Spotlight on murder and the perfect wave

Pasadena author Timothy Burgess will reveal how “My Characters Made Me Do It” (subtitled “How My Characters Stole My Story and Took Me for an Unexpected Ride”) on Thursday, May 3, at the Ridge Writers 6:30 p.m. meeting at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church.

Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Former human resources professional Burgess had thought about writing in college, wrote song lyrics and sent them out to punk rock bands, then attempted to sell scripts for TV and feature films. In fact, he says, “I had a few good meetings. But they never concluded in sales.”

He did, however, land a few short stories on online publications. This encouraged him to take the big plunge, his new mystery novel, “The Never-Ending Swell.” Set in a beach town on the edge of America, it presents a microcosm of the intriguing light-meets-dark ‘60s California surfing world. For influences in the genre, Burgess cites Franklin W. Dixon, Raymond Chandler, Timothy Harris, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais and John Shannon.

At 2 p.m. that same day, Burgess will discuss “Swell” over tea and scones at My Enchanted Cottage. For this event, participants sign up in advance at Red Rock Books. The public is invited and the cost of $35 includes the book, tea, scone, conversation group with Wallen and entry in a gift basket drawing.

The two programs will not duplicate each other.

Ridge Writers ( is the East Sierra Branch of the 109-year-old California Writers Club (

Story First Published: 2018-04-20