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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

Southern Writer Spotlight: Dan Petrosini

Name: Dan Petrosini

Book(s): Perhaps too many to list individually. A Luca Mystery Series (14 books & a prequel presently) & Suspenseful Secrets Series – three books currently. All are stand-alones as are my other non-series books.

Hometown: Born in New York City, living in Southwest Florida

Gives us a brief description of your book(s).

The Luca Mystery Series are murder mysteries set in Southwest Florida. They feature a real, transplanted New Jersey homicide detective whose obsession is hunting down killers.

What brought you to write these stories?

What if? - is my inspiration. I’m always tossing ideas around starting with "what if this…"

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Life is an endless well. I’m particularly curious and go down many rabbit holes

Where do your books take place?

Collier County, Southwest Florida

How does setting play in the telling of the story?

Southwest Florida and Naples in particular are viewed as "paradise." The reality is crime is everywhere and the people living in Southwest Florida provide a wide palette of personalities 😊.

What do you think makes a good story/book?

I enjoy stories that engage with believable characters and a plot with surprises.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Wrote my first story at the age of 10. So early on.

When did you write your first book? And how was that experience?

I wrote my first novel 25 years ago and it was fun but tough. Not easy to finish and the bottom line was I didn’t know the craft well enough!

Is writing your primary job or do you have another career?

Yes, it’s all I do.

What does your family think of your writing?

They are supportive.

What was the most surprising thing you learned writing your stories?

I’ve learned an enormous amount from researching an endless number of subjects. I’ve also learned to trust myself as I write. It’s never easy but you have to push forward. If you’re stuck, write another part that needs to be written while you work out the plot problem

Did writing your book(s) lead you to other things?

Not really but I play tenor sax in a couple of bands and both passions reinforce creativity.

What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?

Write on a regular basis. Even if your schedule permits only two hours a week, stick to it.

Where can we find your books?

My website:, and Amazon.

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