Sun Lakes author publishes murder mystery

Russ Smith, a 10-year resident of Oakwood, recently wrote and published a “who did it” thriller entitled Table 29 – A Murder Mystery. The story is about the eight people who are seated at the same table in the first-class dining room of a luxury ocean liner on a transatlantic crossing. The reader, after getting to know the key characters, is challenged to determine who will be the next victim and who the murderer might be.

When asked about writing his book, Russ commented, “I’ve always enjoyed telling stories, and I’m addicted to reading and watching murder mysteries. So, I decided to give writing a novel a try. The characters in the book are all based on family members, people I’ve worked with or people I’ve met while traveling. While writing the book, I did readings from rough drafts to fellow passengers on cruise ships, where I received great feedback and many good ideas.”

When asked about getting the book published, Russ advised, “Self-publishing is a learning experience. There are a number of options, from doing everything yourself to using a full-service publisher. I took a middle course, getting help on basic editing and layout. I then used a publishing service that made my book available to book distributors that both traditional and online bookstores use. There is a print version, which is distributed using print-on-demand technology, and a much less expensive e-book version.

Russ is a member of the local Sun Lakes and the New Horizons writer’s groups and he teaches courses on self-publishing and world travel at New Adventures in Learning. He retired from Intel two years ago after a 23-year career in supplier and organizational development. He is originally from Michigan, but made Arizona his home after graduating from ASU in 1980. His next book, The Carinthia Secret, is in the works and should be out by June. This historical novel will be a tale of murder, intrigue and romance during a world cruise on the RMS Carinthia in 1925.