Richard Thomas tagged me, so I guess it’s my turn on the great meme machine. Joining me this week are Monica Drake, David James Keaton, Caleb J. Ross and Simon West-Bulford. Some things are in the mix that I can’t talk about publicly yet, plus I’m absolute crap at promoting my fiction, so I modified these questions to talk about Bar Scars, my short story collection that came out this fall on Snubnose Press. I should have another post up in a week or so talking about some other cool stuff.
What is the title of your last book?
Bar Scars: Stories. I stole it from a City Paper column that used to run a couple years ago. It fit the collection well, though, and the column was awesome.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had a bunch of stories I liked that had either been published a while ago or had gone out of print and I didn’t want them to die in anonymity. Plus, as I talked about in an essay at Elizabeth A. White’s blog, I’d recently discovered that, though the characters initially had different names, I was writing about the same people in my stories, my novels and my novellas. I thought a collection was a good way to throw all these lowlifes into one location and let them destroy each other.
What genre does your book fall under?
Crime, most definitely. Hardboiled, noir, mystery, it’s all about people who need something, consequences be damned.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I see the characters as more of an aura or a voice than a fully-sketched person. I try to let their character define for itself rather than physical attributes. That being said, definitely Ryan Gosling because he’s dreamy… Wait, what?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Whiskey is thicker than blood and the most important question is always where to hide the body.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It was published by Snubnose Press, who also published my novella Old Ghosts.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The stories were written over a three-year period, but compiling and editing only took a month or so.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
All of the best books ever written are exactly like Bar Scars.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I had some stories that I really liked and had either been published in small zines, in print, or with places that had since gone dark. I thought it’d be a good way to revisit some of that stuff, especially because it had been brought into a new context after I’d realized that, even though the names were different when the stories were first published, I’d been writing about the same characters in my novels and shorts. I explain this much better at Elizabeth White’s blog.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The stories are gritty, funny, sexy, gross, disturbing, scarring, ridiculous, disheartening and goofy, but at their core, they’re all love stories. Like the song says, Love is a many splendored thing.