Monday, September 9, 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW ~ Al Mosier: Writer and Composer

How long have you been writing?
AL: Since I was in elementary school, but I didn’t start seriously trying to write novels until I hit my forties.

Have you written any we might have heard of?
AL: Well, there was Gone With The Wind, Tom Sawyer, and The Hound of the Baskervilles... No? Seriously, like any author, you write some things as learning experiences before you get something publishable. I have a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea sequel tucked away in a drawer and have done some new Sherlock Holmes adventures as well. Those will probably never see the light of day! My first published book was Making Meghan in 2008.

Tell us a little about The Van Gogh Affair.
AL: Sure. It’s a mystery story with a Fine Arts theme. When a priceless Van Gogh painting is stolen, it's insurance investigator Alexander Dean's job to retrieve it. Dean is partnered with the museum's head of security, Lindsey Derringer, a move that he finds frustrating as well as challenging. It's an uneasy partnership that changes to one of mutual respect as the case progresses.

How did you come up with the idea?
AL: I had the two central characters already developed and was searching around for a plot to put them in. It so happened that my wife, Beth, and I took a trip to Paris last September. After visits to the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, we decided to visit the Opera Garnier. We got lost and somehow the fine art aspect popped into my head while we were walking. From Paris, we took the high speed train to Amsterdam where they have that remarkable Van Gogh museum. That gave me the artist. By the way, you’ll find both Paris and Amsterdam figure importantly in the book. Can I write the trip off as a business expense?

You were a public school music teacher, right?  Why art and not music? 
AL: Right.  I taught elementary music in Reading, MA for twenty-one years. I’ve always loved visual art --some of my best friends are art teachers-- researching for the book gave me some great opportunities to visit museums, both local and international.  Besides, it would be difficult to steal a Beethoven Symphony, don’t you agree?

I guess it would at that.  How can people get your book?
AL: I’m so glad you asked that! The Van Gogh Affair has just been released for Kindle, so it’s available in that format from Amazon.com. If you like the feel of a real book in your hands, you can get the paperback version from lulu.com. Just type ‘Alan S. Mosier’ into the search box and it will bring you right to the page. My other novels, the next two books in the Dean & Derringer series and Making Meghan, are there as well.

Making Meghan? Another art novel? 
AL: Nope, not even close. I can’t really tell you too much about it without giving away a major plot point. I can tell you that it’s part thriller, part social commentary with a big serving of romance. It’s the story of a twenty-something man who unwittingly becomes involved with a clandestine government research project. I think its resolution is thought provoking.

Sounds interesting! Any words of advice to aspiring authors? 
AL: Keep writing. The more you do, the more you’ll learn about the craft. I’m learning every day I write. Choose good models. I love the way Robert B. Parker (Spenser series) writes dialog. I keep his style in mind as I write my own. Read, read, read!! Books are so amazing. The internet is great, but books are so much more satisfying. Here’s an important one. Write what you know. Don’t write about something you know nothing about. It never works. Trust me!

You’ve recorded a CD too, is that right?
AL: Yes! It’s called Child’s Play. It’s aimed at elementary aged kids and reinforces important messages about dedication, environment, self-esteem, and the importance of friendship. These are all songs I wrote for my students.

Thanks for your time and I hope you do well with the book.
AL: Thanks, nice of you to say that.  I hope people that get a chance to read The Van Gogh Affair enjoy the story. I certainly had a great time writing it.


Al Mosier loves to travel.  He’s been to Paris, London and Venice, but feels most at home on any island in the Caribbean with a name that starts with Saint. Above all, he likes a good mystery and is a former member of THE SPECKLED BAND OF BOSTON, the Boston branch of the national Sherlock Holmes society.

Al is a founding member of THE PARROT HEAD CLUB OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS, a Jimmy Buffett fan club. He is the creator of a a previous novel, MAKING MEGHAN, a mystery/thriller.  He has also recorded a cd of original music called CHILD’S PLAY, character building songs for children that he wrote for his students during his years as a music teacher.

THE VAN GOGH AFFAIR, combines the worlds of Mystery and Fine Art, two of Al’s favorite things and is available at Amazon (ebook) and Lulu (print)

Al lives outside of Boston with his wife Beth.


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