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About Richard Wolkomir
I've had lots of jobs. Sheet folder in a laundry, for instance. Grounds keeper. Roofer. Also, a zoo's keeper of bears. I've been a newspaper reporter, too, and an award-winning magazine writer.
So, lots of things. Deep down, though, all along, what I really wanted to do was write fiction. I finally got to do that, thanks to a Pembroke Welsh corgi.
If you've never met one, they have stubby legs (corgi means "dwarf dog" in Welsh), perked-up ears, acute intelligence, self esteem (tons of that), and boundless joie-de-vivre.
Nosmo came to live with us because he felt dissatisfied with arrangements at his previous home, a half mile up our country road. It was a decision he made, entirely on his own, appearing on her deck every day until we finally got the message.
After he lived with us a while, I got to thinking I could read his mind.
We'd take a long walk, for instance, and when I'd start back to the house he'd stare at me, a rebellious glint in his eye, meaning: "No way! I want to explore the pine woods." Or he'd sniff along the meadow's edge, furrowing his brow, and I'd know he was expressing outrage over the lingering scent of his arch-enemy, the resident fox.
So I could read his mind that much, but I wondered: how would it be to actually speak with animals, back and forth, hearing their thoughts and concerns? A story came to me. It was about a place where certain people do speak with animals, not with tongues, animals being unequipped for that, but mind to mind.
It became a novel, "Wil Deft," complete with a fantasy world's corgi. Another novel followed, "Sinnabar," with some of the same characters reappearing, including that talkative corgi. Just out, a new novel, a mystery this time, "Spider's Web in the Green Mountains," and one character is a self-confident corgi, with a bit of swagger in his walk.
Now--because of Nosmo--instead of reporting facts, I make stories up. My literary visits to the so-called "real world" are less frequent, because over here in the fictional realm everything seems more intense, and numinous, and dramatic.
I hope some readers will join me here, and be entertained.
Check us out at www.richardjoycewolkomir.net
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Titles By Richard Wolkomir
He flees up the river, then into the great forest, where ancient enchantments linger. His only guides a cold-eyed cat, and a lonely dog.
Trees whisper of his passing. Dog and cat squabble. Atop a crag, an eye opens. He’s seen. He’s marked. Now he’s a slave.
Because, unknown to him, he was bred for this, born for this.
He must steal.
Resentful, frightened, he now goes into terrible danger. This empire’s Great Ones hunt him everywhere, because they fear him—he’s come to take what isn’t theirs.
He comes alone, with just the lonesome dog. But that dog loves him, fiercely.
And, on that, all turns.
Here’s what readers say—
PRAISE FOR WIL DEFT FROM A REVIEWER
Beginning with the narrator's pitch perfect storytelling "voice", I was quickly captivated and constantly lured on….I loved the author's choices of people and place names - 'Fishtown' for the village, Wil Deft for the hero. This author manages to coax poetry from every descriptive turn of phrase….
FROM A SECOND REVIEWER
It started with a terrific hook—who can resist a talking cat sent to deliver a message? It starts off strong and just continues that way.
PRAISE FROM READERS…
This is a wonderful tale! Intriguing. Imaginative. Complex…a very talented and masterful writer and teller of dramatic tales…people will find this little-known story to be as satisfying and intricate a drama of good and evil as the classics (The Hobbit comes to mind.)—Jay B. Cutts—5 Stars.
The author has totally nailed the corgi personality - a fun and interesting page-turner—David Schaldach—4 Stars.
Wolkomir's characters are memorable, especially Tobi, the corgi, who epitomizes all loyal dog characteristics. —Ellen Miller—4 Stars
AND OTHER READERS SAID…
… wonderful scene-painting: mundane Fishtown, the cobblestoned streets, the glow seeping through closed shutters, and above all the sinister bulk of the imperial ship blocking out the lights of the neighboring town, all spring into reality before us. Impressive work. —Cairo, Egypt
…charming well-balanced prose, unexpected and delighting imagery (his hair needed a licking, determined the cat), perfect pacing and immediate suspension of disbelief…character's names are easily pronounced, creating instant association, and their personas are shaped almost invisibly with an expert choice of few words. I want MORE...and I want it NOW! —Long Beach, California
Any writer who can suck a reader into a fantasy with convincing characters and bizarre situations that seem perfectly normal has a true gift….Yet, it is the language with which the story is written that sets it apart….Move over your treasured copies of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis and make room for Wolkomir. —Waitsfield, Vermont
From the very first sentence I was hooked….The characters were instantly real—how many writers can do this?—inside a single sentence. —Albany, New York
I'm amazed at how very quickly I was drawn into Wil Deft's mysterious world… --Winchester, Va.
This town, Dill, is tucked into the Green Mountains. Cafes and boutiques line Main Street. Up here on Hill Street, under sugar maples, mansard-roofed Victorians stand beside old brick Federals.
In her Hill Street home, where her family’s lived since colonial times, Cooper North—just retired as a prosecutor—sits in her living room, reading a thriller. Her new housemate, Henry, a Pembroke Welsh corgi, snoozes by her chair. She is silhouetted in a Palladian window.
Suddenly, the window shatters—a bullet.
Who wants her dead? And why? She doesn’t know. She knows only one thing: in an old New England town like this, murder’s roots can run deep.
She always been the huntress, chasing down evil-doers, restoring decency to this community. Now, with the shattering of a window, it’s she who’s hunted.
She knows everyone in town. She thought she did. Now she’s no longer sure. Does she really know her friends and neighbors? That’s on her mind as—with her police colleagues—she hunts the shooter, who’s left no clear trace.
As best she can, she follows the trail. But it twists. And then, in the end, it twists again, hard.
Cooper finds herself looking into the barrel of a rifle.
Praise For This Mystery From Three Readers—
“I was up to two a.m. last night reading Spider’s Web, and I just never do that!”
“One word. Wow! Five stars.”
“Lots of Action! Five stars.”
Another Reader’s Comment--
“…a Mack-truck-out-of-nowhere double barrels into a never-saw-it-coming conclusion. On the way to the last chapter, it’s also full of sleight-of-hand plot shifts and descriptive subtleties akin to poetry. There's 100% agreement among fellow mystery lovers with whom I've shared this book. We loved it!—5 Stars.”
A Fifth Mystery Fan Said—
“Really liked the story. Interesting plot with twists. Good characters—5 Stars!”
Praise From Five More Readers—
“A retired prosecutor is in the crosshairs of hate. Who wants her dead, her dog injured and her reputation sullied?”
“This story keeps on giving. So much fun, it keeps you guessing as to whom the culprit is. Read and find out.”
“I really enjoyed this novel. I hope that Mr. Wolkomir will turn the book into a series.”
“Wolkomir avoids moralizing, while building well-rounded characters that have their faults as well as strengths.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the character, the dog, the subject, and the writing. It kept my interest—a very good mystery. I am hoping Mr. Wolkomir keeps up the great writing.”
Evil has come into this old New England town—big-city killers. Not even they know who orders them to murder. Or why. Still, they hunt the boy.
They will show no mercy.
His only hope is Cooper North--she retired recently, after decades as the Allen County state’s attorney, but now she’s back in the game. She's determined to protect this child. He trusts no one, though, only Cooper’s housemate, Henry, a Pembroke Welsh corgi. Henry, he knows, won’t reveal his secrets.
Murder follows murder.
A stranger, seemingly affable, checks into the downtown hotel—he brings an arsenal of sophisticated firearms. Meanwhile, at the new artificial-intelligence lab, seemingly petty thefts.
Tension builds. Then tightens. Finally—amidst a winter blizzard—the story explodes.
But then, in that ultra-violence’s aftermath….
It’s a stunner!
HERE’S A READER REACTION TO THIS MYSTERY
Recommend to anyone who enjoys a believable mystery. Plot like 👍none I've read before ! Looks like I'll be reading more from this author.
TWO MORE READERS’ COMMENTS
I read and enjoyed the first mystery in this series (SPIDER'S WEB IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS), and this book was everything I hoped it would be. Once again, Cooper North, a retired prosecutor turned college professor, and the other characters are wonderfully drawn. With lots to think about along the way, the narrative accelerates to a conclusion that is logical, realistic, and surprising all at the same time.
--FIVE STARS The welcome return of Cooper North!
Cooper is a unique and often unwitting heroine of a human being, and in this latest installment she is joined by more of the town's characters, who also become more real to readers as they reappear in her small town community. Here, the out of towners are also skillfully developed and equally compelling characters. In my reading, I develop my own theories about who among them are the most likely villain-candidates, and delightfully, I am surprised again. I'm keeping my mental map of the town of Dill for the next adventure!
Cooper North just retired after decades as a prosecutor. She has a lame leg and she just wants to read and watch birds. Yet, it's she who must find the murderer.
Her police colleagues need her help.
Even if it means putting her own life at risk--and it does.
Tom Fox, a New Jersey juvenile delinquent, is abducted to Sinnabar.
Two others are taken with him—an angry Goth girl, from San Francisco, and an Ohio science prodigy.
Sinnabar is a dying world, choking on its own magical red dust. Ice-eyed wizards rule here, backed by a killer army. City slum gangs steal and murder. Brigands crisscross the red deserts, riding lizards.
Tom Fox and his two fellow abductees were taken for their talents. They’re all foster-care youths, so nobody will miss them. They will be used as human batteries, drained until they die.
They didn’t come here alone—a small dog slipped along. In Sinnabar’s magical air, he can speak. He desperately wants to help. But he’s feckless, easily distracted.
These three enslaved youths struggle to be free.
But how do you fight magic, if you have no magic?
How can you get home, if you have no home?
HERE’S ONE READER’S REACTION TO SINNABAR—
“I'm loving this author and can't wait to read another story—Five Stars.”
A SECOND READER’S EVALUATION—
As a 38-year veteran writingliterature instructor, I could not help but rate this novel highly! The parallel realms come to life as if I were in the theater! Author has uncanny ability to write fantasy fiction that boarders so close to reality. I highly recommend this novel and all others by him. Shirley Harris, M.Ed. Wiggins, MS—FIVE STARS
HERE ARE TWO READER COMMENTS FROM GOODREADS, THE INTERNATIONAL ON-LINE BOOK CLUB—
“I loved this action-packed fantasy novel by Richard Wolkomir. I think teens and adults would both enjoy this story and find Tobi the talking Corgi as entertaining as I did!—Five Stars.”
“A rollicking good read- John Carter of Mars meets Arabian Nights….Living in Wales I particularly enjoyed the Corgi! Hope Richard writes further books featuring the exploits of Tom and his comrades—Four Stars.”
Emmeline’s had “bad weather” in her head, ever since her father’s helicopter blew up in Afghanistan. Her mother’s so depressed she may lose her job. With troubles roiling her mind, Emmeline avoids her classmates—they seem shallow, including the new boy from across the street, who pesters her to be friends.
Her only confidante is a Pembroke Welsh corgi, William, who “helps” her keep a watch on the “House of Evil.” They prove more evil than she ever imagined. Murderers. Yet, the laws protect them, and the police can’t investigate without solid evidence.
Should Emmeline get that evidence? If she doesn’t, who will?
But they don’t like her poking into their affairs.
They mean to kill her.
Wand-slingers cast death spells, at the OK Corral.
An alien appears on Main Street, in a barber’s chair.
Atlanteans, up from an abandoned Manhattan subway tunnel, confront an ace pickpocket.
A Florida swamp wizard takes water-moccasin form.
As one reader, in the United Kingdom, put it:
“Quirky and engaging - a fantastic storyteller with a brilliant imagination. I was sorry to finish the book. Well worth your time.”
Sure, and speaking of time, in the far future, when the technology is biological, and cities are made of living cells….
That’s the first story of fifteen.
How about the alien visitor to a little town in New Hampshire, who gets sloshed on Diet Pepsi?
These stories cover the emotional map. However, they have this in common: from a Pleistocene western to a noir private-eye farce, involving trolls and a petulant homunculus, they transport you out of this world, and out of this time.
If you like stepping away from the ordinary, these stories take you where you want to go.
Veteran-agent Willie Deane flies down to the Caribbean, undercover, to see why.
He’s never faced anything like this—what he finds is newborn. It’s brilliant. And it has plans.
One of its plans is to kill Willie Deane.
His only weapons are his wits.
He’s up against psychopathic mercenaries. Killer robots. A devious woman overseer. Even a Bengal tiger.
Directing it all is an inhuman intelligence, with no heart.
Willie Deane is merely human. But he does have a heart.
HERE’S WHAT A READER OF THIS THRILLER HAD TO SAY—
“I often read during lunch and found I was taking very long lunches, not wanting to put the book down. All of the right elements for a great read. Well Done!”
ANOTHER READER SAID—
“I liked this book lots. The storyline is both compelling and a little frightening when considering our collective future.
“…it was hard trying to be an adult and not gobble up huge chunks in one sitting. There were some very late nights when I should have been sleeping, but I couldn’t quite put the book down. Partly this was due to the plot and partly because the details and emerging backstories perfectly fleshed out characters and illuminated events.
“Now that I’ve finished reading, I’m still thinking about the plot’s twists and turns.”
Five Stars— Believable thriller
(Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2020)
The arrogance of playing God from a failure of understanding humanity.
Fast read, I couldn’t stay away from reading it.
ONE MORE READER’S COMMENT—
“I really enjoyed your book! Interesting concept. The characters were very good, especially the knowledge of the main character, the poisonous yellow frog, a female who could handle a front loader, everything worked and kept the reader turning the pages. The ending was perfect, justice was done!
“Keep writing, you are very good.”
Their terrible wars erased the fossil record, leaving anthropologists no hint humans lived so long ago.
Yet, remnants of those ancient peoples lingered, hidden.
Now it is our own time.
An abandoned Manhattan subway station, a haven for the homeless—up from deep down come yellow-haired strangers, their eyes like emeralds.
They seek one of the subway dwellers, Marten, a thief.
They need his skills.
He’s a “cannon,” though, a pickpocket, who only “dips” solo.
He means to keep it that way.