Interview with Author Gerald Darnell – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Gerald Darnell

A Florida native, Author Gerald Darnell grew up in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee. He attended high school and was a graduate of HHS class of 64. Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, he spent time in Hopkinsville, KY, Memphis, TN and Newport, AR before moving back to Florida – where he now lives. During the early 70’s the author actually worked from an office in the Memphis Peabody Hotel. So many of the events about the hotel in Carson Reno’s stories are real as well as many of the characters you meet.

His fiction books are what he calls ‘Fiction for Fun’. They use real geography and include pictures and characters some readers might recognize. The ‘Carson Reno Mystery Series’ features adventure mysteries set in the early 1960 time period. The primary geography is Memphis and West Tennessee, but Carson’s stories take the reader across the United States and occasionally to foreign countries. Each story is considered light reading and is rated PG for everyone’s enjoyment. You are invited to pick your character and put yourself in the ‘play’. You might find it fun!

The reader will experience character continuation through all the stories and enjoy the growth of the core characters with each new adventure.

Current published ‘Carson Reno Mysteries’ include ‘Murder in Humboldt’, ‘The Price of Beauty in Strawberry Land’, ‘Killer Among Us’, ‘Horse Tales’, ‘the Crossing’, ‘SUnset 4’, ‘the Everglades’, ‘The Illegals’, ‘Dead Men Don’t Remember’ ,’Fingerprint Murders’,’Reelfoot’, ‘Justifiable Homicide’, ‘Dead End’, ‘Murder and More’, ‘Deadly Decision’, ‘Shadows & Lies’, ‘Murder my Darling’, ‘Lack of Candor’, ‘The Disappearance of Robin Murat’ and ‘The Innocent Stranger’. His Jack Sloan Mystery Series offers ‘Concrete Jungle’.

Gerald’s non-fiction book ‘Don’t Wake Me Until It’s Time To Go’ includes stories and events spanning time from pre-high school to his now retirement in Florida. As an avid hunter and fisherman, many of the events involve activities and stories from his personal outdoor adventures. As a business executive, and extensive traveler, he gives us some playful observations accumulated from the millions of miles he traveled across the US. As someone who loves animals and adventure, he offers thoughts and observations that are probably outside most reader’s imagination. Not a ‘tell all’ narratives, real names and real people are included. If you know the author, you might find yourself – or one of your adventures – included. If not, I’m certain you will find a real familiarity with the stories and the times chronicled in the book. A must read if you enjoy hunting, enjoy humour and can laugh at yourself – while others are also laughing at you.

Tell me more about your latest book

‘The Innocent Stranger’

A man has disappeared while duck hunting and things surrounding his disappearance are troubling.

Carson has been hired by an insurance company to resolve a $1.5 million dollar life insurance claim, but things get quickly complicated. Bodies appear, and it seems that these deaths might be connected to the missing hunter – but how?

Facts reveal that the missing man’s job as an independent truck driver is linked to his disappearance, and perhaps to the mysterious murders. Carson’s investigation unearths some very unusual characters, along with a wife who appears to be interested in everything but finding her missing husband.

Conflicts with the Memphis police are getting in the way of the investigation, and the urgency is escalated when another body is discovered.

This case has more twists than a large bag of pretzels, and just when it seems to be going in the right direction – it changes.

Join our Cast of Characters and come along to help Carson find the clues, search for the truth and try to solve the case of
The Innocent Stranger

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

‘The Innocent Stranger’ is the twentieth book in my Carson Reno Mystery Series.  Each book is a ‘stand-alone’ novel and it is not necessary to read them in any particular order. With this book, and with others, the biggest challenge is to keep the characters interesting – continuing characters or new characters. Each book does include a cast of new characters and I strive to keep them unique to that story and unique for the reader.

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

I have used both traditional and self-publishing.  Frankly, I prefer the flexibility of self-publishing.

What motivated you to become an author?

I am retired – 40 + years in the business world and primarily in the computer business. Writing for me now is a hobby, although I began writing in college (for a few outdoor magazines). The working world didn’t permit the time to write but it did permit the time to read…I’ve read thousands of books, and still have most of them. Thankfully the retirement world does permit time for writing.

How many books have you written so far?

22 single novels and several short stories.  9 of my novels are available in audiobook format.

‘Murder in Humboldt’

‘The Price of Beauty in Strawberry Land’

‘Killer Among Us’

‘Horse Tales’

‘the Crossing’

‘SUnset 4’

‘the Everglades’

‘The Illegals’

‘Dead Men Don’t Remember’

‘Fingerprint Murders’


‘Justifiable Homicide’

‘Dead End’

‘Murder and More’

‘Deadly Decision’

‘Shadows & Lies’

‘Murder my Darling’

‘Lack of Candor’

‘The Disappearance of Robin Murat’

‘The Innocent Stranger’

‘Concrete Jungle’

‘Don’t Wake Me Until It’s Time to Go’

Short stories:

‘A train they call The City of New Orleans’


‘From a ducks point of view’

As an author, do you prefer the traditional book or online version? Why?

Traditional…I like to ‘hold’ and ‘feel’ the book while reading.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

Difficult.  It requires a person who can accept criticism – learn from it and build upon it.  Not everyone has that ability.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

“Write to enrich others – not to get rich”

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