2016: My Year In Interviews


I got the not-so-original idea to interview other writers at Bouchercon, Long Beach a couple of years ago. At the time, I was new to the vibrant crime and mystery community and eager to learn about the people who were a few steps—or a few miles—ahead of rsz_screen_shot_2016-05-08_at_74929_amme in their publishing journey. Since then I have expanded my interviews to include a handful of publishers, event organizers, designers and bloggers.

I discovered pretty quickly that even the most hardboiled author was happy to indulge my questions, giving them serious consideration and, when asked, providing insightful advice about writing, publishing and marketing. This is a truly talented bunch of people. And a lot of them are funny too.

Two years later, I’m happy to say that many have become friends that I connect with regularly on social media, at annual conferences like Left Coast Crime, Noir at the Bar events around the country, and bookstore signings.

rsz_screen_shot_2016-04-08_at_75943_pm_2Looking back on 2016, I did 48 interviews. If you missed any of them, or if you’re looking to discover a talented new crime/mystery author, here they are again (along with links):


Corey Lynn Fayman, Leslie Bohem, Jack Getze, Ingrid Willis


John L. Thompson, Rob Hart, J.L. Abramo, Bill Fitzhugh, J.T. Lindroos


Brett Battles, Brian Thornton, Michael Lister, Gary Phillips


rsz_screen_shot_2016-01-17_at_83408_amMarietta Miles, Jon Jordan, Jeff Newberry, C.S. Dewildt


Christian Lee, Jen Conley, Glen Erik Hamilton, Sarah M. Chen


Larry Wilson, Bryon Quertermous, Dharma Kelleher, Ryan Gattis, Joe Clifford


rsz_screen_shot_2016-06-26_at_73433_pmBenjamin Whitmer, Jason Pinter, Greg Barth


Mike Creeden, Nick Kolakowski, Erik Storey, Gabino Iglesias, Mike McCrary


Alex Segura, Ro Cuzon, Erik Arenson


Jay Stringer, S.G. Redling, Christa Faust & Gary Phillips, Michael Pool, Naomi Hirahara

Lori Rader-Day, Andrew Nette, Bob Truluck, Angel Luis Colon


Matt Coyle, Jonathan Brown

I look forward to interviewing more of you in 2017. Thanks for a great year!

grizzly-seasonS.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, was published on October 11, 2016. His Tommy Ruzzo novella, CROSSWISE, is available from Down & Out Books.

Interrogation—Jeff Newberry

10384904_10103342406532360_7234422824777333013_nWho: Jeff Newberry

What: Author of A STAIRWAY TO THE SEA (Pulpwood Press). He is the Poet in Residence at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, where he teaches in the Rural Studies program. His essays, fiction, and poetry have appeared in a wide variety of print and online magazines.

Where: Georgia

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

I’m currently reading your haunting debut novel, A STAIRWAY TO THE SEA. How did you come up with this story?

That story originated in a creative writing workshop at the University of Georgia in Athens. I was pursuing a PhD in English with a focus in creative writing. My focus in the program was actually poetry, and I had begun to wonder if I could do in poetry what Larry Brown, William Faulkner, Harry Crews, Barry Hannah, and other Southern writers do in prose. That is—could I write a gritty Southern story in verse? So, I tried. I had the elements in place:  Justin, St. Vincent, and Donnie Ray’s death. I tried to write this sequence of persona poems that would unfold the mystery. As I worked more, I realized that I couldn’t do it. So, I put it away.

A few years later, after I finished my degree, I picked up a copy of James Lee Burke’s THE NEON RAIN at my local library. I loved it. Burke’s prose reminded me of what my Southern literary heroes did, but he was embracing genre fiction. I remembered the abandoned narrative poem and dug it out. From there, I began to refashion it as a novel.

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