Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Northern Star feature

Local journalism professor publishes sequel to thriller
Heather Skripp Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 3:25 pm

DeKALB Kishwaukee College's own John Desjarlais will release the second book in his mystery series Friday.

Desjarlais, professor of English and Journalism at Kishwaukee College, studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Columbia University and Illinois State University, worked at Wisconsin Public Radio and wrote three books before his upcoming release, Viper. Desjarlais said that the act of writing is itself a constant source of inspiration.

"Inspiration comes when the pen moves across the page or the fingers begin to type," Desjarlais said. "It is in the act of writing that ideas come."

Viper is the sequel to 2009's Bleeder and follows protagonist Selena De La Cruz as she struggles to find out why her name is in her church's Book of the Deceased. Viper, like Bleeder, combines elements of mystery novels with religion and mysticism. Aztec myths, Mexican Catholicism and bi-cultural identities are themes of the novel, Desjarlais said

"First, they are indeed classic mystery novels in the sense that they are driven by a crime requiring a sleuth to solve the puzzle rationally, with clues planted for readers to follow and a surprising solution at the end," Desjarlais said. "The crimes involved in both books determined their spiritual flavoring."

Desjarlais said he takes extra care to make sure the portrayal of religious beliefs and practices is accurate. Anything else, he said, is a form of disrespect to readers.

Readers can look forward to a third book in the series, which is currently in the works. Characters from the first two novels will be brought back for a new story dealing with life insurance fraud.

Readers can see book summaries and reviews at Desjarlais' web site, www.johndesjarlais.com. Titles are on sale at Amazon.com.

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