About R.A. Niles


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I began my love of mysteries and crime fiction began with the 1951 TV series “Boston Blackie” a reformed jewel thief who chased bad guys jumping rooftops. ¬† “Boston Blackie; friend of those who have no friends, enemy of those who make him make him their enemy!” an announcer said at the beginning of episodes. I was five.

I read Sherlock Holmes stories early on, and as a small boy wandered around the yard with a magnifying glass searching for “clues”. I remember having no idea what I was looking for.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but until A Layer of Darkness, I’ve only published non-fiction. As a man in my twenties, I took Ernest Hemingway’s advice to “Live it up, so you can write down.” Encountering some near-death experiences in that endeavor, I still had no story ideas outside of snippets with no plot, no beginning, nor end. I simply created characters and dialogue.

People will tell you that writing a novel is a difficult process. It is a long process, not doubt of that. But once begun, the story can take a life of it’s own. I just jumped on the train and rode it to the end of the line.

With noir, I’ve borrowed a style- maybe a template and lightened up some. It’s been called semi-noir. It’s different.

I’ve introduced more humor and introspection and even frailties in my main character, Andrew Johnson. This website has a template, but it doesn’t appear anything like the default version. My stories, while fitting into a cross genre of mystery, political intrigue and historical fiction, are uniquely different from anything within those classes.

I’ve chosen San Francisco, because I have lived in it and near it for almost my entire life. Many ¬†crime stories are set LA or New York, because there is more crime in those areas. The way I see it, why not have a crime in a place where people want to go? San Francisco has had plenty, so I haven’t lost any authenticity.

My goal is to entertain and explore some history in a what-if sense.

If you are ever in San Francisco and want to charter a 42 foot sailboat for the day and see first hand how the escape from Alcatraz in A Layer of Darkness occurred or the final action scene call or email me at GS charters. Click the link below

or go to www.gscharters.com


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