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Rio Flash ’62: Historical Thriller

Rio Flash ’62, historical thriller by debut author Andrew Deutsch

Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Fictional Pet Corner!

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Rio Flash ’62

Rio Flash '62

Brazil. Rio De Janeiro. 1962. A time of dramatic political, social, and cultural clashes. Here, at the nexus of high society and low, style and street, pop music and passionate crime, a young tabloid photographer will do anything to get ahead – even protect a killer.

Beto Santera, raised on the struggling side of Rio, has just wrangled his first press photographer’s card. He has big dreams, small chances, and a chip on his shoulder. Beto is desperate to get ahead as a photographer but is scrambling to make ends meet.

His luck changes when he photos Sergio Fontes von Imperial, an outcast of a powerful Rio family, leaving the crime scene of a murdered popular Brazilian star.

Beto makes a dark deal with Sergio, loses the negatives, and he gets access to the exclusive world of fashion, art, music, and nightlife. All the excitement Rio has to offer.

Then more killings occur. Beto is forced to make a choice, keep his career, or help catch the criminal.

To purchase Rio Flash ’62, click on any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble & Google Play

Rio Flash ’62 — Author Interview with Andre Deutsch

 Rio Flash '62Rio Flash ’62 is set in Rio De Janeiro in 1962. What drew you to that time and place for your debut novel?

Some years ago, I was developing a mystery project for a film studio on the life of Weegee, a crime photographer working in the 1940’s and 50’s.

Unfortunately, another studio got their somewhat similar project going first, so mine was cancelled. But years later I was spending time in Rio de Janeiro writing another film project. In my limited down time, I started exploring Rio locations and learning their histories. I became seduced by the music, nightlife, and political conflicts of the early 60’s. I could envision an intriguing mix of film noir and La Dolce Vita.

That inspired me to take some of those story elements from that past canceled film and move them to this unique transitional environment and period in Rio’s history in the early 1960’s. From there, the basic story and characters just flowed out.

What should readers know about Beto Santera?

Beto was raised in the favelas (slums) of Rio, where normally where you are born is where you will stay. There, ambition is more a curse than a blessing. But he has dreams of becoming a photojournalist when newspapers ruled and a front-page crime photo could make a photographer’s year.

Looking through the viewfinder of his inherited Rolleiflex camera, everything seems possible. The highs and lows of Rio are his to frame. Yet the obstacles are formidable. He is not well educated. He’s also of mixed race. He has to learn to take advantage of any opportunity that comes his way. That at first gets him ahead – but then land him in big trouble.

Tell us about your road to publication with Rio Flash ’62:

Initially, I thought I was supposed to get a literary agent. So I sent out queries and got back polite ‘no’s’ or nothing. Soon other writer friends of mine told me at my age that was a fool’s errand. So, I persisted for a bit, then thought perhaps I should listen to experience. It was then I decided to submit to small presses. I made an initial list of six through research in Duotrope.

Of those six, World Castle was the first to want to publish. There was another publisher who also wanted the book, but I had already committed.

What kept you going through numerous drafts of the novel?

Rio Flash '62That it was mostly, although of course not all the time, fun.

Whether it was Beto, the protagonist, first photographing Sergio, the antagonist. The detective, Tadeo, at the crime scenes. Sergio when his mother dies. Beto in jail. The final Beto-Sergio confrontation. I could go on.

For all the these and others I simply had a lot of fun writing them; whether because they seemed to create their own momentum, or reveal something I hadn’t realized before, or point to a subplot or character beat that made them do things in surprising ways. So even in rewrites, I found ways that to me made the story more compelling, and hopefully eliminated the extraneous.

What can we find you doing when you aren’t writing crime fiction?

Writing for digital media, mostly law and medical research non-profits. Photography, which has been my lifelong avocation. Pairing good cooking with nice wines.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novel called THE STEPPED RECKONER. It’s a contemporary caper story about the theft, an inside job, of one of the first mechanical computers. It was actually made in the 17th century and in the story, it’s located in a very eccentric museum filled with unusual scientific and anthropological items.

I also have the sequel to Rio Flash ‘62 roughly outlined.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

In general: First, I’d say read. Then read more. In what ever way works, absorb those things you find stimulating in what you read. And of course, write.

For fiction, whether novel, short story, or screenplays (which was where I earned my living) consider that character drives the story. The story is dilemma(s) the characters contend with. The words (or film scenes) serve that by creating a storytelling style, the mood(s), and pace/rhythm. When one is fortunate to have it all working, it is a seamless world that hopefully engages the reader.

Rio Flash '62
Historical research: Photos used for inspiration

 Author Fictional Pet Corner!

Well, there’s the possibility of a dog.

S/he’s name is Bouncer and lives in my wife’s and my imagination for now. A

s her/his name indicates, the dog jumps quite high.

Elena is pulling for you to get a real dog. Love the description!

Rio Flash '62

Andrew Deutsch — Author of Rio Flash ’62

Andrew Deutsch has been writing for motion pictures, television, and digital media for over 30 years. Most of that time based in Los Angeles, more recently in Brazil, and now in Northern California.

To learn more about Andrew, click on any of the following links:





Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio.

Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery



The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) guidebook. Amazon #1 bestseller

Header image by Heibe on Pixabay

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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