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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“Summer Reads”

If you’re in the market for some killer “Summer Reads,” look no further than the latest episode of the Writer Types crime/mystery podcast.

For this episode we interviewed a handful of indie booksellers from around the U.S. to hear what they are most excited to read in the next few months. Our panel of well-read experts includes Tom Wickersham from The  Mysterious Bookshop (New York, NY), Meg King-Abraham and Devin Abraham from Once Upon A Crime (Minneapolis, MN), Anne Saller from Book Carnival (Orange, CA), and Scott Montgomery of BookPeople/MysteryPeople (Austin, TX). Plus we hear from our resident reviewers, Kate and Dan Malmon.

We’ve also got great interviews with Meg Gardiner (“Unsub”), John Rector (“The Ridge”), Jordan Harper (“She Rides Shotgun”) and Thomas Pluck (“Bad Boy Boogie”). All that plus a short story by Angel Colon.

If you like what you hear in this episode, or any of the previous episodes, please leave a review and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud. It’s the best way to help other people discover our podcast.

Interrogation—J.H. Bogran


Who: J.H. Bogran

What: His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator and contributing editor for their official e-zine, The Big Thrill. His latest novel is POISONED TEARS.

Where: Honduras

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

Congrats on your latest novel, POISONED TEARS. Can you tell me how this story came together?

POISONED TEARS came about probably from the silliest of places, a TV Show about the most poisonous animals in world. You know, one of those Top Ten Lists. I sat there mesmerized and a part of my brain started to think “what if somebody used those animals to kill people? It’d be a perfect crime!” Yeah, I know, scary how writers pull those thoughts out of thin air. The idea stuck with me and I began developing a scenario where a person could get away with murder disguising the crimes. That’s the novel in a nutshell, the elevator pitch if you will.

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“Grizzly Season” Cover Reveal

Grizzly Season Front CoverThrilled to share the cover of the second Greg Salem novel with you! GRIZZLY SEASON picks up where my debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, left off. Rare Bird Books will release it this October, but I’ll have a handful of copies with me at Bouchercon in New Orleans.

Here’s the synopsis: Former Los Angeles police officer Greg Salem and his sidekick Marco escape to a remote cabin in the backend of the Angeles National Forest, only to have their peaceful retreat upturned after stumbling across the marijuana farm operation called Grizzly Flats. When the drug lord Magnus Ursus’ latest marijuana crop leaves Greg’s hometown and closest friends in disarray—setting off a series of explosive scenes including high-speed motorcycle chases, violent porn shoots, high-altitude gun fights, Mexican drug smuggling and murder—Greg is forced out of retirement to avenge his home and save the lives of those closest him.

BCC Cover FinalS.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, will be published in Oct. 2016. His standalone novella, CROSSWISE, is available now from Down & Out Books.

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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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.


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.


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.

Interrogation: Laurie Stevens

Laurie StevensWho: Laurie Stevens

What: Author of the best-selling Gabriel McRay psychological thrillers. The two books so far in the series, THE DARK BEFORE DAWN and DEEP INTO DUSK have won 9 awards, among them Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 and the 2014 IPPY for Best Mystery/Thriller.

Where: Los Angeles

I just finished reading THE DARK BEFORE DAWN, the first Gabriel McRay novel. It was a real page-turner. What drew you to write a psychological thriller/suspense series like this?

I wanted to bring out subjects that cause people to face their fears. I envisioned the protagonist, Gabriel McRay, as sort of an everyman character, needing to go on a psychological healing journey.

Dark Before DawnGabriel McRay is a deeply flawed character with a troubled past. Did you set out to write him with such an intricate back story, or did it evolve along the way?

A little of both. I presented his character with a trauma, something that is way too prevalent in modern society unfortunately. Then I did a lot of research and interviewed professionals to help shape the direction of his psychological healing process. But every writer will tell you that the characters end up speaking for themselves. Gabriel is no exception.
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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.
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