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If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Flying. I would give my left arm to be able to pump both fists into the air (okay, one fist now that I’ve sacrificed an arm) and just take flight. Growing up, my mom always said she wished she could be invisible. I never understood that. I wanted to fly.
What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
Let’s see. I grew up living in a funeral home, I have webbed feet, my guilty pleasure is Milli Vanilli, I have 6 genital piercings, I despise anything strawberry except strawberry milk, I’m in a metal band who have opened for Godmsack, Limp Bizkit, Faith No More, and many other national acts, I went through thirteen years of private parochial school. Is that more than one?
When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
Their name. I have this weird process of assigning images to people who I have never met based on their name. If you told me, “Hey, I can’t wait for you to meet my friend Gabe,” until I meet Gabe, the image of “Gabe” in my head might be an oil furnace in a basement. Why? Who the heck knows. One of my wife’s best friends, before I met him in person, was a sausage. So names evoke images for me. I use their names to decide their attributes.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A hybrid. I know that has become such a cliché answer recently, but the best way I can describe my method is this: I outline A, C, E, G, I, K and pants B, D, F, H, L … It keeps the novel on track with its purpose, but allows those magical moments where characters and storylines take a life of their own.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?
I learned that I CAN write a novel in four months. (My previous three novels all took: 20 months, 3 years, and 19 years to write respectively). I also learned that I’m allergic to baby tigers. Seriously.
Snapshot in the parking lot. Man and woman embrace. Betrayal, I see it every day, like my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me. Another case, another bottle of booze, life is no longer a mystery to me …
… Because I’m the private eye, hot on your trail; the top gun for hire. You’ll find me lurking in the shadows, always searching for a clue. I’m the bulletproof detective. I got my eye on you …
What’s a little sin under the covers, what’s a little blood between lovers? What’s a little death to be discovered, cold stiff body under the covers?
I’m digging you a desert grave, underneath the burning sun. You won’t be found by anyone. Vultures circle in the sky, and you, my dear, are the reason why.
… I was always easily influenced.
Smith spit out another peanut shell onto his Chevy’s floorboard as his gaze stayed trained on the Desert Palms Motel’s front entrance. His fingers instinctively found the opened bag in the complete darkness and pinched another nut. He squeezed his eyes closed to ward off the simmering residual headache from the most recent blackout. The sound of the rain pelting the windshield was soothing.
“Come on. Where are you? You took the last two nights off. I can’t imagine you being on vacation.”
Headlights turning into the parking lot diverted his attention from the motel’s front door. He squinted to decipher the make and model of the vehicle through the downpour. A Bentley. He sighed and returned his focus to the motel as he fingered the brim of his newly purchased replacement fedora and then tossed it next to him in frustration.
Smith removed his revolver from his shoulder holster and checked that all six chambers were loaded for the umpteenth time. He secured the weapon and grabbed the small notebook from underneath his discarded fedora, lying on the passenger seat, where Wynn should be sitting. But she had maintained radio silence throughout the past two days since storming from Hank’s office. He shook his head in disgust for letting Wynn’s drama distract him from the job at hand.
He swiped the Chevy’s dashboard with his palm to clean off the thick layer of dust that had collected from months of neglect. He wiped his hands on his pants, leaving a graying smear across the fabric covering his thighs. He reached into his trench coat’s inner pocket and removed a silver flask. He opened the top and looked at the engraved insignia on the front. His index finger traced the shining eyeball hanging freely in the cut-out middle of a pyramid. Taking a swig from the decorated flask, he grimaced as the brown liquid hit the back of his throat.
Smith retrieved the Polaroid from the dashboard and cleared his throat. “Let’s see what tricks you’re playing on me now.” He flicked the corner of the photograph as he sighed deeply in expected disappointment.
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