Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chatting with Paranormal Mystery Writer: Rocky Leonard - Secondhand Sight Giveaway

Welcome to Mass Musings Rocky! Rocky Leonard is currently on tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe' with his paranormal suspense, Secondhand Sight! I think you will love this book, and you can win an e-copy by leaving a comment. Don't forget to include your email address so we have a way to contact you should you win.

We're chatting with Rocky today...Enjoy :)

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

Sort of like Alfred Hitchcock making a cameo appearance in each of his movies, at least a part of my personality is in my novels, in at least one character. Dan Harper, the protagonist of Secondhand Sight, is a lefthander, a tennis player, computer programmer (former in my case) and father (future in his case) and a wife who spent part of a difficult pregnancy in the hospital--but other than that, we have nothing in common.

In my first novel, Coastal Empire, sidekick Nick Mason shared many attributes in common with me, except for his brief adventure as a big-time drug smuggler.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Besides my hero Dan Harper, I really like Detective Bill Wassner. He’s a bit sarcastic, like I can be. Wassner is driven and tenacious—he really hates the evil that men do. Wassner is the type of guy you’d want at your side when you’re riding into battle. 

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

Joe Trona, the protagonist in Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker, who described the character so well that I could see him. Joe is self-conscious about his looks due to a childhood tragedy, a gentleman without equal, and a warrior—he’s the guy you’d want on your left, if Wassner is your right-hand man.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

Good question. The first title that came to mind was Diamonds are Forever, because I’d like to be very close to a fortune in jewels, and who wouldn’t want to be James Bond? Except I’m not British, so that doesn’t work. Okay, I’d like to be John Corey in Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. Corey is a great detective who displays a brilliant sense of humor while working on a very difficult case—a real smart aleck, but also a tough guy.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

Honestly, I haven’t seen a movie in several years—I’m a little out of touch when it comes to Hollywood. I can name actors that I like, but the problem is that I can’t see them as the characters in my novel. Someone like Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones might make a good Peter Driscoll.  When I think of Wassner, Brian Dennehy comes to mind, but he might be too old for the character. Charlize Theron could play Beth. It doesn’t matter 0whether or not she actually looks like the character I envisioned when I wrote the part--I’d just like to see her starring in a movie in which I had some involvement.  We need a young leading actor for Dan Harper…maybe Chris Pine, the new Captain Kirk in Star Trek? Or James Franco, who seems to be in just about every new movie? Matthew McConaughey? Obviously, I would not make the best casting director.

MM:  What can we expect from Rocky Leonard in the future? Any new projects?

Yes, my next novel will be a sequel to Coastal Empire in the Robert Mercer series, coming back by popular demand for those characters. I’m calling it Purgatory.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

I blog at My books can be found at

MM: Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

The pleasure has been mine.

John "Rocky" Leonard was born in Savannah, Georgia and graduated from Savannah Christian School. He holds a BBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia and worked as a computer programmer for more than twenty years before becoming a writer.
John has spent most of his adult life in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. His writing has also been influenced by shorter stints working as a bartender, real estate investor and landlord.

He has been married to wife Lisa for twenty-one years and is the proud father of two and grandfather of three, as well as pack leader for several wonderful dogs and a hostile Maine Coon cat.

His first non-fiction book was published in 2010.

John writes detective novels under the pen name Rocky Leonard. His first detective thriller was published in 2012.

The local color in his writing is equally authentic whether the setting is a Georgia beach, downtown Atlanta, or the Appalachian foothills in north Georgia.

Web site -

Dan Harper is just an ordinary guy, having an ordinary day…until he ruins his tie during lunch. When he visits a thrift store near his office for an inexpensive replacement, merely touching a secondhand tie triggers a flood of gruesome images only he can see. Are they hallucinations, or suppressed memories?
Dan desperately wants these visions to be nothing more than a product of his imagination, but soon enough, he discovers real crime scenes and murder victims. Dan can no longer ignore the unseen powers forcing him to confront the demons of his past. Dark forces prod him to seek the identity of the faceless murderer haunting his dreams.
Dan’s worst fear is the suspicion he’ll eventually confront the face of this brutal killer in last place he wants to look – the mirror.

Genre – Mystery/Paranormal
Publisher – Each Voice Publishing
Release Date - September 7, 2012
Purchase Links – Amazon | Barnes and Noble

I steadied myself in front of a small mirror on the wall near the tie rack. My trembling hands went through the practiced motions of tying the tie, the same moves I had made first thing in the morning, four days a week.
I looked into the mirror and gasped. Blood splatters covered the glass, obscuring my reflection in the mirror. My hands felt warm and sticky. Reluctantly, I looked down and saw to my horror that they were covered in wet blood. It was all over me. My mind reeled. Bile rose in my throat. I looked around frantically for the source of the spreading crimson stains. Did I cut myself? I felt no pain. What in the hell happened? How? Did the workers break the glass after all? Yet when I glanced in its direction, the glass display case remained intact.
For several seconds, my mind babbled a brook of questions for which no answers came. My knees felt weak, on the verge of collapse. Time crept by. I marked its passage with my breathing, the only way I could tell time hadn’t stopped completely. I looked around for someone in the store to come help me. Words came to mind to cry for help, but they refused to pass my lips.
A couple of muted sounds that might pass for the bleating of a sheep rose in my throat, barely audible. No one in the store noticed me foundering in distress. I looked around helplessly, desperate to avoid looking into the mirror again. But I had to know. I forced my eyes to gaze at my own reflection once more.
To my surprise, my completely normal reflection looked back at me. There was no trace of blood anywhere. As quickly as it came, the sensation of tacky blood sticking to my hands
faded to nothing. My hands once again felt clean and dry. I steeled my courage and looked down to confirm they were free of blood. I looked back up at the mirror, incredulous. It was as if nothing had happened. The blood splattered all over the glass and my clothes had disappeared as inexplicably as it had materialized.
Was that a hallucination? What the hell just happened to me?
Chuck reappeared, carrying a large cardboard box stuffed with household knick-knacks he began arranging on a table. He looked over and noticed that I now wore a different tie. “Found something you like?”
I did my best to smile naturally, still speechless after the inexplicable experience. It was a relief to have Chuck close by, in case the gory visions returned. Maybe he could help me understand what had happened, if it happened again. I cleared my throat, nodded and grunted, finding it impossible to tell him about the episode.
Just act normal. Don’t let him see you sweat.
“Is something the matter? Are you okay?” Chuck asked. “You look a little pale.”
I made a more serious effort to clear my throat before I dared speak again. I decided against mentioning the strange vision. I didn’t want someone I just met to think I was a complete nut. I desperately wanted to get out of the musty old building, thinking it possible the fresh paint had stirred up toxic airborne bacteria. It might be eating my brain at that very moment.
I finally found my voice. “Yeah, I’ll be okay. I just feel a little funny—an upset stomach from lunch, I think. I need some fresh air, that’s all. This tie will do, for work at least. I’d better go.”
Chuck smiled and said, “We appreciate your business. You’ll always have the honor of being our first customer. I hope you feel better. Thanks, and come back soon. Remember, we plan to be open next week.”
I waved, not trusting myself to speak.
Back in the steel sanctuary of my car, I collected myself enough to suppress the images that had flashed before my eyes moments earlier. At first, I tried to deny the experience, hoping to banish the images from my mind for good.
For the first time in my life, I seriously wondered if this was what it felt like to lose my own mind.

Ebook Giveaway at Every Stop!

October 1 - Introduction at the VBT Cafe' Blog
October 3 - Interviewed at Mass Musings
October 5 - Author Fun Facts & Fav Recipe at Writing Innovations E-zine
October 9 - Interviewed at Unnecessary Musings
October 11 - Interviewed at Talk Story TV
October 15 - Book Feature & Excerpt at The Official Blog-Zine of Terra Little
October 17 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
October 18 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
October 23 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
October 25 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
October 29 - Interviewed at huithiang!


Bk Walker

Welcome to Mass Musings Rocky. A pleasure to chat with you :)

Rocky Leonard

Thanks for having me!

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thanks for the insightful interview! I think Morgan Freeman is the man for any male lead - it's his voice.

Pit Crew

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