Friday, June 24, 2011

Author Pascal Marco: How I Came to Write IDENTITY:LOST

I recently met author Pascal Marco through blogdom and would like toPascal Marco Headshot 1 welcome him to Thoughts in Progress as the special guest blogger today.

Pascal’s debut novel is IDENTITY: LOST. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book: Flashback 35 years ago: the Chicago police receive word that an elderly white man has been attacked by a gang of black youths in the notorious “South Side” of Chicago. Amid public outrage, Mayor Richard J. Daley commands his police to find the killers swiftly as the murder rate in Chicago continued to climb. Luckily for the police, 12-year-old James Overstreet steps forward as a witness, identifying 5 of the 6 assailants. Arrests are made, but county attorneys bungle the case, leaving the judge no choice but to release the accused. Why didn’t James identify the 6th young man? You must read to find out.
This jeopardizes James’ life, forcing his entire family into witness protection.  Fast-forward thirty years. This stoic young man has grown to become Maricopa County’s most merciless prosecutor. But his life is about to be turned upside down when paths from the past cross into the present. Some things in life simply aren’t coincidence and Marco masters this universal message in IDENTITY: LOST

Psacal has agreed to tell us ‘How I Came to Write IDENTITY: LOST.’

It's now official. The national hardcover and eBook release of my debut thriller novel, IDENTITY: LOST is here. To say I'm living an incredible dream is an understatement. This journey has been one remarkable serendipitous event after another.
I've had fun while promoting the book quoting Oprah's "There's no such thing as a coincidence" mantra and I will tell you I have fully embraced this belief with Lady O. She has been the world's #1 proponent (besides my own personal life coach and wife, Karen) of the belief of intention. I believed that imagination was best left to children and seldom harnessed in adulthood.
Then it all changed about five years ago.
Things started to happen that felt coincidental but had a distinctly stronger message for me than just mere happenstance. The first was when I attended Game 5 of the 2005 ALCS Championship when the Chicago White Sox visited the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. If the White Sox won this game then they would be playing in their first World Series in 46 years. Chance got me and a friend not only into a game when we were told no tickets were available but had us sitting in the opposition owner's box seats with his family.
The White Sox did win and that event spurred me on to write a story about it. That story turned into half-a-dozen more I wrote over the next year on a White Sox fan web site. By this time my desire to write had been rekindled and I began to think about this story I had locked away for over twenty-five-years. Back in the '70s when I was a young father, a boy had witnessed a murder and decided to come forward. But, tragically, his desire to do good turned into a life-changing situation, ultimately ending with the loss of his home and breakup of his family.
Cover by: Foster Covers
Cover by: Foster Covers
I plunged headlong into finding newspaper clippings of the details of that crime that had been committed along the shores of Lake Michigan in Burnham Park. Along the way, I discovered this rich, long forgotten history of the area where the crime was committed. That took me down another road and re-ignited my love of history, especially local Chicago and American history. I was completely hooked and spent every moment I could researching and writing and reading.
It was at about this same time I stumbled upon the Scottsdale (Arizona) Writers Group. At the time, I was involved in keeping afloat an Internet business I had started and this was taking up the majority of my time. But I was too deep into my pledge to myself to not quit on this dream of writing about something this story. So, with a fair amount of trepidation, I walked into the group one day and announced I'd like to join. I was welcomed with warm smiles but more so by such an unselfish group of people who were willing to help me (as well as themselves) develop their writing skills and story ideas.
After two years of bringing in a new chapter every other week, I was done, and my novel was complete. How naive I was because from that point forward the real work had only just begun.
That was in March, 2008 and about two months later I had another serendipitous event occur that would change my life forever. I was summering in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and one day saw a small poster at a local library announcing that New York Times best-selling author Brad Thor would be in a nearby town, signing his latest book. I had never heard of Brad Thor but a little voice inside me told me I had to go to this event. When would a budding novelist like me you ever expect to meet a NY Times best-selling author? So with my wife and brother-in-law in tow, both writers in their own right, we went to meet Mr. Thor.
It was an intimate, informal book-signing for his latest book, THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, and that fact gave me an opportunity to speak a bit with Mr. Thor. I told him I had never heard of him but that as a writer I felt compelled to meet a real author, let alone a best-selling one. The words gracious and warm don't do justice to describing Brad's demeanor with me that day and when I told him I had a completed manuscript he immediately recommended I attend ThrillerFest in NYC to pitch it. He even told me if I got it published he even consider reading it for me.
When I got to my computer and investigated this event, I was blown away at the cost. Of course, it was less than two weeks away and putting a last minute trip to NYC for an event of this magnitude added to the financial challenge. We were stretching dollars (squeezing the more appropriate word) at this point and as far as I was concerned, if there was a definition of a trip we could not afford, this was it. But Karen scoffed at me, dismissing the idea of not going. "If you really want to get this manuscript publish you have to go." Then she reminded me. "And he invited you, didn't he?" 

So, I went to ThrillerFest. I paid the last minute airfare, booked the mid-town Manhattan hotel, sent in my non-member attendee fee, landed at La Guardia, and hailed a cab. I met my eventual publisher there and here I am now a published author with my novel on bookstore shelves across the country. And, true to his word, Brad later read my manuscript and gave me a wonderful blurb for my book jacket.
There are no coincidences anywhere in this tale. It is just a story of a naive guy who grew up on the southeast side of Chicago who always kept believing even someone like him could make his dream come true through the power of intention. 

Pascal, thanks so much for guest blogging. It is a fascinating trip you have taken to get your book published. Wishing you much success with it and your continued writing.

Now for a little background on Pascal. He is a Chicago native himself, currently residing in Arizona. He writes what he knows—not something that has been researched giving IDENTITY: LOST a very realistic portrayal of the towns he knows and loves. Woven together is an unforgettable tale of terror and murder.  

IDENTITY: LOST is published by Oceanview Publishing For more on Pascal and his writing, stop by his website at or find him on Twitter at @fansofpascal. 

Share your thoughts on Pascal’s journey. Have you had a similar experience on your route to being published? As always, thank you so much for stopping by.


  1. Pascal, Your book sounds very intriguing. I love twists and turns AND coincidences in a book. Life is full of them too. It's often scary.

    Mason, Thanks for hosting!

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Pascal.

    Pascal - What a fascinating tie-in of past and present. It sounds like a really engaging thriller, too, and your story of how you came to tap your own life to write the book is really interesting. I wish you much success with Identity: Lost.

  3. Inspired by sports - now my inspiration by movies doesn't seem so odd.

  4. I'm adding this book to my wish list. It sounds as fascinating as Pascal Marco's story.

  5. Why didn´t he identify the 6th young man indeed - this one sounds interesting, Pascal and Mason.

  6. Sounds like a great book! And I agree that everything happens for a reason. :)

  7. Great post thank you both. I am a great believer in fate and things happening for a reason.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.