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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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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Interrogation—Marietta Miles

Who: Marietta Miles

What: Born in Alabama, raised in Louisiana, her short stories have been published by Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama, Revolt Daily and more. She has stories in anthologies offered through Static Movement Publishing, Horrified Press, and, soon, Gutter Books. Her first novel, ROUTE 12, is now available through All Due Respect Books.

Where: Virginia

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

Your debut release from All Due Respect is ROUTE 12, two novellas set in Appalachia in the seventies and eighties. Why was this era and that location the right time and place for these stories and characters?

Poverty is the wolf at the door in ROUTE 12, ordeals borne directly from need. The seventies were a particularly difficult time in Appalachia. Slashed jobs in the mines, bad soil on the farms, and stripped cuts along the mountains made for little money. As they had been for years, young people were leaving in waves. This area, at that time, seemed isolated and vulnerable, much like the characters.

Plus, I got to listen to loads of cheesy seventies music and tell everyone it was for inspiration. I mean come on…The Raspberries?

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My New Novella Is Out Now!

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Thanks to everybody who pre-ordered CROSSWISEand those who grabbed it today. The response has been great so far and I’m really excited to know what all of you think once you’ve had a chance to read it. Here’s the low down:

Tommy Ruzzo is a disgraced NYPD cop who follows his coke fiend girlfriend back to her hometown in Florida. She leaves Ruzzo high and dry just before he’s named Head of Security at Precious Acres, a beachfront retirement community populated by wisecracking New Yorkers. Ruzzo is stranded among the local losers until the day he discovers a murdered senior citizen on the Precious Acres bocce ball court. The bodies pile up as Ruzzo uncovers a dangerous trail of clues that brings everybody in his new world under suspicion. 

If you want to find out more about why I set this standalone novella in Florida, or how it got published, please check out these recent guest blog posts:

Here’s an amazing early review from Beth Kanell at Kingdom Books:

“CROSSWISE is a fun read and a quick one (130 pages)—a great tip of the hat to the noir genre. Shelve it with Westlake, Robert Parker, and your vintage paperbacks with their slinky women brandishing firearms. Or with Carl Hiassen and Kinky Friedman, for the good-humoredly ridiculous capers. Good stuff!”

Read the whole review RIGHT HERE.

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And last, but certainly not least, here’s an interview I did with designer extraordinaire, J.T. Lindroos, who designed the cover for CROSSWISE.

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

Interrogation—Mike McCrary

Who: Mike McCrary

What: He has been a waiter, a securities trader, dishwasher, investment manager and an unpaid Hollywood intern. He’s quit corporate America, come back, been fired, been promoted, been fired again. Currently he is a screenwriter and author who writes stories about questionable people who make questionable decisions.

Where: Austin, TX

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

Your 2013 novel, REMO WENT ROGUE, is one hell of a read—fast-paced, vicious and dark. How did the character of Remo come together?

Thank you, sir. Glad you dug it. Yeah, Remo kinda came out of a fascination of defense attorneys and the weirdness of their jobs. All the information that must be swirling around their heads at any given time, knowing all the horrible shit that your clients have done and it’s your job to set them free or at least get the best deal possible. It’s extremely necessary to the legal process, but thinking of actually doing it as a profession is a whole different thing. I also really liked the idea of one of these guys having a crisis of conscience and falling off the deep end. So, those elements plus I have a deep affection for drunk, broken, pill-popping, foul-mouthed bastards with a heart of gold.

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Crime Wave? Let’s Go Surfing!

tap sourceGenre can be a tricky business. No writer wants to believe that their work is so easily classified—possibly even dismissed—as just another story in a long line of similar works that came before it. As a reader, though, I have benefitted greatly from the way that books are classified.

Charles Bukowski led me to John Fante way back when because of a passionate employee at my local bookstore. Umberto Eco and Gabriel Garcia Marquez led me to Jorge Luis Borges in much the same way. Years later, Jo Nesbo led me to Arnaldur Indridason thanks to the sometimes amazing, sometimes infuriating Amazon algorithm. Lev Grossman led me to Emily St. John Mandel. The list goes on.

So, it’s been interesting to publish my first novel and get feedback from people outside of my own head about what I wrote. For starters, I am not kidding when I tell you that I didn’t know I had written a straight mystery. I was aware of the murder(s) and I knew that the protagonist was spending a crazy amount of time trying to solve them, but in my head it was still somehow a crime novel. Now it says the word “mystery” right on the cover. Go figure.

A few of the customer reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, however, are calling it “Punk Noir”. That makes sense because the book, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is named after a fictional punk band. And I like “Noir” because, well, Noir will always be one of the coolest things anybody can call anything.

dawn patrolOne genre that I have long been fascinated with as a reader is “Surf Noir”. A definition can be a little hard to pin down, but it’s primarily used to describe many of Kem Nunn’s fantastic books, and a couple of Don Winslow’s equally fantastic books. From there things get a little more blurry, with the term “Surf Noir” getting applied to books that may have surfers as characters or simply take place at the beach.

If you are new to Surf Noir and looking for some books, start here:

And while you’re at it, please check out this fast-paced, :30 second trailer for my debut “mystery” novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. The video definitely has surfing in it, whatever the genre might be.

Publication Day*

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Fire up your time machines, kiddies!

November 3, 2015 is the official publication day for my debut mystery novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. Kinda funny since the ebook has been available for two weeks already and the print version started shipping last Thursday—but still, PUBLICATION DAY*!

If you’re an early adopter, thank you for taking a chance on my Surf Noir novel about a punk rock cop on the beaches of LA. It took five years and tons of revisions—thanks to generous feedback from trusted beta readers, support from the incredible crime/mystery community, my editor Elaine Ash, and the talented crew at Rare Bird Books—but I’m stoked at how the book turned out.

rsz_screen_shot_2015-11-03_at_61708_amI’ve also been blown away by the positive feedback I’ve gotten so far. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are the best way for you to let other readers know about your favorite books, no matter what books or authors you’re reviewing. So, if you have the time, please leave an honest review of BCC. Also totally understand if reviews are not your thing.

Thanks for all the support either way. It feels like two kittens are wrestling inside my chest right now, all because of you. Yes you.

Now, back to writing the sequel…

Crime/Mystery Writers Create Spotify Playlist

R&R Spotify Playlist

Having a BBQ this Labor Day weekend? Looking for a gloomy playlist of dark and murderous rock songs to encourage more drinking at your pool party? We have just the Spotify playlist for you—“Rock & Roll’s Not A Crime”!

I have collected song suggestions from some of my favorite West Coast crime/mystery writers including Eric Beetner, Anonymous-9, Craig Faustus Buck and Josh Stallings. This playlist was created in anticipation of our upcoming event, “Rock & Roll’s Not A Crime,” at the Buena Vista Library Branch in Burbank CA on Oct. 14—but you can enjoy the darkness right now on Spotify (you can listen if you sign up for a free account).

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Interrogation: Jay Stringer

JS2Who: Jay Stringer

What: He was born in 1980, and he’s not dead yet. He’s worked as a zoo keeper, a bookseller, a debt collector and a video editor. He writes crime, mystery and social fiction, and rides around Glasgow on a fixed-gear bike. His Eoin Miller trilogy is available from Thomas & Mercer, and WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW will be released on August 1st.

Where: Glasgow

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

I just read WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW and loved it. What was the inspiration for this story? 

What happened was, I spent a weekend in Seattle thanks to the hospitality of my publisher, and met a lot of fine, funny, and professional writers. I’d already written three books, each one had taken me around 9 months, and the writing had been a very moody, very angsty process. Talking to authors there, I got a kick in the ass about how much fun they seemed to have, and their work ethic. I went home and, in the space of around fifteen weeks, wrote this book. Grinning the whole time.

But the other aspect, the bit I learned later, was that I was itching to write about Glasgow. I’d been living here for 6 years by that point (almost 10 now) and I was finally starting to feel like I could do the city justice.

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Great Writing Tips From Publishers & Authors

I have been very lucky to interview some great Indie publishers over the last year. Most of them are writers as well.

From e-mags and quarterly print publications, to anthologies, novellas and novels, these are the people bringing fresh new voices to the crime fiction world.

Here is a collection of recent quotes along with a few interview excerpts. Click on the links to read the full interviews.

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Craig T. McNeely is owner and editor-in-chief of Double Life Press and a writer. His short fiction has appeared in All Due Respect, Thuglit, Flash Fiction Offensive and more. He lives in Arkansas where he’s quietly plotting the takeover of the publishing world.

Read the Craig T. McNeely interview HERE.

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[Interview excerpt]

Both of your novels were published by your own company, Follow Your Dreams (FYD) Media. Why did you originally decide to take an independent approach to publishing?

The technology is out there to publish, distribute, and promote like never before. I once got the opportunity to speak to Sue Grafton who said, “Wait. Give it time and the book will get (traditionally) published.” I just kept thinking, “Why wait? What for?”

Read the Laurie Stevens interview HERE.

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Christopher Black is a noir writer of little note and editor-in-chief of Number Thirteen Press—a project to publish thirteen quality crime novellas, one on the thirteenth of each month for thirteen months.

Read the Christopher Black interview HERE.

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