05 Sep 2013

Mark Louis Rybczyk: The Travis Club

3 Comments Book Reviews, News

 

Mark-Banner

Radio listeners in Dallas/Fort Worth may know Mark Louis Rybczyk better as ‘Hawkeye,’ the long time morning host on heritage country station, 96.3 FM KSCS. An award-winning disc jockey, Mark, along with his partner Terry Dorsey, have the longest-running morning show in Dallas. Mark is an avid skier, windsurfer and traveler. He is also the host of ‘Travel With Hawkeye’ a radio and television adventure feature that airs across the country. The Travis Club is the third book from Mark Louis Rybczyk.

The Plot:

In a cathedral in downtown San Antonio, just a few blocks from the Alamo, sits the tomb of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other Alamo Defenders. Or so we have been led to believe. What secrets really lie inside the tomb and what has a group of misguided activists known as The Travis Club stumbled upon? How far will the city’s power brokers go to protect those secrets?

What would happen if a group of slackers discovered San Antonio’s DaVinci Code? Find out in the new book by Mark Louis Rybczyk, The Travis Club.

 

 Mark card_217902601

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

In the mid 1980’s when I just out of college, I was living in San Antonio starting my career as a morning radio host. One weekend morning, I was riding my bike through historic Fort Sam Houston, an Army post situated in the middle of the city.

I’m one of those kind of guys that stops and reads every historical marker and that morning I must have run into about 10 of them. Little did I know that Dwight D Eisenhower was once stationed there and met his wife while coaching football a local university. Or the the first military flight occurred on the the parade ground with a plane purchased from the Wright Brothers.

On my ride home, I decided to write a historical guide book to San Antonio. I figured there were enough stories that, by themselves would not merit an entire book, but all together would be an interesting read.

It took me three years to write. In 1990, I published my first book, San Antonio Uncovered. The book was a local best seller and sold 5 printings and 2 editions. It was this book that gave me the idea to write my current novel The Travis Club.

The Travis Club features many of the odd, funny and hard to believe stories that seem to be so prevalent in San Antonio including the fact that there is a tomb in the back of the nation’s oldest cathedral that supposedly holds the remains of Davy Crockett and other Alamo defenders. Even today, the church is not sure about the validity of the remains. I thought it would be fun to create a Da Vinci Code type story about the tomb and weave thru it the history and quirkiness of on of this nations oldest and most unique cities.

Are you like any of the characters?

I have been accused by many of my family and friends of being a bit too similar to the main character Taylor Nichols. I will concede that there are many similarities.

What else would you like our readers to know about yourself?

I would like to point out to other writers how much trouble I had getting this book into print and how important it is to be persistent. I first wrote this book and tried to get it published over ten years ago. I ended up putting it on a shelf and started other projects. I finally pulled it off the shelf and reread the entire work. Because so much time had passed and I wasn’t as emotionally attached to the original, I was able to edit the book down, cutting out not essential parts that didn’t contribute to the plot.

Next, I hired and editor to look over the project. Those were the best two things I ever did.

The self editing made the book so much better. The professional editor made the book so much more polished.

The third thing I did was decide to self publish. I decided to wait a few years for self publishing to get better established. I’m glad I waited and I’m glad I self published. The timing was right. I have been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming positive reaction from readers. I have received quite a few reviews on Amazon.com and most have been between 4 and 5 stars.

You are never really sure what the public will think about your book until it is published. It has been an exciting time for me.

Are there any changes you would have made to your book?

After it was published, I wish I would have made one extremely minor change. I told my wife about it and she said I was nitpicking, so I stopped worrying about it. Your book will never be perfect, you will always wish you made changes.

One thing I added to the book that no one ever seems to get is the metaphor of the main characters cat. The cat is always trying to get outside to mark his territory, not unlike the main characters of the book, who also mark their territory by appointing themselves the protectors of the San Antonio’s historic treasures. I can honestly say that no one has ever picked up on that metaphor. Next time I won’t try to be so clever.

Will there be more/ a sequel?

I am hoping to write a sequel perhaps a trilogy. Many of the reviewers have mentioned that they would like to see more from the main characters and the other members of the Travis Club. I am excited that people have become so invested in my characters and I want to take it to the next level

I would also like to to write a tour of the places that are mentioned in the book and where to find them in San Antonio. I probably will post them in my blog SanAntonioUncovered.com

 

Website | Metroplexing | San  Antonio Uncovered | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway:

 

One paperback copy of The Travis Club.

 

 

 

Rafflecopter:

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: Self Published

 

Genre: Mystery

 

Release Date: June 17, 2013

 

Amazon

 

 

 

Excerpt One Short:

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Noel Black sharpened a pencil and placed it neatly back in the top drawer of his glass-topped

 

desk, right next to the other sharpened pencils. He glanced at the clock then straightened a few

 

paper clips and a calculator on the stark, polished surface.

 

11:08 p.m.

 

He knew he’d be leaving soon. So important to stay on schedule. Especially on a night like

 

tonight, when a life would come to an end.

 

Among the abstract paintings of his office was one unframed black and white print. A picture

 

of her. Not a picture of sentiment, but simply of record. A photo that would soon belong in a file.

 

Black fingered the yellowed photograph and could not help but think of childhood visits to

 

his mother’s father, his abuelo. He remembered spending the hot San Antonio summers at a

 

rickety west-side duplex much different than his parents’ ranch house in Dallas. Abuelo’s home

 

was filled with people, music, food and love.

 

As a child, Black would spend summer afternoons within earshot of the front window,

 

waiting for the rumble of his grandfather’s old diesel engine. Then the home would fill with

 

other workers, workers who were grateful to the old lady. All immigrants, they had left Mexico

 

hoping for a better life. The old lady offered them higher wages than the pecan shellers received.

 

With the promise of steady income came the chance to move into a house with plumbing, to send

 

money home, and to send for other relatives. His grandfather loved the old lady and he did too.

 

More recently, Noel Black’s feelings about her had changed. She was a relic, an icon of a

 

past era. Now in her final years of the 20th century, the old lady had outlived her usefulness and

 

had no place in the modern San Antonio that he envisioned. She was in his way. She needed to

 

be eliminated.

 

Of course, this kind of work had to be contracted out. He usually relied on a local contact

 

who understood the procedures. Anytime a life was extinguished, it must be done with precision

 

in Noel Black’s world.

 

 

 

Excerpt Two Long:

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Noel Black sharpened a pencil and placed it neatly back in the top drawer of his glass-topped

 

desk, right next to the other sharpened pencils. He glanced at the clock then straightened a few

 

paper clips and a calculator on the stark, polished surface.

 

11:08 p.m.

 

He knew he’d be leaving soon. So important to stay on schedule. Especially on a night like

 

tonight, when a life would come to an end.

 

Among the abstract paintings of his office was one unframed black and white print. A picture

 

of her. Not a picture of sentiment, but simply of record. A photo that would soon belong in a file.

 

Black fingered the yellowed photograph and could not help but think of childhood visits to

 

his mother’s father, his abuelo. He remembered spending the hot San Antonio summers at a

 

rickety west-side duplex much different than his parents’ ranch house in Dallas. Abuelo’s home

 

was filled with people, music, food and love.

 

As a child, Black would spend summer afternoons within earshot of the front window,

 

waiting for the rumble of his grandfather’s old diesel engine. Then the home would fill with

 

other workers, workers who were grateful to the old lady. All immigrants, they had left Mexico

 

hoping for a better life. The old lady offered them higher wages than the pecan shellers received.

 

With the promise of steady income came the chance to move into a house with plumbing, to send

 

money home, and to send for other relatives. His grandfather loved the old lady and he did too.

 

More recently, Noel Black’s feelings about her had changed. She was a relic, an icon of a

 

past era. Now in her final years of the 20th century, the old lady had outlived her usefulness and

 

had no place in the modern San Antonio that he envisioned. She was in his way. She needed to

 

be eliminated.

 

Of course, this kind of work had to be contracted out. He usually relied on a local contact

 

who understood the procedures. Anytime a life was extinguished, it must be done with precision

 

in Noel Black’s world.

 

11:22 p.m.

 

38 minutes to show time. His instructions were explicit: action not to be taken until midnight.

 

Not a second sooner. Not a moment later.

 

He locked the glass door behind him and walked briskly to his polished black BMW. He

 

knew that he should stay and wait for a call. But tonight, waiting was too difficult.

 

11:37 p.m.

 

He eased the perfectly waxed sedan through the streets of downtown and into the fringes of

 

the west side. “This land is way too valuable,” he mumbled aloud. He slowed down and parked

 

across the street, hoping to be inconspicuous, even though he knew that a European sedan was

 

about as common in this South Texas barrio as a snowball.

 

“Just a quick look,” he told himself.

 

He caught the eye of a shadowy figure in a black hooded sweatshirt. It was one of the locals

 

he had hired to complete the job. Black flashed back the mal ojo, the evil eye. He knew he

 

shouldn’t have come. But deep inside he needed to see her one last time, not to pay his respects,

 

but to make sure the job was done right.

 

11:46 p.m.

 

He started up his engine and allowed his eyes one final glance at her. It was one time too

 

many. Immediately, he noticed something amiss. A glint behind a window pane that made him

 

realize someone must have been tipped off.

 

He felt a rock in his stomach. He knew there would be trouble.

 

 


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written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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3 Responses to “Mark Louis Rybczyk: The Travis Club”

  1. “Travis Club” Book Tour | writerchristophfischer says:

    […] FEATURE ON THE TRAVIS CLUB BY MARK LOUIS RUBCZYK ON MY NEW BLOG […]

  2. Bk Walker says:

    Wonderful interview. Thank you for hosting 🙂

  3. Alenette says:

    Wow. The book sounds really good and the interview was great–would love to read the book!

    I hope the author is having a great tour! (very unique last name) 😀

    Pit Crew Team

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