A fireside chat with Randy Rawls

Randy Rawls was a guest on Mysteristas last year with a delightful Christmas-themed book. He’s back, this time promoting his new release Saving Dabba: A Beth Bowman Adventure.

It’s such a pleasure to be here to talk about my books and my history of writing. I’d love to tell you I was born to write and have been doing so since . . . Can’t do that. It would be a lie. I can say I was born to read, though, because I’ve been doing it as long as I remember. It’s probably good that I don’t have a copy of every book I’ve read because I’d have to rent a warehouse for storage. And I’d still be adding books to that warehouse. Reading is one pleasure no one will ever take from me.

From that reading pleasure comes my interest in writing. I started many books during my early adulthood but didn’t have the perseverance or patience to finish any of them. The stubby pencil approach was not to my liking. Then along came the desktop PC, and I, like many, many others, rediscovered writing. The days of the boom in books available to us was born. And I was in the stream.

Of course, like I said, I wasn’t born to write—honestly, I don’t think anyone is—so I had to learn. Since I was a career US Army officer who wrote many, many papers of various lengths during my career, I was sure I knew how to get the job done. NOT! With my first book—probably one of the worst ever written—I discovered my approach was one of ignorance. I simply did not know how to capture a story on paper. It was a far different world from anything I’d ever put together before. And so, I set out to learn and am still learning. The most critical thing I’ve learned is that writing fiction is an acquired skill. (Incidentally, I’ve written a book I named Randy’s Boot Camp to Writing Fiction to show what I learned the hard way.)

Now I’m up to book 15 and loving every minute of it. With Saving Dabba, I hope you’ll decide that I’ve reached some degree of ability. Saving Dabba takes a hard look at the professional demonstration business. Please understand I’m not talking about those who hit the streets with valid grievances. I truly believe in the First Amendment to the Constitution. I’m talking about those who use grievances, real or imagined, as a way to riches and fame. So, with that said, I wrote Beth into a situation with Friends Intent on The Environment (FITE), a 501c3 organization that brings its message to Coral Lakes. It’s an excellent name and attracts many followers. However, the concurrent brutal deaths of homeless people might be more than coincidence. The police are baffled, so Beth believes she must act or lose more of her friends. Infiltration of FITE appears to be the best approach.

David, Beth’s doctor boyfriend, prefers that Beth stay clear of the situation. However, he knows that once Beth makes up her mind, there is little that will change it, short of an atomic blast. So, to Beth’s surprise, he supports and participates with her. The police have their hands full trying to maintain order because of the “demonstrations,” but the violence runs beyond their control.

Dot, Beth’s homeless friend, disappears, leading to Beth’s problems. Everything is in such turmoil the situation seems beyond control.

The story behind Saving Dabba is raw, but my book presents a capsule look at things happening across our country. I invite you to read it. When you’re finished, you will have every right to yell at me if I’m overreaching. Or, if you have fears for our country as I do, you can nod your head.


RandyRawls2017Randy Rawls was born and reared in Williamston, North Carolina, a small town in the northeastern part of the state. From there, he says he inherited a sense of responsibility, a belief in fair play, and a love of country. As a career US Army officer, he had the opportunity to learn, travel, teach, and hone talents inherited from his parents. Following retirement, he worked in other ventures for the US Government. Every job has in some way been fun. Even the dark days of Vietnam had their light moments, and he cherishes the camaraderie that was an integral part of survival in that hostile world.

Today, he has short stories in several anthologies, and a growing list of novels to his credit. As a prolific reader, the reads across several genres and takes that into his writing. He has written mysteries, thrillers, an historical, and two fantasy/mystery/thrillers featuring a Santa Elf. The count is now at fourteen and growing. He is a regular contributor to Happy Homicides, a twice annual anthology of cozy short stories. He also has a series of short stories featuring a cattle-herding burro. Wherever his imagination will take him, he follows.



Buy Saving Dabba at Amazon

Buy Jingle and his Magnificent Seven at Amazon


Author: Liz Milliron

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She survived growing up through reading, cutting her mystery teeth on Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark and, of course, Nancy Drew. As an adult, she finds escape from the world of software documentation through creating her own fictional murder and mayhem. She lives near Pittsburgh with her husband and two teenage children, and fantasizes about owning a dog again - one of these days.

5 thoughts on “A fireside chat with Randy Rawls”

  1. Welcome! What a lovely note – your comment about not being a born writer touched me, as I feel the same way. I’ve often felt a bit out of place when I read those author bios that state they’ve been writing since they could hold a pen/pencil. Reading, however? Couldn’t get enough, and still can’t. The writing is coming along (I think). Saving Dabba sounds fascinating. I look forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome, Randy! When I started writing fiction, I thought my 30-odd years of writing legal briefs would give me a leg up. Yes and no. I knew how to organize, but brief writing kills one’s prose. Congratulations on your new book! It sounds amazing!


  3. Welcome, Randy! Your books (and experience) sound fascinating. Totally agree that one writing skill does not necessarily mean that you can write another type. I suspect that even those “born writers” (whatever that means) must’ve started as readers.


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