Tag Archives: novels

Fans and Readers Become Characters and Suspects

As the first author to directly involve readers in his novels, in this case historical mysteries, James Musgrave, a self-published and independent entrepreneur and retired college professor, held a recent Rafflecopter raffle. Five of his readers were chosen to become suspects and/or red herrings in his third mystery. THE STOCKTON INSANE ASYLUM MURDER will feature his five readers, by name and by physical description. They will also have some of their admitted “strange idiosyncrasies” expanded upon in these portrayals. “We are all, after all, wearing our various masks each moment,” he said. “This is just one more mask I will give my reader to wear for the fun and excitement of being insane.”

These “extreme makeovers” of fans into characters will be crafted on his series Facebook page:


After completing the characterizations, Musgrave will then post the results to the main followers on the web.  Musgrave has taken on the misogynous and anti-immigrant policies of Nineteenth Century California in this new series, and his first two mysteries have been reviewed favorably by Kirkus and other media. If this experiment goes as well as it seems to be doing, he plans to do it again in his fourth mystery, which will be about a nominee to the Supreme Court who is murdered, and the team of investigators from San Francisco, led by Clara Shortridge Foltz, Esq., the first woman admitted to the California State Bar, will discover that this nominee was also a rapist and womanizer.

All visitors to the Portia of the Pacific Facebook fan page will be able to follow along with the author every step of the way in his innovative and creative journey. Musgrave hopes he gets many more followers and readers to pay homage to his wife, Ellen, and to mystery lovers everywhere. Proceeds will also be going to fight Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here’s what one of the five “patients” said about being turned into a fictional character:

I’ve enjoyed watching the author take aspects of the real me to craft a fictional character. It’s been especially interesting to see how he has gleaned information about my thoughts and personality from our personal, often unrelated conversations, my own Facebook posts, and my comments on posts and interwoven them into the character development and plot of the story.

It’s been fun to have my character be allowed to act out on thoughts and beliefs in ways that aren’t allowed in normal society as well. Would I actually stab someone for telling me how to eat my food or for chewing too loud? Probably not. Would I LIKE to? Absolutely!!

Side note: I haven’t shared this with Mr Musgrave, but I did once stab a boy through the hand with a pencil when I was 12 or 13! Not for the same reason my character stabbed her uncle, however! In this case, art unintentionally imitates life!

BookShots Come Up Short

Abby Hoffman Said, “Steal This Book.”

Abbie Hoffman, Yippie, New York, September 11, 1968


I was interested in the new BookShot eBooks that popular novelist James Patterson was publishing.  My Detective Pat O’Malley Series was also predicated on the fact that readers don’t have the time to read long books, so none of my titles runs much over 40,000 words.  The American Library Association liked my idea so much they published all of my series titles as “highlighted” novels throughout the libraries of the United States.  In most word-counting systems, a novel today comes in at a minimum of 40,000 words, so I wanted my books to be on the lighter side.  Patterson is now coming out with an even shorter eBook, so I wanted to see what he had to offer.

When Abby Hoffman said, “Steal this book,” back in the 1970s, there were no eBooks.  He meant that the reader should literally steal his paperback.  Flash-forward to 2016, and readers can steal eBooks with no trouble as long as publishers allow the DRM of an Amazon or an iBooks.  Anybody right now can do a search for “Cross Kill and torrents” and get a download of the complete BookShot.  This is why publishers are losing three billion dollars per year (and climbing).

I developed my business because publishers and authors were getting ripped-off to the tune of three billion dollars per year with book piracy.  My eReader has an excellent Digital Rights Management system.   If publishers use my system, they can prevent eBook piracy.  However, if the book is poorly written, I can’t help them.  If one reads the negative comments on Amazon, one can see that the major disappointment of these readers is that fact that his BookShot title Cross Kill is not a complete story.  In other words, in his eagerness to lead the reader into the next serial, Patterson forgot that when a reader plunks down money (forget the piracy for a moment), he or she wants a complete drama with no “cliff-hangers.”

I submit that unless and until publishers learn to create stories that can be total experiences for the reader, and still come in at less than 150 pages, they will not win at the BookShot game.  Also, unless and until publishers learn that good DRM helps the publisher and the author make money, then we will eventually not have to worry about the sales of these books being poor because readers will be getting them for free.

Steal this book, indeed!

EMRE Publishing SciFi Title Makes Cygnus Awards Shortlist


The youth of the world have finally taken over in the futuristic SciFi serial novel, LIFE IN 2050, by Jim Musgrave. Marijuana hookahs in stores, sex in the streets, and no more war profits for the elderly elite of the Military Industrial Complex. However, one worker at the Ministry of Mindfulness, William Drury, is turning 40 in three days. He knows what will happen to him and he wants to escape Big Bro’s socialistic libertarian paradise. However, one worker at the Ministry of Mindfulness, William Drury, is turning 40 in three days. He knows what will happen to him and he wants to escape Big Bro’s socialistic liberatarian paradise. As a black man, he also believes there is a secret agenda of racism at work, and this fact pulls him deep within the inner party and its tentacles of influence around the world. Will you join William on this quest to stop Big Bro and the cult of youth in 2050?

New SciFi Novel Makes Shortlist of Chanticleer Contest

Readers can now experience the novel that judges say warrants consideration for the Best SciFi and Speculative Fiction Award, 2016.  Author and Publisher Jim Musgrave’s book was written as a tribute to George Orwell’s dystopian classic of Big Brother.  In it, Musgrave speculates what life in San Diego, California will be like in the year 2050, exactly 35 years into the future.  This was the same futuristic distance that Orwell took in 1948.

Readers simply need to install the Embellisher™ eReader and read the free first chapter.  You can then choose to continue the chapters in serial form.

Or, you can purchase the paperback version and/or the eBook.