Russell J.T. Dyer

Writer & Editor

the works and musings of a writer in new orleans and milan, italy • Updated: Mar 27, 2015 • hits: 3121 for site today; 1 for page this week


Thus far I have finished writing one novel and published it: it’s called In Search of Kafka. I have nearly finished writing my second novel, which is called Not a Step. This section provides some information on my novels.

Not a Step

Like Graham Greene, I seem to write two types of novels: my first is a thriller and now my second is a serious story involving frank and mature emotions. The main character, Martin is a wealthy man who has been successful in his career; he is an unrecognizable celebrity, known only by name. While a content person, he has long been dismayed by his inability to find happiness with a woman, something he treasures dearly. Because of his celebrity status, he is often pursued by women, but he finds that they do not engage the real him.

The writing style is a mix of two voices. In the opening chapter and a few other chapters in between for effect are written as a first person narrative in which the narrator is a journalist interviewing Martin. The bulk of the chapters are written with an omniscient, third person narration. The few interview chapters occur in the present somewhat, while the others occur in Martin's past, beginning in the late 1950's when he meets a unique old man who becomes a father figure for him. Although the old man dies only a few years after he first meets him, the experience influences Martin and how he interacts and loves others throughout his life.

In Search of Kafka

My first novel, In Search of Kafka is a thriller (like a John Buchan novel) in which the main character is relentlessly pursued by the federal law enforcement agents for a crime which he is wrongly accused. He desperately tries to elude capture long enough to find the true criminal to hand to the authorities in his stead (similar to Buchan's The 39 Steps). The narration of this novel is written very much in my voice, but it sounds a bit like a P.G. Wodehouse narrator. Oliver's situation is reminiscent of a Franz Kakfa character in that he is a person normally protected from the world, but is not forced to interact with it and all of its strangeness.

The main plot is one of intrigue related to a conspiracy that Oliver uncovers involving Homeland Security. He stumbles upon it inadvertently in the first chapter and cannot ignore it as Homeland Security is hunting for him throughout the novel as a result of his accidental meddling. As a subplot, Oliver pursues a romance with a young woman who introduces him to various players who become involved in his problems derived from the main plot. He begins the story as a person who is inept in romance, but ends as a natural romantic owing to his newfound confidence gained from his experiences of tangling with government agents.

My Books

Below are a few of my books that have been published and are still in print. Click on the book cover image to go to a site where you can buy each book.

In Search of Kafka

This is my first novel. It’s what I call a hi-tech comical thriller. It’s not about Kafka, incidentally. It’s about a computer programmer who inadvertently breaks into a Starbucks’ computer server and gets into trouble as a result. Throughout the novel he’s being hunted by Homeland Security.

MySQL in a Nutshell

This is a reference book (the second edition) which I wrote on the computer database software, MySQL. It’s not an interesting read, but it’s useful if you’re a MySQL software developer. If you’re interested in this topic, you should also check out my web site on MySQL Resources.

Learning MySQL and MariaDB

If you want to learn about MySQL and MariaDB, this is the book for you. It will be published late in 2014. It assumes you have no experience in developing databases.

MySQL Replication

This particular book on MySQL Replication is a tutorial and a reference book which I wrote on the subject.