Name: Len Camarda
Book: "The Seventh Treasure"
Publisher: Author House
Residence: Hilton Head Island
Where to Buy: Barnes & Noble on Hilton Head Island, online retailers Amazon, AuthorHouse, Barnes and Noble.
Plot summary in 50 words or less: A woman dies in a car accident in Spain. Her Secret Service agent brother flies in and finds out her death wasn't an accident. He joins forces with a National Police Force lieutenant to investigate, ultimately uncovering a 500-year-old conspiracy.
First sentence: "The rain was getting heavier."
Previous writing experience: Camarda wrote two short stories that have been published in Island Writer's Network anthologies.
Earliest writing memory: As a grammar school student, Camarda wrote intricate book reports, even to the extent of creating covers, such as the one he did of "Mysterious Island," by Jules Verne that included a vivid colored-pencil drawing of a ship exploding.
What prompted the novel: A retired pharmaceutical executive, Camarda traveled the world for business. He lived in Spain on two different stints. He was intrigued by the diversity of the country, from the bustling streets of Madrid to the bohemia of Barcelona. "The Seventh Treasure" takes place amid the backdrop of Spain's complex history.
Writer's quirk: Many authors work into their novels characters closely resembling people they know. Camarda actually asked permission to use names and personalities of close friends and former co-workers. "It was fun to pay tribute to some of the people I've known," he said.
Writer's advice: He avoids writing intricate outlines. This comes from a piece of advice gleaned from Norman Mailer: "Once the character develops, let the character take you."
Favorite authors: His father had a bookshelf full of classics. He grew up reading John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. Recently, he's started to read in the thriller genre for inspiration -- David Baldacci, Clive Cussler, Vince Flynn
Life beyond writing: His paintings have been regularly exhibited at the Art League of Hilton Head. In his spare time he plays golf and travels with his wife Terry. He also supports local charities; proceeds from the book go to benefit Hilton Head Humane Association and Wounded Warriors.
What's next: Camarda is working on a sequel featuring the two lead protagonists. Where the book leads is up in the air. He's only a few chapters in.