Interrogation—Dana King

Who: Dana King

What: His Penns River series of police procedurals includes WORST ENEMIES and GRIND JOINT, which Woody Haut, writing for the L.A. Review of Books, cited as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. His newest is RESURRECTION MALL, recently released from Down & Out Books.

Where: Maryland

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

Congrats on the upcoming release of RESURRECTION MALL. What can readers expect from the third installment of the Penns River series?

Trouble. Just as a television minister’s religious-themed mall looks like it could provide a counterweight to the casino, the murder of five drug dealers sets the town back during one of the coldest winters on record.

A lot of modern crime fiction is set in urban locations. What’s the appeal of the rural setting in the Penns River series?

As you said, a lot of crime fiction takes place in urban settings. What I want to show is how less but still serious crime can affect a smaller community that lacks the resources and resilience of a larger city.

I don’t look at the setting as a challenge. I’m not comfortable in cities and like that a smaller town allows me to play counter to a lot of current tendencies. For example, Penns River can’t afford state of the art forensics equipment and has no crime lab. The cops have to solve crimes the old-fashioned way. This forces people to interact, which I find inherently more interesting.

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Writer Types Podcast—Episode 4

The new podcast is available now on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud!

This time around, my co-host, Eric Beetner, and I went to Chicago to catch up with some talented crime and mystery writers including Sara Paretsky, William Kent Krueger, Lori-Rader Day, Marcus Sakey, Sean Chercover, Jon and Ruth Jordan of Crimespree Magazine, our reviewers Kate and Dan Malmon, a short story from the vaults of Shotgun Honey by Carmen Jaramillo, and a special edition of the unPanel segment with the likes of Holly West, Angel Luis Colon, Suzy Calkins, Bryon Quertermous, Danny Gardner, Hector Acosta and more!

And we’ve also got a new blog post up over at Crimespree Magazine all about the podcast. You can check that out RIGHT HERE.

If you have listened to Writer Types and you like what you heard, please consider leaving a Rating/Review at iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud. And if you want to hear more, please Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

LA Times Festival of Books 2017

The amazing Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be here THIS weekend, April 22 and 23 at USC. I look forward to this event all year because it gives me the chance to hang out with a few of my favorite crime and mystery writers—and discover many more along the way. This year I’ll be doing three signings on Saturday, April 22:

  • Sisters in Crime—Booth #367 (10am to noon)
  • Rare Bird Books—Booth #125 (noon to 1pm)
  • Mystery Writers of America—Booth #377 (4pm to 5pm)

I’ll also be doing some recording for an upcoming episode of the Writer Types podcast that I co-host with Eric Beetner.

So if you’re at the event, come find me!

More info about the LA Times Festival of Books.

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Interrogation—Joe Ide

Who: Joe Ide

What: He grew up in South Central Los Angeles. Ide earned a graduate degree and had several careers before writing his debut novel, IQ, inspired by his early experiences and his love of Sherlock Holmes. The second IQ book, RIGHTEOUS, will be released this October.

Where: Santa Monica

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

Congrats on the success of your debut novel, IQ. Can you tell us about the genesis and evolution of this story?

I grew up in South Central LA. My friends were primarily black and like most kids, my main aspiration was to belong, so I co-opted their speech, style and attitudes. I was envious of them too. We all came from struggling families and wore the same sad, hand-me-downs but somehow they managed to look cool while I looked like I’d jumped off a freighter from North Korea. I also learned to love the street vernacular which always struck me as a kind of poetry. The cadence, syntax, word choices and inflections. The endlessly creative slang. I listened to it like music. Although I was never quite convincing as a black kid who happened to be Japanese, I’ll always be grateful for that version of myself. The façade gave me a way to be in the world and not be afraid.

My favorite books were the original Sherlock Holmes stories. By the time I was twelve, I’d read all fifty-six stories and four novels multiple times. Like me, Sherlock was an introvert, a misfit and not a tough guy. But unlike me he was able to defeat his enemies and control his world with only the power of his intelligence. I grew up in an area where walking home from school could be life threatening so that was a very powerful idea. When it came time to write the book, all those elements came together virtually by themselves and Sherlock in the hood was born.

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Writer Types Reviews & Subscriptions

The more my co-host, Eric Beetner, and I dig into this podcasting thing, the more we realize that it’s a lot like book publishing—creating something can be a lot easier than spreading the word about it. That’s why Subscribers, Ratings and Reviews are sooooo important.

To that end, I wanted to share a couple of recent reviews with you:

And David Nemeth wrote a whole blog post about Writer Types:

If you have listened to Writer Types and you like what you heard, please consider leaving a Rating/Review at iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud. And if you want to hear more, please Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

For those of you who have already Rated, Reviewed & Subscribed—THANK YOU!

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Interrogation—Kate & Dan Malmon

Who: Kate and Dan Malmon

What: Kate Malmon is the author of numerous documents that were written for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, and you’ve probably never read any of them. She is also a book reviewer for Crimespree Magazine. You’ve probably read some of those reviews.

Dan Malmon is an avid reader of crime fiction, mystery fiction, comic books, science fiction and fantasy. If your parents were afraid it would rot your brain, he’s read it. Or it’s on his TBR pile, waiting to be read, stressing him out.

Kate and Dan are also the resident reviewers for the Writer Types podcast.

Where: Minnesota

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

You two are among the most recognizable reviewers on the Indie crime/mystery scene and conference circuit. How did you fall into reviewing?

Kate: We’re “the most recognizable reviewers”? Really? That’s not false modesty; we thought just my mom read our reviews.

Dan: I think he’s saying he saw our picture on that milk carton.

Kate: Dan has always been a comic book reader. He picked up his first book in 1987: West Coast Avengers #1. I hung out in a comic book shop in high school. I didn’t necessarily read any comics, but I was aware of the X-Men, Batman, and other titles. Dan always tried to get me to read different comics, but I wasn’t interested. Why would I want to read about spandex-clad, anatomically-incorrect people? (I was exposed to a lot of Jim Lee & Rob Lefield books in high school.) He finally won me over when he suggested I do a “live reading” of a comic book on Twitter. So I would read old Dr. Strange and Batman books and post my comments about it under #KateReads on Twitter. I thought it was entertaining and it made the comics a little more fun to read.

At the 2011 Bouchercon in St. Louis, Crimespree Magazine’s Jeremy Lynch approached us about doing book reviews for their website saying, “You know that funny stuff you write when you read comic books? Yeah, we want you to do that for the blog.” We said yes and our reviewing careers were born.

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Interrogation—Thomas Pluck

Who: Thomas Pluck

What: He’s slung hash, worked on the docks, trained in martial arts in Japan, and even swept the Guggenheim museum (but not as part of a clever heist). He is the author of BAD BOY BOOGIE, his first Jay Desmarteaux crime thriller, and BLADE OF DISHONOR.

Where: New Jersey

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

Congrats on the release of BAD BOY BOOGIE. Can you tell us a little about your protagonist, Jay Desmarteaux?

Jay is a Louisiana boy transplanted to New Jersey when he was a kid, he’s got Cajun gumption and Jersey attitude. His mama said there are some people who just need killing, and his papa Andre was a hard-working man… and he’s constantly torn between the two, where people with money, power, muscle, or all three think they can step on your face if you’re “little people.”

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Writer Types Podcast—Episode 3

Episode 3 of the podcast I co-host with Eric Beetner is officially here!

Check out interviews with Johnny Shaw and Sue Ann Jaffarian. Spend a night at Noir At The Bar – L.A. with Glen Erik HamiltonNolan KnightSarah M. ChenTravis RichardsonJohn Lansing and Stephen Blackmoore. Go to rock school with Alex SeguraJoe Clifford and Corey Lynn Fayman. And listen to a haunting short story from Jen Conley. Plus, reviews from Kate Hackbarth Malmon and Dan Malmon. Special thanks to our partners at Shotgun HoneyCrimespree Magazine and the California Crime Writers Conference.

Listen to all three episodes of Writer Types on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher

And please consider leaving a review and rating, and subscribing whenever possible.

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Interrogation—Hector Acosta

Who: Hector Acosta

What: He was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States, his time living on the border left an impression on him, and much of his writing revolves around that area and its people. In his free time he enjoys watching wrestling and satisfying a crippling Lego addiction. HARDWAY is his debut novella.

Where: New York

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

Congrats on the release of HARDWAY. What’s the story behind this story?

I had the basic concept—kids steal a wrestler’s championship belt and things escalate—banging around my head for a while, with the first draft being a 5k piece for a crime writing contest. By the time I finished it, I found myself having more to say, and that was right around the time that Shotgun Honey opened up for submissions, so I decided to go back to the story and see what I could produce without a word count restriction.

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Book Reviews: Bad Citizen Corporation + Grizzly Season by S.W. Lauden

Greg Salem doubleheader. Reviews for books 1 and 2: “Bad Citizen Corporation” and “Grizzly Season”.

Dirty Books

BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION + GRIZZLY SEASON

Author: S.W. Lauden

Publisher: Rare Bird Books

Release Dates: October 2015 + September 2016

Bounced out of the police force after a dubious shooting, punk-turned-cop Greg Salem – whose cult ex-band gives Bad Citizen Corporation its title – finds himself assuming investigative duties once more when a beloved ex-bandmate is murdered at a show. Accompanied by his flaky drug-addict drummer Marco, Salem tries to keep his personal demons at bay long enough to track down the killer, and redeem his ravaged reputation. The bullet-strewn back-story – and indeed Salem’s battle with alcohol dependency – may recall a So.Cal Scudder, but Lauden’s book actually follows in the sandy, surf-noir footprints of writers such as Don Winslow and Kem Nunn. Like his predecessors, Lauden manages to give the story an impressively claustrophobic feel, which is defiantly at odds with the sun-kissed, beach-side backdrop.

Bad Citizen Corporation…

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