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A Murder Mystery with a Twist

A dying lover. A brutal murder. A New Jersey private investigator and martial arts master fights to solve both in GD Baum's Point and Shoot.

A Lock Tourmaline Private Detective Murder Mystery



A Personal Statement by the Author

Welcome to my web site. I am deeply indebted to the many people who have made my first novel, Point and Shoot, such a success.

My focus at Sarah Lawrence College was in creative writing. I wrote many book-length manuscripts, only to discard them, knowing that I could do a better job. That is a process that many authors go through: they write thousands of pages as "ramping up" to reaching the stage where they can produce professional quality work. Ray Bradbury has written about the inspiration for Fahrenheit 451 being the night he took all of his prior faltering attempts to compose a professionally done short story or novel, threw them in a pile and burned them. It is the moment of liberation for a writer.

Accordingly, the turning point for me was when I took Henry Miller's words to heart. He has said that the process of becoming a writer involves a commitment to speaking with an honest voice. When we censor ourselves, we obscure our character and undermine the very reason for writing in the first place: to communicate the better part of ourselves. It is literally an act of courage to speak with a true voice and put behind us the fits and starts that are, as he puts it, "the grand tuning up of the instrument".

I have now done so. Point and Shoot is a book about the way men and women disappoint and hurt one another in the process of finding the better angels of their nature. At one point, the main character says to his girlfriend, "are you going to stay or leave?" She replies, "[i]s there a third alternative?" This is a book about third alternatives.

It is also a book about life and death. The most obvious example is that it is a murder mystery. Characters die horrible deaths and others seek to find out who killed them and why. However, on another level, it is about the tension between living and dying as reflected in the internal and external philosophies of Eastern martial arts. In that tension, lies the paradoxical truth that as we age, we have the capacity to increase the intensity of our life force; that in approaching death there can be a greater life.

This is also a book containing authentic descriptions of martial arts practice. In it, I seek to take the reader into not just the fists and feet of the martial artist, but also the warrior's heart and soul. There is a depth and honesty in dedicating oneself to the peaceful chivalry and spiritual development inherent in these arts.

Finally, this book is, above all, about entertainment. I have sought to write it in a fast-moving light prose. I have also tried to inject humor into these life and death situations. I have received uniformly positive feedback from those that have read it and I am currently working on the second installment of this series.

Please let me know what you think of Point and Shoot. I can be reached at gdbaum100@yahoo.com.

G.D. Baum is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence Writing Program. He has achieved a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and in was ranked sixth in the United States in forms for his Division by the NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association). In his spare time, he teaches Tai Chi Chuan.