#BookTour “An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery” by MB Dabney

An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery
by MB Dabney

About An Untidy Affair

An Untidy Affair: A David Blaise Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Per Bastet Publications LLC (June 25, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 280 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1942166761
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1942166764
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097YPJYWN

Struggling Philadelphia private eye David Blaise gets two routine but unrelated cases on the same day in May 1985 – the day city police firebombed the MOVE house, which killed 11 people and destroyed an entire neighborhood. When Blaise starts following a cheating husband and searching for a missing person who may not actually be missing, he also discovers his cases may be related, and that he is being followed. When his tail is murdered, implicating the P-I, Blaise must find the true killer before he is literally buried alive.

About MB Dabney

MB Dabney is an award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in numerous local and national publications, such as Indianapolis Monthly, NUVO, Ebony magazine, Black Enterprise.com, the Indianapolis Recorder, and the Indianapolis Business Journal.

A native of Indianapolis, Michael spent decades as a reporter working at Business Week magazine, United Press International and the Associated Press, the Indianapolis Star, and The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest continuously published Black newspaper, where he won awards for editorial writing.

He has co-edited two anthologies — Decades of Dirt: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem from the Crossroads of Crime; and MURDER 20/20 — and has published numerous short mystery stories, including Miss Hattie Mae’s Secret (Decades of Dirt), Callipygian (The Fine Art of Murder), and Killing Santa Claus (Homicide for the Holidays). An Untidy Affair is his first novel.

The father of two adult daughters, Michael lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Angela.

Michael took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to do a Q & A for us!

Q & A with author MB Dabney

I can tell from your bio you’re no stranger to writing, yet this is your first full-length novel. Is this something you’ve always wanted to do or a new direction for you?

When I started writing fiction nearly 15 years ago, it was basically a new direction. I wrote the first draft of a Star Trek novel back in the 1980s, and started work on a suspense/thriller in the 90s, but I didn’t really focus on writing fiction until the mid-2000s as I started to wind down work as a daily journalist.

 Describe your protagonist, David Blaise.

David is a tall, lean, light-skinned Black man just reaching his mid-30s. He’s lived in Philadelphia his entire life, except for his years in the Navy as an intelligence officer. He is single and, as he struggles to make-a-go-of-it as a detective, has become a bit of a loner, though not by choice. He is smart, hard-working, kind, and a do-the-right-thing sort of guy in a general sense, though he is willing, sometimes, to do something that’s ethically questionable. A failing is that he can be myopic – so narrowly focused on a task that he can miss important information just off to the side. But he is often under-estimated by an opponent. Both his parents are dead. The oldest of four children, he has a difficult relationship with his two brothers and dislikes his brother-in-law. But he’s very close to sister and absolutely reveres his grandmother. He lives and works in West Philadelphia but has Sunday night dinner with his family in North Philly nearly every week.

 Do you write full time, or do you also work outside the home?

I’m retired and don’t work outside the home.

 What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

While I work on short stories throughout the year, as well as re-write and edit full-length work, I generally only start a novel in November, during National Novel Writing Month. The goal of finishing the first draft of a novel in 30 days is a great motivator. During NaNoWriMo, I dabble at writing a little throughout the day, time permitted, but really sit down and focus after about 8 p.m. until around 1 a.m. An Untidy Affair was my first attempt at National Novel Writing Month back in 2009 and I finished the first draft in 18 days.

I listen to portions of movie soundtracks as I write.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

Something of a hybrid, I think. I have a small, traditional publisher in southern Indiana but she works through KDP Select in Amazon

What do you do when you’re not writing?

In addition to reading, I love to walk. Gives me time to imagine stories that I can work on later. I love Star Trek and auto racing, especially Formula 1 and Indycar. I play tennis, but not often enough, and I enjoy traveling. Can’t wait to go abroad again.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?Pluto

No, certainly not as inspiration. But for 17 years we had a dog named Pluto, who, sadly, died last December. Pluto would sit at my feet when I was writing. And I certainly do miss that.

As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up? 

I wanted to be a lawyer and I considered law school well into my 30s, long after I started working as a reporter. But I never took any serious steps to do it.

What’s your next project?

I’m working on a prequel to An Untidy Affair that I plan to deliver to my editor by the end of the year. And if I’m far enough along with the prequel by then, I’ll write a novel in November and put it on a shelf to re-write later. If I do it, this year’s novel will be about an American driver in Formula 1.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Keep working on developing your craft and don’t ever give up.

Many thanks to Michael Dabney for stopping by today. Scroll down to check out his book links and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a print copy of An Untidy Affair. (US Only)

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