Interrogation—William E. Wallace

WEW with gunsWho: William E. Wallace

What: A former award-winning investigative reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Naval intelligence analyst, private eye, house painter, cook, dishwasher, magazine writer and journalism professor. His most recent book, DEAD HEAT WITH THE REAPER, was released by All Due Respect books in August 2015. His short fiction has appeared in All Due Respect, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter Online, Near to the Knuckle, Over My Dead Body, Dead Guns, Plan B, Spinetingler and Dark Corners.

Where: Oakland

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

The first of the two novellas in DEAD HEAT WITH THE REAPER is called “Legacy”. Is the character Frank Trask based on anybody specific?

Trask is an amalgam of a number of people I’ve met, but he is primarily modeled on my own father, a construction mechanic and blacksmith who drank heavily and died in 1994. In fact, the backhanding of the biker, one of the incidents of violence in the story involving Trask, is based on a confrontation my dad once had with a drunk who was bothering my late sister in a bar in Pollock Pines, California.

The second novella in DEAD HEAT WITH THE REAPER, “The Creep,” features a disfigured vet named Alan Baldocchi. What was your inspiration?

I just wondered what it would be like if a young woman fortuitously crossed paths with somebody who was  so ugly that he made the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, but came to realize he was actually not a “creep” at all—just a person unlucky enough to be really horrible looking. I wrote the first scene where Susan meets Baldocchi on the stairway and set it aside. A while later I read through what I had written and the story began to suggest itself in my mind.

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Interrogation: Rob Pierce

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Who: Rob Pierce

What: Rob Pierce is the author of the novel UNCLE DUST from All Due Respect Books, and the editor of Swill Magazine. He has been nominated for a Derringer Award for short crime fiction, and has had his stories published in Flash Fiction Offensive, Pulp Modern, Plots With Guns, Revolt Daily, Near To The Knuckle, and Shotgun Honey, among others. He lives with his wife and two children in Oakland, California.

Where: Rob Pierce’s debut novel, UNCLE DUST, is easily one of the most original crime novels I have read. Part bank heist, part bad parenting manual, it takes a unique look at the self-destruction and compulsion behind criminal behavior as only Pierce could present it. So when I got the chance to spend the day with him at the Left Coast Crime convention in Portland, I jumped at it.

One of the most important things I learned from Pierce was how to calmly rob a bank. Listen to this exclusive audio excerpt from his debut novel UNCLE DUST (read WAY too early in the morning…)

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