I'm an artist by trade and the urge to write came quite by surprise. I've dabbled in it a bit before but nothing as monumental as writing a mystery novel. Writing, I found, and very much to my surprise, was just painting with words. With a brush I can gently stroke indigo blue or vermilion onto a canvas to shadow a face in remorse. The same can be said of the words I brush across a page to project that same face, slowly drawn down into the collar of a borrowed, wool coat that was shiny from wear, yet retained the strength in its weft and warp to comfort a penitent soul. Add to that the ability to close my eyes and see how sunlight would dance across a marble floor after a rain, or how the long shadows of dusk transform even the most ordinary of objects into that which we fear most, is inspirational. I enjoy the writings of Agatha Christie and Henry Fielding, but I draw inspiration from the stories hanging on the walls of museums. As an artist I've captured only a single moment in this skater's life, but as a writer I can fill in the lifetime that came before and after this moment. www.rmichaelphillips.com "The Skater" Original Oil after Sir Henry Raeburn, collection the artist/author.