Interrogation—Christopher Irvin

Who: Christopher Irvin

What: Author of FEDERALES and BURN CARDS. His short stories have been featured in several publications, including ThuglitBeat to a Pulp, and Shotgun Honey. His short story collection, SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, is out this November from 280 Steps.

Where: Boston

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

Since you’re about to publish SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, a tremendous collection of 13 short stories, I’m going to ask you one question about each story. First up is “Union Man”. What inspired you to write a period piece about a man caught between a rock and a hard place during a steel mill strike?

Thank you for the kind words and interview! I wish I had more notes on “Union Man.” I write by hand a lot and have tried hard to keep to a journal since 2012 (I’m finishing up my third). I have a small paragraph from early in 2013 about researching the steel strikes (I recall looking at a lot of photos and articles online), and I sent off a draft to friends for critique that May. It’s unfortunate as it’s a favorite of the collection, but I do know at its heart that it’s my ‘fatherhood story.’ My first son, George, was born in August of 2012 and a clearly recall this being the first piece where I incorporated my sense of being a father, the responsibilities, etc. It was a story that I had to write, and even though I knew pretty much from the outset where it needed to go—for narrative reasons and to make an impact—it was still difficult to write.

Continue reading

Interrogation: Johnny Angel Wendell

14092404_John_Angel-135Who: Johnny Angel Wendell

What: An actor/musician/talk show host and writer. He’s been a columnist for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and LA Weekly. His first novel, LOOKING FOR LADY DEE: A PUNK ROCK MYSTERY, was self-published in February.

Where: Los Angeles

I found out that Johnny Angel Wendell was finally writing a book like a lot of other people did—on Facebook.

Having followed Johnny’s colorful exploits on social media, I was excited to watch the process unfold. My curiosity was piqued because Johnny and I are both LA musicians, and because I have recently embarked on a crime/mystery writing career myself. But that’s where the similarities stop.

rsz_1screen_shot_2015-03-30_at_73022_amWhile I took the more traditional approach of publishing short stories, going to conferences, and querying agents and publishers, Johnny skipped straight to self-publishing on Feb. 27—less than two months after he started writing his debut novel.

As of this morning (March 30) the ebook of LOOKING FOR LADY DEE was #4 on the Amazon Best Sellers list under “Punk Music,” alongside the likes of John Lydon, Richard Hell and Henry Rollins.

I needed some answers, so I went to the source.

Continue reading