What originally drew you to the Frankenstein story?
When I was a kid I grew up thinking that the Frankenstein novel was the same as the Boris Karloff movie. When I was in high school I heard that the novel is very different and ends up in the Artic, and that Frankenstein’s creature instead of being the lumbering Karloff monster is an intelligent being who speaks eloquently, and that got me interested in reading the book. About halfway through it when the creature is telling his story to Victor Frankenstein it becomes absolutely riveting. In its own way, the story is also very noirish. The creature has every right to make the demands he does on Frankenstein. Frankenstein recognizes that these demands are reasonable, but he also rightfully fears the consequences if he does as the creature is asking. And from there both characters are doomed without any hope.
Did you do much research on Shelley’s 1818 novel, or the many adaptations in film, television, and theater?
I spent nine months of research before writing
After a series of critically acclaimed crime-fiction novels you began to include supernatural elements and even horror themes in The Caretaker of Lorne Field. Now comes
I’ve always been focused more on the story I want to tell than the genre.
Back in 2008 I had the thought of retelling Frankenstein from the creature’s point of view, but it didn’t go much further than that then. Over the next six months more ideas came to me: making everything a dying Frankenstein tells Walton be outrageous lies to protect his reputation, having the creature be a heroic, yet tragic character, and flipping things around completely so that Frankenstein would be trying to play playing Satan instead of God, and he and the
When you look back on all of your fiction, do you group the books in any way?
All my books are very different from one another so it’s hard for me to group them. Serpent’s Tail published a ‘man out of prison’ crime thriller trilogy, and all three books of this trilogy (Small Crimes, Pariah, Killer) are very different in style, tone and structure.
Do you write every day? Has the process changed from when you began your writing career?
I write most days. I’d spent almost twenty-five years working as a software developer, and back then I squeezed in the writing whenever I could. Almost four years ago when I got my film deal for Outsourced I decided to go for broke and try doing this writing gig fulltime. So now most days I spend 5-10 hours either writing, working on detailed outlines or editing, or a combination of the three. Every once in a while I take a day off.
Do you ever solicit feedback from readers or bloggers who write about your books?
From the beginning I’ve had a core group of early readers made up of my wife and friends from high school and college, and that’s who I solicit feedback from. There are a few professional writers I know who sometimes get added to the mix. What’s good about this group is none of them, especially my wife, are shy about being critical about my work.
What have you learned from the tradition of American crime fiction and noir?
I had read 100s of crime novels from Hammett, Cain, Stout, Ross
Do you ever think about where your creations are coming from while you’re in the process of writing?
There’s much talk about your novels being adapted for the movies. What is in the works at the moment?
Outsourced has been optioned by Impact Pictures and Constantin Film, and A Killer’s Essence has been optioned by Braven Films. I know both film companies are very serious about getting these films made, so I’m hopeful. I came close last year to also optioning The Caretaker of Lorne Field. I had a very hot award-winning director want to make it, and a producer who was working with him was trying hard to get a deal together for financing. We ended up thinking we had the deal with another film company, but the damn thing felt apart at the last second. Every few months I hear from someone about either Killer or The Caretaker of Lorne Field, so I feel pretty good that one of these days I’ll get deals put together for both of those.
You’ve been publishing e-books and e-stories for several years. Has the e-book revolution affected what you write and what you publish?
I’m really not that aggressive with e-books. I’ve brought back my first two books, Fast Lane and Bad Thoughts, I’ve also put together several collections of short stories that had been previously published, and I’ve self-published two original novels—Blood Crimes, which the best way to describe it is something along the lines of Sin City with vampires, and Julius Katz and Archie, which is the first full-length novel based on my award-winning Julius Katz mystery stories. The one thing I have been doing recently specifically for ebooks is working on a series of 80-120 page novellas. This series is a mix of Parker/Richard Stark-like heist capers and government conspiracy. The first two of these (The Hunted, The Dame) have been published as ebooks, and I’m currently working on the third.