David Harry is the author of a four part mystery series set in his home town of San Padre. The Jimmy Redstone/Angella Martinez mystery/thriller series is set on the rustically beautiful, but sometimes treacherous, south Texas Gulf coast where the United States and Mexico rub against one another. Drugs, weapons and people seem to move freely from one to the other with seemingly no restraint. Dead bodies on the beach often portend more than a simple murder.
What inspired you to craft this quite compelling tale of love, intrigue, and dangerous mystery?
I combined my love for mysteries with the observation that many people I know are dealing with one or more autistic family members. And I can only imagine that one of the many questions hanging over them is how will my loved one deal with the world when he/she comes of age?
What's the significance of the book's title?
Loosely speaking, standard deviation is a term used to define the boundaries of normal for any set of observations, whether they are baseball batting averages, height, weight or human behavior. For example, the average height of American men is 5’10 and the standard deviation is plus or minus 3. Thus someone 5’6” is outside the standard deviation, meaning that in any general population there would be very few men 5’6” or smaller and very few men 6’2” and larger.
There are no numbers associated with human behavior, so folks exhibiting behaviors that are remarkably different from the general population are said to be on a spectrum. One could think of such folks as approaching, or in some cases beyond, the standard deviation of human behavior.
For those who may not know, what exactly is Asperger's Syndrome?
It is an autistic spectrum disorder characterized by poor nonverbal communication skills. An Asperger’s person usually has limited empathy with his or her peers in social interactions. One typical trait is a repetitive pattern of behavior, particularly when the person is stressed. Often, the stress is self-imposed. Cecil, the Asperger Syndrome child of the story, would have been about eleven when the syndrome was first standardized as a diagnosis in the United States.
Why is it so difficult for Cecil to bond with and understand others?
As I said, people with Asperger Syndrome do not understand the nonverbal part of communications and thus the eye flutters, the shrugs and hand gestures, even a smile from the other person, often goes unnoticed, or at least, unappreciated. Cecil is very literal and when his mother tells him to “break a leg” before his grade school graduation play, he becomes upset. Cecil remains confused even after the meaning of the phase is explained to him.
What exactly is it about her new lover that draws Cecil's sister to him so?
Good question. Wade brutally raped a young and vulnerable girl. Since that time, and seemingly even before the rape, Wade has struggled to have normal relationships with women. Perhaps because of Caroline’s infirmity as a quadriplegic, or perhaps because of Caroline’s wealth, Wade overcomes his fear of women. Being the publisher of the local paper cloaks him with an air of respectability. Caroline, being in desperate need of companionship, does not look beyond the surface.
What is so dangerous about Cecil's sister's new lover's past that threatens everyone's life and safety?
The danger comes, not from Wade, but from Sally, the woman who was raped by Wade. She and Cecil are struggling to build a relationship, perhaps the only relationship that will ever be possible for Cecil. Sally, on the other hand, is focused on obtaining revenge from Wade, her rapist.
You've become quite the prolific author. Please share more with our readers about your other writings.
I have published four mystery, thrillers built around Jimmy Redstone and his partner, Angella Martinez. The stories are set in and around South Padre Island located in the Gulf of Mexico very near the porous border of Texas and Mexico. Drugs and people are not the only commodities that are smuggled across the Rio Grande River. Jimmy and Angella become involved with atomic weapons, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, toxic chemicals and a host of nasty characters all tying to do harm to the United States.
What are your future writing/publishing plans?
Of course, I will continue the Redstone/Martinez series as they are best sellers on the island. I am not yet ready to announce the topic of my next general fiction novel.
How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?
How can they contact you directly?
Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
Raising an autistic child places huge emotional burdens on caregivers. Cecil’s parents and grandparents, despite many obstacles, allowed Cecil to follow and develop his repetitive tendencies, disruptive as they were. Not all children on the autistic scale will perform as well as Cecil, but every child should be nurtured and encouraged to achieve as much as possible.
Thanks again, David, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors! David has generously agreed to donate 10% of all proceeds of the sale of his newest release Standard Deviation to Autism. You can donate additional fund on his website or just purchase the book.