From the Author
My main character in Between a Smile and a Tear, Jack Waters, a successful novelist, is a recovering alcoholic coming to terms with the damage his drinking has caused to his family and friends. He's trying his best to make amends, but is it too late? Is it impossible to right some wrongs?
I've read a number of James Hall's antic thrillers set in Florida (primarily the Thorn books) with their wild and crazy bad guys and they inspired me to create my villain here: Wallace Unger. I tried to make him both humorous and scary, a counterpoint to the serious and darker action and themes of the novel.
Wallace is wild and crazy, funny and dumb, but also unpredictable and a dangerous antagonist made even more fearsome by his employer, the amoral gangster boss, NIck Ravelli.
This is a "bigger" novel than others that I have written, featuring multiple point-of-view characters, more subplots, a wider range including political and social forces impacting the characters, as well as a deeper attention to location and geography.
I've tried to make San Francisco a major character in its own right here. I grew up in the city and know it well, but supplemented that knowledge with research and maps and a couple of trips back to the Bay Area. I think San Francisco, in all of its beauty and mystery, comes alive in the novel and I hope you agree.
Thanks for taking the time.