Monday, June 25th, 2012
Please join me in welcoming Barry S. Willdorf to Highlighted Author.
Barry attended Colby College, the University of Manchester, England, and Columbia Law School. He’s Global E-book award winner and an EPIC finalist in historical fiction for The Flight of the Sorceress (Wild Child Publishing).
Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that he was the first person to surf on Cape Ann. *grin*
Welcome, Barry. Please tell us about yourself.
Hello readers and blog-surfers. My name is Barry Willdorf and I write books. I have a new mystery/thriller, and if it is your genre maybe you’ll want to read further. I’m not a real great self-promoter but A Shot In The Arm is worth a look.
With your legal background and experiences, this book should be fascinating. What were some of your experiences during this time?
While at Columbia I joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and in 1967 was an organizer for “Vietnam Summer.” In 1970 and 1971, I worked full-time for a civil liberties organization defending anti-war Marines. During a forty-plus year career as a trial lawyer, I have successfully defended GIs in more than two dozen courts martial. I have made headline news recovering assets in a South African diamond mine swindle. I’ve gotten the third-highest (at the time) settlement for the wrongful death of a mother on welfare. In 2005, with my long-time colleague Laura Stevens, I was honored as Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel for ground-breaking trial work on behalf of AIDS patients.
Would you tell us about your featured book, A Shot In The Arm ?
When a pretty young addict is found dead in her bed from an overdose, her treatment counselor, a black militant, is charged with providing her with drugs for sex. Nate Lewis is paid to defend him but learns too late that his retainer was stolen from rogue government agents involved in dealing drugs to buy guns for anti-communist guerrillas.
The book is set in the midst of the Bay Area scene at the time. Drugs. Sex. Political ferment. Peruse the menu at the Trident Restaurant on the Sausalito waterfront (owned by recording artists, The Kingston Trio.) Slide seamlessly among the old, waterlogged houseboats that lined the shore. Mingle with Vietnam era soldiers and sailors, black militants and hippies. Score drugs on practically every street corner. Stroll the Fillmore district before it was gentrified. Witness a car chase over the dirt roads that once crisscrossed a section of San Francisco called Bernal Hill. Sneak into the City’s shipyards and foundries when they still bustled with activity. Spend time at the Hamilton Air Force Base officer’s club. Sip Java where longshoremen once prowled. Attend court at Frank Lloyd Wright’s leaky Marin County Civic Center.
A Shot In The Arm is the second part of my 1970s Trilogy. In them I have an overriding timely topic: class, race and family. I try not to be didactic or an iconoclast. But the issues do inform the plot. Plus, as a semi-retired trial lawyer used to speaking to captive audiences, who had more than a hundred trials under his belt, I convey accurate legal narratives in every story. I learned to snoop in funky places as a criminal investigator in NYC. I lay claim to being the first surfer on Cape Ann, MA, and have witnesses to prove it. I’ve baited hooks and swabbed vomit working on a charter fishing boat. I homesteaded in the Mendocino County mountains and sold the house I hand-built for a profit. There’s a whole lot more about me on my website.
What they’re saying:
“A Shot In The Arm delivers a dark murder plot with characters that are right on the money.”— Mark Rudd, author of Underground: My life in SDS and the Weathermen
“The legal details are sharp; the drinking and drugging and low life neighborhoods are Day-Glo vivid.”—Meredith Sue Willis, author of Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel
“A detective story with a sense of geography, a sense of morality, and a sense of humor.”—Frances Lefkowitz, author of To Have Not.
“Gripping. Exciting. Add ‘A Shot in the Arm’ to the classic tales of the City by the Bay.”—Hilton Obenzinger, author of Cannibal Eliot
A Shot in the Arm
Against Christina’s advice, Nate Lewis defends a black militant accused of homicide. But his fat cash retainer was stolen from government agents involved in a drugs-for-guns operation. Soon Nate is the last man standing as the agents attempt to recover the cash. Only Christina can save him. But she’s caught him philandering. Will she?
Would you share an excerpt with us?
A Shot in the Arm
I come from a family of rationalizers. My father manufactured a persona as the embattled husband of a shrew. By the time he slunk out our door for the last time, he had convinced himself he was the victim—an abused spouse. Five minutes later he strolled into the waiting arms of a Raquel Welch look-alike, only a few years older than my sister.
Meanwhile, my mother was doing some Olympic-class rationalizing of her own, to the tune of outright perjury on her divorce declaration of domestic expenses. She wanted to soak the bastard for all the spousal support she could get and so resorted to outlandish fantasies of her personal needs.
But that night, I took the Lewis family rationalizing grand prize. I could hear myself explaining it to the woman I had the nerve to call “the love of my life.” It went sort of like this— Honey, sweetie, I just had to fuck Sheila. How else could I be sure Mo and the DEA would believe we were all washed up? That was the only way I could be sure they’d leave you alone, baby—to keep you safe.
In ’73, the blood alcohol limit for drunk driving was .15. I was somewhere around a .20. Sheila, probably in self- defense, suggested we each take our own car. I took the drive slow and careful, taking the time to convince myself that when I was fucking Sheila I was doing if for Christina’s sake. Between the booze and my inherited rationalization gene, I was completely convinced by the time I got to Gate 5 that getting laid was the only way I could save Christina’s life. I got out of the car and crossed my fingers. If I was super- lucky, I’d never even have to use the explanation.
Get your copy here:
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Both A Shot In The Arm and part one, Burning Questions can also be purchased through Amazon. Part One is a KDP offering this month. You can also get A Shot In The Armat Barnes & Noble. Part three, The Fourth Conspirator, will be available this fall.
FOR WRITERS WHO ARE CREATING A TRIAL SCENE OR DELVING INTO SOME LEGAL ISSUES, I recommend taking a look at my e-book, SEE YOU IN COURT –THINGS LAWYERS KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD TOO. Get it right. Make it sound real. It’s available on Smashwords and Scribd for only a buck. It will be the best buck you ever spent.
Find Barry at his websites: