At age 16 George inadvertently kills a mob rival, who has an identical twin named Lazarus. George does not want to spend the rest of his life laundering money through Greek restaurants and waiting for Lazarus to seek revenge. He elopes with free-spirited Kelly, but it doesn’t work out. He accepts his fate and agrees to an arranged marriage to make the peace.
Twenty years later, when George has become the boss of the mob operations in Texas and the south, Kelly reappears. Does she really miss him or is she working for Lazarus to set George up for the kill? Should he run off with her or stay with his long-suffering wife, Maria?
FAMILY OBLIGATIONS by William M. Mays blends crime and romance themes in a satiric and pensive narrative full of darkly humorous observations about the world.
Available on these sites: Amazon, Nook, Synergy Books
ABout the Author
William Mays has worked as a videographer, property manager, tax preparer, and daytrader. He loves to get up early and write a page or 2 before doing whatever he has to do for the day. His novel FAMILY OBLIGATIONS is about a teenager who inadvertently kills the twin brother of a mob rival. See more at WilliamMays.com
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Q&A with william
I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a teenager, but I always put my dreams aside to make a living. Even so, I kept writing, often only a few pages a week. For the most part editors and agents weren’t interested, but I never lost interest or enthusiasm. If anything, I became more inspired to get a novel published.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
George, a mobster, philosophizes about everything and has a darkly humorous and incisive view of the world. And he’s a hopeless romantic. He never quit loving Kelly, his childhood sweetheart.
What made you decide that you wanted to write in this genre?
I am Greek-American and grew up immersed in the Greek culture. The strong ethnic themes in mob stories, like The Godfather or Goodfellas or The Sopranos, always appealed to me. It was natural for me to write a Greek version of the mob archetype.
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
The harder thing for me was putting the scenes together in a story arc. I liked episodic stories and tried to imitate them, but never got it right. In this book the arc evolved into George’s inability to get away from killing the rival mobster’s twin brother, sort of a variant original sin. That drove all the action.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?
In one form or fashion we mostly write about ourselves or the people around us, and we put this alternate persona in a difficult situation. The question, which never occurred to me when I started writing, was whether I would or could do the things this character did. The answer is probably yes. We move step by step to what we become, rationalizing along the way, products of our environment, with limited free will.
If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I have worked professionally as a videographer, and spend a lot of time taking nature photos. I would love to be a wildlife photographer. You can see my photos at WilliamMays.com
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Getting FAMILY OBLIGATIONS finished and published is my greatest professional accomplishment so far, but my greatest overall accomplishment is being a good husband and father.
What books have most influenced your life?
I love “literary” writers like Hemingway, Faulkner, Junot Diaz, Paul Auster, Sherman Alexie, and Alice Munro. In the last year or so I have really enjoyed GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. The unreliable narrators are wonderful.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have almost finished a second novel, co-authored with my wife, about senior citizens who escape from a nursing home. I am planning two other novels, one a period piece about 1970s drug culture and a science fiction novel about the blurring of the lines between humans and AIs.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Self-publishing and the Internet have changed everything. Start a blog or a website. Get out there and promote yourself. Keep writing. Keep it short. 70,000 words is enough for a novel. People have shorter attention spans.