Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: New Jersey crime writer, Wallace Stroby

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Wallace Stroby was an award-winning journalist who quit his job as an editor at New Jersey’s Star-Ledger of Newark newspaper, to write crime fiction full time. A life long New Jersey native, he is the author of six books, of which his debut, The Barb Wire Kiss, was a finalist for the 2004 Barry Award for best first novel. His last three books, Cold Shot to the Heart, Kings of Midnight, Shoot the Woman First, feature the female professional criminal character, Crissa Stone. This is an edited version of an interview, which I conducted at Noir Con 2014 in Philadelphia, that originally appeared in issue 17 of Crime FactoryHis latest Crissa Stone book The Devil’s Share, is out now.

Let’s start of with your recent books featuring the character of Crissa Stone. What was the inspiration behind writing these?

I always wanted to write a book from the point of a view of a career criminal. In my third novel, Gone ‘Til November, half of the book was from the point of view of an ageing black hit man but the main character was actually a woman, the only female sheriff’s deputy in a small town, a woman in a man’s world and I liked that idea. So coming off Gone ‘Til November I wanted to combine those two and do a story about a career criminal who was a woman in a man’s world.… Read more

Interview: Eva Dolan, author of Long Way Home

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My first review of 2014 was Long Way Home, a cracker of a debut novel by British author, Eva Dolan. 

Long Way Home opens with the discovery of a corpse of an adult male migrant worker in the burnt out remains of a backyard shed. That makes it a job for the Hate Crimes Unit of the local Peterborough plod, and introduces the two main characters, themselves immigrants, DI Zigic, a third generation Serb living in the town, and his offsider, Ferrier, a young policewoman of Portuguese decent.

Long Way Home is a deceptively hardboiled story and an accomplished book from a writer I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from in the years to come.

Eva was nice enough to drop by Pulp Curry and answer some questions about researching and writing Long Way Home, the literary benefits of a quiet day job and the lessons she’s learning from playing poker applicable to writing crime fiction.

Tell us the story behind your debut novel, Long Way Home. What inspired it?

The initial inspiration for Long Way Home was a conversation I overheard in a pub – two men discussing the methods of a local gangmaster who conducted his business like a latter-day slave owner, keeping order with threats and beatings, withholding wages and skimming every way he could.… Read more

Interview: Australian pulp fiction historian Toni Johnson Woods

Dr Toni Johnson Woods is someone I’ve been keen to interview on this blog for a while now.

A Research Fellow at University of Queensland, she is passionate about Australian books. Not just capital ‘L’ literature, but the local mass produced pulp fiction of the forties, fifties and early sixties, the existence of which has all but disappeared from our collective cultural memory.

Her commitment to the cause of local pulp includes having listened to hours of popular radio serials (Carter Brown Mystery Theatre and Larry Kent’s I Hate Crime), scanned thousands of pulp fiction covers and read every nearly all 300 Carter Brown novels.

She very generously agreed to answer the following questions about her work by e-mail.

What attracted you to researching pulp fiction in the first place? 

One very unremarkable day I was chatting with colleagues in the tearoom. As you can imagine our conversations are very lofty – not.  I asked the most basic question: who is Australia’s most popular author.

Well, we batted that around for several minutes arguing about what “popular” means, i.e. best selling, most widely read, most known author.  All of these things are not the same. The discussion then turned to what is an Australian author, i.e. someone who was born in Australia?… Read more

Interview: Brian Lindenmuth, editor, Snubnose Press

Several weeks ago I posted a piece about my upcoming crime novel, Ghost Money and the fact it was being published digitally in the US. 

Given the interest that post generated and the debate in Australia about digital publishing and pricing generally, I asked my publisher, Brian Lindenmuth from Snubnose Press, whether he’d answer a few questions about the first anniversary of Snubnose, the controversy around e-book pricing and what kind of crime fiction he’s looking for.

And a heads up for those reading who are sitting on a crime fiction manuscript, for the first time in 2012, Snubnose are open for submissions. Check out the site for details.

What is Snubnose Press and what kind of crime fiction do you publish?

Snubnose Press is the ebook imprint of Spinetingler Magazine.  Spinetingler has been around since 2005 and we wanted to branch out into new areas.  While we are mainly a crime fiction press we are open to other types of work. For example one of our more recent releases, The Duplicate by Helen Fitzgerald, isn’t a crime fiction novel. The crime fiction that we do publish tends towards the darker side of the spectrum.

Why did you set up as a small digital press? How did you think you could add value in the current publishing climate?Read more

Interview: Sam Hawken, author of The Dead Women of Juarez

The Dead Women of Juarez was one of my favourite summer reads of 2012. It’s a hard-boiled crime novel set against the backdrop of the real life horror taking place in the Mexican city of Juárez, across the US border, where as many as 5000 women have been murdered since 1993.

I recently posted a review of this book here. The book’s author, Sam Hawken, was kind enough to agree to answer some questions by e-mail from Texas about his work.

What was the inspiration for writing The Dead Women of Juárez?

The story of the dead women is inspiration all by itself. I first found out about the problem while visiting Amnesty International’s site looking for something else entirely and immediately I thought it would make for a good story. It’s hard to beat real life when you’re coming up with ways people make other people miserable.

One of the things I liked about your book was the way you were able to set a hard boiled crime story against the backdrop of such horrific real life events, without trivialising or sensationalising them. Crime fiction is an excellent way of holding up a mirror to society’s problems but it can be hard to do. Was that something you were conscious of when you were writing and was it difficult to pull off?Read more