Book Tours: Guest Post for Washed Hands


Today I’m hosting a guest post for the book tour for mystery / thriller “Washed Hands”. I’m glad to host the author on my blog, and I’ll leave the word to Jonathan Charles Bruce now.

Guest Post

            In the waning months of 2013, I started a project that I thought was going to be a fun little diversion. About every week, I would write and post a new chapter of a thriller/detective story titled Washed Hands, itself a continuation/alternate presentation of a short subject I had written earlier that year. I never really intended it to be a long work—something in the neighborhood of about seven chapters or so. There were certain story beats that I had plotted out, but the means of getting there were left almost entirely uncharted.

            Of course, by a couple chapters in, the framework I had was now under constant revision and expansion. I had moments of panic when I realized that I had to start making sure things connect and logically flow into one another. And then there would be last minute decisions to throw something out for being unworkable or wholly inappropriate for the story being told. Sometimes I still have mild bursts of panic—did what I write actually make sense? Or did I happen to just create a long, unreadable tract of pretention and silliness?

            Note to self: Possible biography title—Long,Unreadable Tract of Pretention and Silliness.

            Where was I? Oh, right.

            One of the major set pieces I had cooked up in the earliest drafts would have involved Monica attempting to break into Washed Hands’s corporate headquarters. While a version of this moment still exists in the published version, the original intention was to have a much more bombastic escape sequence, with explosions and rappelling down the side of the building only to break through a window a couple floors down and run out the rest of the way on foot.

            As awesome as it could have been, it didn’t fit the tone of the story. I did establish that while Monica is a scrappy and ever-capable protagonist, a sudden skill with improvised explosives would be very left-fieldy. Something expected from, say, a burned secret agent or a cop with nothing to lose, but a rejection counselor?

            Not without ending up on a government watch list, I’m sure.

            One of the biggest challenges as a writer is learning when to tell yourself no. I’m sure that, at least once per title, I’ve had the ominous tones of self-censorship mutter in my brain: Well, this is actually heavier on the ‘crazy’ end of the ‘crazy-awesome’ spectrum. It may be easy to think that an editor can catch these things, but by that point in the process, it might involve more than a simple rewrite to correct it.

            Being self-aware of your process and the logic you’ve set up for your world can save you a lot of heart- and headache. If I were to make a really awkward analogy, then I would compare it to oral hygiene. Brushing, that is the actual writing, is all well and good. But without flossing, which would represent selectivity of sensationalism, you’ll end up needing more work when you go to the dentist. Er, editor. And if you’ve really neglected your duty, then you’re going to have to go in for some major surgery to get at the heart of issue.

            I am so bad at metaphors. Just the worst.

About the Book

WASHED_HANDS_ebookTitle: Washed Hands

Author: Jonathan Charles Bruce (

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Publisher: Booktrope Publishing (

Price: $13.95 (paperback)

ISBN:              9781620154656


Breaking up can be one of the hardest things a person can do, something that the dedicated team at Washed Hands, Inc. thoroughly understands. Whether one’s soon-to-be-ex is manipulative, violent, or anything else that makes a clean break difficult, the company’s rejection counselors ensure that the split is established and maintained in no uncertain terms. And in the toughest cases, no one’s better at this than Monica Deimos.

Brought in on what appeared to be a relatively straight-forward domestic nightmare, Monica

realizes all-too-late that she has been set up to take the fall for the murder of a wealthy socialite.

As the police close in, Monica needs to discover who she can trust, who wants her out of the way, and why she was framed.

She’s no fool, though. The best case scenario ends in a jail cell… the worst in a body bag.




Author Bio

7862046Jonathan Bruce began writing what amounted to terrible Star Trek: The Next Generation fan fiction when he was four. Although the original manuscripts are lost (or perhaps destroyed), we can rest assured that his prose has improved significantly since then. After high school, he began writing and directing plays which gradually improved depending on whom you ask. He discovered his love of a good fight scene after writing a Dracula knock-off which took a 19th century classic and made it less about Victorian yearning and 300% more about stabbing things in the jugular.

And yes, this means he wrote vampire fiction before Stephanie Meyer made it cool to sparkle in the sun.

He has a Master’s Degree in History, thanks largely to his thesis focusing on MUSIC, a Milwaukee-based school desegregation campaign during the 1960′s. He also enjoys discussing/making fun of pop culture of the 20th century and reading books of a non-historical nature. In his off moments, you can catch him writing for fun or making inane movies about nothing in particular. He also occasionally provides work for Twenty Four Pages a Second, a pretty keen website you should totally check out.




Twitter: @jonathancbruce

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