a lot about himself, too. We get the feeling that he’s been betrayed far too often by the uncaring population of the city he’s trying to serve, that he’s become more than a bit jaded and suspicious of everyone around him. He doesn’t let anyone get close. He looks at the surface, because he doesn’t want to let anyone see more than his own surface. He’s immediately distrustful of anyone who appears altruistic; the guy’s been burned by life, and he doesn’t think anyone is good for goodness’s sake.
Ultimately, having the narrator and protagonist that I do dictates how I approach creating characters. There’s a wry detachment, a bitter distrust, a sense of being a few degrees removed from the crowds Hazzard walks through. For better or worse, he’s more than a little jaded, and it comes out in how he sees the people around him.
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