James Loyd & David Matheson, Starter


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James E. (Jimmy) Loyd and David B. Matheson are 1968 graduates of Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio.  After going their very separate ways, they reconnected at a reunion where the tale told here was hatched. 

Jimmy Loyd is a recovering architect and retired real estate executive, hardly apprenticeships to becoming an author of any kind of fiction.  But one day he decided to write his first novel.  With a rough idea of a subject, ending World War One without Versailles and Bolshevism, he sat down at the keyboard.  Before long he found himself simply taking dictation from his characters as the storyline grew, and three volumes and thirteen hundred pages later, his Great War Won trilogy was complete.  He must have done something right; the trilogy was nominated for the Historical Novel Society’s Best Indie Book of 2016.  Not done with writing, and thinking he just might have learned something about the craft, he conceived of this memoir/mystery set in Alamo Heights, his hometown.  The character Ian (Yonny) Jonas, while mostly fictional, draws on some elements from his life. 

A San Antonio native, he spent twenty-five years away from home then returned after marrying his high school sweetheart.  They live with their three dogs in their old neighborhood.  

David Matheson grew up in a military family on bases around the world, the son of a Sergeant Major in the United States Army.  He moved to Alamo Heights in time for his sophomore year, and went on to a nearly twenty year career in law enforcement, first on the San Antonio Police Department, then in north Texas on undercover narcotics details.  Some of his experiences in law enforcement can only be described as hilariously terrifying, while others are as gritty and brutal as can ever be found on the mean streets.  His character, Sam Thompson (his undercover name), is closely modeled on his life and experiences.  Several of his stories enliven our book, sometimes with altered names and places for obvious reasons, but always true in spirit and pretty darned faithful to the facts.   

This twosome is collaborating on a new work, a compendium of some of those tales from the streets and the beats.  Tentatively titled Out of the Blue, we hope to publish this book in early 2018.

Finally, Ricky Young (not his real name) deserves a credit here.  Now deceased nearly forty years, his encounter in college with a beautiful temptress bearing marijuana is the symbolic theme running through this book.  A dear friend to both, his murder was our closest and deepest personal brush with the tragedies of the drug epidemic of the 1970’s.   

About Starter:

A parent’s worst nightmare: a late night knock on the door, a police officer waiting outside. A promising high school senior has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose in a nearby park. Now his parents must learn to cope with their loss, trying not to become drug casualties themselves. The father’s attempts are animated by memories of an old friend lost to drugs twenty years before, the mother’s complicated by family difficulties and history. As a local police detective investigates, he must juggle the search for justice, an old friendship and his own inner demons. The story takes a darker turn when his investigation reveals new evidence spurring on the father’s quest to find the person who brought drugs into his son’s all-too-brief life, the “Starter” of the title. Mayhem ensues, suspicions rise, lines are crossed as these three characters find themselves entwined in a headlong rush toward a rendezvous with death.

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
306 Pearl Parkway
Suite 106
San Antonio, TX 78215
Event Category: