Interrogation—Matthew Fitzsimmons

Who: Matthew Fitzsimmons

What: An American boy from Illinois who grew up in London in the 1970s under the baleful eye of the Kings Road punks. He now lives in Washington, D.C., where he taught English literature and theater at a private high school for over a decade. He cohabitates with a pair of old boots, collects bourbon and classic soul LPs, and wonders if he will ever write anything half as good as the first sentence of James Crumley’s THE LAST GOOD KISS. He is the author of the Gibson Vaughn Series.

Where: Washington, D.C.

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

I just finished your excellent first book, THE SHORT DROP. How long was Gibson Vaughn rattling around your head before you got him down on paper?

Not very long to be honest, a few months. He grew out of the story, and as the story changed so did he. Pretty drastically in some ways—in an early draft, the book begins with him learning from a doctor that he’s dying. It is embarrassing to admit how long it took me to realize that was a bad idea.

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Interrogation—S.G. Redling

fb_img_1476026447466Who: S.G. Redling

What: Author of over a half-dozen novels, including the thriller FLOWERTOWN and the sci-fi drama, DAMOCLES. A former radio host, Sheila now spends her non-writing time traveling and arguing with her cats about traveling. Her latest novel is AT RISK.

Where: West Virginia

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

Congrats on your fantastic new novel, AT RISK. Can you tell us a little about how this one came about?

AT RISK is a departure for me from my previous thrillers. I gravitate toward protagonists who are less traditional—women with occasionally questionable hygiene, a love of profanity, and a warm flirtation with substance abuse. (The first person who says “Write what you know” gets punched in the face.) As you know, writing is all about trying new things, pushing yourself a little farther. I didn’t know if I could write a protag who was, by all appearances, pulled together. Colleen is polite, reserved, tasteful. On the inside, however, she is a complete disaster, the core of her confidence beaten to pieces by her violent first marriage. She challenged me and surprised me.

On a sad side note, from which I promise I will pull back, I finished this book as my mother was dying. I didn’t know if I could do it. In some ways it felt as if I was writing on scabs. On the other hand, I reaffirmed that writing really is my solace. Still, there are parts of this story that feel alien to me, written by some part of me that writes on when everything else is falling apart. On the up side, I think my mother is delighted that I finally wrote a hero who is comfortable in sweater sets and pearls.

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Interrogation—Brett Battles

Brett_author_0612_400wWho: Brett Battles

What: A Barry Award-winning author of over twenty-five novels, including the Jonathan Quinn series, the Logan Harper series, and the time-hopping Rewinder series. He’s also the co-author, with Robert Gregory Browne, of the Alexandra Poe series.

Where: Los Angeles

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

You are a full-time writer who has published with a Big 5 house, self-published, and now works with 47 North, an imprint of Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer. What have you learned from your travels in publishing?

Someone could write a whole book about that. Not me, though. I’m not volunteering. I’ve learned a ton, some of which was true at one time but then things changed and was no longer valid. Ultimately what I learned is that it is up to me to control my career as a writer. In other words, things change and I need to roll with them, and, no matter how nervous I might get, it’s okay to try something new.

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“Ways To Die In Glasgow” Out Today

WTD JSIf you are looking for great book, WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW is out today from Thomas & Mercer. I was lucky enough to interview author Jay Stringer earlier this month and this is some of what he had to say about his new book [interview excerpt]:

I just read WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW and loved it. What was the inspiration for this story? 

What happened was, I spent a weekend in Seattle thanks to the hospitality of my publisher, and met a lot of fine, funny, and professional writers. I’d already written three books, each one had taken me around 9 months, and the writing had been a very moody, very angsty process. Talking to authors there, I got a kick in the ass about how much fun they seemed to have, and their work ethic. I went home and, in the space of around fifteen weeks, wrote this book. Grinning the whole time.

But the other aspect, the bit I learned later, was that I was itching to write about Glasgow. I’d been living here for 6 years by that point (almost 10 now) and I was finally starting to feel like I could do the city justice.

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Read the whole interview HERE.

Score WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW right HERE.

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Interrogation: Jay Stringer

JS2Who: Jay Stringer

What: He was born in 1980, and he’s not dead yet. He’s worked as a zoo keeper, a bookseller, a debt collector and a video editor. He writes crime, mystery and social fiction, and rides around Glasgow on a fixed-gear bike. His Eoin Miller trilogy is available from Thomas & Mercer, and WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW will be released on August 1st.

Where: Glasgow

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

I just read WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW and loved it. What was the inspiration for this story? 

What happened was, I spent a weekend in Seattle thanks to the hospitality of my publisher, and met a lot of fine, funny, and professional writers. I’d already written three books, each one had taken me around 9 months, and the writing had been a very moody, very angsty process. Talking to authors there, I got a kick in the ass about how much fun they seemed to have, and their work ethic. I went home and, in the space of around fifteen weeks, wrote this book. Grinning the whole time.

But the other aspect, the bit I learned later, was that I was itching to write about Glasgow. I’d been living here for 6 years by that point (almost 10 now) and I was finally starting to feel like I could do the city justice.

Continue reading