A Brief Q&A About the New Dakota Mystery

ATSTFIs any of A Truth Stranger Than Fiction based in reality?

Absolutely. Without giving any spoilers, I can tell you that the heart of the mystery in A Truth Stranger Than Fiction involves a highly controversial current issue—an issue that is inextricably intertwined with the Earth’s future. The novel also deals with corporate profiteering, corporate-government collusion, and espionage.


One Amazon reviewer calls A Truth Stranger Than Fiction “non-Neanderthal noir.” What does this mean?

I think that customer reviewer picked up on one of the things I’ve tried to do with the entire Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, which is this: to use elements of the old noir detective voice, including rich metaphors and fun turns of phrase, but to leave out the misogynistic and gratuitously violent elements.

TSTF_Enhanced_20Yes, Dakota is attractive to women, and yes, he finds them attractive, but he doesn’t view women as objects. He truly loves, admires and respects women (i.e., his associate, Svetlana, is accomplished in her own right as a chess grandmaster). All of the female characters in the books, while they might be sexy in some way, are also smart, witty and great at whatever they do.


TSTF_Enhanced_45But in the series, Dakota is not just presented as “attractive to women”; he’s very attractive to women—on par with James Bond. How realistic is this?

I’ll admit that men as attractive to women as Dakota are rare, but they are out there. I went to college with two guys like him: Matt O. and Steve B. I won’t mention their last names because I don’t want to intrude on their privacy, but I can tell you that their appeal to women was legendary.

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Photo credits: “Reflected Chess Pieces” by Adrian Askew (http://goo.gl/3UGXem) and “Cool Businessman Standing on Dark Gradient Background” by Aleksandr Doodko.

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By Chris Orcutt

Writer — The Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, Short fiction, Plays — Editor & Speechwriter for Hire — Avid Golfer, Chess Player & Awesome Wood-Splitter — Twitter: @chrisorcutt