Interrogation—Jason Pinter

Jason Pinter photoWho: Jason Pinter

What: Founder and Publisher of Polis Books, an independent publishing company he launched in 2013. He is the author of five thrillers and one middle grade novel, with over one million copies in print worldwide, which have been nominated for the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award and more.

Where: New Jersey

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

Congrats on the third anniversary of Polis Books! What have you learned about the company you started over the last thirty-six months?

Well, being a business owner is far more difficult and complicated than being an editor or writer, which were my previous professions. It’s the difference between painting a room and building a house. I’ve been in dozens of editorial board meetings, publicity meetings, sales conferences, and pitched my own books in innumerable outlets, hopefully without boring people to death. But I didn’t have much more than cursory experience on the finance and distribution side, largely doing P&Ls (profit and loss projections) on acquisitions. Learning that side was the most time-consuming part, simply because I didn’t have a background in it, but I thankfully have good accountants and lawyers and am a total data geek and work very closely with our distributor, our bank, and our printing partner to make sure everything runs smoothly on the back end of the publishing equation.

Reading submissions, working on cover designs and promoting our authors is the fun part. That’s the muscle. That’s the stuff people see publically. But the other stuff, the skeleton, the support system that holds everything up, that’s been the biggest challenge but also one of the biggest rewards because I know we can do this.

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Two Great Books Out Today

Ladies and gentlemen, today is a good day to be a fan of great writing. There are two new books that I really think you should go out and grab: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by Terrence McCauley, and THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR by Angel Luis Colon.

I was lucky enough to interview both authors recently, and here’s what they had to say about their respective works.

Let’s start with Terrence McCauley:

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL FINAL COVERI just read your upcoming Polis Books novel SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL and I thought it was great. What was the inspiration for this novel?

The inspiration for the novel came from the gritty spy thrillers of the 1970s that depended on character and plot development. Movies like ‘Three Days of the Condor’ were gripping because they felt real to me, even when I was a kid. I don’t get that same feeling from modern-day spy tales that rely on gadgets and SWAT team raids and jump-cut fight sequences and the disavowed spy trying to clear his/her name. I certainly enjoy those kinds of stories, but they’re not the kind I wanted to tell.

Read the whole interview right HERE.

Buy SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL HERE.

Next up is Angel Luis Colon:

Fury BlackyI just read THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR in one shot. Totally couldn’t put it down. What dark corner of your soul did the title character emerge from? Where does he go when you’re not writing about him?

Great question. Blacky isn’t necessarily my id, but he’s definitely a creature of impulse. I wanted to create someone dark, but cartoonish enough to love, if that makes sense. Most of Blacky’s decisions are by the seat of his pants and most definitely low-hanging fruit. Though, in the story, we do see Blacky has sort of a moral compass. This doesn’t excuse the things he does, but in most cases you’d have a beer with the guy.

Read the whole interview right HERE.

Buy THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR HERE.

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, Dark Corners, 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.

Polis Books Re-Releases PROHIBITION and SLOW BURN

rsz_screen_shot_2015-04-26_at_41529_pm_2Terrence McCauley is having a busy year. Polis Books will release his first thriller, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL in July—but not before re-releasing his two period crime novels, PROHIBITION and SLOW BURN this week.

I was lucky enough to interview the author earlier this year. Here is an excerpt from my Q & A with Terrence McCauley.

PROHIBITION coverIt looks like 2015 is shaping up to be a really big year for you. How many years in the making was your overnight success?

I’ve been pawing at writing since I graduated college in 1996, but didn’t start to get serious about it until 2000. I was working on a book I’d called TENETS OF POWER, a business thriller where I took the dry toast of corporate finance and tried to make it compelling. People in my workshops generally liked it but, in hindsight, it was too long and elaborate for popular consumption. In hindsight, my style was too detailed and tough to read.

That’s when I decided to try my hand at the one genre I’d always loved to read: crime fiction. I didn’t want to get wrapped up in researching CSI procedures that a modern-day story would need to have, so I decided to blend my love of New York history with the crime genre. The result was a gangster tale told from the perspective of an enforcer for the Irish mob who had to use his brains as well as his brawn to find out who was undermining his boss’s criminal empire.

SLOW BURN coverPROHIBITION was the result and eventually won TruTV’s Search for the Next Great Crime Writer award in 2008. I thought that would be the start of my writing career, but fate had different plans. Borders Book Stores was going to publish the book and feature it prominently in their store. We all know what happened with them soon after and, when they disappeared, so did my publishing hopes.

For a long time, I struggled to find a publisher because everyone told me that no one reads period fiction anymore. This was right before MAD MEN and other properties became big. However, I was fortunate enough to find a home for it with the good folks at Airship 27, who published PROHIBITION with original art from Rob Moran. The book didn’t get wide release, but their belief in my work kept me going. I’ll always be grateful to Ron Fortier and Rob Davis for their faith in my work.

Since then, I’ve gone back and forth between novels, novellas and short stories. Todd Robinson over at Thuglit has been especially supportive and his edits have really helped my work. I’ve been fortunate enough to have found an audience for my brand of storytelling.

Read the interview HERE

Buy PROHIBITION right HERE

Buy SLOW BURN right HERE

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.

Interrogation: Eric Campbell

E Campbell-2012Who: Eric Campbell

What: Owner of Down & Out Books, an Indie publisher focused on great crime fiction with a slant on the harder side of life.

Where: Florida

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

Tell me about the moment that you knew you were going to start Down & Out Books. What was the inspiration? 

The short answer is that in 2011, after Ben LeRoy and I sold Tyrus Books (I was an investor and CFO), I still had an itch to be in the publishing business. So I blew the dust off of a business plan I had put together in mid-2009 and started D&OB. The initial goal was to be a vehicle for authors, who didn’t want to self-pub, to have their titles published as ebooks. I had no intention of releasing previously unpublished books, but the company soon blossomed into that arena.

Texas NoirWhat was the first book that D&OB published? What did you like most about that manuscript and/or author?

The first title published by D&OB was Crimespree Magazine #40. Jon Jordan and I had been talking about Tyrus publishing the ebook for him. With the sell, he said why don’t you do it under D&OB.

The first book published by D&OB was TEXAS NOIR, a short story collection by Milton T. Burton. He was a wonderful writer and someone I enjoyed calling a friend (he passed away on December 1, 2011). When I told him I was starting D&OB, he said I had to publish a short story collection for him. Who was I to say no?

Ladies-Night-CoverWhat is the most recent book that you published? What did you like most about that manuscript and/or author?

Well, I had four books drop on June 1, including: OVER THEIR HEADS by JB Kohl & Eric Beetner; LADIES’ NIGHT: Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles 2015 Anthology edited by Naomi Hirahara, Kate Thornton and Jeri Westerson; RULES OF HONOR by Matt Hilton, and TALES FROM THE BLUE LINE by Rob Riley. Continue reading

Great Advice From Awesome Authors

I have been very lucky to interview some awesome authors and publishers over the last year. From short story masters to award-winning novelists, and everything in between, they all have great advice and words of encouragement for new and emerging writers.

Here is a collection of recent quotes along with links to the full interviews. Take a look and see if there is something here for you. If you like what they have to say, please make sure to check out some of their published works. And don’t be afraid to share their advice—these authors deserve to be discovered by even more readers and writers.

rsz_screen_shot_2015-03-08_at_75149_pm_2

Read the Rob Hart interview HERE.

rsz_screen_shot_2015-03-01_at_63630_pm_2

Read the Sarah M. Chen interview HERE.
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Interrogation: Terrence McCauley

McCauley2Who: Terrence McCauley

What: His first thriller, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, will be published by Polis Books in July 2015. In 2008, Terrence won the TruTV ‘Search for the Next Great Crime Writer’. In 2014, he won three New Pulp Awards for Best Short Story, Best Novel and Best Author. He has also had short stories featured in Thuglit, Action: Pulse Pounding Tales Vol. 1 and 2, Atomic Noir and Big Pulp among other places. He recently assisted with the compilation of GRAND CENTRAL NOIR, an anthology where 100% of the proceeds go directly to a non-profit called God’s Love We Deliver.

Where: New York

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

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL FINAL COVERIt looks like 2015 is shaping up to be a really big year for you. How many years in the making was your overnight success?

I’ve been pawing at writing since I graduated college in 1996, but didn’t start to get serious about it until 2000. I was working on a book I’d called TENETS OF POWER, a business thriller where I took the dry toast of corporate finance and tried to make it compelling. People in my workshops generally liked it but, in hindsight, it was too long and elaborate for popular consumption. In hindsight, my style was too detailed and tough to read.

That’s when I decided to try my hand at the one genre I’d always loved to read: crime fiction. I didn’t want to get wrapped up in researching CSI procedures that a modern-day story would need to have, so I decided to blend my love of New York history with the crime genre. The result was a gangster tale told from the perspective of an enforcer for the Irish mob who had to use his brains as well as his brawn to find out who was undermining his boss’s criminal empire.
Continue reading