I know, I know. How can I possibly be confessing my love for Oscar Martello when I've already given my heart away to so many others before him? That is what you're thinking, right? I'll be the first to admit that after I finished with the Reacher series I was a little depressed. Wasn't really quite sure what I was supposed to do with myself. And it was about that same time (October 26, 2010) that cozy mystery author, Hannah Reed, asked on her Facebook page if any of her readers would be interested in an "older male" protagonist. As you can probably guess, I left a comment: I hit 40 this year and started finding older men attractive...I also felt awkward lusting after a fictional character that was clearly too young for me. I say "Heck YES" to older protagonists!True story. I don't even know how many books I had to read before Jack Reacher finally caught up to my age...but the guy will probably still be in his early forties when I hit the dreaded 5-0! Then what am I supposed to do? I'll be right back to where I started. Ya, an older protagonist totally sounds perfect for me.
Then in walked Oscar Martello. The guy literally came out of nowhere. Just appeared in this short story collection that I was reading by the Do Some Damage gang. (TERMINAL DAMAGE...ONLY $0.99! You can find it HERE) I knew instantly that I was in love, and that this time...it was for real.
For real? What does that even mean? Honestly, I have no idea. All I know is that I started talking about this character and even leaving comments about him on blogs. You can read about one comment here on the Mulholland Books website. Ya, there are more than one of these types of comments floating around out there. Once I remembered the author, Steve Weddle, was following me on Twitter, I stopped retweeting all the tweets that would link people to the websites. (I gotta have some secrets, right?) I even had a dream about Oscar once. He wasn't actually in the dream, but when you listen to and read the stories about Oscar Martello it'll be so obvious that the dream was about him. I was a traveling sales representative and I was wandering the streets in a French Maid outfit selling baseball bats, brass knuckles, and ceramic hunting knives. It was the same night that some dork posted an article about how authors should be branding their books. I guess my thoughts got away from me...just a little.
Anyway, so who is Oscar Martello? According to Steve Weddle's website, Oscar Martello is a man in his 50s, caught between lives. The former bad guy tried to retire. Not to be a good guy. Just to retire. Hasn't really been working out for him. I picture him to be rough around the edges, handsome, and a sharp dresser. He's Tough. He reminds me of all the inmates I worked with when I was employed with the Sheriff's Department. You know, that unspoken rule they all have...you can beat your wife, even kill her, and anyone else, but if you hurt a child...you're in for a fight. That's how I see Oscar. His decisions seem quick and they don't come with regrets. At least not when it's "work" related.
Well, I really, really, really love this character, and to prove my undying devotion to Oscar Martello, I'm officially announcing Oscar Martello week on My Friends Call Me Kate. My goal? To get all of my readers to fall in love with Oscar, of course! And to help you with this I'm linking you to the very first short story I ever read about Oscar...Walkaways.
In Walkaways, you'll read about Oscar being used as a pawn to start a war and you'll learn first hand why it never pays to be a step behind the newest love of my life. You'll also read about some guy named, Booger. I'm also linking a second story titled, Missed Flight. The title pretty much explains the story, but if I'm not mistaken, that unspoken rule I mentioned earlier...well, you'll have a better understanding of it after reading / listening to this. Both stories can be found in audio format and are being brought to us by the sultry sounds of author, Daniel B. O'Shea.
Although I'm not selling any brass knuckles, baseball bats, and ceramic hunting knives- I am giving away some buttons this week. The button for today reads: "I Love Oscar Martello" - An "I Love Oscar Martello" button will be given to a select number of people that leave a comment on the blog. Tell me what you think about the short stories, and if your brave, tell me what you think of the man reading them. I'll be back on Wednesday to link you to three more stories, and of course, I'll be giving away some more buttons. Buttons are cool. But they will never be as cool as Oscar.
Oh! I also have 5 boxes of chocolate for the first 5 coworkers to post a comment on my blog and show up at my desk professing their love for Oscar Martello. Listen. Enjoy. Fall in love.
Steve Weddle is an editor, short story writer, and novelist. A former English professor, he holds an MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University and currently works for a newspaper group. His fiction has appeared in numerous literary and crime/noir journals. In 2009, Weddle and six crime fiction writers created DoSomeDamage, where he blogs on Mondays. In 2010, Weddle and John Hornor Jacobs created Needle:A Magazine of Noir, one of the top journals for contemporary crime fiction. He lives with his family in Virginia.
Dan O'Shea is a thriller writer represented by Stacia Decker at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. His fiction has appeared in Crimefactory, and will be in an upcoming issue of Needle: A Magazine of Noir. You can find him online at danielboshea.wordpress.com, or just head out to the Chicago area and pick out a bar. He'll turn up.