"Are the two murders connected? That is what Durango must find out. To do so, the author weaves many layers into the story, whisking the reader from San Francisco to Yugoslavia, from the art world into personal diaries, all of which provide clues to help the reader solve the case. It's an intelligent mystery," said Vela. "The readers will not be insulted. I promise a good read."
There are two big hurdles for most new authors: the daunting task of writing the book, and the equally daunting task of getting someone to publish it.
"There were many challenges in writing the story. The biggest challenge was to make everything fit together. There are so many sidebars that have to be blended in. There is a point where the story takes over and I am simply a passenger," he said.
"I sent rough drafts to several agents. PublishAmerica was most interested and published the book in October, 2006. There has been positive feedback. The books can be found in major bookstores and online."
Writing since he was 12, Vela said that he is also a voracious reader, adding that "Sealed With A Kiss" is a culmination of all his readings. His favorite mystery writers include Agatha Christie and Mickey Spillane.
After working in the education and trading fields, he decided to give writing one more serious shot.
"I was always happy with teaching and I loved the kids, but now I am writing full time," he said. "I write at home at the wee hours of the night. I ended up writing mysteries, though I like all genres."
Character actor Pepe Serna has expressed interest in turning the book into a screenplay, but Vela is not packing his bags for Hollywood just yet.
"I am taking all this with a grain of salt. Meantime, I am taking a breather before I go back to work on the second of the six Durango series already in my head." Vela said.