Interrogation—Scotch Rutherford (Switchblade)

Who: Scotch Rutherford

What: An independent screenwriter and short fiction author of THE NEON GLARE, a novelette available now from Pro Se Press. His short fiction has appeared in Pulp Modern, Shotgun Honey, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Pulp Metal Magazine, and All Due Respect. He is the creator and managing editor for Switchblade Magazine.

Where: Los Angeles

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

Congrats on the launch of Switchblade. What was the inspiration?

Thanks, man. Being a short fiction author writing in the noir genre, I would make the rounds on the different online platforms and indie print mags. I realized a lot of indie ‘zines had gone away. About that time, I started attending Noir at the Bar LA events and networking.

I like to read, and have some experience as a project manager as well as some graphic arts skills, to handle the art direction. So I took a shot. I know there isn’t any money in it, but it’s something I can build on. I wanted to create a forum for hard luck tales with no limits. An outlet for noir fiction that defies political correctness. I want Switchblade to reflect that.

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Interrogation—Dana King

Dana December 20 2014 in Ft Collins Co v2Who: Dana King

What: His first novel featuring detective Nick Forte, A SMALL SACRIFICE, received a Shamus Award nomination in 2013. Woody Haut named GRIND JOINT, Volume Two of a series set in the fictional, economically depressed town of Penns River PA, as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. A short story, “Green Gables,” appeared in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in The Shamus Sampler: Volume 2, Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash.

Where: Maryland

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

I just read the third Nick Forte book, THE MAN IN THE WINDOW. How would you introduce your protagonist to somebody who is new to the series? 

Forte is the first protagonist I created, in a series of short stories I wrote for friends at work. The stories featured thinly disguised versions of co-workers. Wait. That’s not right. They featured depictions of co-workers that were as accurate as I could make them with my tongue planted firmly in cheek. All I changed were the names. So Forte is me. Musical background that didn’t work out, but still influences him. Divorced father who has a lot of guilt about it.

Forte is an everyman with skills. He’s not a drunk or addict or suffering from PTSD or other demons. He’s a divorced father trying to make a living at a career he never would have chosen, but has found he has some chops for. Loyal friend, devoted father, good sense of humor, and genuinely tries to do what’s right. That comes to haunt him as time goes on.

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Interrogation—Stephen Jay Schwartz

Who: Stephen Jay Schwartz

What: Los Angeles Times Bestselling author who spent a number of years as the Director of Development for Wolfgang Petersen where he developed screenplays for production. His two novels, BOULEVARD and BEAT, follow the journey of sex-addicted LAPD detective Hayden Glass.

Where: Los Angeles

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

The protagonist from your two novels, BOULEVARD and BEAT, is a sex addict and LAPD detective named Hayden Glass. What was the inspiration for this character?

Of the characters I’ve written, Hayden is the easiest to write because he is most like me. We’ve been through similar struggles and we share a similar point of view. Hayden can be an asshole, and I have been an asshole, but the trait comes from the fact that we are damaged goods, little boys lost, searching for our fathers. A character is compelling when he is real in all dimensions, when he represents all aspects of humanity, regardless of the counterpoint that might present. Hayden is good/bad, handsome/ugly, sensitive/cold, loving/brutal. He came out of me at the core and grew into something fictional and separate.

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Quick Quotes—The Week In Publishing

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“As we’ve found with movies and TV shows, the most popular books set in each state can be pretty surprising. For every obvious To Kill a Mockingbird, there’s the unexpected appearance of a lesser-known novel, like Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress in Maryland.”—Kevin O’Keeffe at .Mic

“It might sound cheesy, but I think writing is a kind of a journey. For me, especially if I’m working on a novel, it takes at least a year of fumbling around before I really get anywhere. As you try to imagine yourself into this world, it’s a process of writing stuff, throwing it out, writing, throwing it out. You’re trying to create this place for yourself inside your head; it’s very hard to get to that place, and it takes a long time to get there. But then, finally, there is the sense that maybe you’ve arrived, though you’ve had to discard a ton of stuff along the way.”—Anna North at The Atlantic
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