Author makes it fun |

Author makes it fun

Nancy Oliver Hayden, Tribune Community Editor
Provided to the TribuneAuthor Todd Borg displays copies of his Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller Series, while relaxing on the Timber Cove Pier. Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada range, the setting for his mystery thrillers, are in the background.

Some authors write for the money, others because they have something burning to say — Todd Borg writes because it’s fun.

The South Lake Tahoe resident and businessman really enjoys creating his books. How could a person not have fun with the Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller Series that includes a detective who is also an art lover; his lady friend, Street Casey, who keeps bugs in her refrigerator — she is a forensic entomologist — ; and a Great Dane canine companion named Spot that McKenna refers to as “his largeness.”

Borg and his wife, Kit Night, came to South Lake Tahoe from Minneapolis, Minn., in 1990, where they opened Borg & Night, a custom framing shop.

“We had one too many vacations at Lake Tahoe,” Borg said of their decision to make Tahoe home. “We downhill and cross country ski, ice skate, mountain bike, hike and water ski and we always wanted to live in the mountains.”

Borg, who has written three books in his Owen McKenna Mystery Series, is working on a fourth that he plans to have out next summer. He would like to have one published every year. The new novel doesn’t have a name, yet, but one thing certain is that the title will start with “Tahoe.” The other titles in the mystery series are “Tahoe Deathfall,” a thriller about a death at Emerald Bay; “Tahoe Blowup,” a shocking tale of forest arson and murder; and “Tahoe Ice Grave,” a mystery that involves a missing Mark Twain manuscript.

Borg knows how to hold the reader’s attention with his stories. He incorporates mystery, humor, history, sensitivity and lively description in his writing. His characters become very real to his readers, who eagerly await his next book in the series.

All his Owen McKenna mysteries have been highly acclaimed by Kirkus Reviews. “Tahoe Deathfall” and “Tahoe Blowup” have won several awards including a Ben Franklin Award and inclusion on the Cincinnati Public Library “Librarian’s Choice, Best Fiction, 2001” list. “Tahoe Blowup” also won “Best Mystery” from the Bay Area Independent Publisher’s Association.

Borg enjoys doing research and said that he never has writer’s block.

“I’ve always have more ideas than I know what to do with — even though some are dumb. Like a lot of creative people I have a thousand ideas a day and keep a file for each one. I don’t write on a schedule, but write when I feel inspired — at work, at home and while traveling. I have a fair amount of discipline and over a period of time I always generate a certain amount of work. I’m good at forcing myself out of corners,” the author said.

Borg includes a little violence in his novels, but not graphic violence or sex. He tries to keep the books and the language clean. “I think the readers appreciate this,” he said.

“I’ve always been a voracious reader and have always been creative. I was a song writer when I was younger and I started writing 20 years ago. I think it’s fun — I’m one of the few writers who don’t think it’s miserable work,” Borg said.

“Tahoe Blowup” is Borg’s fourth book. The first was a “throw away” he wrote in Minnesota. The other two were somewhat better and he may do something with them one day. He is working on a couple of others that he will probably publish under a pseudonym.

Borg’s protagonist, Owen McKenna, lives at Lake Tahoe and many landmarks of the area show up in the novels. This makes it fun for local residents, who can relate to the geography. All of Borg’s characters are interesting, but the dog, Spot, steals the show.

“I’ve had Great Danes in the past, although I don’t have a dog now. Spot is a composite of my dogs — only much better trained. People are always asking to meet him. Maybe I’ll get another Great Dane one day,” Borg said.

The Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller Series are published by Thriller Press and are available at area bookstores. For more information visit

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