Friday, June 6, 2008

Interview with Mystery Author Frank Megna is proud to have Frank Megna with us for an interview today. Thank you for joining us!

M.A.: Tell us a little about your featured mystery, The Long Count.

Frank: It’s an old fashioned detective story featuring an over-the-hill boxer as a P.I. Actually, it’s a story of redemption and healing masquerading as a mystery.

M.A.: Can you share with us (without giving anything away, of course!) a personal favorite moment or line in your book?

Frank: Not really. I suppose I was most emotionally affected by the ending, when my lead character returns to the ring hoping somehow to recover something that’s been lost forever, his dead wife.

M.A.: Why mysteries? What makes them so compelling for you to write?

Frank: A mystery is the perfect structure to test-–challenge is a better word—-your characters. The outer journey of finding the truth behind some crime compels my central character prove who he is, to stand by his values and to ultimately stand for some kind of justice in a morally ambiguous world.

M.A.: What about other work? Do you write in any genres other than mystery?

Frank: I stated out as an actor in New York. I began writing plays so I could play parts I thought were better than what I was being offered. I was given an opportunity to write for a TV show named CrimeStory and shortly thereafter moved to Los Angeles. I have a small theater in West Hollywood, Working Stage Theater, and sometimes conduct acting and writing workshops. I wrote and directed a low budget independent feature film, The Seekers, which screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April.

M.A.: What was your funniest writing-related moment?

Frank: Well, early on one of my plays was given a staged reading by a theater development group in New York. Let’s just say that the lead character was a street guy from Brooklyn and the casting was rather bizarre. The actor reading had a distinctly Southern drawl which made the dialogue very “amusing.” Although, it wasn’t very funny at the time.

M.A.: I'll bet!! So, what's your current writing project? Is it a mystery, too?

Frank: I’m working on a few things. One is for theater: three thematically connected, one-act plays about Boomers. I am working on a screenplay which is a noirish story set in LA and featuring my boxer/P.I., Johnny DeMarco. It was originally intended as a book sequel to The Long Count, but seems more suited to the screen.

M.A.: Other than, do you have any websites where readers can find out more about you and your work?

Frank: is best.

Thanks again for agreeing to take a Minute for Mystery by joining us here today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Remember: June 4th is the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre

On the eve of the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre (June 4,1989) the United States urged China to give a full account of what really happened at Tiananmen Square that day and to release prisoners taken during the protests.
A State Department spokesman was quoted as saying: "The time for the Chinesegovernment to provide the fullest possible public accounting of the thousands killed, detained, or missing in the massacre that followed the protests is long overdue."
50 to 200 people are still believed to be behind bars for participating in the nationwide protests 19 years ago. The US spokesman described the killings as "brutal and tragic events,"and called on China to take steps to improve its global image before the Olympic Games in Beijing in August. He urged China to "move forward with a reexamination of Tiananmen, to release all Tiananmen-era prisoners, and to cease harassment of the families of the victims of Tiananmen," the statement said.
"These actions, together with steps to protect the internationally recognized fundamental freedoms of Chinese citizens, will help China achieve its goal of projecting a positive image to the world."
My husband and I spent time in China during the 1980's and on returning to the states had an opportunity to be a host family for several students from the mainland studying at UCLA at the time of the Student Democracy Movement. In fact, we have written a novel called Rabbit in the Moon with this incident as a backdrop. So we are well aware of the fact that the Chinese government has never acknowledged what happened. In fact, recently the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing that China has no intention of revising its verdict on the protests despite calls for the Chinese government to stop labeling the student movement a "counterrevolutionary rebellion." "Regarding the political incident that took place at the end of the 1980s, there is already a clear conclusion," he told reporters yesterday (June 3rd) He refused to discuss the subject further, saying the events in 1989 were an internal matter for China. He also brushed aside calls for the improvement of human rights ahead of the Olympic Games in August.
Today we should all remember what did happen: the Chinese government gunned down peaceful pro-democracy protesters on and around Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, leaving hundreds and possibly thousands dead.

Read Rabbit in the Moon by Deborah and Joel Shlian (Oceanview Publishing), a novel set during the most tumultuous seven weeks in recent Chinese history- from the riseof the Student Democracy Movement on April 15th to its fall at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
For more information, go to