Random (and truthful) event in the life of a night writer. *

Last night, I was plotting how to finish off the third victim of a serial killer for my current manuscript when my mobile phone began playing They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, "No, no, no." I haven’t changed ringtone since Amy Winehouse’s demise a few months ago.

“José, did you guys change the office locks without telling me?” It was my boss.

“No,” I replied. “What happened?”

“I can’t open the front door. It sounds like all the internal parts came loose inside the lock.” He said.

“Really? I can be in the office in ten minutes.”

“Don’t worry, what need is a locksmith. But it’s kind of late.”

“It’s no problem. I have certain experience with locked doors.”

As promised, I got there as soon as I could. Okay, okay, it took me twelve to fifteen minutes.

After trying the key and a gentle shove, the door remained closed. It was time to put my money where my mouth was.

I handed my boss a flashlight and told him where to point the light beam. Can’t tell you how much fun it was to boss my boss around.

Using an old laminated ID card, I pressed the spring latch between the door at the frame and within a minute, I pushed the door open. Easy as cake.

“Wow. I’m impressed, you’re fast!” He said as I ran to punch in the security code.

“Well,” I said coming back to the door, “there is a reason why the main character in Treasure Hunt is a thief.”

So, once again, a proof that the time invested in research is time well spent.

*Night Writer has nothing to do with Knight Rider, so if you got here looking for the TV show, check your spelling and Google again. lol

Dishing it up!

Hi there.

A new interview is online, some of the questions were unexpected.

Check it out:

Go to the backspacewriters blog

I was a guest blogger at the BackSpace blog.
Here is the link:


But then, come back to this one. :-)

On turning 39

Today is the first day of the last year in which I can be referred to as “a man in his late-thirties.”

365 days from today, I’ll hit the big four-oh.

Is the middle-age crisis showing up yet?

I’m not overly worried about that.

Maybe because I think I suffered it prematurely when I turned 30. I remember nine years ago I signed up for Karate lessons, I let my hair grow a bit longer than usual, changed jobs, bought a piano and tried to teach myself how to play it, quoted a sports car. So, no, I don’t think 40 will have a greater impact. Hopefully.

I have no big plans for my 39th year except for keeping my day job—which thankfully I love—but also spending time with the family and working on a new novel that I finally plotted (yes, I’m a plotter, not a pantser).

One of my favorite movies from the 80’s is “When Harry Met Sally,” and not only because of the restaurant scene where the Director’s mother uttered the AFI listed quote: "I'll have what she's having.”

No, the other scene that stuck in my mind, because it was even in the trailer, is between Sally and Harry. Here’s the exchange, courtesy of IMDB:

Sally: No, no, no, I drove him away. AND, I'm gonna be forty.
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday.
Harry: In eight years.

So, it’s not eight years for me anymore, just a few months above eight. J

JET fueled Fiction

In case you missed my post in my Facebook and Twitter, today I'm a guest blogger at J.E. Taylor's blog. Just follow the link here:

1911-2011, 100 years of Marini

Yesterday I received a short text message from a friend alerting me of something: This year marks the first hundredth anniversary of the Martini.

Why did my friend think that little bit of trivia would interest me? Maybe it was because of the twenty-three DVDs containing as many James Bond movies that are on display in next to the player; or perhaps the fact that my wife presented me with a cocktail mixer on Father’s Day; maybe it was because he knew I was looking for a subject to blog about and that I would, in fact, drink one if I were to write about the cocktail. The truth is I do not know my friend’s motivations, but I do thank him. Cheers to you, Sergio!

Let’s get the facts out straight first.

Fact #1: Here is the American Bartender Association official recipe:

5.5 cl Gin
1.5 cl Dry Vermouth
Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well Strain in chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with olive.
(Vodka Martini - replace gin with vodka)

Fact #2: Neither James Bond, nor Ian Fleming invented it; although, both author and character played an important part in making it popular during the 50’s and 60’s.

Fact #3: The most accepted theory, if there is such a thing among men precariously holding cocktail glasses, is that the Martini was concocted in the bar of the popular Knickerbocket Hotel in New York City back in 1911 (hence the 100 year reference, duh!).

Is it martinis the drink of choice for spies and authors? Well, I’m certainly not in speaking terms with any spy, but I do know some famous authors who drank Martinis. Every writer worth his salt has a copy of Strunk & White’s The Element of Style, and this is important because, you see, E.B. White is usually quoted for calling the drink "the elixir of quietude". Journalist H.L. Mencken went further and called it "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.” I may name other authors, but that’d be just name-dropping.

I am not trying to take Wikipedia’s place as a source for quotable undisputed information so I won’t dwell on the cocktail’s origins; or how it became popular during the Prohibition years due to easiness of finding cheap Gin; or why Elle Wood’s father is holding a glass on every one of his scenes in Legally Blond.

The whole point of this entry is to celebrate my favorite cocktail, not because I’m an author/spy wannabe, but because I’ve learn to appreciate its taste, master its preparation and can sit and enjoy one, or two.

Shoot! My glass is empty. I’ll wrap this up and go mix another one.

For a more detailed history of the cocktail, here are some further reading links:

PS: I typed 23 James Bond movies. It was not a mistake. I have the 22 EON plus the 1983 renegade Never Say Never Again.

Readers Favorite reviewed Treasure Hunt

Now it's official, RF claims my novel Treasure Hunt is "a real page-turner!".

Of course, I couldn't be more thrilled with the comment.

And here's my favorite line:
The characters are believable; the author's astute attention to detail brings the reader into the story, captivated by each new chapter.

The review is now posted the Amazon and to their official site:

Fantastic Horcruxes and where to find them

Necessary Note: I wrote this piece for a Harry Potter book club a couple of months prior to the release of the Deathly Hallows book. With the imminent release of the last movie tomorrow, I thought this post was worth to revisit this search as we are still short of some horcruxes.

After the released of the Half Blood Prince and the shattering—if not completely surprising—demise of Hogwarts’ Headmaster, many questions have come to the mind of the readers. Perhaps the more over-analyzed is the loyalty of Severus Snape. There are subtle tips spread all through the six books that could support either case on where his loyalty stands. I’ll side-step that topic for now since I think there are only two viable outcome: He’s good and will help Harry somehow; or Snape is a treacherous bastard he’ll pay dearly for it in the end.

The other such topic is whether Dumbledore is dead or alive. Thankfully, Mrs. Rowling already clarified this point claiming the Headmaster will not be doing a “Gandalf.”

Now on to a topic that offers a wider realm of possibilities.

Since the introduction of the concept of a Horcrux, I fell enchanted with the concept of intentionally ripping a soul and actually taking advantage of it. The death-cheating scheme seems to be a repetitive theme in the life of Harry Potter and his wizardly world (e.g. The philosopher’s stone, the resurrection stone, unicorn’s blood, just to name a few).

A recap first, shall we? A Horcrux is an object that holds a part of soul of a wizard seeking immortality. Lord Voldemort made a total of six:

1. The Tom Riddle Diary: Given to Lucious Malfoy, destroyed by Harry Potter during the events inside the Chamber of Secrets in Harry’s second year.

2. The Ring from Slithering: Found hidden in the remains of the house of Gaunt and destroyed by Albus Dumbledore at the cost of his right hand in the process.

3. Nagini, the snake: To be found at Voldemort’s side if not sent on special missions. (e.g. Attacking Mr. Wesley at the Ministry of Magic in Book 5).

4, 5 & 6: the objects remain a mystery: “the locket .., the cup ... something of Gryffindor's or Ravenclaw's”. (Before my inbox gets inundated, I’ll concede the locket was verified, found and destroyed by the end of the Part I)

I will not venture what the remaining object might turn out to be. I’m more interested in pointing out the possible locations of some of them.

Given the fact that the two already-found Horcruxes were hidden in places that presented some importance—or milestone—in the life of Tom Riddle/Voldemort, I’m following the other known places where the Dark Lord has been.

1. The Chamber of Secrets. Fitting as he discovered his true ancestry there. It is a place no one but him could reach. “But when?” you may ask. Either before he left school or more possibly on his brief return to a job interview with Dumbledore for the Defense Against the Dark Art teaching position. (The books show a scene where Voldemort had an interview with the Headmaster for the post; however, this was not shown in the movies I think.)

2. The Room of Requirement: as the rushing Harry Potter confirmed himself when trying to hide his Half-blood prince autographed poison book, the room is overcrowded with objects. Perhaps the five-legged skeleton is one of the keepers! As to when, I’d suggest the same timeframes as above.

3. Burgin and Burkes store: What better place to hide such a dark object than a place filled with similarly dark magic pieces? The spies have a term coined for this technique; it is called: hiding in plain site! The young Tom Riddle worked there for some time. He probably placed it somewhere. Ever since Chamber of Secrets, this store keeps popping up a lot.

4. Godric’s Hollow: Yep, right where all began for Harry. I see the place might appeal to Voldemort in the same way as the Helga’s cup and Slithering locket. If the Dark Lord could not find anything from Godric Gryffindor, perhaps hiding a portion of his soul in the place of a Hogwart’s founder home.

5. The Orphanage: A place he never liked, true. But, again, the idea was to hide them well and not many people seem to be aware of Tom Riddle humble origins.

6. The Riddle House: A possibility? Why yes, indeed! Although the one I seem less likely as he spent a lot of time there during the events of Goblet of Fire. Being too close to hidden Horcrux might endanger it.

I’ve listed six possible places for a total of three remaining Horcruxes, let’s wait to the release of Deadly Hallows and find out for sure!

Kindle Author: Kindle Author Interview: J. H. Bográn

Kindle Author: Kindle Author Interview: J. H. Bográn: "J. H. Bográn, author of Treasure Hunt , discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle. DAVID WISEHART: What c..."

Some quotable quotes:

One of my favorite quotes is:

Because I do it with a little ship, I’m called pirate; because you do it with a big fleet you’re called emperor.
In an interesting twist, the quote is not from somebody famous; however it was said to none other than Alexander the Great.

The legend says Alexander was holding court to a person accused of piracy and that the Great conqueror was pounding on the little guy, really making him feel small as a bug. The pirate stood his ground, as quoted above and it is said that Alexander was so impressed by the comeback that felt no other choice but to release the prisoner.

Another favorite quote of mine is uttered by Giancarlo Giannini in the 1995 movie A Walk in the Clouds:

Just because I talk with an accent doesn't mean I think with an accent.

Maybe because that is how I feel being a non-native English writer.

But enough with the quotes, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

Will the Green Lantern resurrect DC Comics-based movies?

I’m not going to pose for an expert in comic. I barely know enough to get me through a conversation without making a fool out of myself. On the other hands, motion pictures are my thing.

The past decade marked a breakthrough for Marvel. Spiderman, X-men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, even the not so popular Daredevil/Elektra combo performed really well at the box office. Look at the X-Men for instance; it appears they can’t go wrong. They put an older-looking actor to play a younger version of himself, and it was a hit! Now the first class broke the 100 million mark soon enough. In 2003 The Hulk tanked worst than Godzilla, but undeterred, the producers tried again within five years and the result was much more satisfactory. Now the ambitious multi-movie project of The Avengers is in the works. Thor & Captain American are all lined up and ready and we’re taking it. I mean, come on, Chris Evans is in good shape, but he already played Jimmy Storm! Couldn't they find another actor to play Captain America? And still looks Marvel will get away with it, they’re definitely soaring!

Meanwhile, DC Comic’s sole hit is Batman. Although Superman performed okay, it didn't fulfill expectations and the franchise was put on hold. There is a new rendering, following the gritty footsteps of Christopher Nolan’s Batman, titled The Man of Steel. Let’s hope he can fly.

Last weekend Green Lantern opened to 53.2 Million at the box office, but the critics were not kind to the Ryan Reynolds incarnation. It received mixed to bad reviews, and producers still counting the pennies to see if they can declare it a hit or a flop. Let’s give them another week.

The horizon looks promising with the most beautiful of super heroes, Wonder Woman. Now that the new generation is not familiar with Linda Carter’s role-defining acting from 70’s, public is ready for a fresh look. And the timing could not be more appropriate. The woman-as-action-hero road was recently paved with Lara Croft, The Bride who wanted to Kill Bill and Alice from Resident Evil to name a few. However, producers are making it for TV, early critics panned the costume, so she’s off to a rocky start. For Wonder Woman, it’s now or never.

The DC Comics vrs. Marvel is as old as comics themselves, and the jury’s still out on the verdict.

I'm a guest at Cate Master's

I'm in the spotlight, here is the site:


Come and participate. Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Treasure Hunt.

My Boy Scout adventures

The Boy Scout movement in Honduras during the 80’s was a good experience for me. The moral values combined with the hands-on learning activities were a milestone in my education.

The motto of “be prepared” is ingrained so much that to this day I still carry a pocket knife, a pen, a lighter (ok, used to be matches). I dispensed the comb because, well, a comb won’t do anything to my hair; it was a waste of space.

Nowadays, I must leave my trusted Victorinox at home when I travel. But I take comfort thinking that I do it to “be prepared” for easy pass-through airport security. J

My first camping experience was in the mountains near Siguatepeque (central area of

Honduras). We arrived mid-morning, set camp within an hour and enjoyed the afternoon with horse-playing typical of an alfa-male group.

Along with the sunset, came the first rain drops. An hour later, the hard rain flooded the camp and we had to flee to higher ground while the noisy thunders scared a few of the younger members. We found an abandoned shed, apparently it had belonged to a saw mill, but the shed had no roof.

We spent the night sitting with our backs against a fallen tree trunk and covered our heads with the tent’s nylon.

It was an adventure.

It was the only time we had to set up camp twice during the same trip.

Honestly, I can’t remember another time when I had so much fun!

So here’s to the Boy Scout movement!

Trivia: I took the following text from the fact page of Boy Scouts of America. I read the story in the official manual years ago. The story is a fascinating example of faith, or destiny or whatever you want to call life-changing events. The link is here:

In 1909, Chicago publisher William D. Boyce lost his way in a dense London fog. A boy came to his aid and, after guiding the man, refused a tip, explaining that as a Scout he would not take a tip for doing a Good Turn. This gesture by an unknown Scout inspired a meeting with Robert Baden-Powell, the British founder of the Boy Scouts. As a result, William Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910.

Here is the link to the Scouts in Honduras.

Now on Twitter

I just added the "follow me" button on the right column.

Let the music play

What do you listen to when you’re writing? Besides the muse, I mean.

Is it pop, rock & roll, rhythm and blues? How about some heavy metal? Bohemian Rhapsody can do wonders for an action sequence.

Music is an integral part of my life. I listen to music while I’m driving, while I’m writing, I pay attention to score in most movies, etc. Actually, just recently I explained how I think my life feels like a movie, soundtrack included.

My personal music collection is just as varied as can be: from Beethoven to Bon Jovi, from The Doors to Lady Gaga, from Elvis to Michael Bublé. And Frank, of course, plenty of Frank.

I used to write while listening to pop singers, 70’s and 80’s most commonly, however, in recent days I’ve realized my preferences have moved towards classical melodies. Why the change?

I’m not sure. Easily, I could blame it on the fact that I’m nearing 40; but that’d be the easy way out. More than once I caught myself humming a song while, liked it or not, my fingers tapped away the lyrics. So, after repeated deletions of “Ice, ice, Baby”, “I want to hold your hand,” or “mamma mia,” I figured classical was the way to go.

What are your music-hearing habits?

Interviewed at Lindy's Lair

Fellow WCP author John Lindermuth cornered me with a in-depth Q&A.

Read it here:


Thank you John, it was fun.

Treasure Hunt Trailer

Here is the video for my thriller novel Treasure Hunt:

My first time in New York

Have you ever been to New York?

The below link is a short blog about the first time I visited the Big Apple.


This week's roundtable

The topic for this week's roundtable at The Big Thrill is an interesting one to me because I am a confessed movie freak.

"What can thriller writers learn from the movies?"

The difference between books and movies are abysmal, but that does not prevent us from learning a few tricks from the other trade.

Here is the link, feel free to jump right in:

Recent interview

I was interviewed recently by Elaine Cantrell. It was a fun one to do.

Here is the link:

My first contribution to Associated Content

Well, I had to give it a try.

It's about credit cards and the problems you can encounter if not paying attention to the small letter. As well as other pointers to help choose the card that serves you best.

Here is the link:

Promo Giveaway: Absolution Withheld

I’m giving away my short story Absolution Withheld. It was originally published in the now defunct Amazon Short programs but now is yours to have. To get it, I won’t ask you to search for hidden pictures, or fill out a questionnaire, or buy any thing upfront. This time it’s a giveaway plain and simple.

Just email me at jhbogran at gmail.com and specify if you'd like PDF of kindle friendly file.

Time to Celebrate

Time to celebrate. New Year. New book out.

Check out Treasure Hunt at its new home at Whiskey Creek Press: