Thursday, March 15, 2018

Video Voodoo - A Guest Post by Don Bruns

This month, Fabulous Florida Writers is pleased to welcome guest blogger Don Bruns. In addition to being a USA Today bestselling author, Don is a songwriter, musician and advertising executive. He is the author of three mystery series: the Stuff mysteries, Mick Sever Caribbean mysteries, and Quentin Archer mysteries. He was our featured writer on December 5, 2013.

Several years ago, I received an email from a production company in L.A. They were interested in a series I was writing about two 24 year-old private detectives in Miami. Stuff To Die For had caught their eye. So we sent them the seven book series and within a week, the producer calls back. 

“We can’t use the series.”


    “Because your two detectives don’t like cops.”

It was true. One boy's father had run afoul of the law and the two young men felt he’d been mistreated, so they had a sour taste in their mouths regarding cops. I questioned why that fact colored the humorous mystery series.

      “Because the current crop of television shows feature ‘fish-out-of-water’ types who work with the cops. Castle, Bones, Psych, The Mentalist…”

There was silence on the phone. Finally, I spoke up.

     “Well, they’ve changed their minds. Now they like the cops.”

      He laughed. “No, won’t work. So, what else have you got?”

I didn’t. But my mind went into overdrive. A fish-out-of-water type that worked with the cops?

     “How about a voodoo practitioner who works with a homicide cop in New Orleans?”

I seriously have no idea where that came from. “He’s been forced out of Detroit for going Serpico about a drug ring that was run by the police. He ends up in The Big Easy and this lady approaches him, telling him something she knows about a case he’s working on.”

     “I like that! It sounds like what I’m looking for.”

     “Her mother was a voodoo queen, but now has dementia. She lives in a dementia center down by the Mississippi. This girl volunteers there to be close to mom and starts hearing voices of some of the patients who can’t talk. One of them gives her a description of a murder he was involved in.”

Now this producer is salivating.

      “I love this! Get me a three-page treatment. Everything you can think of. Voodoo, New Orleans, this could work.”

I stayed up all night. Sent him the three pages the next day and waited. And waited. And waited.  Finally, after a month, I called him on his cell phone.

     “Oh, I left that company. I’m now producing reality TV. Good luck with your story.”

So I did what I knew how to do. I wrote the book. Casting Bones came out last June from Severn House. Booklist said “Bruns’s book has a nice sense of the creeps.” Lee Child said “If you love the crime genre, this is not just highly recommended, but mandatory.” And, Library Journal praised the book saying “As hot and steamy as a Louisiana night, this series debut hits all the right notes with the evocative Big Easy setting, colorful and memorable characters and a smartly twisty plot. Bruns uses all of his considerable talents to cast a spell over the reader.”

Considerable talents? I’ll take that.  This past June, the second in the series released. Thrill Kill was covered by Publisher’s Weekly, who said “Bruns brings the chaotic frenzy of Mardi Gras to life.” And this March, number three comes out. No Second Chances, according to Kirkus, “Combines honest detection, an unlikely romance, and headline driven paranoia.”

It’s great fun to write about New Orleans, and it’s eye opening to explore themes like human trafficking, corruption in the prison system and the Black Lives Matter movement.  And, guess what. A production company at CBS called. They are interested in exploring a TV series and I signed a contract with them in January. Stay tuned.

For more information, visit the author's website at


  1. I just discovered your blog and ordered two new books.Ty
    Don Bruns is a great storyteller! The three books in his New Orleans series are unique, must-read thrillers.