Now 80, the Stratford author and retired director refuses to slow down

Now 80, Stratford author and retired director Ron Finch continues to write and publish mystery novels at a breakneck pace.

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With nine novels published as part of his Joel Franklin Mystery series and more than 30 still in the works, Stratford author, retired director and recent octogenarian Ron Finch is living proof that age is only a figure.

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Since publishing his first Joel Franklin Mystery, Lightning at 200 Durham Street, in the spring of 2018, Finch has written feverishly to flesh out dozens of mysteries investigated by his protagonist, a police investigator with a penchant for the supernatural, through approximately 40 books – some published, some unpublished – set in and around the fictional town of Chaseford – based on Stratford – between the years 1928 and 1945.

And while Finch continues to publish The Escapades of Joel Franklin – the 10th and 11th books in the series, Pyromaniac and Sins of the pastare set to be released soon – the workaholic writer has also moved on to a new trilogy, just as dark and mysterious as his previous work.

The trip is really my first book that strays from the Joel Franklin series,” Finch said. “This book is actually based in 2021. It begins when an older man says goodbye to his wife and hops in his car to go to a high school reunion. It never does. He ends up confused, his car ends up in the woods – not totally ransacked – and at the same time he has this feeling that someone is trying to kill him.

As readers wonder if he suffers from concussion-induced paranoia or if, indeed, there is someone to get him back, the now amnesiac protagonist begins to seek help and find out who it might be. after him without knowing his own identity. or where it comes from.

Even as he finishes writing the first book in this as yet untitled trilogy, Finch says he has already written nearly 80 pages of the remaining two books. His writing process for all of his books, Finch explained, involves meticulous organization — he keeps timelines, plot details, and characters on multiple whiteboards and bulletin boards in his office — as he writes and rewrites details and storylines, jumping back and forth between sequels and prequels.

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“Usually I start writing a book and have no idea what it’s going to be about, although sometimes I do,” Finch explained. “I also have a file in which I throw ideas. If I sit down and finish a book and am ready to start the next one, often in the previous book I have (sown the seeds) for the next book, so I know what it will be about .

And as he writes his stories, Finch says he’ll “check things out,” meaning he’ll research the local, national and international history of the periods he’s writing about either to add real context. historical and social as a backdrop to the events taking place in the story or he can raise real events and people from the past to move his stories forward.

“It’s been a learning experience, for sure,” Finch said, adding that researching topics like race, war, mental health treatment and many other things has helped him. to better understand the world in which he grew up and lived during the past eight decades. .

Proud of his writing accomplishments, especially since he’s only been a published author for four years, Finch is eager to share his experience with anyone interested in learning more about writing, publishing, research, or even just the process it uses to sort. and cataloging the myriad thoughts and ideas he has for each of the 30 books he is working on at any given time.

Those interested in speaking with Finch or listening to him talk about his craft can email [email protected]

[email protected]

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Lola R. McClure