Paidcontent.org interviews Michael Wolf about the launch of West Coast Crime Wave and BSTSLLR. Check out the full interview here.
Michael Wolf asked each of the authors to share a little bit about themselves, talk a little about the story they contributed to West Coast Crime Wave, and tell us their thoughts about e-books.
Today we present the first of these conversations as we hear from David Corbett, former private investigator and the bestselling author of The Devil’s Redhead (nominated for the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best First Novel), Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar), and Do They Know I’m Running (Publishers Weekly, starred review, and winner of the Spinetingler Best Novel 2010 in the Rising Star category). David wrote “Returning to the Knife” specifically for West Coast Crime Wave.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a writer who became a private investigator, much as many of my favorite writers had real-world jobs as lawyers, cops, journalists or doctors, and it provided me with a view of the world that has informed my fiction ever since. I worked for the San Francisco firm of Palladino & Sutherland, serving as senior operative on a number of headline criminal and civil litigations, including the DeLorean Trial, the first Michael Jackson child molestation civil suit, the Cotton Club Murder Case, the Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal and a RICO action targeting organized crime infiltration of the Teamsters.
I write character-driven crime fiction, emphasizing the human side of crime, because that was what impressed me most in my work as an investigator: the human element of crime, the people affected most by it, not just the cops and the criminals but the family members, the community, the victims. In that regard, I’d say my work leans toward what I’d call the urban novel, and is inspired by work of Richard Price, Pete Dexter, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos and John Shannon.
Though my last two books took place in Central America — in many ways, ground zero for crime these days — but I’ve returned stateside for my current endeavors, including the story in the WEST COAST CRIME WAVE anthology, “Returning to the Knife.”
Your story was set in San Francisco. Tell us what makes your city/location a unique and interesting setting for crime fiction.
I wrote about the greater San Francisco Bay Area for “Returning to the Knife,” but as I noted above, I’ve also spent time and written about Central America, specifically El Salvador and Guatemala. San Francisco is unique because it really is a city of gypsies; people come here to reinvent themselves, find themselves, lose themselves, transform themselves. There’s a curious kind of “permanence in change” mentality that makes for a vigorous if inherently unstable lifestyle, and that can lead to all sorts of interesting stories.
Tell us a little bit about the story’s main character.
I devised this character after reading an article about an online merchant who discovered that his Google ranking went up whether people commented about him well or badly online. Any press was good press in the most literal meaning of the word, and so he sometimes took pains to treat disgruntled customers so shabbily they went on online rampages, generating numerous hits that just caused his site to ascend in the search engine hierarchy. And he of course thought some of the customers who complained were marginally sane — which others thought of him. This was too good a set-up to pass on.
This anthology is an e-book from a new publisher. In general, how do you as an author see the opportunities in publishing changing with the growth of e-books?
This could develop into a long conversation — too long, for our purposes here — but I think e-publishing is going to open the door to direct communication between readers and writers. However, I also think there is going to be a chaotic, wild-west period when so much content is out there, readers will be overwhelmed and will seek safety somewhere: traditional publishing, amazon, writers they already know. So the potential for both a brave new world and more of the same is there. All of which, I guess, is to say: If anyone tells you he knows what publishing is going to look like in five years, he’s lying.
Tell us what’s in store for you over the next 6 to 12 months
I hope to e-publish a comic novel, BABYLON SISTER, about a nun who writes mysteries who gets dragooned into being the ghost writer for a killer hoping to sell his story to Hollywood before vanishing into witness protection. And as I noted above, I have a book on character coming out in January 2013 from Penguin.
I’m also working on another novel based in northern California, plus a handful of film and TV script projects, and a few short story solicitations. So I’m keeping busy.
That’s right, our baby has arrived, now available on Kindle. We’ll have more formats soon, but for now you can get it on your Kindle e-reader or Kindle app on iPad or Android devices. We’ll have a longer post tomorrow about this happy occasion, but for now go ahead and check it out!
Michael Wolf sat down with eBookNewser’s editor Dianna Dilworth to chat about the forthcoming publication of West Coast Crime Wave and plans for the new imprint. Take a read here.
I love this story from Ted Hertel for a couple reasons. First, I really like killer for hire stories, and this one is definitely that. Second, Ted’s writing really captures the essence of small-town Alaska, with it’s remoteness, the strange and interesting characters that seem to gravitate to the 49th state, all of which adds up to a pitch-perfect setting for a tale of a man on a mission.
So enjoy this sneak peek at Ted’s story. If you’d like the full-screen version, simply click here, or just read the embedded version below.
As a writer, Nick Mamatas is the kind that makes you shake your head in admiration and think, “how does he do it?”. Not only does he move seamlessly between styles, from literary to genre fiction such as horror, science fiction and fantasy, but Nick is also an award winning editor, having snagged the Bram Stoker Award for his editing work on Haunted Legends, an anthology of “true ghost” stories that he co-edited with Ellen Datlow.
And reading his short story in West Coast Crime Wave, “The People’s Republic of Everywhere and Everything”, you’d think he’d been writing crime fiction for years.
As Nick told us, “I turned to writing crime just over a year ago, to keep my interest up and to explore new ways of telling stories. I’m especially interested in the intersection of crime fiction and confessional fiction—stories of the lowlife and the marginal.”
We’re glad he did, as we think you will be too once you read his short story.
What other types of “genres” has Nick written in? Well, term papers, for one. Nick wrote about experience as a term-paper writer for hire in an essay, The Term Paper Artist, for Drexel’s publication, The Smart Set. You can read a transcript of Nick’s interview with NPR’s On The Media about his adventures in the term paper freelancer business here.
We’ll have more with Nick (as well as our other authors) as we publish more from our interview with him in coming weeks.
If you haven’t met R.T. Lawton, you should.
Not only is this two time Derringer nominee one of the most well-published crime fiction short story writers around, what with over 80 short stories published in such magazines as Alfred Hitcock Mystery Magazine, but he’s also a really really nice guy.
And if, by chance, you are lucky enough to spend a little time with R.T, make sure to ask him to share a few of his stories from his time as as a federal drug enforcement agent. If you spent any time reading his short stories, you know that much of his past experience informs his writing.
I was fortunate to spend some time with R.T. at Bouchercon in San Francisco last year, where I got to hear a few stories, and now I am excited to have his short story, “Sidney Ducks”, in our anthology.
So enjoy a read of the first few pages. If you want in full screen, simply click here, and you’ll also be able to download the excerpt as well by hitting the download button at the bottom of the screen.
Ok, so the book’s not out yet, and we’re already on Facebook. Sure, some might call us early birds, but we’re going to make sure we link to all interviews and sample chapters and all the other good stuff coming up, so make sure to “Like” us on Facebook, it’ll be worth your while.
It’s a veritable who’s-who of west coast mystery writers, all throwing in with great original short mysteries.
I mean, just look at that list in the banner. Are you drooling yet?
Yes, it’s going to be good.
See you in ten days,