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—Paul Heatley

Who: Paul Heatley

What: The author of THE MOTEL WHORE & OTHER STORIES, GUNS, DRUGS, AND DOGS, AN EYE FOR AN EYE, and FATBOY, as well as almost fifty short stories published online and in print at the likes of Thuglit, Spelk, Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Crime Factory.

Where: England

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

I just read FATBOY and thought it was great. Where did the idea for this dark tale come from?

Thank you! FATBOY stop-started a few times as a short story, but I either couldn’t settle on what it was supposed to be about, or else it kept growing beyond the confines of being a short story. The earliest iteration had the main character and his girlfriend working together to take down his boss at the garage where he worked in order to provide medical care for their son. I thought this sounded a bit too Breaking Bad, though. I read soon after starting of a serial killer called David Parker Ray who had created a torture chamber inside his trailer home. I thought to myself, okay, they’ll do something similar, they’ll create this room inside their home where they can hold the boss to ransom, prove to him they’re not fucking around. Ideas kept coming, things were spiralling. Eventually I just sat myself down, decided it wasn’t going to work as a short story, and wrote the first draft of what would eventually become FATBOY late at night over the course of a fortnight while listening to Ministry’s In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up. Elements from each round of attempts at making it a short made their way into the end product—the girlfriend and young son, the trailer park etc.so they weren’t completely wasted efforts.

The book starts with a bartender, Joey Hidalgo, on a several day bender. Why set this story in bars? Have you worked in bars yourself?

I’ve done minimal bar work, and I wasn’t very good at it! I don’t drink, never really have, so even the simple things like which drink goes in which glass were lost on me. Still, I think there’s a lot of life in bars, a lot of character, particularly dive bars. Maybe not the kind of life you want to live yourself, or characters you want to know, but it’s there. Brian Azzarello, writer of 100 Bullets, once said he would go to bars and just listen to the people there talk, for both inspiration and to shape the crafting of his own dialogue.

Having Joey in bars, on a bender, it was a way of showing his self-destructive personality. I think from the off you know that this guy, while he may have good intentions, is not afraid to do some bad things.

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Interrogation—Tom Pitts

Who: Tom Pitts

What: He received his education on the streets of San Francisco. He remains there, working, writing, and trying to survive. He is the author of AMERICAN STATIC, HUSTLE, KNUCKLEBALL, and PIGGYBACK.

Where: San Francisco

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

Congrats on the release of AMERICAN STATIC. What would you like readers to know about your latest novel?

Thanks! What to let readers know? Where to buy it! Down & Out Books tells me you can order this one from any bookstore, so have at it. As far as the story goes, if you enjoyed HUSTLE, I think you’ll love this. It’s fast-paced, down and dirty, and a ton of fun. Provided you have a twisted view of what fun is.

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Interviewed by Will Viharo

I’m THRILLED to chat with excellent crime author, Will Viharo, about the Indie crime scene, the importance and pitfalls of using social media for book promotion, and what I’ve got coming down the line. You can check out the short interview RIGHT HERE.

S.W. Lauden is up for two Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice AwardsVoting is open to everybody and no registration is required. Please cast a vote for GRIZZLY SEASON (Best Action/Adventure) and CROSSWISE (Best Mystery)Thank you!

Interrogation—Jeffery Hess

Who: Jeffery Hess

What: Author of the novel, BEACHHEAD, and the story collection, COLD WAR CANOE CLUB, as well as the editor of the award-winning HOME OF THE BRAVE anthologies. He served six years aboard the Navy’s oldest and newest ships and holds writing degrees from the University of South Florida and Queens University of Charlotte. He leads the DD-214 Writers’ Workshop for military veterans.

Where: Florida

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

Congrats on the release of COLD WAR CANOE CLUB. Can you tell us a little about how this short story collection came together?

It was nothing I planned. In fact, I spent my twenties and thirties writing about everything but the Navy. Then, in 2007, I formed a writing workshop for military veterans. In advance of the first meeting, I sent a press release to the (now-defunct) Tampa Tribune hoping they’d list the workshop with my phone number on their calendar of events. Instead, a reporter called with interest in writing a piece about me and the workshop. During the twenty-minute interview, it came up that I didn’t require participants to write their military experiences, but they were welcome to. The reporter asked if I wrote about my own military experiences. When I said “no,” she asked why. That question made me recall the moment more than ten years earlier, when I assumed Tom Clancy had written everything about the Navy that anyone could want. But in the breath or two it took me to reply, I realized my stories would be different.

Needless to say, I wrote dozens of Navy stories in the years that followed. I’m beyond thrilled that sixteen of them made this book almost a decade later. More than half of the stories in the book have been published by journals and magazines like Noir Nation, Plots with Guns, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, O-Dark-Thirty.

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“Crosswise” Nominated For An Anthony Award!

I was blown away to find out that my first Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper, CROSSWISE, was nominated for the “Best Novella” Anthony Award. The Anthony Awards will be voted on by attendees at the 2017 Bouchercon world mystery convention being held in Toronto from October 12 to 15. I’m thrilled to share the honor with fellow nominees Angel Luis Colon, Sarah M. Chen, John Shepphird and B.K. Stevens.

Thanks to everybody for the kind notes of congratulations!

If you haven’t read CROSSWISE yet, it’s a crossword puzzle-themed crime caper that follows the misadventures of disgraced NYPD officer Tommy Ruzzo. Things spiral out of control when Ruzzo chases his girlfriend to Florida where he’s named Head of Security for a beachfront retirement community populated by wisecracking New Yorkers. Ruzzo is stranded among the local losers until he discovers a murdered senior citizen on the bocce ball court.

The second Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper, CROSSED BONES, was just published last week by Down & Out Books.

In addition to the Anthony Award nomination, CROSSWISE is currently in the running for a Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice Award. That one is open for public voting now, and anybody can vote (CLICK HERE). Winners will be announced at the 2017 Killer Nashville Guest of Honor and Awards Banquet August 24 to 27.

S.W. Lauden writes 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 the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

David Nemeth Reviews “Crossed Bones”

Very happy to wake up to this review today over at Unlawful Acts. Based on his many book reviews, it seems like Mr. Nemeth and I have very similar tastes in crime fiction. Always interesting (and a little terrifying) when somebody like that reviews one of your books.

“Crossed Bones is the adult version of a carnival ride and Lauden’s writing keeps us grounded even as we plunge into the absurdity of costumed pirates battling a motorcycle gang for a lost treasure.”

You can read the full review HERE.

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.

Pub Day For “Crossed Bones”

My second Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper is available TODAY thanks to the nice people at Down & Out Books!

And the reviews are starting to come in. Here’s what Dan Malmon over at Crimespree Magazine had to say about CROSSED BONES:

“Lauden is clearly playing with every trope in the drawer with this series of novellas. With every nod, wink, and smile that he sends through the page to the reader, you know he’s having an absolute blast with this series.”

Sounds about right. Please check out that review and click right HERE to check out CROSSED BONES on Amazon.

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—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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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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