Interrogation—Nick Kolakowski

Who: Nick Kolakowski

What: Author of A BRUTAL BUNCH OF HEARTBROKEN SAPS and SLAUGHTERHOUSE BLUES, the first two books in the Love & Bullets trilogy. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Mystery Tribune, Crime Syndicate Magazine, and various anthologies.

Where: New York

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

Congrats on the release of SLAUGHTERHOUSE BLUES. This latest installment takes Bill and Fiona to Cuba and Nicaragua. Why choose those locations?

Around 10 years ago, I had an editor gig that took me through the Caribbean and Central America. I wrote a number of nonfiction articles about Cuba and Nicaragua but always wanted to use them as fictional settings. When it came time to send Bill and Fiona out of the United States, I finally saw my chance. It was great to rip out huge, dripping hunks of personal experience and use them in a novel; not because doing so made it easier to write (it’s always a marathon sprint), but because I could add a deep layer of authenticity to the whole endeavor.

Plus, Bill and Fiona are fugitives, and I’ve always joked that if I had to hide out somewhere in the world, I’d choose either Cuba or Nicaragua. The former, because there’s no extradition with the U.S., and some great bars; if you could keep a low profile, and not irritate the local government, it’d be hard for anyone to find you holed up with your daiquiri. And the latter, because the highlands around Esteli (a small mountain town where Fiona ends up) are very beautiful and relatively remote; depending on your setup, you have a good chance of seeing your pursuer before they see you. Then again, the people pursuing Bill and Fiona are very tough, very smart, and very serious.

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“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 4

For the fourth episode of this podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading, we’re hitting the road with Marko DeSantis.

He’s probably best known as the lead guitarist for Sugarcult, but Marko has also played with Bad Astronaut, The Ataris and Nerf Herder. These days your likely to catch him DJing at a club in LA or Tokyo, or find him lecturing about the entertainment industry at a handful of Los Angeles music colleges.

This episode features discussions about everything from PLEASE KILL ME and HAMMER OF THE GODS, to THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway, FOREVER by Judy Blume and OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO by Dr. Seuss. Buckle your seat belts because we cover a lot of highway with this one.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 4:

Follow Marko on Twitter HERE. And on Instagram HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday, and Todd Pasternack of Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump on Wednesday. I’m posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Our final guest on Friday is Jim Lindberg from Pennywise.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

New “Hang Time” Review

“This is an intense story and the action is non-stop. It was a quick, fun, easy read. I recommend it to both music fans and those who just like a good mystery.” Read the full review HERE.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 3

For episode 3, Books on the Bus is shifting gears from punk rock to jam band.

Our guest today is Todd Pasternack of the bands Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump. He is also the author of LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: MUSICIANS AS BUSINESS LEADERS.

This episode features rock autobiographies by Bruce Springsteen and Levon Helm, in addition to deep discussions about Howard Zinn in the tour van. Todd’s a smart guy and talented musician who has written a really interesting book.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 3:

Find out more about Todd Pasternack HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday. I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Thursday’s guest is Marko DeSantis from Sugarcult.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 2

Is Books on the Bus a rock podcast about literature, or a literary podcast about rock? You decide!

Today I’m chatting with Joey Cape, lead singer of the California punk band Lagwagon. He also plays guitar for Me First & The Gimme Gimmes and is a prolific solo artist and producer.

This episode features the origin stories for the Lagwagon songs “Owen Meany” and “Lullaby,” in addition to creative ways to promote reading live on stage, giving up on non-fiction 3/4 of the way through a book, and Cormac McCarthy—among many other topics.

Here’s Books on the Bus, episode 2:

Find out more about Joey Cape HERE. Find out more about Lagwagon HERE.

I launched the first episode of the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series yesterday with Jeff Whalen of the rock group Tsar (click here if you missed it). I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on the Rare Bird Radio podcast platform. Wednesday’s guest is Todd Pasternack of Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump, and author of LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: MUSICIANS AS BUSINESS LEADERS.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Interrogation—Marietta Miles

Who: Marietta Miles

What: Her short stories and flash can be found in Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama, Hardboiled Wonderland and Revolt Daily. Her stories have been in anthologies available through Static Movement Publishing, Out of the Gutter, and Horrified Press. She is rotating host for Noir on the Radio, Dames in the Dark. Her first book, ROUTE 12, was released February of 2016. Her latest book, MAY, was released on January 8 with Down and Out Books.

Where: Virginia

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

Congrats on the release of your new novella, MAY. How did the story in this one come about?

After ROUTE 12 came out Sandra Ruttan and I began communicating quite a bit. She helped me focus my writing process and outline the steps needed to, hopefully, continue to get published. She would send me publishers and zines that she thought worked for my style. When Down and Out opened their submission window she encouraged me to submit.

The character of May had been cooking for some time and I found my chance to shine her up and send her out into the world.

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Interrogation—Warren Moore

Who: Warren Moore

What: His short fiction has been published in venues ranging from Spinetingler to The American Culture, and Out of the Gutter, as well as in three print anthologies edited by Lawrence Block. His 2013 novel, BROKEN GLASS WALTZES, has just been republished by Down & Out Books. Moore lives in Newberry with his wife and daughter.

Where: South Carolina

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

Congrats on the (re)release of BROKEN GLASS WALTZES. What was the inspiration for this story?

One rainy night in November of 1990, I was driving around Lexington, KY, listening to the Misfits. Suddenly, a scene popped into my head—it would become the first four pages of Chapter 10 of BGW. I knew I could build a book around it, and saved the scene under the title “Die, Die My Darling,” which was the song I was listening to when inspiration hit. The next day, I went to the University of KY library and found that the Misfits had lifted the title from a 1965 Tallulah Bankhead movie.

I put the title on hold, and started reverse-engineering my way from that scene. “Who are these people? How did they get there?” So I got hold of Kenny (the narrator)’s voice, and mainly tried to get out of the way. After a while, the new title showed up and resonated in my head, because it felt both literary and pulpy. I finished it a couple of years later, as I was working as a magazine editor in Cincinnati; I lived over the river in Kentucky, not far from Jean’s apartment in the book.

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Interrogation—R. Daniel Lester

Who: R. Daniel Lester

What: As a keen apprentice in the story trade, he has consumed a lot of coffee (a mandatory requirement according to the manual), written himself into and out of countless corners, added many words to blank pages, self-published three books (including the novel, DIE, FAMOUS!), and made tens of dollars along the way.

His work has also appeared in print and online in such places as Adbusters, Geist, Shotgun Honey, Bareknuckles Pulp, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Broken Pencil, Pulp Literature and The Lascaux Prize Anthology.

Where: Toronto

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

DEAD CLOWN BLUES is one of my favorite book titles in recent memory. What came first, the story or the title? Is there a story behind the title?

Wow, that’s great to hear. Thanks. This project started out with another title and was more towards novel length. Circa 2013/2014, I got a few rejections on it and then decided to let it simmer for a while. A few months later I noticed that Shotgun Honey was open again to novella submissions and it dawned on me—simplify. Trim the fat. I had one too many subplots and stripping it away really made it sing.

But the first title was related to the extraneous subplot so I had to go back to square one. Which was strange. Usually, I have the title of the piece prior to writing it (or at least along the way) and that often helps guide the direction. But with the story mostly done, except for patching the holes in the wall that you get from any subplot demolition/renovation, I had to look at the core of the new story—what was driving it? And I always liked the dual meaning of “dead clown” within the story—(1) the former-clown-turned-janitor who dies, and (2) the name of the gang of criminal clowns that Fitch crosses path with. Then, once I figured out “Blues,” that was it, game over. I knew I had a winner. It just sounded right to me. Right for the story, right for the genre. Nice and hardboiled.

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Interrogation—Peter Rozovsky

Who: Peter Rozovsky

What: An editor, photographer, and reviewer/critic/essayist. He has written the Detectives Beyond Borders international crime fiction blog since 2006, created Noir at the Bar in 2008, and has written essays and introductions to books including SUNSHINE NOIR; Barry Forshaw’s NORDIC NOIR; FOLLOWING THE DETECTIVES: REAL LOCATIONS IN CRIME FICTION; and THE CULTURAL DETECTIVE: REFLECTIONS ON THE WRITING LIFE IN THAILAND. He has shot the covers for novels and story collections by Reed Farrel Coleman, Domenic Stansberry, Charlie Stella, Ed Gorman, Linda L. Richards, and Tony Knighton.

Where: Philadelphia

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

How has crime fiction evolved in the 11 years since you started your blog?

The demise of the P.I. novel has happened about eleven times since 2006. Irish crime writing, particularly that from Northern Ireland, shows signs of gaining the attention it deserves (or at least Adrian McKinty has started to win awards). And I’m not sure whether this is a trend or just my evolving of tastes, but I’ve been paying more attention to newish publishers: the lamented 280 Steps, Down & Out, and writers who fit that mold, people like Johnny Shaw and Jay Stringer.

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“Hang Time” Cover Reveal

Thrilled to share the cover for “Hang Time,” the third book in the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. trilogy. The two previous books, “Bad Citizen Corporation” and “Grizzly Season,” also got new ebook covers to match this one.

“Hang Time” arrives Jan. 16 from Rare Bird Books. Available for pre-order now over at Amazon. And please add it to your Goodreads shelf, if you’re so inclined. Thanks!

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