Americans don’t know how to catalog me. I rejoiced when a reporter dubbed me the “real life Kolchak” because it could encompass what I do in a positive way, one that people could easily get a handle on.
But stalking serial killers is not something that Kolchak did, and I am not an irascible journalist. Miss Marple, Sherlock, Lord Peter Wimsey, Father Brown– they solved murders . . .and they are also British. The Brits understand the Citizen Sleuth. They praise the Citizen Sleuth.
Americans? They don’t fully understand the genre. The rogue cop they understand. The journalist uncovering too much and getting rubbed out for doing so they understand. The hardboiled PI. But these are all professionals. I am the Citizen Sleuth. Hard thing for Americans to get their minds around.
Officialdom not so much. I write like a geek, sometimes even like an attorney. So the legal eagles get it. Detectives get it. College profs and other academic things get it. A good attorney tells you once. Then they tell you twice. Then they tell you what they mean.
This isn’t an article about me, though. Kinda. This is an article expressing perhaps a conundrum at what I do. I have to tell people sometimes what my hobby is. Why I’m in a neighborhood. At the smirk and “Oh” I must respond. Over time it has gotten easier. It took me 10 years to be dubbed “Kolchak.” Only a fraction of that to gain recognition in cold case. It’s all about reputation, and often this comes down to being encapsulated by a moniker. By a concept.
He’s Q-Man, you know. Huh? He’s a writer, isn’t he? Kinda. He writes about some of the stuff he investigates. He likes some weird things. Ah, that vestige of my X Files reputation. He’s a PI, right? No, he’s painfully free. He’s a journalist, right? Not exactly. He’s an investigative historian . . .also kinda. What the hell? He’s famous, right? Sorta . . . in a seedy way. Do we let him pack heat? Some places.
Ah, the Citizen Sleuth. But it is very satisfying. I quench my quest to solve mystery and I am doing something constructive and helping lives. I am now hunting another diablo. Can’t confess who it is, but another section of my site will showcase the result and be used to unmask him. No book. This is purely a presentation on the web like with EAR/ONS.
I have turned down starring in my own TV series, at least that’s how it was presented to me. Stardom is not in my future, but I don’t think “reality TV” is conducive to marketing the real and very ambiguous me. I would have done it for a season, but I could not make the scheduling for the presentation reel and I discovered I would have no control.
But the future is an exciting one for the Q Files, my literary self, and for Cold Case. The Gruen Zumzum rides again. Yes, that’s my car. I can’t have a hornet. I can’t sting. I gather and analyze data. I’m the Citizen Sleuth. I think when I get bolder I will get a nice Italian motorcycle– green of course– and give it a very appropriate name for someone who can at least bite and cause fevers in the McNasties of this world.
I learned writing by writing screen and teleplays back in the 1980s. This summer I start again. I have many plots to write and I will start pounding on agent doors. I’m a middle aged man with long hair. Gimme a break. As a screenwriter I don’t have to promote anything. They don’t care if you don’t walk the red carpet. Who cares about the writer? They give you lots of money, too! This way I can remain the citizen sleuth behind the scenes and support my hobby. Yes, I think that a good plan.
HorrorScope is still scheduled to be out Fall/Winter this year. BT II is at the door, by June 1. Cold Case and Kolchak here we come. Can you dig it?
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.