Local author launches latest mystery novel

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

“Don’t let them kill me.”

John Schlarbaum was told that by a patient at Windsor Regional Hospital during his job as a patient transporter and Schlarbaum, also the author of several mystery novels incorporated that into the opening chapter of his latest book. That book – “Abandoned” – centres on the character Jennifer Malone and was launched last Thursday night at the Gibson Gallery.

“I just wanted to do something after working on the book for two-and-a-quarter years,” said Schlarbaum, of the launch. “I wanted to launch it in Amherstburg.”

Schlarbaum has worked part-time as a patient transporter at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan Campus for three years and attributes his sometimes brief contact with people from all walks of life, as well as the staff, for making him a better writer.

“I could never have written ‘Abandoned’ without my experience at the hospital. I wouldn’t have known the procedures required of transporters, nurses, E.R., O.R. and I.C.U. staff, as well as housekeeping personnel duties,” he said. “Even the physical layout of Met Hospital assisted me in visualizing where the action would take place. My goal is to get the reader involved with the plot, its characters and the environment in a way that feels real and believable.”

When the patient uttered the line “don’t let them kill me,” Schlarbaum knew he had the opening chapter to his latest novel.

“To lend a high level of authenticity in my characters and their actions as the plot unfolds, I always incorporate my job experiences into my novels,” Schlarbaum stated. ”In previous mysteries, my 20-plus year career as a private investigator, as well as working in the television industry, helped my readers understand fields they may not have been acquainted with in their lives. I suppose I really do follow the edict: write what you know.”

Amherstburg author John Schlarbaum stands with the cover photo of his new book “Abandoned” during his book launch Oct. 26 at the Gibson Gallery.

Schlarbaum has written three mysteries centering on the Steve Cassidy character and another thriller entitled “Lasting Impressions” but decided to bring back the Malone character after a six-year absence. The last book with the Jennifer Malone character was “A Memorable Murder.”

“Abandoned” was the subject of a recent online funding campaign through Kickstarter, with it surpassing the $3,000 goal. It was 101 per cent funded, Schlarbaum reported, and that allowed people to pre-order the book and allow him to recoup some costs and the same time.

“For me as an author, it is very gratifying that people are pre-ordering the book before it is actually available to sell to the public,” he said.

People from Amherstburg, LaSalle and Windsor came to the book launch and Schlarbaum noted the pre-orders came in from as far as Hawaii.

The photo on the book’s cover also has an interesting story behind it, as Schlarbaum found it in a random online search and, after some digging, found the photographer’s Flickr page. The photographer – Miguel Ángel Avi García – lives in Spain and allowed him to use it for the cover.

Schlarbaum added that the book will be available through his website – www.johnschlarbaum.com – as well as area bookstores. He was selling it for $20 last Thursday and plans on appearing at craft shows around Windsor-Essex County over the next several months, including the Holiday Gift Shop at the Gibson Gallery Nov. 23-Dec. 10.

The new book also contains 16 discussion questions at the back of it that book clubs can use when talking about Schlarbaum’s latest novel.

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