Author, Editor, Publisher, Coach

Category: Tony Hooper

Posts by Tony Hooper, protagonist in novel, “Forgive Me, Alex.”

As I prepare to wrap up the year, I look forward to a more engaged 2013.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and have a very Happy New Year!

All in all, I’d have to say that 2012 has been an exciting year. It’s certainly been a busy one. Whew!

Those of you who follow my blog (Thank you!) know all too well that I’ve given it short shrift in recent months. I’m not the kind of person who thinks I should be sending you a new blog post every day. Bluch! Who has time to read them? Especially of you’re like me, and subscribe to about 200 of them. So I try to pick my spots, and provide 3 or 4 decent posts a month. Usually. Yeah, the last few months haven’t been so good.

My only real excuse is that I’ve been working insane hours trying to keep up with an insane editing schedule for all those insane authors at Evolved Publishing. (Just kidding! They’re terrific.) Seriously, though, the pace of things at EP this year far exceeded our expectations, which, I must say, certainly beats the alternative. 😀

My business partner D.T. Conklin and I had hoped to have 10 good authors and 20 quality books in EP by the end of 2012. Well, we ended up with 14 and 35, respectively. It’s been a grind, and we experienced a few growing pains — which, in retrospect, seems perfectly natural — yet even with those few challenges, it was just plain exciting! And 2013 promises to be a good year, as we continue to build our catalog of quality authors and books.

2013 will also be exciting for me because we’re making some changes to our management team, which will free up some time for me not only to do all I must do as a publisher, but to write my own books, too. Man, I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back into the writing routine! To say it’s been driving me bonkers that I haven’t been writing would be one of the year’s great understatements.

As part of that, I expect to be more engaged at this here sad excuse for a blog. 🙁 I doubt it will happen in January, but by February, I should be well settled into my new routine. If not, I’m gonna… I’m gonna… well, I’m gonna go truly bonkers.

Next up is the sequel to Forgive Me, Alex (BTW, it’s on sale this week. Save $2.), which I’m calling The Devil’s Bane. Some of my favorite characters (and I hope yours) will be making a return appearance: Tony Hooper, Frank Willow, Diana Gregario, Linda Monroe, Ben Komura, and yes… that despicable Mitchell Norton. Mwoohaha! My hope — nay, my intention — is to publish it on May 21st. A lot will have to go right for that to happen, but I am an eternal optimist. (After all, I’m the guy who assumed my girlfriend quit smoking cigarettes when I started finding cigar butts lying around the house. 😛 )

Will it all happen according to plan? I sure hope so. I mean… err… ahem… yes, it will happen!

In the new year, be happy, be healthy, be safe. Thanks again.


Guest Blog from Tony Hooper: Screw the courts! Justice is not negotiable.

[If you haven’t read Tony’s three previous posts, you can check them out here: first visit, second visit, third visit.]


Lane Diamond has asked me to stop in and talk once more about my dilemma: Mitchell Norton—murderer, destroyer of dreams, the monster who keeps me up nights. Damn you, Diamond! I’m trying to forget about this stuff, but you just won’t let me. Why won’t you let me forget?


June 7, 1995:

I hadn’t expected to see her—not now, not here. Special Agent Linda Monroe of the FBI decided to pop into Algonquin on the very day authorities released Mitchell Norton from prison. Not a coincidence.

She knows me too well.

We enjoyed a short reunion yesterday at Murphy’s Irish Pub, but it didn’t really go anywhere. Now we’re having breakfast, struggling to carry on a conversation, to engage in a little small talk, when we both know the unspoken reason she’s here.


I occasionally drop my eyes lower and linger for a few seconds. I know I shouldn’t stare but….

Why isn’t she wearing a bra, damn it? Look at— Uh-oh!

She catches me staring. I have no idea the proper reaction here, but I’m sure my rooster-in-the-henhouse grin is not it. She doesn’t appear upset, at any rate. In fact, I’d swear she’s rather pleased, if not at my staring, then at least at the “gotcha” moment, which she has the good graces not to mention.

Her smile fades and she glances around the dining room at nothing.

Keep your eyes up, Tony. Eyes up!

She takes a deep breath and exhales a heavy sigh, and returns her gaze to me. “It would be an awful shame if I had to put you in custody, if I had to be part of an investigation that lands you in jail.”

I’ve been preparing for this. “The real shame will be when you have to notify the next of kin that Mitchell Norton has killed again.”

She comes up short, and pauses to sip her coffee while she considers a response. I have difficulty reading her expression—sad resignation, perhaps.

She strains through a low voice, “It’s not that simple.”


“No. There are times when I wish it were, believe me, but the laws serve many purposes, and we mustn’t condone or encourage vigilantes.”


She rolls her eyes and looks at me as though…. Yeah, she knows.


Well, shit! What should I expect? Sure, I saved her ass from Ronald Allen Stegman, serial killer, in California three years ago. She owes me, or at least thinks she does. But she’s a special agent with the FBI! How much can I expect her to put at risk for me?

I must get to Norton. I must! The challenge lies in doing so while navigating around Linda.

This could get complicated.


Link to 1st 5 Chapters of: Forgive Me, Alex


Guest Blog – Tony Hooper #2

To kill another person is… such an easy thing.  Sometimes, it even feels good.  For a moment.  Then, like paper through the office shredder, your soul is torn to the core.

I can almost remember a time when I slept through the night.  Almost.  I have to remind myself that it’s only been twenty years.  Sure, only more than half my life. It’s June 7, 1995.  Last night I said goodbye to Linda at the bar, but first I agreed to meet her for breakfast today.  She didn’t invite me to her hotel room, nor did she ask to accompany me home, nor did I breach the subject in any way.  There was an underlying tension, a thought that we might rekindle the flame from three years ago.  I sure felt it, and I believe she did too, but in the end, we said goodnight and went our separate ways.

Until now.

I’ve anticipated this meeting from the instant she offered to buy me breakfast, yet as I drive to her hotel, the lingering effects of another restless night distract me.  My dream of Alex, reduced to a puff of smoke in a gale-force wind, still cuts me to the bone.  I struggle to regain my composure, but my emotions remain on edge, as though the smallest catalyst will tumble me into the abyss, the black chasm of my mind.  I’ve long stood upon the precipice, waiting—almost hoping—for the ledge to collapse beneath me.

I attempt to suppress the memory in a blast of music from a cassette, an upbeat, kick-ass mixed tape designed to improve my mood and get me going on days like this.  Robin Zander of Cheap Trick screams that he’s All Wound Up.  I could use a little of that myself.

Linda said last night that she wanted to talk about Mitchell Norton. What’s to talk about?  I want to return to the job I started seventeen years ago and failed to finish. I want to slit his goddamned throat.


“Forgive Me, Alex”


Meet Tony Hooper

I’m Tony Hooper.  Lane Diamond thinks he knows me, calls me his protagonist, thinks he can manipulate me just to offer others a thrilling ride.  Yeah, good luck with that!

He doesn’t know me, any better than you know me.  Don’t judge me until you’ve worn my skin, crawled inside my mind.

What do you know about loss?  What do you know about pain?  What do you know about living every night of your life as if a raging tornado were roaring through your gut, twisting your intestines into a stew of guilt and anguish, shooting your heart across the abyss at 250 mph?

Me and pain, we’re buds.  BFFs.  Just as well, because I deserve it.  If I believe in justice and claim to fight for it—and make no mistake, I do—then I have to accept the pain.  I must embrace it.

Fate deals the cards; all I can do is play the hand.

If I end up dead or in prison as a result, so be it.  But if you’re one of those animals out there, one of the monsters that preys on the innocent, know this: I’m coming for you.

And to my little brother, who’s always represented the best part of me, I can only say, “Forgive Me, Alex.”


© 2024 Lane Diamond

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera