Saturday, 16 March 2013

David D. D'Aguanno, author of the Brett Cornell Mysteries series

Poolside With Brett is the first book in the Brett Cornell series of novels by David D. D'Aguanno, and is available for Kindle and the Kindle app from and
US: Poolside with Brett (Brett Cornell Mysteries) on
UK: Poolside with Brett (Brett Cornell Mysteries) on

Poolside with Brett by David D. D'Aguanno
Poolside With Brett by David D. D'Aguanno

Private detective Brett Cornell believes that he's never had it so good.

He's been on a winning streak playing poker in private games being held in the back room of one of his favorite night spots. He's recently been "discovered" by an exotic-looking beauty who specializes in home-made adult films. In addition, he's been hired to track down a certain missing husband and bring him back home to his anxious wife.

His life, however, takes a sudden turn for the worse when he opens the trunk of his car one evening and finds the missing husband's murdered corpse stashed away inside of it. A set-up for a murder rap?

Set in the late 1980s, "Poolside with Brett" is the first in a series of novels featuring the tough and crass "unscrupulous bastard" himself -- a rude, wise-cracking private detective who happens to be a hugely successful ladies' man, thanks largely to what he immodestly refers to as his "Adonis-like features."

In a tale involving murder, blackmail, an unexpected suicide, and other assorted acts of violence and deceit, Brett learns the hard way that there's a steep price to be paid for being such an unscrupulous bastard -- and readers may very well feel that he gets exactly what he deserves, and more!

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Author Quiz interviews David D.D'Aguanno...

Is there anything about you or your writing that makes you unique from other authors?
A unique aspect of my writing, I would say, is my featuring an anti-hero as the main character of my series of comedy-mysteries. In other words, if Brett Cornell were a real person, I doubt that anyone would want to have anything to do with him, especially since he is a self-proclaimed unscrupulous bastard and even prides himself on being so. Of course, throughout the course of the series, sharp readers will notice various "chinks in his armor" as I hope to have his character gradually evolve to a certain extent.

Where did the inspiration for your first novel come from?
Because I read quite a number of mystery novels when I was younger -- usually those featuring tough, hard-boiled private detectives -- I thought I'd try my hand at writing books of a similar nature, only my main character would be the toughest of them all. That was my initial plan, at least.

If your books were made into a series of movies (or a TV series), who would you want to play the main character and why?
I'd probably go with Chris Hemsworth, especially since he's close to the same age as Brett Cornell (mid-thirties) and appears to have bulked up since his younger days. In fact, when I saw him in "A Perfect Getaway" (2009), I immediately thought of Brett!

Have you ever written a supporting character who took on a life of his own or turned out to be far more popular than expected, and if so, do you have plans to feature him as the lead character in a story of his own?
I introduced the character of Gil Bailey (a tough cop) in "Brett Aerobicizes" which is actually the second novel in the series. Initially, he was meant to be a sidekick of two of the other cops who'd also appeared in the first book of the series ("Poolside with Brett"). He gradually seemed to take over, mainly because his relative silence seemed to give him an aura of mystery. In fact, I wouldn't want to feature him as a main character because I think he's far more ominous when he's used sparingly. In that way, every scene he appears in seems to take on additional force, as he seems to be always lurking in the background and can pop up unexpectedly.

What do you think stimulates sales the most, positive reviews or advertising?
In my experience, I believe it's the positive reviews that count for quite a lot. At times, I become involved in a spurt of advertising, and no significant sales increases result, especially when there are very few reviews attached to the individual books. One of my books ("It's All Brett's Fault") doesn't have a single review and has the least number of sales, clearly indicating a possible correlation.

How do you see the publishing industry changing over the next few years?
My instincts tell me the same thing that statistics and trends seem to be telling everybody: With the technology at hand, writers can take matters into their own hands and publish their own works themselves, provided they don't absolutely have to count on making a living out of it. I personally am on a pension (yeah, I'm old!), so I don't need to rely on sales in order to pay my bills. Plus, being older than most other writers, I don't necessarily have the time to put in, when it comes to finding and acquiring a literary agent and proceeding through the various steps one would need in order to possibly gain the attention of a traditional publisher.

Has a reviewer ever e-mailed you with a glowing remark on one of your books, but when they published the review, this praise was toned down?

Not exactly, but what happened was this: A reviewer gave my novel "Brett Gets Hammered" an excellent five-star review which I was understandably quite happy with, then went on to privately inform me that, at one point in the story, my main character Brett Cornell got him so angry that he wanted to punch him right in the face. I had to laugh when I read that, and I sincerely wished he'd included that observation in his written review, since it would have revealed that my writing actually evoked such strong feelings in him.

Would you rather sell 1,000 books at $10 each, or 2,000 at $1 each?
Definitely the higher number of books! Others may feel differently of course, but to me, one of my major reasons for self-publishing was to simply allow my work to become available to as many readers as possible.

Why should people buy your books?

To be honest, I think they all have good storylines, and I also happen to think they're really funny and entertaining. I've been told that Brett is quite a unique and unforgettable character, and I think that that says it all, really.

Who do you see as your target audience?
I think that male readers between the ages of 18 and 50 would probably get a real big kick out of Brett's over-the-top behavior, simply because they would probably be less likely to feel offended by actions of his which other people might consider offensive or unduly crass. I do mention as often as possible that Brett is not meant to be taken seriously, so overly sensitive readers might want to stay clear of him. On the other hand, I've received positive feedback from women as old as 70 -- So, who can say for sure, right?

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Thanks for your comments, David, and good luck with your writing.

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Brett Cornell

Follow author David D D'Aguanno on twitter:

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You can find out more about the Brett Cornell series of novels at the Brett Cornell blog and Brett Cornell facebook page:
Facebook: Brett Cornell Series

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Here's a link to an excerpt from "Don't Mess with Brett" (Book #9):
Brett vs. O'Rourke - "Brett Goes Out Looking for Lomax (But Finds a Big Bull, Instead)"

The passage in question involves the build-up to a big fight scene between Brett and a tough cop who's always bullied him in the past. Readers should bear in mind that this passage is written in the first-person (i.e. in Brett's own words), as is the case with all the writing in all nine novels in the series.

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All nine books in the Brett Cornell series are available for Kindle and the Kindle app from and  Here are the links to the first three books in the series:
Poolside with Brett
Brett Aerobicizes
Brett Always Wins
Poolside with Brett
Brett Aerobicizes
Brett Always Wins

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