Interrogation—Nick Kolakowski

Who: Nick Kolakowski

What: Author of A BRUTAL BUNCH OF HEARTBROKEN SAPS and SLAUGHTERHOUSE BLUES, the first two books in the Love & Bullets trilogy. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Mystery Tribune, Crime Syndicate Magazine, and various anthologies.

Where: New York

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

Congrats on the release of SLAUGHTERHOUSE BLUES. This latest installment takes Bill and Fiona to Cuba and Nicaragua. Why choose those locations?

Around 10 years ago, I had an editor gig that took me through the Caribbean and Central America. I wrote a number of nonfiction articles about Cuba and Nicaragua but always wanted to use them as fictional settings. When it came time to send Bill and Fiona out of the United States, I finally saw my chance. It was great to rip out huge, dripping hunks of personal experience and use them in a novel; not because doing so made it easier to write (it’s always a marathon sprint), but because I could add a deep layer of authenticity to the whole endeavor.

Plus, Bill and Fiona are fugitives, and I’ve always joked that if I had to hide out somewhere in the world, I’d choose either Cuba or Nicaragua. The former, because there’s no extradition with the U.S., and some great bars; if you could keep a low profile, and not irritate the local government, it’d be hard for anyone to find you holed up with your daiquiri. And the latter, because the highlands around Esteli (a small mountain town where Fiona ends up) are very beautiful and relatively remote; depending on your setup, you have a good chance of seeing your pursuer before they see you. Then again, the people pursuing Bill and Fiona are very tough, very smart, and very serious.

Continue reading

“Writer Types” Podcast—Episode 1

Thrilled to share the first episode of my new podcast with co-host, Eric Beetner.

This week we have interviews with authors Megan Abbott, Lou Berney and Steph Post; check in with Down & Out Books publisher, Eric Campbell; hear about the best of 2016 and what to look forward to in 2017 from our reviewers, Kate Malmon and Dan Malmon; enjoy a live reading of the short story “Whoops” by Nick Kolakowski, and have a little bookstore fun with S.G. Redling, Gary Phillips and Jay Stringer.

We’re aiming to have a new episode up every month throughout 2017. So please give it a listen and share it with your friends.

2016: My Year In Interviews

rsz_screen_shot_2016-12-13_at_33555_pm

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):

January:

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

rsz_screen_shot_2016-01-24_at_50801_pmFebruary:

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

March:

Brett Battles, Brian Thornton, Michael Lister, Gary Phillips

April:

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

May:

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

June:

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

July:

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

August:

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

September:

Alex Segura, Ro Cuzon, Erik Arenson

rsz_screen_shot_2016-09-05_at_34632_pmOctober:

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

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

December:

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—Nick Kolakowski

rsz_img_0976Who: Nick Kolakowski

What: His short stories have appeared in Shotgun Honey, Thuglit, Crime Syndicate Magazine, Out of the Gutter, and various anthologies. He’s also one of the editors of Shotgun Honey. His short story collection, SOMEBODY’S TRYING TO KILL ME, was released in August.

Where: New York

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

Your excellent new collection, SOMEBODY’S TRYING TO KILL ME, includes seventeen noir tales. How did you select which pieces to include?

I listen to a lot of standup comedy: Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, the sets that Robin Williams did in the ‘80s. All of those comedians alternate between quick jabs and longer setups, which allows them to build and maintain the energy of an hour-long set. When I started putting together this collection, I took some inspiration from that, and so you have the flash-fiction pieces lined up alongside the mid-length tales and the title novella. Hopefully that short-long-short rhythm allows the reader to catch a bit of a breather between the lengthier stories.

Beyond that, I knew I wanted to include the pieces that had been published in Thuglit, Crime Syndicate Magazine, and Reloaded (Shotgun Honey’s annual anthology). I’d also been working on the novella for years, off and on, and wanted it to finally see the light of day. Sprinkle all that with flash fiction from Shotgun Honey, and voilà: short-story collection.

Continue reading