Monday 15 November 2010

Dancing With Myself: CHAD EAGLETON interviews CHAD EAGLETON

A couple of weeks ago, I broke my paying for downloading of fiction duck.

What made me take such a radical step?

The answer is quality.

First of all I downloaded to my PC 8 Pounds by Chris F Holm (who danced with himself a while ago). Find it at

The next, downloaded easily as a brilliant PDF, was a collection of talent edited by Patti Abbott and Steve Weddle. Believe me, if their names are on anything, take a close look (and they danced so beautifully when they were here).

And it was certainly worth getting over my fear of things e-book for.

I'm hoping to get a few more of the Discount Noir team to these pages, but here are a few places to visit if you haven't heard the news already.
And now, Discount Noir's very own CHAAAAAAAAAAD EAGLETON a man who's done huge amounts in a small amount of time on the planet. Read on...

So, you sing in a metal band and once dated Carrie Underwood? That sounds exciting. How’d you manage that?

I didn’t. It wasn’t me. Those are the other men named Chad Eagleton. There are several of us out there and we do not have any sort of plan and have never all woken in a lonely, desert motel after a blackout.


Wait, wait, wait…So you didn’t date Carrie Underwood? And you don’t sing in a metal band?

No and no.

Then who the fuck are you? And what do you do besides Google yourself?

I’m a writer. I write.

Christ, a fucking writer—

Well, I’m not really a “fucking” writer. I haven’t written porno in a long time, though probably would again if someone paid me enough.

I write crime.

My first crime story appeared at the now defunct D.Z. Allen’s Muzzleflash. After that, I was incredibly fortunate to have my second accepted at The Pulp Pusher.

Since then my work has been featured at Bad Things, Powder Burn Flash, A Twist of Noir, Beat To A Pulp, Darkest Before The Dawn, Let’s Kill Everybody, The Drowning Machine, Crimefactory, and Thrillers, Killers, and Chillers.

And if you’re smart enough to recognize a bargain, you’ve already downloaded the e-book Discount Noir and read “The Black Friday of Daniel Maddox.”

What else have you done? Besides typing? And all that Googling. You know you’ll go blind, don’t you? All that dirty, dirty Googling.

I learned to drive from a man who flew bombers during WWII and raced motorcycles for Triumph…

I lived for a summer in New York and attended a Writer’s Conference there. David Means was our instructor. He now teaches English at Vassar and if you’ve never read his collection, A Quick Kiss of Redemption (a title I will steal for a story of my own someday) then you’re probably a little dead to me. There, I met the guy who wrote Agnes of God and another man who looked a little like Art Garfunkel and thought he was more important than he was because he had a number of stories published in little university magazines that secured his tenure despite the fact that no one read them. I toured Cosmo and hung at the Knitting Factory. I rode the subways with a tough girl from New Jersey who I crushed on for a couple weeks in that deep and desperate way you can only at 15 before moving on…

I have black belts in Taekwondo and Hapkido. I’ve studied 9 Animal Style Kung-fu, Shaolin-Do, and BJJ. When I lived in Germany I studied Wing Chun with my host-brother and his Turkish friends.

One night at bar, some skinheads spotted my host-brother’s girlfriend. She was a Nordic goddess with blond hair, a small waist, and big boobs. The skinheads didn’t see my host-brother, just his girl with a bunch of Turks. Someone said something a little too quickly for me to follow. I finished my beer with the Aryan princess while watching my host-brother and the Turks kick the shit out of some Nazis…

I was once harassed by six police officers for having a squirt gun fight with my roommate…

Somehow, I managed to charm a woman who is both far too hot and far too cool for someone like me into getting married. Every day, for the last ten years, I’m convinced she’ll smarten up.

She hasn’t yet. Thank God…

I’ve tried real hard to never hurt anyone and think I’ve succeeded…

I once set myself on fire trying to take out a yellow jacket nest…

For living-in-the-real-world money, I’ve bagged groceries, loaded trucks, and sold furniture. I’ve been the assistant to the Chief Environmental Engineer. That meant doing all the shit jobs he didn’t want to do, like running The Sludge Press. I’ve worked in tech support. And I’ve even bodyguarded strippers. Once, I fumbled my way, briefly, into real estate.

And now, I work for a university.

Uhhhh…well, shit…

Yeah, well shit. And I write too, smart guy.

Okay, so…uh…why crime fiction?

It was a slow march toward crime. When I was younger I devoured anything horror, science fiction, or fantasy. I spent my time with vampires, aliens, and axe-wielding barbarians. Despite a constant dose of crime shows on television, I just wasn’t that into reading it or writing it.

With a few exceptions, I’ve never really cared for much you’d call “literary”. I live real life and want something more when I read. Besides, I’ve found that most of the so-called literary writers now don’t really write very well and have nothing particularly interesting to say that you haven’t already figured out for yourself; either in that moment you realize that someday you will die or when you finally share a moment of intimacy with another human being.

But there have always been genre writers that have moved me and taught me more than anyone else. And when operating at their best, they’ve kept me so entertained I didn’t even fucking notice.

Slowly, I discovered that some of the absolute best wrote crime stories: John D. MacDonald, Shane Stevens, Derek Raymond, and Andrew Vachss

Though, honestly, a part of it just happened. When I finally got serious about writing, finally having beaten “the muse” out of my head and studied the nuts and bolts work of writers I admire, the first two stories I wrote just happened to be crime. I decided to keep pushing it and had one of those rare moments of luck few people get. Christopher Pimental took my third crime story for Bad Things. I learned more about writing from a month’s worth of e-mails with him then I did in all the English classes my parents paid way too much money for.

Alright, writer man, why haven’t you written a novel yet?

I have. I sent it to Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime. He had numerous nice things to say, but passed on the Vegas setting.

Looking over it now, I think he was being kind. It’s really ten tons of awful.

But I’m getting there.

Hmmm…So, can I ask you where you get your ideas?


Then can we talk more about all that dirty, dirty Googling? Or bodyguarding strippers?


We’re done now.


  1. For just a sec, I was "holy crap. Carrie Underwood. Way to go."

  2. Great stuff. A brilliant insight into you Chad, you probably have practised internal breathing did you ever get into the Iron Hand?

  3. Blackouts, ah, now there's a reality show: "Where the fuck am I this time?" Of course if you don't wake up from them . . . you're dead. Damn it, Eagleton, we share so many opinions how come I'm nowhere near good as you?(Dude just pisses me off, grumble.)Great interview with a terrific writer. Thanks Mr. Bird, for making it happen.

  4. Cool to learn more about the talent out there. Enjoyed that, Chad. Could've read more.

  5. Cracking stuff. I remember reading Chad for the first time over at Powder Burn Flash and thought'THAT is how you do great, short storytelling!' For some reason I didn't hate him. However 'even bodyguarded strippers.'Now, I hate him ...

  6. Nice to learn more about Chad. Great series, Nigel.