Required Reading

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Books I have authored.

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Friday, June 7, 2013



For about three novels now, I have been defining my style as “sunshine noir,” which is all well and good until someone gets around to asking me, “Okay, JV, just what the heck is ‘sunshine noir’?” Then I’m backed into a corner. Then I’d better have an answer.

Available June 1st, 2013
Sunshine noir, according to me (and who better to be according to, since I’m the coiner of the phrase?) is place where a heady subject and a light touch intersect. In my new novel, The Texas Twist, the heady subject revolves around the question, “What happens when a con man gets conned?” The light touch can be found both in my whimsical approach to storytelling and in the linguistic quirks I give to my characters. In this book, for example, we spend a lot of time in the company of one Vic Mirplo, whose perspective is so bent that he’s given to a steady stream of unconscious malaprops, such as “ameliorate: to vanish or disappear, like Amelia Earhart.”

This tension can also be seen in my characters’ names, not just the estimable Mr. Mirplo, but the novel’s hero, Radar Hoverlander. (“Radar as in O’Reilly?” he is asked. “Radar as in airborne threat detector,” he replies, “but I get that a lot.) There’s also a bad guy audaciously named Henry Wellinov, as in “leave Wellinov alone,” and an Olivier de Havilland, and much, much more. 

Why do I do it? Why do I mix the heavy and the light like I do? I wish I could tell you that it was a conscious stylistic choice, but the fact is just…I write like I write. Every time I try to darken my tone, some fit of whimsy comes peeking through, demanding a place in my prose. It’s just who I am. And I figured out long ago that my best professional strategy is, “Keep giving them you until you is what they want.”

Muse upon that last sentence for a moment if you will. It says everything you really need to know about “sunshine noir.” The style existed, for sure, before I named it, but knowing its name makes it easier for me to explain it – maybe easier to sell. For you, the reader, it bears the promise of a fast, fun read with enough tension to make you feel tense, and enough wit to make you laugh. If that mixed bag is your cup of tea, then The Texas Twist might be just the tea bag for you. 

John Vorhaus’s new novel, THE TEXAS TWIST, is available now at All his other books (and they are not few) can be found via his Amazon author page. He tweets for no apparent reason @TrueFactBarFact, and secretly controls the world from

My Thanks to John for his books and his guest post.  The Texas Twist release date was June 1st.  Keep watching here for my review.  Check out my review of John's book: The Albuquerque Turkey.    (Keeping with John's theme, this is purple prose.)

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