Area author returns to his automotive roots

Lee Ann Murphy
Community Editor
Area author Paul Adam Herd, who writes murder mystery books under the pen name of Thomas S. Mulvaugh, has returned to the genre that got him started - automotive manuals. But mystery fans, never fear - a new book in the Ozark Blood series is also in the works.

Most writers find a niche and write within it but others, like Paul Adam Herd, Monett, are versatile enough to write in more than one area. Herd, who writes mystery novels under the pen name of Thomas S. Mulvaugh, started his career writing about automotive topics and he's returned to those roots with two new manuals. The Neosho Daily News interviewed him about both of his endeavors.

NDN: In recent years, you've built a reputation as a mystery writer with a popular series but didn't our career begin with automotive books:

PAH: Correct, I started this right after I left Crowder College in Neosho, was going to open a car dealer ship in my hometown of Cassville. I had to take care of my mom and I need a job that I could do and say home, I tried one of my old loves- writing. After many rejections I did as the old saying is ‘write about what you know about.’ I knew about cars, especially the classic from the 1960’s and 1970’s commonly known as muscle cars now. I started with articles in magazine and then went to books that were published by MBI.

NDN: What prompted the return to automotive topics?

PAH: Like I said my books were published by MBI which when I started writing there was a small publishing house that family owned, and you were treated like-family. As the company was swallowed up by bigger publishing company we no longer saw eye-to-eye on projects. I started my own publishing company PAH Publishing and published several titles under it. Several of my books went out of print under MBI and the right transferred back to me. I wanted to put them back out as I have readers asking for them. So, I changed things and added more information.

NDN: Your latest project is two new auto manuals. Can you tell us about those?

PAH: Yes, they are interchange manuals. When a car is built it is design with what is called specialty parts which are for that one model, but they also used other parts that are used on various models and sometime makes this keeps the cost down. The books I have cover the 1967-1981 Camaro and the 1964-1972 Chevelle.

NDN: Many area readers know you as Thomas S. Mulvaugh and are fans your Ozark Blood Series featuring Rick Ryder. What's next for Ryder and when can fans hope to see the next book?

PAH: I ended the last book, " Blood Covenant of the Sergeants" with a cliff hanger moment. Ryder did solve the mystery but then runs face to face with the biggest mystery of his life. I am working on a new story, but it slow going. The working title is ‘The Dance of the Blood Queen’. It involves things that are happening today with shadow government types, that all tying in with his family. This might be the mystery that cost him everything. But it may be a couple of years before I can get it done.

NDN: What else is new with either Paul Herd or mystery writer Thomas Mulvaugh?

PAH: I am expanding my publishing company and taking on other authors. Just recently signed a new author that has written a devotional using a ‘down home’ style. We are hoping to get that out in a couple of months. I plan also putting more automotive books out that I have gotten the rights back to. Plus, hopefully sign more authors. PAH Publishing is the non-fiction division and Golden Roads the fiction and religious division. We are creating a new website that cater to all this. Would like see books that have a market out there. We would be interest in mysteries, adventure, suspense and romance. However, we want the characters to have religious faith. There don’t have to be holier than thou because that is just unreal, but we would like to see them struggle with in the story.

NDN: Right now, we're all impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Does the coronavirus provide exasperation or inspiration? How has your writing been affected?

PAH: It had cost me some hassles as some car shows I planned on going to get photos for the books were cancelled, so I have had to dig into my collection and crop old photos to give them a new look. As for inspiration it makes my imagination soar with thoughts. What if it was some rich person was doing this to hide what they were really doing and working with China to bring the world under the control of one leader that is really from another world. While another alien is on their way to fight this one. When the good Lord said active imagination, I didn’t get in line twice I got in line about five times. (Laughs)

NDN: Please share your bio with our readers?

PAH: I had my first piece published in the Crowder Quill. First article in Cars and Parts magazine in 1982, wrote other articles from several other magazines and newspapers. Had my first book published in 1990 that was automotive book Chevelle SS Restoration Guide with MBI (Motorbooks International). then 9 more books with them. In 2000 I got married and moved from Cassville to Monett, Mo and the next year I parted ways from MBI and started my own publishing company PAH Publishing there I put out 20 more titles. In 2015 I created the Rick Ryder Ozark Blood series and the imprint Golden Roads Publishing. I have four of the mystery books out.

NDN: Where can readers find your books - of both types?

PAH: The Rick Ryder books can be found at Amazon, At ABC BOOKS in Springfield, Whitley Pharmacy and the Barry County History Museum in Cassville. All the books will available on our website which we hope to have up and running by July.