Friday, December 7, 2018

Book Bites: S.A. Cosby, author of My Darkest Prayer

It's the next-to-the-last Book Bites post of the year (and I'll be moving on to a different author feature next year). It's a good one, though,- an interview with S.A. Cosby, author of My Darkest Prayer. Cosby's crime novel- on shelves January 1st- has been getting a ton of buzz lately and with good reason. With everything from funeral homes to dangerous preachers to crooked cops, Cosby's debut is set to make a mark on 2019 and the crime fiction world....

"A compelling character, a tangled mystery and crisp writing make this southern-fried investigation a hit. Rarely have I read a debut so self-assured. On nearly every page was a line I wish I’d written. S.A. Cosby has arrived fully formed." —Eric Beetner

What drew you to the genre you write in?

I think I was drawn to writing about crime and mystery because I'm fascinated by the idea of studying characters who are pushed beyond the limits of what society considers acceptable. The idea of pressure both external and internal and its effects is extremely interesting to me and the crime and mystery genres allow me to examine these themes.

Were there any parts of your novel that were edited out, but which you miss terribly?

Yes, there were some chapters that delved into the relationship between my main character Nathan Waymaker and his friend Skunk. How they met, how their relationship developed . I know why it was cut but it had some really great passages in my opinion.

Have you ever given up on a writing project?

I never truly give up on any project. I tend to step away from projects  to let them marinate and then come back to them later. I like to say I have multiple works in progress over several decades.

How important is the setting to your novel? 

Setting is incredibly important to my writing. I grew up in rural Virginia and I love the area. There are a multitude of beautiful, grotesque and mysterious stories in the South that haven't always been told. I'd like to think I'm telling a few of them.

How do you handle writer's block? 

I go on Pinterest and look at pictures of cats. I'm kidding, I usually talk to other writers. I workout. Lifting weight seems to unravel the knots in my subconscious.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Miraculum on Jean Book Nerd Podcast

Thrilled to be able to share my first podcast interview focusing on my upcoming novel Miraculum. And it's over at Jean Book Nerd's- a treasure trove of interviews, podcasts and articles on everything from YA fantasy novels to Battlefront to Her Universe. It's a must-stop for any sci-fi and/or fantasy fan and I'm honored to be now be a part of it.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Book Bites: Hank Early, author of In the Valley of the Devil

Happy (late) Thanksgiving! Today, I'm bringing you an interview with an intriguing author- Hank Early, who is nailing down a somewhat new corner of the crime and mystery fiction scene: the Southern Gothic Private Investigator. Taking place in the North Georgia mountains, with all the creepiness of haunted cornfields and wild forests, In the Valley of the Devil is Early's second novel featuring Earl Marcus a P.I. running away from his fundamentalist religious background and right straight towards a killer.

"Hank Early pens rural noir with the best of them, and his protagonist, Earl Marcus, is a worthy addition to the canon of hard-as-bark detectives."
―Laird Barron

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing with all of your free time?

Ha! It’s a good thing I write because there is no telling what trouble I’d get up to if I had all of that time. Probably some combination of drinking too much, gaming, and becoming even more obsessed/ invested in my long running fantasy basketball team. I'd definitely enjoy finally having time to keep up with the latest and greatest books. I usually run a couple of years behind on the “hot” books. But truthfully, I’d eventually find something else to pour myself into because I’m not the kind of person who does very well without an obsession.  

Were they any parts of your novel that were edited out, but which you miss terribly?

Actually, no. This is probably something I should remember, I suppose. Because I can certainly remember being upset about being asked to cut sections of novels. Offended even. Shows what I know because now I can’t even remember what I cut that had me so upset. The lesson here, I suppose, is to trust your editor. They know what they’re doing even when it pisses you off, especially when it pisses you off.

Have you ever given up on a writing project?

More times than I can count. But I never throw anything away, and almost all the stuff I’ve given up on gets bastardized into something new down the road. I’m always retrofitting old chunks of stories and novels into completely new frameworks. In fact, in the second Earl Marcus book, In the Valley of the Devil, I resurrected some setting and mood descriptions from a horror novel I’d abandoned a few years earlier, which probably explains why so many reviewers have been surprised (pleasantly, for the most part) that the novel has such a horror feel to it.  

Did the novel have any alternate titles? 

My latest novel, In the Valley of the Devil was previously called Skull Keep. I think in the end, my publisher found that a little too horror for what is ostensibly a crime novel, so I relented. But I did like that title. I think sometimes writers aren’t always the best judge of their titles. I’ve had plenty that I thought were amazing but when I shared them with people, they didn’t seem too impressed. So, unless I really, really feel strongly about a title, I’ll usually defer to the editor and come up with something different if they don’t think it fits. 

 How important is the setting in your novel? 

Setting is pretty much everything to me. I never understand my books until I have a good grasp of the setting which in turn helps me capture the mood and tone of the writing and characters. I’d say it’s the single most important aspect of my novels. But then again, writers aren’t particularly good judges of their own work, so an astute reader might disagree.