Interrogation—Kate & Dan Malmon

Who: Kate and Dan Malmon

What: Kate Malmon is the author of numerous documents that were written for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, and you’ve probably never read any of them. She is also a book reviewer for Crimespree Magazine. You’ve probably read some of those reviews.

Dan Malmon is an avid reader of crime fiction, mystery fiction, comic books, science fiction and fantasy. If your parents were afraid it would rot your brain, he’s read it. Or it’s on his TBR pile, waiting to be read, stressing him out.

Kate and Dan are also the resident reviewers for the Writer Types podcast.

Where: Minnesota

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

You two are among the most recognizable reviewers on the Indie crime/mystery scene and conference circuit. How did you fall into reviewing?

Kate: We’re “the most recognizable reviewers”? Really? That’s not false modesty; we thought just my mom read our reviews.

Dan: I think he’s saying he saw our picture on that milk carton.

Kate: Dan has always been a comic book reader. He picked up his first book in 1987: West Coast Avengers #1. I hung out in a comic book shop in high school. I didn’t necessarily read any comics, but I was aware of the X-Men, Batman, and other titles. Dan always tried to get me to read different comics, but I wasn’t interested. Why would I want to read about spandex-clad, anatomically-incorrect people? (I was exposed to a lot of Jim Lee & Rob Lefield books in high school.) He finally won me over when he suggested I do a “live reading” of a comic book on Twitter. So I would read old Dr. Strange and Batman books and post my comments about it under #KateReads on Twitter. I thought it was entertaining and it made the comics a little more fun to read.

At the 2011 Bouchercon in St. Louis, Crimespree Magazine’s Jeremy Lynch approached us about doing book reviews for their website saying, “You know that funny stuff you write when you read comic books? Yeah, we want you to do that for the blog.” We said yes and our reviewing careers were born.

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Interrogation—Marietta Miles

Who: Marietta Miles

What: Born in Alabama, raised in Louisiana, her short stories have been published by Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama, Revolt Daily and more. She has stories in anthologies offered through Static Movement Publishing, Horrified Press, and, soon, Gutter Books. Her first novel, ROUTE 12, is now available through All Due Respect Books.

Where: Virginia

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

Your debut release from All Due Respect is ROUTE 12, two novellas set in Appalachia in the seventies and eighties. Why was this era and that location the right time and place for these stories and characters?

Poverty is the wolf at the door in ROUTE 12, ordeals borne directly from need. The seventies were a particularly difficult time in Appalachia. Slashed jobs in the mines, bad soil on the farms, and stripped cuts along the mountains made for little money. As they had been for years, young people were leaving in waves. This area, at that time, seemed isolated and vulnerable, much like the characters.

Plus, I got to listen to loads of cheesy seventies music and tell everyone it was for inspiration. I mean come on…The Raspberries?

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Quick Quotes—The Week In Publishing

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—Joyce Schnieder at Twitter

“I believe that reading only packaged microwavable fiction ruins the taste, destabilizes the moral blood pressure, and makes the mind obese. Fortunately, I also know that many human beings have an innate resistance to baloney and a taste for quality rooted deeper than even marketing can reach.” —Ursula K. LeGuin at Book View Cafe

“Pride is difficult to parse in the present moment. Pride is not the same as vanity. Pride is what makes a young writer believe that her words are worth reading, despite a world, a culture, that might prefer her silence.”—Nick Ripatrazone at The Millions

“Social media is a tricky thing. And it gets trickier when you start to run a business. Around April of 2013 I went from a degenerate loser with a big mouth to someone tasked with responsibility, namely for the folks gracious enough to let me publish them. I had to switch my game up. As a friend told me over beers: ‘You have responsibilities now. You need to shut the fuck up.'” —J. David Osborne at Gods Fare No Better

“One of the things I’m most thankful for, in terms of being an author and managing my career, is my day job experience as a publicist. Not just because of the contacts I have, but also because I know publicity – and building a career – isn’t about a flurry of activity. It’s a marathon. It’s about knowing when to go loud, when to step back and when to ramp up. It’s about knowing when to step back and ‘go quiet.'”—Alex Segura at Do Some Damage

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“I write to keep myself relatively sane. I write to give my existence on Earth a purpose. I write because it’s emotionally, intellectually and spiritually stimulating and compulsive. I write because I never knew my schizophrenic mother and I was raised within a right-wing guru cult in New Jersey and then thrust out into the big, scary world (Los Angeles) alone at age 16 and I kept writing to survive my own intense loneliness, isolation, confusion and fears.”—Will Viharo at Bad Citizen Corporation

“Not everything we do has to result in a book sale, but it can result in a connection, a relationship that may at some point lead to a sale. The point is to focus your message so your readers can find you, and engage with you but more importantly, you with them.”—Rachel Thompson at Bad Redhead Media

“The most rewarding books are the ones where the finished story almost lives up to the idea that sparked it.”—Stephen King at New York Times

“Man, woman, cyborg — no matter what kind of writer you are, if you want to win a major literary award, there’s just one thing you have to do: Make sure your main character is a man.”—Claire Fallon at Huffington Post

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.