There's a brilliant interview here today, so please hang in here.
Before you get there, some news of the Flash Challenge against Pablo D'Stair.
I'm trying to round up stories for the Challenge against Pablo. They need to have fewer than 1000 words and to be with me by 27th December. Please also include a bio and a photo so that you can bathe in the light of the contest site OUT OF BULLETS, THROW THE GUN .
The collective piece will go up against Pablo's on 1st January. Readers will have a chance to go through both and pick their favroutes by 31st January. And remember the three cash prizes for best 3 in show should the collective come out on top, $100 for the top story. That's pretty big bucks for under 1000 words.
Do Some Damage have been pumping out some great posts recently and at Guilty Conscience you'll find some great reading recommendations from some talented writers.
And Trestle Press have a two-for-one deal just now that's going on over Christmas. There's some great stuff up there to choose from, so check that out.
Anway, that's the appetizer over.
Here's my star of the show, Mike Miner. Big welcome.
Are you comfortable talking to yourself?
Very. I do it all the time.
What does your mother think about your writing?
My poor mother. I think nobody's more proud of me than my mom, but I'm sure she's uncomfortable at times with my dark side. Probably thinks she did something wrong raising me. She didn't.
What do you write about?
In my fiction, lately, nobody is safe. A lot of my characters don't get out alive. It's been a while since I penned a happy ending, been a while since it occurred to me to try. I've stopped looking away when I might have in the past. Instead of fading to black, I leave the lights on. I've become interested in, and willing to explore, the damage my characters inflict and receive. I am drawn to the wounded, the eccentric, the crazy. In life and fiction.
Do you write crime fiction?
Sometimes? Crimes are certainly committed. I don't have much use for white knights riding to the rescue on white horses. Or sensitive characters with precious, complicated feelings who are ignored or misunderstood, who just can't make that all important connection. I'm releasing bulls in china shops, I want to write about people at the end of their rope, holding on to one last, thin thread. Men and women, boys and girls, who crash into each other with violent, permanent results. Incidents that leave scars. If people want to call it crime fiction, fine by me.
What are you working on now?
I have a novel completed. It's being read. Keep your fingers crossed. I'm too superstitious to name names. My stories “Ice” and “The Rematch” are part of a linked collection of stories I'm working on.
What else should we talk about?
I read a lot, but a few all time favorites are Hubert Selby Jr., Robert Stone, Raymond Chandler and Roberto Bolaño. I went through a huge Stephen King phase as a teenager. His collection, Night Shift, had a big impact on me.
Hmm. How about some female authors?
I adore Angela Carter. Those lovely southern gals, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers. Alice Munro, Jennifer Egan.
What about current writers?
Everyone's talking about Matt Funk and Frank Bill – and people should be, they're great. My favorite books this year were Mr. Bill's Crimes in Southern Indiana, Jacobs' Southern Gods and Dust Devils by Roger Smith. A lot of writers on the other side of the Atlantic: Paul D. Brazill, Nigel Bird, RayBanks. Also the Scandinavians, Nesbo and Indridason and Nesser, to name three great series writers.
Thomas Pluck and A.J. Hayes had good years. I'll go out of my way to read them. Loved David Cranmer's western stories. Patti Abbott really got my attention this year.
I could go on and on. Right now I'm reading R Thomas Brown's Mayhem.
Why don't you have a website or a blog?
I don't know the first thing about setting one up. Or maintaining one.
How can people find your work?
I'll include some links here.
Is there a crime writing community? Are you a member?
I guess there's sort of a neo-noir scene. And I'm happy to be a small part of it, as a writer and a fan. I'm grateful to editors like David Barber and Kent Gowran and Jason Michel (and many others) for giving guys like me an outlet for our work. The writers in this scene have been incredibly supportive too. We just want each other to succeed. It's like a really good AA Meeting.
You know AA Meetings?
What do you miss most about drinking?
What was your poison?
Everything. A lot of tequila. Gin. A nice dry martini.
What don't you miss?
Everything else. Waking up in jail. My wife bailing me out. Courtrooms. Lawyers. Also, I couldn't write worth a damn when I was drinking.
What's the worst jail you've ever been in?
Twin Towers. Downtown Los Angeles.
What's the best?
Beverly Hills. Hands down. Commit all of your crimes in Beverly Hills, everyone.
Why do you write?
Can I steal Flannery O'Connor's answer? Because I'm good at it.
No. Why do YOU write?
To stay sane.
Mike Miner tweets as @skyeminer.
“one more night”:
“the revenge game”:
“the wrong saloon”: