I was doubly tagged for this by Dave White and Kristi Belcamino, so Internet law demands I participate. Though you all know how much I hate talking about myself, right?
Anyway. It’s me answering four questions, like I was facing a troll or an orc guarding a bridge in a quest novel.
1. What are You Working On Now?
Right now I am working on the sequel to MURDER BOY in which the campus cop who makes all of the trouble that happens in the first book go away comes asking our guy for a favor. This is my version of a Dortmunder book. I’ve always loved heist and caper novels and when Jason asked me what ideas I had for a sequel, my story LOAD, about a sperm bank robbery, came immediately to mind and I had the perfect idea for how to blend the characters who survived MURDER BOY into the plot of the LOAD story. I’m also noodling ideas and structures for the next book I want to write this year which will either be a cozy or an urban fantasy.
2. How Does Your Work Differ From Others In It’s Genre?
My stuff kind of mashes a bunch of stuff together but while it’s deeply rooted in the pulp spirit and the novels of Elmore Leonard, Victor Gischler, Duane Swierczynski and the like, it’s also almost equally influenced by the literary stuff I read, especially the campus and writing life novels by the likes of Richard Russo, Michael Chabon, Paul Auster and Jonathan Ames among others.
3. Why Do You Write What You Do?
Because it allows me to mesh all of my divergent interest in one package. I started off writing PI novels, which I still truly love and hope to get back to soon, but when I was writing meta gonzo pulp crime it was the first time I felt like I was really putting myself on the page and letting my imagination have full reign. I’ve always loved meta fiction and books about writers and it was a great way for me to unleash my frustrations with the brief time I spent in grad school for creative writing as well as my decades of frustration with the poor writer’s life.
4. How Does Your Writing Process Work?
Ha. Haha. Barely. I’m in the process of rebuilding my writing process because it’s a mess. I take forever to get started then have a brief run of success then get stalled out, then panic for a while, then get back to it, then stall out and panic, then repeat for two years or more until the book is done. With two little kids, a day job, another kid on the way, and the desire to write more books, that process just won’t cut it.
Part of it is an issue of focus and discipline, of which I have VERY little, but part of it is a lack of proper planning and that’s the hardest to fix. Ideally I would start blindly and write regularly every day until I get about a quarter of the way into a book and then stop and plan out the rest once I knew the characters and what the story was going to be. I sort of did a version of that for MURDER BOY, which is why it turned out well enough to sell, but I need to compress the time frame substantially. We’ll see how that works out and of course I’ll keep you all updated here.
I usually come to these things at the very end when everyone else has been tagged so I won’t tag anyone else, but go do a Google search and see if you kind find the others. They’re interesting.