Friday, January 9, 2015

#FreebieFriday and @tomswritinglife #Interview #amreading #mystery

Not too long ago (Sunday, December 28th to be exact), I posted a review of Tracks in the Smoke, debut novel by Tom Savage. You can read that review or go straight to the giveaway here, if you like. Otherwise, cuddle up with a warm cuppa (as our friends in the UK say *I think*) and get to know the lovely person that is Tom:

How would you describe this work to someone who’s never heard of it?

Classic Private Investigator novel with unique contemporary components, strong female characters, and a protagonist with an unusual and troubled past. The case revolves around the ruthlessness of today’s music industry.

Who were your inspirations for this story?

There wasn't really a who, it was more what I perceived to be a lack of risk.I always believe that risk creates tension. In so many stories the protagonists never seem to face any real risk, and for me, this always takes away from the tension. I wanted to write a story about a guy who isn’t invulnerable and who doesn’t always have the best quip for every situation. He’s a guy who does the best he can with what he has, and never gives up. I wanted to read a story about that guy.

Do you like a good detective novel as a rule or the exception?

I love detective novels, but I am picky about my protagonists. I was struggling to find anyone new to read and that led me to creating Dante. 

Have you always been interested in writing this story or did you find this story accidentally?

I had originally taken my year off to write a TV show ‘Sentence’. It’s about a young procrastinating writer who is given a tough deadline. Realizing he will never make it, in desperation he tries to get sent to a minimum security prison, believing he will be able to finish it there. I finished the show but then realized there was a problem with the format. I moped around the house for a few weeks, thinking I had made a huge mistake taking time off work to write. Then one morning I woke in a panic, realizing I had to write something I sat down and with no plan wrote the first seven thousand words of the novel, so yes, it was certainly an accident, but a happy one.

What inspired the dynamic between Felix and Nick? (Kory: which is my favorite part!)

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I was interested in the idea of lonely people, with different reasons for being lonely. I was drawn to the idea of two people who need each other but the last thing they need is a sexual relationship. Nick and Felix are looking for something more concrete than a fling, and I wanted to challenge the old adage that men and women can’t be friends. Nick know’s Felix is attractive, but his motivations to help her come from a different place, that’s what inspired their dynamic. We will find out more about Felix in book two, about why she is the way she is, which I hope will be really interesting for readers.

Who is your favorite fictional P.I.?

Philip Marlowe, every time. However, I have a soft spot for Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis) in ‘The Last Boy Scout’ (Not sure if a film is cheating?). I love all the guys who want to do the right thing but make poor decisions. I am also currently reading ‘Inherent Vice’ and loving Doc Holliday.

Favorite authors who influence your work?

Raymond Chandler, Horace McCoy, Nathaniel West and Terry Pratchett. 

Can we expect a sequel?

Yes. I wrote thirty thousand words of a second novel, but then decided to hide it away. I am in the process of making a documentary about Ray Krone the 100th man in America to be released from death row due to DNA evidence, and I am talking with Ray about using his story as a template for a Nick Dante novel as a way to draw attention to his case. I loved how you skillfully used a split narrative in ‘Dying by the Hour’ and I think that could be an interesting idea with Nick and Felix. (Kory: *blush* Awww, thanks!)

What are you working on now?

Mainly the second 'Tracks in the Smoke' but I’ve also got a few ideas slowly percolating and sitting on my desktop. ‘Love in Reflection’ a novel about a married couple whose divorce gets put on hold when the wife goes into a coma. Also a Gothic children’s mystery about an introverted piano teacher ‘Hanna Piana’ who tries to find out who killed her elderly upstairs neighbor, Franklin Steinberg, still working on the title for that one. I've got an idea for Young Adult novel with a female protagonist, but at the moment I am trying to pick my way around all of the other amazing stories out there and write something which is unique and original.

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?

Shamazing  (Kory admits she does not know this word.

Who is your favorite author?

Grahame Greene, the first half of ‘The Human Factor’ is the best thing I’ve ever read. 

If you could have any (but only one) super power, what would it be?

Hmm, tough one. I went on a hi-wire once and thought; actually flying might on the whole be a bit boring, so I think I’d go for teleportation. Then I could visit my nieces and nephews much easier.

If you could pick the brain of any writer/poet/artist from anywhere across space and time, 
           who would it be and why?

I am always interested in people who approach things differently. I would love to sit down with the producer Mad Lib (who sadly passed away) and learn about the process of how he took music in such a different direction, but one that everyone followed. His sound is so unique you always recognize it when you hear it. I would love if it someone read a paragraph of my work and recognized it and said, ‘That reads like Tom Savage.’

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I always wanted to be Atticus Finch, so it would have to be a lawyer. Having recently done Jury Service, I am glad I went into teaching.

What profession would you not like to do?

I worked as a travel agent for a year, and I was terrible. I kept telling people to go away and think about it rather than closing the sale - they invariably bought a cheaper ticket online. Except for one month where - thanks to a Spanish Nun - I was the top salesman in London. That was the only time I ever hit my sales target.

If Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell existed, which circle would you be trapped in and why?
So they don’t exist? Phew! I would imagine I would be in ‘Heresy’ but it would be okay because I could chat to Ancient Florentines about politics and religion.

Thanks for joining us, Tom! And for the rest of you, be sure to enter the giveaway below. Why not? You made it this far :)

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