Monday, November 28, 2011

Virtual Book Tour: An Innocent Murdered by Tom Mach

Today we're welcoming author Tom Mach to the blog on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the mystery novel, "An Innocent Murdered". Remember, Tom is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to the commenter that Tom feels leaves the best comment during the tour. So comment today AND follow his tour (just click on the banner above) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.

And now, without further ado, please welcome Tom:

I see you’re self-published. What are some of the pros and cons of doing so?

Actually, my paperback books were published by a small press which I happen to own, but my eBooks, including An Innocent Murdered, were self-published. Let me first discuss one of the negatives of self-publishing. A huge negative is the fact that the vast majority of newspapers and national magazines refuse to run any features on new books that are self-published. I believe their rationale is that if the book is self-published it doesn’t have the persona and high quality of a book published by a mainstream press. This is such an elitist and erroneous viewpoint. Most self-published authors, including myself, take great care in writing their books with a great deal of skill and go through the trouble of having their books professionally edited. Yes, there are some sleazy, poorly-written self-published books out there, but I am sure they are in the minority.

With that being said, there are some powerful reasons why self-publishing is the way to go for authors. Publishers are cutting back on staff and are turning down novels written by first-time authors. Authors who are lucky to get an agent can wait months before a mainstream publisher is found and then, they may have to wait at least a year or more before the novel sees print. On top of that, the author receives a tiny percentage of the sales and is expected to do most of the marketing and promotion himself. With self-publishing, an author does not have to wait long and can have his or her book out in a couple of months. He still has to do his own promotion (just like a first-time author published by the mainstream press) and can bypass those prejudiced newspaper and magazine editors and promotes his/her own books by other means. I sold over 3,500 copies of my paperback book Sissy!, largely through talks, book reviews, and word of mouth. Another reason for self-publishing is that it gives you freedom over cover design and book layout. You have very little or no control over what happens to your book if a mainstream publisher handles it. Also, don’t forget you get to keep all the profits from self-publishing, although for me that’s not important. I’m not interested in making money, just interested in sharing my stories with others.

Where did the idea for “An Innocent Murdered” come from?

I actually started on the basic idea for my whodunit novel, An Innocent Murdered, back in the 1990s. At that time, the media ran all sorts of stories about sexual abuse by Catholic priests and parishioners turned a wary eye on priests in general. I thought this attitude was grossly unfair as the vast majority of priests are God-fearing and God-centered men. So I conceived the idea of An Innocent Murdered as a novel concerning the murder of priest whom the media and the congregation believed was a pedophile. But as the fact come out—after his murder—the priest was unjustly accused. I relied on the advice of a detective to flush out the details of how a detective might go about solving this case. However, back then I was not satisfied with the way the detective went about solving the case in robotic manner. Back then he was just a detective, nothing more. Also, I found myself going into the mind of a molester and I didn’t want to do that either. So many years passed by with my original, draft of the book lying dormant. During that time, I learned how to develop real, three-dimensional characters and about two years ago I took another look at my draft. I ended up throwing out 2/3 of the manuscript, removing certain characters, adding other characters, revamping Detective Matt Gunnison so he became a much more believable person, and giving the molestation issue only a passing glance and not going into any detail about it. My focus was only on the murder itself. The term “innocent” in the title of my murder mystery refers to the priest who was murdered as well as to the 8-year-old child found murdered in another town 25 years earlier—a cold case that has great relevance to the murder of the priest in a bizarre way

Do you have any interesting writing habits or quirks?

Unfortunately, I do not have a regimen where I type X number of pages a day at a specific time of the day. I wish I had that sort of structured life. I tend to write whenever I get the urge to write (which is frequently) and when I get an idea for a scene that I must put down on paper as soon as possible. One quirk I remember having was when I wrote my novel Advent. I typed almost the entire novel while listening to Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The music put me into another mind space and I found my novel about the future of our world coming alive for me.

Give us some insight into normal day writing.

I get up out of bed at 5 am because I can’t sleep. I stumble over to my computer, turn on the light, and see what I’ve written so far. I picture the novel in my head. Type until I get tired. Wake up the wife. Go out for coffee, but think about my novel as my wife discusses her agenda for the day. Have lunch while thinking about my novel. Take a nap. Write more on my novel. Daydream. Check my Facebook and Twitter. Think about my novel again and make some notes. Have dinner and think about my novel. Then watch a little TV and stop thinking about my novel until the next morning.

Do you have anything new that you’re working on? If so, please tell us about it.

I’m working on two novels simultaneously. While I don’t want to be specific on what they are about (since, as you know, there are enemy spies out there wanting to steal my idea) I can say that one is a historical novel about a late 19th-century woman being hunted down by a deranged killer while the other one is about three men from different cultural background who want to seize the most important Christian relic of all time in order to suit their own purposes.

Sounds fascinating! Thanks for visiting with us today, Tom! Would you share the blurb and an excerpt of your book before you go?

Book Blurb: Father O'Fallon has been murdered, and police officer Jacinta Perez is arrested and charged. Detective Matt Gunnison, however, is not convinced and with the help of Susan, an ex-nun, he discovers a fascinating link between the priest's death and the death of a child 25 years ago. Will Matt be able to solve both murders? See video:


“What’s critically important here,” Matt said, “is the time this event happened. Mr. Zylinski, you said you knew it was about 9:13 pm when this occurred. How would you know that?”

“It’s all in the deposition, sir,” the man replied. “I checked my watch just before I got to my car. I had to be somewhere at ten and didn’t want to be late.”

The attorney leaned forward, a smile on her face. “I am sure you learned by now, Mr. Gunnison, that the bank clock was correct after all. During the day, that clock was not set back an hour for daylight savings time, but it was corrected by the bank manager at 6:00 that evening. So it really was 9:13 after all.”

Matt was a bit miffed at her know-it-all attitude. “Thank you for pointing that out to me, counselor.”

Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.

His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at

You can find Tom (and his books) at the following places:


  1. Tom, I was interested in what you had to say about self-publishing, as I'm toying with the idea myself. Thanks!

    I loved your writing day ... it's so true that it's difficult to get a story out of your head when you're working. Wonderful interview!

  2. Hi Tom,

    You are a new-to-me author so I am excited to have the opportunity to follow you around on your blog book tour.

    I am a die-hard historical romance reader of primarily Regency & Victorian eras. But, I do enjoy a good mystery/suspense/thriller type book. From what I just read about An Innocent Murdered, I believe it is a story I would enjoy reading.

    You mentioned one of your WIP was a historical set in the late 19th century. Is that set in America or England? Also, do you find researching a book set in another century more difficult and/or more demanding than a contemporary time period?

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. I enjoy a who-dun-it immensely. I was intrigued by the title, then your explanation of it made it very clear. I believe I will enjoy AN INNOCENT MURDERED & look forward to learning more on the tour.


  4. With alot of recent focus being put on pedophiles in the media. I am anxious to find out how this whole case was actually solved. And I love a good mystery

    amhengst at verizon dot net


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?