Monday, November 7, 2011

Road Writer

by Andy Straka

I've had many jobs, but probably the one that has most informed my writing was working as a sales representative.

From publisher's rep (college textbooks) to medical sales (pharmaceuticals then orthopedic implants, then medical imaging and neurodiagnostic equipment), my road warrior years gave me a street level view of multiple worlds. Big cities and small towns and everything in between.  From New York City to Connecticut and Massachusetts; from Washington, D.C. to Richmond, Charlottesville and Virginia Beach, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

 My novels are all set in one of these locales. And even years later, in the era of GoogleMaps, I can close my eyes and picture the sights and sounds and smells of a neighborhood in the Bronx or Richmond's West end, the tony suburbs of Greenwich, CT, a winding switchback highway in the West Virginia mountains, or a beach town on the North Carolina coast. The inside of hospital operating rooms, corporate boardrooms, military bases, fly-by-night trade schools in Brooklyn—any one of these may come to mind when I write fiction.

My writing career was born on the road as well. In lonely hotel rooms at night, where I began to bang out stories and the first draft of a novel.

I've long since given up the sales life and escaped to the woods, or at least my little piece of the woods where I am blessed to be with my family, fly my hawk, and write. I’ve also had the good fortune to travel to many other places, including China, Mexico, and South America, and maybe I’ll be writing about some of those places one day as well.

The beauty of books is they can allow us to experience places we might otherwise never have the opportunity to see. Where have you traveled, and what sights and sounds and smells of different places have you experienced in your own life? How have these memories shaped you as a reader or a writer?
Publisher’s Weekly has featured Andy Straka as one of a new crop of “rising stars in crime fiction.” His books include A WITNESS ABOVE (Anthony, Agatha, and Shamus Award finalist), A KILLING SKY (Anthony Award Finalist), COLD QUARRY (Shamus Award Winner), KITTY HITTER (called a “great read” by Library Journal), and RECORD OF WRONGS, hailed by Mystery Scene magazine as “a first-rate thriller.” FLIGHTFALL, a Frank Pavlicek novella, was published as an ebook in August. His latest book is  THE BLUE HALLELUJAH a novel of suspense, just released in trade paperback and ebook.
Andy has worked as a book editor, movie production accommodation agent, commercial building owner and consulting vice president for a large specialty physician’s practice, surgical implant and pharmaceutical sales representative, college textbook sales and manuscript acquisition representative, web offset press paper jogger, laborer on a city road crew, summer recreation youth director, camp counselor, youth basketball coach, assistant parts manager at an auto dealership, assistant manager at a McDonalds restaurant, and even been registered as a private investigator. (Not to mention a longstanding stint as a stay-at-home Dad to six, which makes neurosurgery look like tiddlywinks.) A licensed falconer and co-founder of the popular Crime Wave at the annual Virginia Festival of the Book, Andy is a native of upstate New York and a graduate of Williams College where, as co-captain of the basketball team, he “double-majored” in English and the crossover dribble. He lives with his family in Virginia.
Learn more at Andy's website/blog "The Hawk Writer's Guide To The Galaxy" at


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i love to read your writings..they are very simple to understand..i like it..

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