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Larry Rochelle

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Bonaventure Discussed in SAVANNAH NOW
by Larry Rochelle   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012

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Columnist Linda Sickler discusses BONAVENTURE with author Larry Rochelle.


Author sets latest thriller in and around Savannah

By Linda Sickler
January 5, 2012
Author sets latest thriller in and around Savannah

For a tennis pro, Palmer Morel gets into a lot of trouble.

Morel is a character in a mystery series penned by Larry Rochelle, a novelist and poet. While he lives in Fearrington Village, N.C., the 11th book in his series, “Bonaventure,” is set in Savannah.

“I’m visually oriented,” Rochelle said. “We visited Savannah a number of times and always liked it. We always travel to an area I want to set a book in, so I took a lot of photos.”

A tennis player himself, Rochelle patterned his character after his father, who was a tennis champion. As a pro, Morel’s job takes him all around the country, and trouble follows everywhere he goes.

Morel heads to Savannah after surviving an assassination attempt near Chapel Hill, N.C.

“A lot of times, Palmer has gotten into trouble just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Rochelle said.

This time, he is being hunted down.

“The feds are interested in him because they suspect he has some secrets,” Rochelle said. “He doesn’t know what they are. He has been seriously injured, so he comes to hide out in Savannah.”

When trying to come up with a place for Morel to hide, Rochelle chose Bonaventure Cemetery.

“There is a crypt with a broken door, and he and his girlfriend stay in the crypt,” he said.

Also found in the novel are a business similar to the Olde Pink House that is called Plum Puddin’, with a manager who is in the mob, and a townhouse on Oglethorpe Avenue.

“When they contact the mob guy at Plum Puddin’, they don’t realize the trouble they’re going to get in,” Rochelle said.

When the money runs out and Morel needs to work, he takes a uniquely Savannah job.

“Palmer is getting over his injuries, so he becomes an actor on a ghost trolley,” Rochelle said. “He figures people on board are mostly tourists, so they won’t recognize him.”

Several characters and plot twists later, Morel wins the day, Savannah-style. The book sells for $15.98 and is available online at Amazon and Lulu.

Rochelle is a former English teacher and drama director and coach. He retired in 2007 in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to North Carolina.

“I’ve always written poetry and short stories,” he said. “As a teacher, I wrote essays. In the late 1990s, I started writing books.”

At 71, Rochelle considers himself a late bloomer, but his output includes nine poetry books, a memoir and a nonfiction book, plus the 11 Palmer Morel novels. Not bad for a “late bloomer.”

Ironically, Rochelle’s first book came out on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I had something set up for publicity, but my heart wasn’t in it,” he said.

A typical work day for Rochelle lasts from 9 a.m. to noon.

“I try to write 2,000 words a week,” he said. “I have to start early, but by the end of the week, I have 2,000 words.”

Rochelle has some good advice for budding authors. “If you’re a writer, just write,” he said. “I’ve tried all kinds of things, including writers’ workshops and courses,” Rochelle said. “That just prevents you from sitting down and doing it.

“Just sitting down and having the patience to do it is an accomplishment,” he said. “Force yourself, even if it’s just a paragraph.”

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