Interrogation—Gabino Iglesias

 Who: Gabino Iglesias

What: Author of ZERO SAINTS, HUNGRY DARKNESS, and GUTMOUTH. His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbicide, and many other print and online venues.

Where: Texas

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

ZERO SAINTS is one of the most original crime novels I’ve read in a while. What was the inspiration for this story? How did it evolve as you wrote it?

Thanks! I had something to say. There is something that folks in the streets go through that is amplified by inhabiting Otherness. I wanted to tell a crime story that was weird, but that also dealt with loneliness, fear, and identity. Folks love genres and categorizing authors, but I write nonfiction, crime, horror, and bizarro. I knew there was a way to bring them all together. I started writing ZERO SAINTS and let the story tell itself. I also decided that this one was going to have a lot of my past and that I was going to tell it in Spanglish because that was the only way it would sound authentic. It got darker and weirder from there. I don’t outline things the way the pros do, so the narrative developed as I wrote, elements came into play, and fun took over.

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Interrogation—Erik Storey

Eri Storey 1Who: Erik Storey

What: A former ranch hand, wilderness guide, dogsled musher, and hunter. He spent his childhood summers on his great-grandfather’s homestead or in a remote cabin in Colorado’s Flat Tops wilderness. He has earned a number of sharpshooter and marksman qualifications. NOTHING SHORT OF DYING is his first novel.

Where: Colorado

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Your debut novel, NOTHING SHORT OF DYING, reads like a fast-paced gunfight. Can you tell me how the story came about?

“Fast-paced gunfight.” I like that. It’s an accurate description, I think. Well, it started with the location. I wanted to write about the area I live in. Not only because I love it, but because very few books are set in this part of the world. I also needed a tough character who could handle the rugged country. I wanted someone a little different, so I made sure that Clyde Barr wasn’t a super spy, or an ex-cop, or former Special Forces.

I gave him traits from some of my favorite books when I was young, ones by Jack London, H. Rider Haggard, and Conan Doyle. Once I had the location and the idea for Clyde, and I came up with some very bad characters for him to do battle with, the book kind of fell into place.

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Interrogation—Nick Kolakowski

rsz_img_0976Who: Nick Kolakowski

What: His short stories have appeared in Shotgun Honey, Thuglit, Crime Syndicate Magazine, Out of the Gutter, and various anthologies. He’s also one of the editors of Shotgun Honey. His short story collection, SOMEBODY’S TRYING TO KILL ME, was released in August.

Where: New York

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Your excellent new collection, SOMEBODY’S TRYING TO KILL ME, includes seventeen noir tales. How did you select which pieces to include?

I listen to a lot of standup comedy: Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, the sets that Robin Williams did in the ‘80s. All of those comedians alternate between quick jabs and longer setups, which allows them to build and maintain the energy of an hour-long set. When I started putting together this collection, I took some inspiration from that, and so you have the flash-fiction pieces lined up alongside the mid-length tales and the title novella. Hopefully that short-long-short rhythm allows the reader to catch a bit of a breather between the lengthier stories.

Beyond that, I knew I wanted to include the pieces that had been published in Thuglit, Crime Syndicate Magazine, and Reloaded (Shotgun Honey’s annual anthology). I’d also been working on the novella for years, off and on, and wanted it to finally see the light of day. Sprinkle all that with flash fiction from Shotgun Honey, and voilà: short-story collection.

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Interrogation—Mike Creeden

Creeden Pic1Who: Mike Creeden

What: His work has appeared in Tigertail, Miami Living, The Florida Book Review, EVERYTHING IS BROKEN, and TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND: CRIME FICTION INSPIRED BY THE SONGS OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. A native of Massachusetts, Mike now lives in South Florida and teaches writing at Florida International University.

Where: Florida

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

I just finished ALL YOUR LIES CAME TRUE and I kept getting the strange sensation that the book was written specifically for me. Who did you think the reader of this story would be when you wrote it?

It was written specifically for you, Steve—you and anyone else who’s ever played in a band, or been obsessed with a band or walked around all day, every day with song lyrics and guitar riffs and concert footage running through their heads. I was thinking about the kind of reader who measures the quality of a movie by what songs are on the soundtrack, someone who gets excited when a writer mentions a rock song or a band in a novel.

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“Grizzly Season” Cover Reveal

Grizzly Season Front CoverThrilled to share the cover of the second Greg Salem novel with you! GRIZZLY SEASON picks up where my debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, left off. Rare Bird Books will release it this October, but I’ll have a handful of copies with me at Bouchercon in New Orleans.

Here’s the synopsis: Former Los Angeles police officer Greg Salem and his sidekick Marco escape to a remote cabin in the backend of the Angeles National Forest, only to have their peaceful retreat upturned after stumbling across the marijuana farm operation called Grizzly Flats. When the drug lord Magnus Ursus’ latest marijuana crop leaves Greg’s hometown and closest friends in disarray—setting off a series of explosive scenes including high-speed motorcycle chases, violent porn shoots, high-altitude gun fights, Mexican drug smuggling and murder—Greg is forced out of retirement to avenge his home and save the lives of those closest him.

BCC Cover FinalS.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, will be published in Oct. 2016. His standalone novella, CROSSWISE, is available now from Down & Out Books.

Interrogation—Greg Barth

IMG_2916Who: Greg Barth

What: Greg Barth is the author of SELENA, DIESEL THERAPY, SUICIDE LOUNGE, as well as the forthcoming ROAD CARNAGE and EVERGLADE.

Where: Kentucky

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

I just read SELENA and found it really hard to put down. It was a total punch to the gut. Tell me how this character and this story came together for you?

That story started with a single idea. There’s a tired trope in slasher movies where the victim frantically attempts to get away while being stalked. She finally makes it to a car, gets inside, fumbles with the keys, drops them, and—while the slasher’s shadow looms over the car window and squeaky slasher music plays louder and faster—attempts to start the car. And the ignition never works. Never. It just grinds and grinds while the victim’s foot taps the gas pedal. “Come on!” she says.

In my twist on this scene, she’s unable to start the car because it’s equipped with an ignition interlock device, and she’s not sober enough to unlock the switch. It seemed like a funny idea, but I also knew the consequences of being caught would be severe. And there’s no slasher, but it’s quite bad.

The character, Selena, comes from a hundred different places—pieces of people I’ve known over the years—but the two most prominent literary influences are Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander and Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor. I remember thinking during an all-out binge of the Taylor novels, “This kind of character would never work as a woman.” The idea stuck, and it became a challenge.

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Interrogation—Jason Pinter

Jason Pinter photoWho: Jason Pinter

What: Founder and Publisher of Polis Books, an independent publishing company he launched in 2013. He is the author of five thrillers and one middle grade novel, with over one million copies in print worldwide, which have been nominated for the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award and more.

Where: New Jersey

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on the third anniversary of Polis Books! What have you learned about the company you started over the last thirty-six months?

Well, being a business owner is far more difficult and complicated than being an editor or writer, which were my previous professions. It’s the difference between painting a room and building a house. I’ve been in dozens of editorial board meetings, publicity meetings, sales conferences, and pitched my own books in innumerable outlets, hopefully without boring people to death. But I didn’t have much more than cursory experience on the finance and distribution side, largely doing P&Ls (profit and loss projections) on acquisitions. Learning that side was the most time-consuming part, simply because I didn’t have a background in it, but I thankfully have good accountants and lawyers and am a total data geek and work very closely with our distributor, our bank, and our printing partner to make sure everything runs smoothly on the back end of the publishing equation.

Reading submissions, working on cover designs and promoting our authors is the fun part. That’s the muscle. That’s the stuff people see publically. But the other stuff, the skeleton, the support system that holds everything up, that’s been the biggest challenge but also one of the biggest rewards because I know we can do this.

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“Crosswise” Is Only $.99 Right Now

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The nice people at Down & Out Books have put the ebook of my crime novella, “Crosswise,” on sale for $.99. If that’s the price you’ve been waiting for, just click right HERE.

Need a little more convincing? Well, you can see what the amazing Matt Coyle has to say up above. Or maybe you’d prefer to hear from Scott Adlerberg:

And here’s an amazing Amazon review from the one-and-only Michelle Isler (aka “Godmother”):

“I loved this smart, crime novella. S.W. Lauden just keeps getting better with his books. Crosswise just grabs you from the very beginning and keeps you guessing and entertained through the whole book. Nice, crisp, gruesome, and stuffed with interesting characters.”

Go ahead, give “Crosswise” a whirl!

Writing Tips From Amazing Crime Authors

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I’ve been very lucky to interview some talented crime writers this year. Here’s a collection of a few favorite quotes and a handful of Q&As from the first half of 2016—like THIS ONE with Gary Phillips.

This is by no means a full list of the interviews I have done this year, but a great place to start. If you like what you read, make sure to click the “Recent Interrogations” links at the bottom of each Q&A. And don’t forget to check out each author’s Amazon page. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Read the JEN CONLEY INTERVIEW

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Read the GLEN ERIK HAMILTON INTERVIEW

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Read the BRETT BATTLES INTERVIEW

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Read the SARAH M. CHEN INTERVIEW

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Read the ROB HART INTERVIEW

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Read the DHARMA KELLEHER INTERVIEW

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Read the JOE CLIFFORD INTERVIEW

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Read the RYAN GATTIS INTERVIEW

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Read the C.S. DWILDT INTERVIEW

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Read the MARIETTA MILES INTERVIEW

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Read the BRYON QUERTERMOUS INTERVIEW

BCC Cover FinalS.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, will be published in Sept. 2016. His standalone novella, CROSSWISE, is available from Down & Out Books.

 

Punk Fiction at All Due Respect — PAUL D. BRAZILL

I’m over at the All Due Respect blog talking about Punk Fiction: ‘There has been a long and varied tradition of songwriters taking song titles from books: Venus In Furs – The Velvet Underground, Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush, Lost Weekend – Lloyd Cole, 1984- David Bowie, Absolute Beginners- David Bowie. And, of course, it […]

via Punk Fiction at All Due Respect — PAUL D. BRAZILL