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 Leins

Who: Tom Leins

What: A disgraced ex-film critic whose short stories have been published by the likes of Akashic Books, Shotgun Honey, Near to the Knuckle, Flash Fiction Offensive, Horror Sleaze Trash and Spelk Fiction. A novelette, SKULL MEAT, is available via Amazon, and a collection, MEAT BUBBLES (& OTHER STORIES), will be out later this year.

Where: Paignton, UK

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

Congrats on the release of SKULL MEAT. How did this one come about?

Thanks, Steve. Weirdly enough, despite the low page-count it took me eight years to put together! The first chunk of the story was published online way back in 2009, and another slab of text languished on my hard-drive for almost a decade. Embarrassingly, assembling the finished version took less than a week!

The novelette length was a bit of a head-scratcher, so I decided to release it myself via Amazon—to satisfy my own curiosity about self-publishing more than anything. I had no idea how a novelette would be received, but I’m happy to say that SKULL MEAT has picked up some nice feedback from reviewers and crime writers alike so far, so it seems like people aren’t too put off by the awkward length.

(Quick quiz question: free copy of SKULL MEAT for the first person who can flag up where the title originated? Hit me up on Facebook or in the comments!)

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Interrogation—Terri Lynn Coop

Who: Terri Lynn Coop

What: A recovering lawyer, antique dealer, and writer. Her first novel, a legal thriller called DEVIL’S DEAL, is available via Amazon. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including the upcoming JUST TO WATCH THEM DIE—STORIES BASED ON THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH. She is also the host of the multi-genre talk radio show, “The Blue Plate Special,” part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.

Where: Kansas

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

Congrats on the launch of “The Blue Plate Special Podcast.” What was your inspiration to create this show?

The Executive Producer, Pam Stack, invited me to pitch ideas for a show. There were already several genre specific shows for mystery, thrillers, romance, etc. I’m a big cross-genre reader and didn’t want to limit myself. So, I conceived the idea of a multi-genre show where it might be sci-fi one night and police procedurals the next. The name came from my love of old-school coffee shops and my insane collection of vintage restaurant china. The “blue plate special” traditionally was a rotating menu item, usually offered at a lower cost. You never knew exactly what would be served on any given day.

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Interrogation—Elaine Ash

Who: Elaine Ash

What: She edits career authors as well as emerging talent. BESTSELLER METRICS is her first how-to book. It’s also a patent-pending software in development for the publishing industry.

Where: Los Angeles

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

As a fiction writer, you have published short stories, novelettes and novels. What was the inspiration to write BESTSELLER METRICS?

The inspiration came from editing novels for many years. I saw the same problems affecting novelists who were working incredibly hard to get published. Ten years ago I thought Oh, I’ll come across a book that talks about those issues one of these days. But no matter how hard I searched, that book never came along. A year or so ago I realized that if I didn’t do it myself, it wasn’t going to get done. So I got busy.

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Interrogation—Robert R. Moss

Who: Robert R. Moss

What: As part of the Washington, D.C. music scene in the early 1980s, Robert played bass in Artificial Peace and Government Issue. He’s toured the country, and his music was released on Dischord Records and other labels. In DESCENDING MEMPHIS, Robert tells a detective/coming-of-age-story set just after the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.

Where: Portland

Congrats on the success of your debut novel, DESCENDING MEMPHIS. What was the inspiration for this story?

Thank you for asking. It began with a question. What if Johnny Cash never made it as a musician, but instead became a detective with all the character traits, quirks and flaws of the Man in Black? I considered writing such a story, and mentioned the idea to a friend who happens to be a lawyer. He saw it as a legal issue. Meaning, the Johnny Cash estate might not look favorably upon such an endeavor. So I created Tommy Rhodeen, a small-time private eye in Memphis whose dream is to make it big in rock ‘n’ roll. It was the right decision.

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Interrogation—James W. Ziskin

Who: James W. Ziskin

What: Author of the Edgar-, Anthony-, Barry-, and Lefty-nominated Ellie Stone Mysteries. A linguist by training, he studied Romance Languages and Literature at the university of Pennsylvania. He then spent sixteen years in the Hollywood post production industry, running large international operations in subtitling and visual effects. He speaks Italian and French. His latest book, CAST THE FIRST STONE, launched on June 6.

Where: Seattle

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

Your latest novel, CAST THE FIRST STONE, is the fifth Ellie Stone Mystery. What does Ellie get up to this time around?

Thanks for having me, Steve. I’m a big fan of your books, stories, and novellas. And hats.

CAST THE FIRST STONE gets Ellie out of the fading mill town of New Holland, NY, and drops her in Hollywood. It’s February 1962, in the midst of heavy rains in Los Angeles. A New Holland boy has scored the second lead in a real Hollywood beach movie, so Ellie is dispatched to profile the hometown hero who’s done good. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Ellie, until she arrives and finds the actor, Tony Eberle, AWOL on the first day of shooting. He’s promptly fired from the picture, and the next day the producer is found dead in a ravine in the Hollywood Hills. Ellie realizes that her own tenuous career hangs in the balance if she comes home empty-handed, so she sets out to find the missing actor. She’s drawn into the shadowy world of Hollywood’s closeted gay actors, who are desperate to keep their secrets hidden. Hilarity ensues.

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Interrogation—Nadine Nettmann

Who: Nadine Nettmann

What: Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is always on the lookout for great wines and the stories behind them. She has traveled to wine regions around the world including Chile, South Africa, Spain, Germany, and every region in France. Nadine’s debut novel, DECANTING A MURDER, was nominated for the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Awards. Her second book, UNCORKING A LIE, was released in May.

Where: Los Angeles

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

Congrats on your “Best First Novel” Anthony Award nomination for DECANTING A MURDER! Can you tell us a little bit about that book?

Thank you and congratulations to you, too! DECANTING A MURDER follows sommelier Kate Stillwell as she tries to solve a murder using her deductive wine skills. Every chapter is paired with a wine so readers can drink along while they read, but as there are a lot of chapters, maybe just choose one or two of the wines.

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—Maria Alexander

Who: Maria Alexander

What: Maria Alexander is a multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning and Anthony Award-nominated author of both YA and adult fiction. She’s also a student of Japanese swordsmanship. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats, a Jewish Christmas caroler, and a purse called Trog.

Where: Los Angeles

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

Congrats on your recent Bram Stoker Award! Can you tell us a little about SNOWED?

SNOWED is a YA paranormal mystery about the teen skeptic Charity Jones who discovers she should not only believe in certain Christmas myths, but she should be afraid of them.

What went into creating Charity Jones?

Charity is today’s teen. Because of her racial background, her family’s dysfunction, and her intellectual gifts, she’s got a lot to deal with. But throw in the complicated business of online life and the resulting information overload, and teens today have way more to process today than I did when I was in high school.

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Interrogation—Nik Korpon

Who: Nik Korpon

What: Author of THE REBELLION’S LAST TRAITOR, QUEEN OF THE STRUGGLE (2018), and THE SOUL STANDARD, among others.

Where: Baltimore

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

We are two weeks out from the release of your new novel, THE REBELLION’S LAST TRAITOR. What can readers expect this time around?

It’s a lot different from my other books, but at the same time it’s very similar. I’ve never written an out-and-out sci-fi novel (though TRAITOR splits the line between sci-fi, murder mystery, and revolution novel), but at the heart of it, it’s a novel about families—whether that’s blood relations, friends-who-are-family, fellow countrymen, all that. But there are still a couple dick jokes and a Shaun of the Dead reference, so it’s definitely a Nik Korpon book.

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