Interrogation—Matt Coyle

coyle-head-shotWho: Matt Coyle

What: His debut novel, YESTERDAY’S ECHO, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery, and the Ben Franklin Silver Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. His second book, NIGHT TREMORS, was named a top pick for 2015 by and was a Lefty, Shamus, and Anthony Award Finalist. DARK FISSURES, is the third book in the Rick Cahill crime series.

Where: San Diego

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

Congrats on publishing your latest Rick Cahill novel, DARK FISSURES. How did the concept for this one come about?

Thanks, Steve.

The idea for the book came to me late in the “I need a story for my next book” process. I’d gone through a lot of what if scenarios and hadn’t come up with anything that resonated. Late in the process, I happened to be reading about the death of two former Navy SEALs overseas who were working for Global Response Solutions. Among other things, GRS hires out for security to the CIA. I wondered what these former elite soldiers would do for work after they returned home to the States. Law enforcement made sense. Then I wondered what Rick would do if he was hired to investigate the suicide of these former SEALs.

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Interrogation—Angel Luis Colon

Who: Angel Luis Colón

What: Author of NO HAPPY ENDINGS, THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR, and the in-progress anthology; MEAT CITY ON FIRE AND OTHER ASSORTED DEBACLES. He’s an editor for Shotgun Honey, has been nominated for the Derringer, and is published in multiple web and print pubs.

Where: New York

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

NO HAPPY ENDINGS is an unconventional heist novel, to say the least. Where were you when the idea struck? 

NO HAPPY ENDINGS came mostly from a weirdo, one-off article I read in passing a year or two ago. It was one of those interest pieces you know was written with little to no research with the sole purpose of making another country look ridiculous, but that planted a seed.

Initially, I was going to make a gross and unsettling short from the idea and send it over to Thuglit to see Todd Robinson’s reaction. Then the story went long, then I switched protags (this was originally going to be a sequel to THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR), then the story got longer. I flip flopped a bit until I found a rhythm and decided this would be full-length feature.

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Interrogation—Bob Truluck

bob-in-wedding-costumeWho: Bob Truluck

What: A suspected pop-noirist who has been nominated for some good stuff and has actually garnered a couple of nice looking awards. His novels include STREET LEVEL, SAW RED and his upcoming release, THE BIG NOTHING. Bob has no favorite color or lucky number and will eat most anything but rutabaga.

Where: Florida

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

Thanks for sending me an advanced copy of THE BIG NOTHING. Can you tell me a little about how the book came about?

And thanks for looking at the book. Mostly, THE BIG NOTHING came about from a desire to write a not-PI thing. The Sloan series is fun, but it’s still PI stuff—and it’s a controlled trot whether it seems that way or not; I could do a Sloan in a hundred and fifty pages easy, but I don’t. I wanted to let my pencil run.

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Interrogation—Andrew Nette

Who: Andrew Nette

What: A crime writer, freelance journalist and pulp fiction scholar. His first novel, GHOST MONEY, a crime story set in mid-nineties Cambodia, appeared in 2012. His second novel, GUNSHINE STATE, was published by 280 Steps in September. His short fiction has appeared in a number of print and online publications, including Beat to a Pulp Hardboiled 3, Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels, Phnom Penh Noir and the 2016 anthology of Australian crime fiction, Crime Scenes : Stories.

Where: Australia

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

GUNSHINE STATE was one hell of a read! Tell us a little about how this book came together.

Thanks. GUNSHINE STATE is the fusion of two literary ambitions.

Firstly, I love a good heist story but not a lot of them have appeared on the local crime fiction scene. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing what I hope is a quintessentially Australian take on the heist genre and GUNSHINE STATE is it.

Second, there was a period in my life several years ago when, for various family reasons, I was spending a lot of time in Surfers Paradise, a city in the sub-tropical south of the Australian state of Queensland, where a decent chunk of GUNSHINE STATE is set. For US readers, Surfers is a very strange place. It was a small settlement hacked out of mangroves swamps in the forties that by the sixties had become Australia’s foremost beach holiday destination. It was modelled on similar places in Florida, so it has this weird faux Miami vibe, traces of which are still visible. Nowadays, the local authorities promote Surfers as a family friendly destination, but it has a very shady history.

From the sixties to the mid-eighties, Queensland was run by a group of corrupt cops known as the ‘Rat Pack’, who were involved in everything from prostitution, drug trafficking and illegal gambling, to political intimidation and murder. Surprisingly, only a handful of Australian crime novels have touched on the darker aspects of Queensland’s history, and spending time there, I decided I wanted to add to that list.

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“Customer” by S.W. Lauden & “Election Day” by Erik Arneson

Check out my reading of “Customer,” and Erik Arenson’s reading of “Election Day,” for the new Gutter Books short story collection, WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN: STORIES OF CRIME AND HEARTBREAK INSPIRED BY THE REPLACEMENTS.

Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast

Waiting to be ForgottenTitle 18: Word Crimes Podcast

“Customer” by S.W. Lauden and “Election Day” by Erik Arneson (S3E5)

On this special episode of the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast — and not special like ABC Afterschool Specials from the ’70s and ’80s or that episode of Diff’rent Strokes with First Lady Nancy Reagan — we have two stories.

Both stories — “Customer” by S.W. Lauden and “Election Day” by Erik Arneson can be found on the brand new anthology WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak Inspired by The Replacements.

Published by Gutter Books and edited by Jay Stringer, WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN also features stories by includes 25 stories by David Accampo, Hailey Ardell, Gorman Bechard, Eric Beetner, Kristi Belcamino, Jerry Bloomfield, William Boyle, Angel Luis Colón, Jen Conley, Rory Costello, Josh Flanagan, Ed Kurtz, Tom Leins, Mike McCrary, Franz Nicolay, Rick Ollerman, Eyre Price, Manuel Royal…

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Your “Election Day” Playlist

Here’s a playlist featuring 25 amazing songs from legendary Minneapolis rawk band, The Replacements. Among them you will find “Election Day” (of course), along with fan favorites like “On The Bus,” “Gary’s Got A Boner,” “Androgynous,” “Unsatisfied,” “Alex Chilton” among many others.

Taken on its own, this is one hell of a mix tape to rock away your election day anxieties. But wait—there’s more!

img_0231Each of these songs also inspired a short story in the new collection WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN: STORIES OF CRIME AND HEARTBREAK INSPIRED BY THE REPLACEMENTS. The songs in the playlist are actually in the same order as the short stories in this anthology. Authors featured include: Hailey Ardell, Ed Kurtz, Rick Ollerman, Alex Segura, Gorman Bechard, David Accampo, William Boyle, Johnny Shaw, Jen Conley, Angel Luis Colon, Josh Flanagan, Eric Beetner, Mike McCrary, Rory Costello, Franz Nicolay, Tom Leins, Josh Stallings, Erik Arneson, Kristi Belcamino, Manuel Royal, Eyre Price, Jerry Bloomfield, Liam Sweeny and…me. All curated by Jay Stringer!

Say it with me—Vote. Read. Rock!

Interrogation—Lori Rader-Day (Murder and Mayhem in Chicago)

chicagoWho: Lori Rader-Day

What: Lori Rader-Day is the co-founder of Murder and Mayhem in Chicago (March 11, 2017), along with Dana Kaye. Day’s debut mystery, THE BLACK HOUR, won the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the 2015 Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her second novel, LITTLE PRETTY THINGS, won the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and was a nominee for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. LITTLE PRETTY THINGS was named a 2015 “most arresting crime novel” by Kirkus Reviews and one of the top ten crime novels of the year by Booklist. Her third novel, THE DAY I DIE, will be released by Harper Collins William Morrow in April 2017.

Dana Kaye is the founder of Kaye Publicity, Inc, a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment, and the author of YOUR BOOK, YOUR BRAND: THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO LAUNCHING YOUR BOOK AND BOOSTING YOUR SALES. She also founded the Chicago Literati Networking Event, which brings local authors, booksellers and publishing pros together for an evening of mingling and swapping business cards.

Where: Chicago

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

Why is 2017 the year to launch Murder and Mayhem in Chicago?

LRD: Chicago is a great mystery-writing town, with so many active authors, independent bookstores, and mystery writer associations. But our only mystery conference, Love Is Murder, faded away last year, sort of unexpectedly. Dana and I had been talking about trying to start something like this, but then suddenly, there was a hole in the mystery conference schedule. And Chicago deserves a great mystery event. I mean, come on: Capone?

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Dead End Follies Review Of “Grizzly Season”


“GRIZZLY SEASON isn’t a novel about the drug trade. It is a novel about American drug paranoia. Magnus Ursus is a boogeyman hellbent on either indoctrinating young minds or destroying them with his new, demented, hypertoxic drug. He inspires the kind of terror that keeps concerned mothers up at night. He’s a cult leader, a slave-owner and a smut dealer all at once. How many times have I told you a novel can only be as great as its antagonist? Grizzly Season is another example. Magnus Ursus and the suspended, nightmare reality he seems to live in make the novel successful.” FULL REVIEW.

My Chat With David Berkeley

The nice people at Rare Bird Books bugged my phone during a private conversation with talented singer/songwriter/author, David Berkeley. And now they’re trying to claim that it’s a “podcast,” or whatever.

If you haven’t read Berkeley’s heartbreaking/uplifting collection of stories, THE FREE BRONTOSAURUS, you definitely should (it’s not a kids booooook, I promise). And make sure to check out the companion album, CARDBOARD BOAT. This dude’s got chops!


Interrogation—Naomi Hirahara (Kickstarter)

big-bachi-kickstarter Who: Naomi Hirahara

What: Edgar Award-winning author of two mystery series set in Los Angeles. Her Mas Arai series, which features a Hiroshima survivor and gardener, has been translated into Japanese, Korean and French. Her Officer Ellie Rush bicycle cop series received the 2014 T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award. She has also published noir short stories, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction books. The Kickstarter campaign for THE BIG BACHI ends this Friday, Nov. 4.

Where: Los Angeles

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

Congrats on the Kickstarter campaign to bring your beloved character, Mas Arai, to the big screen. Can you tell us how this all came about?

The cosmic intersection of multiple things. First, I was thinking of creating perhaps a web-based product — not for money or anything, just for fun. I was meeting more Japanese and Japanese American actors in their thirties and forties around L.A. and started thinking, what if Mas was younger? In the past, many of the actors who could play Mas were passing away and it was depressing. Depressing to lose such actors and depressing that it would be so difficult to realize this series in another medium like film. I then got connected with director Derek Shimoda several months after I had seen his documentary on a yakuza preacher and it turns out he and his creative partner, Mark Tasaka, had been talking about the Mas books and adapting SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI. It was all very serendipitous. Derek brought in Oliver Ike, a film distributor, and Koji Saki, a producer and screenwriter, and we were off and running.

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