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Bringing Dark History Into the Light

Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

Hanging Cloud follows a PI that tries to find a missing man and ends up uncovering a multigenerational conspiracy that leads to threats on his own life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In the past I had read about the government’s attempt at assimilating Native Americans into a lot of the urban areas in the United States. When I did the research I found out what their real intent was and felt that it needed to be shared, so I created a way to use it as part of the plot in the story. Many people have no idea that this even took place back in the 1950s. As it states in the book the whole intent was to get the Native Americans off their reservations so they could sell the land and also the hope of having them intermarry so they could just eliminate all Native Americans. It’s a part of our history that is kind of kept in the dark.

Tom Sipowicz is a great detective that captures the interest of readers. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted someone who had grown up with adversity in school but had a wonderful family life. He found his calling by being a Military Policeman and later a Cleveland Police Officer and then a detective. His martial arts training keeps him in shape and the character building that comes along with that training is invaluable to him both as a police detective and a private investigator. He’s the type of person that would give you the shirt off his back but not someone you would want to cross.

How did you decide on using the Native American Community as a focus for your novel?

A while back I had read an article about a man who grew up in a very loving family, had a great education and career. He later found out that he was adopted and that he was a Native American. For some reason, the article had popped into my head when I was looking to start another book and I thought that would be a great plot for a story.

What kind of research did you have to do to make sure you were accurately portraying the Native American culture?

My research involved checking out various websites and double-checking everything that I found to make sure it was as accurate as possible. A few years back I had met some Native Americans through another person and learned quite a bit from them as well. That helped me in writing the book and trying to keep it as close to reality as possible. The Native American Community has a lot to offer if people would just listen to them when they speak about their lives and what goes on in their communities. Their way of looking at the world makes sense.

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When the father of a local sports legend disappears the Polish Dragon P. I. and his partner Suzie are hired to find him. What they discover is the father’s true identity on his birth certificate and they also uncover a heinous crime that was perpetrated against the Native American Community.

Hanging Cloud (Polish Dragon P. I.)

When a sports celebrity hires Tom Sipowicz, of Polish Dragon P.I., to find his missing father, the protagonist of author Steve Zimcosky’s Hanging Cloud commences an investigation that will see him working to uncover a wide-ranging conspiracy against the Native American population of Cleveland. As the American government, the Catholic church, and a local medical practice are all revealed to be colluding together, Sipowicz finds himself embroiled in a cruel scheme that stretches back to the mid-nineteen hundreds and ripples through generations to the modern-day. Facing threats from old friends, Sipowicz learns about American history, and about his own family.

Hanging Cloud by Steve Zimcosky can be described as short, sweet, and simple. This mystery novel is written for middle-grade readers and up. From very early on in the story, the reader can quickly work out what has happened, the greater question that Tom Sipowicz must solve is how it has happened. In this respect, Zimcosky does an excellent job providing the necessary information required to solve the intriguing mystery, while withholding the vital links to put the pieces of the puzzle together into a whole that can be understood. Just like Tom Sipowicz, the reader quickly becomes aware that someone is lying, and they join Sipowicz on his investigation to discover exactly what, or who is amiss.

The mystery is straightforward and the author does not make it too challenging to follow the clues, which makes this crime fiction story perfect for young adults that are just getting into the mystery genre. The pacing is done well and keeps the storyline moving without too much extra information, allowing the reader to focus on facts and not get overwhelmed.

Hanging Cloud is a creative mystery novel that combines elements of historical fiction and Native American culture into the plot. This well-written novel writes about the Native American community with respect for their culture and beliefs, using facts to enhance the story. Middle-grade and young adult fans will enjoy this light-hearted mystery that takes readers on a stimulating journey to reveal the truth.

Pages: 202 | ASIN : B09MC5CH2P

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If The Secret Is Ever Discovered

Steve Zimcosky
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

The Good Book follows the Polish Dragon on a hunt for a missing bible that holds a devastating secret for the Russian Orthodox Church. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There have been many books and news stories about the Roman Catholic Church and all of its mysteries and accusations of wrongdoing but I had never really seen anything about the Eastern or Russian Orthodox Church. Perhaps the reason is because there is a much smaller following than the Roman Catholic Church. So I thought, why not do a mystery which includes them and a mysterious bible that could bring embarrassment to the church if the secret is ever discovered. I tried to include the similarities and the difference of both churches so the reader could get an idea of how similar they are yet very different.

Do you follow a formula for your mystery novels or do you try to make them all different?

I try to follow the plan that something happens that the police or law enforcement can’t really deal with or the statute of limitations has run out and the only recourse is to hire the Polish Dragon P. I. to help solve the case. Although on occasion it is necessary for law enforcement to be involved and the Polish Dragon must learn to sidestep those investigations so as not to interfere and at the same time use some former contacts to aid his investigation. And as I am sure that my books are read by many age groups I try to limit the profanity and the sexual overtones.

What are is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and how have you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I face is how to make my stories longer and get them to a full novel. I have taken several courses and spoken with several well-known authors on how I can do that. Hopefully my books will begin to get longer and I can finally get to the point of publishing a full novel rather than novellas. The other challenge is marketing, as I am a self-published author, all of that falls on my shoulders. So I am taking classes and workshops on how to maneuver that aspect of publishing my books.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on another Polish Dragon mystery that deals with the Native American so called Voluntary Relocation Program by the Bureau of Indian Affair back in the 1950s. It will involve a missing person and conspiracy to defraud the government and Native Americans.

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A bible mysteriously disappears from a Russian businessman’s home and it is said to have a secret hidden inside that would cause embarrassment to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Polish Dragon P. I. is called in, along with his new partner, to help find the bible. The problem is the bible is not supposed to exist and there is a secret organization, sworn to protect the church, also looking for the bible. They will stop at nothing to locate it and destroy it.

Polish Dragon P. I. (The Good Book)

Polish Dragon P.I.: The Good Book follows Suzie and Tom, a pair of investigators who are attempting to track down a Bible that was stolen from Andy, Suzie’s friend. What starts as a typical crime/mystery story quickly turns fantastic and thrilling when the investigators discover that Andy’s father was killed by someone looking for the book. A mysterious caller who is seemingly following Tom’s every step also adds to the intrigue. Can the investigators find this book and protect the rest of Andy’s family before it’s too late, or will the power players involved get their way? Most importantly, what is this book holding that has the attention of so many?

This book is a quick but no less thrilling read. It is smooth from cover to cover, which speaks to the quality of writing. This is a straightforward cozy mystery, but the entertainment value and revelation of information will keep readers engaged throughout the story. While the mystery at the heart of the story is uncomplicated, the story is well-structured, so you will be able to turn pages easily.

Where the story really excels is the escalation of the stakes. I don’t want to ruin anything, but there is much more than a simple bible at the crux of the plot, and the way that the author reveals the rising tension is masterful. As those pages turn, you will feel the rising tension in your chest, hoping that the characters are successful by the end.

This is a fantastic installment that fans of author Steve Zimcosky will surely enjoy. Polish Dragon P.I.: The Good Book is quick and fun entertainment that is easily consumed. I really enjoyed the strong, straightforward writing style.

Pages: 221 | ASIN: B09DN3QPG5

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The One Going Undercover

Steve Zimcosky Author Interview
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

Midnight Cranes sets the Polish Dragon on a new murder investigation in a manufacturing plant that leads to the Dragon Trail. What inspired the setup to this mystery story?

Years ago as a martial arts student and as an employee in the material handling industry I had thought about how interesting it would be to have someone like Chuck Norris be the hero and discover, as an undercover cop, a drug ring going on inside of the plant. I had outlined the story and sent it to one of his students, who also was making movies, to see what he thought of the idea. He liked the idea but said he was too busy and didn’t really have the time. Fast forward many years and now that I am an author I thought why not make it into a book instead. The only change was having the Polish Dragon P. I. be the one going undercover.

I enjoyed how well the story is developed in so few pages. Is it your intention to make your stories short, or is that just your writing style?

It is a little bit of both. My intention is to write the story in a novella so that it makes for a quick and easy read. Some of my fans have said how much they enjoy the shorter read as sometimes a full novel can be too long and filled with unnecessary information. So if you’re riding a train say from New Jersey into New York City you could finish half the book on your ride in and the other half on your ride home. I have noticed though, that each new book I write seems to get a little bit longer each time.

What were some new challenges you wanted Tom to face in this book that were different from the previous books?

I wanted Tom to face the challenge of going undercover and having to maintain the cover as long as he could. Another one was to have him finding help from one of his colleagues and not just for digging up information but actually working on the case with him. That is where Suzie Mandrake comes in, a detective on the Cleveland police force who aspires to be a private investigator like Tom. Her big dream is to be a partner with Tom in his Polish Dragon Investigations business.

What is the next adventure you have lined up for the Polish Dragon P.I.?

Tom will now have to partner up with Suzie again as a friend of hers has a 600 year old family bible disappear after his father was killed in a car accident. The bible may hold clues to a dark secret from the families past.

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Tom Sipowicz, The Polish Dragon P. I. is hired to work undercover in a manufacturing plant where two employees have been found dead in a nearby park just days apart. They died from a heroin overdose and the County Coroner ruled them as a “death by misadventure”, but the president of the company seems to think that there is more than meets the eye.Law enforcement refuses to get involved and Tom must seek the help of Suzie Mandrake, a Cleveland detective, who aspires to be Tom’s partner in the P. I. business. Things begin to move quickly after Suzie deciphers a phone message in a somewhat obscure man-made language that puts the two of them onto the Dragon Trail.

Polish Dragon P. I. (Midnight Cranes)

Polish Dragon P. I. (Midnight Cranes) by [Steve Zimcosky]

Still recovering from jat lag as a result of his last case, Tom Sipowicz, the Polish Dragon P.I., is needed yet again. This time he is asked to go undercover at MaGed Material Handling to get to the bottom of a couple of mysterious deaths, with suspicions of theft and drugs just to make things a little more interesting. As Tom makes his way around the warehouse, trying his best to blend in, his well trained eye is quick to pick out a few suspects and odd happenings among his new peers. With the help of some friends as well as his own set of skills, Tom soon finds just how deep the problem goes!

In The Polish Dragon P.I. (Midnight Cranes) by Steve Zimcosky, we again get to follow the intriguing exploits of Tom Sipowicz as he seeks to solve all manner of enthralling mysteries. This time he’s asked to help solve a couple of deaths at an international company that specializes in building hardwares. The president isn’t satisfied with the official report by the authorities, and Tom is recommended to him. Instead of his usual methods, Tom is asked to go undercover so he can better assess and observe those at the warehouse, knowing that at least one of them is potentially responsible for the deaths. This provides for an entertaining narrative twist that puts the P.I. in different situations. Along the way, Zimcosky does an excellent job of fully immersing the reader in the environment Tom is living and working in. The plot moves fast even with lots of details given to the reader throughout the story. 

Like the other books in this series, Midnight Cranes is a fun and quick read. Tom is the kind of character that is instantly likeable and seems to be capable of just about anything; a trait that provides him with his many adventures. The quick references to past books makes everyone seem more relatable and familiar, which makes the book even more enjoyable. 

Midnight Cranes is the perfect book for some light and fun reading that delivers intrigue and entertainment on par with a full length novel but Zimcosky does it in under 90 pages. This is a book that will excite long time fans of the series as they’ll find the tried and true protagonist in new situations, but new readers will enjoy the easy story and alluring mystery.

Pages: 213 | ASIN: B093MX47QX

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Polish Dragon Stories

Steve Zimcosky Author Interview
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

The Lineage Sword follows the Polish Dragon P.I. on a case that leads him into the realm of the Waiting Warriors. What inspired you to write this story?

Over the last several years a few of my Tai Chi students had asked me why I haven’t written a mystery about Tai Chi and I really had no idea about where to begin. Then I came across some martial arts stories about how the leadership of a school is passed down in the more traditional schools. The master when he is ready to retire or is near death will appoint his most senior student to take over and generally that turns out to be the oldest son. The Waiting Warriors came into play when I came up with the idea that, what if, when the last emperor of China fell that there was a secretly formed alliance of all of the old guards with one specific purpose. That purpose was to continue to train and wait for the fall of the Nationalist government of China and they could then re-instate the emperor. In the years that followed the alliance became worldwide and they continue to train and pass the training down through their families, still hoping for the return of the emperor. So, this story is dedicated to my Tai Chi students and martial artists everywhere.

I enjoyed the brevity of the story but because I love diving into Polish Dragon stories, I wanted there to be more. What inspired you to write a short story?

I like writing shorter stories so that people can read them in one sitting or one day. Some people have mentioned how they wish they could finish a story while riding the train or taking the bus to work. They don’t like to have to keep going back to the story and then they feel like they lose interest. If they could start a book and finish it in a short time they almost get the full sense of the story without, what some call, the mundane details. I want to give my readers the best parts of the story in a short amount of time. Plus, all of the Polish Dragon stories are linked together in some way.

I enjoyed the exotic location of the story. Do you have any personal experience in these places?

No, I have no personal experiences with these places as of yet. I do have them on my bucket list and hope to reach them soon. The Taiwan location came from my stepson and daughter-in-law’s blog, Nom_Life, and they gave me permission to use the descriptions and pictures for the book. When reading their post, I fell in love with the descriptions and the views that they shared. It was as if I was there and I could see and feel and hear all that was going on. I also did some research on the locations to add more to the storyline and there was quite a lot to learn about Jiufen. Mainland China was basically my idea of what the area might be like although the mountain range was real and I came to find out that Dreamworks used the famous mountain in their movie Kung Fu Panda.

What is the next Polish Dragon P. I. adventure that you are working on and when will it be available?

Our dim sum loving P. I. has been hired to investigate the death of two employees from a material handling company who have died from an overdose of heroin. The coroner rules them as death by misadventure but the president of the company feels that is something more sinister going on in his company. The Polish Dragon is referred to him by FBI agent Jalowiec and he must now go undercover as an employee to discover what might be happening there if anything at all. I am planning on having it finished mid to late summer, so stay tuned.

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A young man whose family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan disappears right after his father’s death. He was to inherit his father’s martial arts school as is the tradition and the lineage sword was to be passed on to him. It to has disappeared and the Polish Dragon P. I. is called in to help find them both. It will not be an easy task as his investigation takes him to Taiwan and into the realm of the Guard Corp who were the protectors of the Chinese Emperor. As of now known only as the Waiting Warriors.

Polish Dragon P. I. (The Lineage Sword) – Book Trailer

A young man whose family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan disappears right after his father’s death. He was to inherit his father’s martial arts school as is the tradition and the lineage sword was to be passed on to him. It to has disappeared and the Polish Dragon P. I. is called in to help find them both. It will not be an easy task as his investigation takes him to Taiwan and into the realm of the Guard Corp who were the protectors of the Chinese Emperor. As of now known only as the Waiting Warriors.

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