What inspired your latest novel?
My next novel, Wolfman is Back (released Nov 7, 2019) is the third novel in the Brad Coulter Series. It is based loosely on a very nasty criminal who escaped prison in the early 1980s. He was a stalker who raped and killed several women.
My second novel. OutlawMC is about biker gangs. In OutlawMC there was a very, very nasty biker that readers asked why I hadn’t killed him at the end. The readers hated him.
So, I did the only thing a writer could do, and I not only had him live, but he’s the main antagonist in Wolfman is back. I combined the two ideas for the story with lots of added nastiness.
How did you come up with the title?
This was the easiest title so far. Jeter Wolf, the biker/antagonist, has a nickname, Wolfman. Since readers wanted him gone, I brought him back, thus Wolfman is Back!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m not sure I have a specific message, other than the situations police and EMS respond to are at times beyond comprehension. That someone can be so evil and remorseless is chilling and what one human will do to another is incomprehensible, yet it happens. Fortunately, not much of it is reported by the press. But police and EMS have a very changing job, and it takes its toll.
How much of the book is realistic?
The banter between police officers is something I try hard to make real. The closeness of partners, the teasing, the outright pushing all the right (wrong?) buttons is everyday. But when stuff hits the fan, they come together like no other profession I know. It’s almost like siblings fighting, but someone outside challenges on sibling, the whole family takes it as a challenge and becomes very protective. Thus, an injury to a police officer or paramedic, is felt by the entire department.
Are your characters based on someone you know or events in your own life?
The characters in my first novel, Crisis Point were almost all based on people I knew or combinations of traits. My Protagonist, Brad Coulter, was a bit of me. I was a police officer for 3 years then a paramedic for 37 years. The premise of the Brad Coulter series is, what could my police career have been if I’d stayed in policing? Before the middle of Crisis Point, the character, Brad Coulter, had taken over the role and he became his own person (if that makes sense and isn’t weird!). I like to think of Brad a better version of me. My police friends have fun trying to guess who the other characters are based on. They manage to nail a few of them!
The German shepherd in the novels is Lobo. And he is the first dog I had (I rescued him from the pound 6 months into being a police officer).
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
There a parts of social media that baffle me (Twitter). I am on Facebook at Dwayneclaydenauthor and Dwayneclayden. Facebook is where I spend most of my social media time. I’m also on LinkedIn: dwayneclayden and yes, Twitter: @DwayneClayden
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
I have plans for novels from now to December 2022. Whether I can keep that schedule and pace— we shall see.
The next novel which I hope release in March or April 2020, is the first in a new series called Speargrass. The first novel deals with the opioid crisis in Montana and on a Montana First Nation.If you have seen the TV show Longmire, you’ll get a taste of what I’m doing. If you like Longmire, you’ll love Speargrass. It has its own backstory and characters with lots of flaws. I should be finished Speargrass by the end of September and then I will send it to my marvelous editor, Taija Morgan. While Taija does her thing, I’ll start Coulter #4. The working title is Sniper and if all goes to plan, that release will be November 2020.
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I can be sarcastic and cutting, so I add that to some of my characters. Brad is sarcastic, cutting and very quick with comment or insult.
In Wolfman, there is new character, a detective that I really like. He’s an older, more seasoned version of Brad.
What is a little scary, is that I was able to get inside Jeter Wolfe (Wolman’s) head and I think he comes across realistic in all his evilness! I’ve been told a few times I write the bad guys better than the good guys! That was the critique from my first submission in my first writing class in 2010!
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I’m definitely a crime guy. I love the style of Michael Connelly, Robert B Parker, John Sandford, and Lee Child.
However, I wrote a short Story, Hell Hath No Fury, which was a hard-boiled, down on his luck private detective story. It was published in2015 in AB Negative, An Anthology of Alberta Crime. It was fun to write and I have a sequel to that half-written.
This fall I’ve been asked to write a short story with a gothic them based in Alberta. So, I’m testing the water, but only with one toe!
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I plan out every story. I start by putting ideas on index cards and then when I have 50 or so, I lay them out on my pool table and create an order. It gives me a starting point and direction. None of my four novels resemble in any way the original outline. Having direction helps me with the first draft.
Then when I do my first edit, I tend to re-write the story as I go, adding chapters as needed. I believe outlines are simply roadmaps and you can still take various routes to your destination – that’s up to your creativity. But no novel will likely resemble the first outline.
What is your best marketing tip?
I wish I had one! It has been a slow process to get a few enthusiastic fans/readers. The biggest thing right now is that I now have three novels. When readers finish the fist one, they reach for the second, and third. The challenge is keeping ahead of them and not having too much time between novels or they will find someone else.
If someone has ideas on how to sell e-books, I’d be very interested!
I have had local success at Farmer’s Markets and Christmas Fairs.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
For me, social media is hindrance and distracting. For my novels, I have had minimal success with advertising my novels on Facebook. For now, my time is better spent writing that next, great novel the readers want. However, my Facebook goal is to find the funniest jokes, memes and stories to give anyone following me a laugh or two for the day.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I get lost in the story and the characters and sometimes write well into the night/morning because it is flowing so well.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started writing short stories in high school, slapstick and parody like Saturday Night Live. Then a career in policing and then paramedics got in my way. I co-authored four textbooks for paramedics, but that is not the same as fiction writing. My fiction writing career began in October 2010.
Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
Stayed the same.
What genre are you currently reading?
I read Michael Connelly, Robert B Parker, John Sandford and Lee Child. I also read John Grisham, Ken Follett, and Jeffrey Archer to name a few.
I am reading novels by Nelson DeMille. He writes crime/thriller novel. I’ve just started reading his novels on a recommendation from a friend. I quite like his style.
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
I read for pleasure, but it is hard to turn off the writer/editor brain and just enjoy a novel. In some respects, writing has spoiled reading for me.
For OutlawMC I read 12-15 books on Outlaw Motorcycle clubs
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My best supporter is my mom, Sheila Clayden.
Valerie West, my partner, is my encourager and has always believed in my writing.
Jonas Saul, the Sarah Roberts best selling series author, has been an incredible mentor.
Where is your favorite writing space?
I have a writing room/man cave in the basement where most of my writing is done. I have tried writing at nice places, like our cabin, but it’s not the same.
Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I do not belong to a writing group now. For about 3 years we had a writing group in Calgary called the Inklings and we met every Monday evening. The members read Crisis Point and OutlawMC through many, many edits.
If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
Joseph Wambaugh because he changed the genre of crime novels to portray the realism of thed streets for cops. That is what I’m trying to do, so I’d to have beer and discuss his early writing. His early novels also changed TV crime from happy ending Adam 12 and Dragnet to Hill Street Blues, the first of the realistic police dramas.
Michael Connelly because I love his Bosch series which is also a TV series. I want to know how he did that! I’d love to have a hit novel series and I think my novels would do well on TV. Of course, that’s just my wishful thinking!
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
The Big Island, Hawaii. We went there for the first time in May 2018 and I loved everything about it. Especially the calm pace. You can’t help but relax there.
Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is my career. I’m putting everything I have into it. I mentioned a writing schedule and I plan to stick to that. Next year I hope to launch 2 novels and 1 non-fiction book.
I love writing and creating. My challenge is getting the exposure beyond my family, friends, colleagues, and into the American ebook market.
Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
To my family doctor’s dismay, I drink Pepsi when I write and often eat chocolate covered almonds. That doesn’t mean I don’t like coffee (with Bailey’s) on occasion!
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
I have been told to reward myself, but I don’t. Maybe a weekend.
I’m pushing hard to keep the novels coming that by the time one novel is launched, another is in editing and a third is on the first draft.
I am now receiving emails from readers wanting to know when the next novel will be out. Some readers chastise me when they see I’m on Facebook and say, “You should be writing!”
Dwayne Clayden writes crime thrillers.
Crisis Point, Dwayne’s first novel, was a finalist for the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada, Arthur Ellis Awards.
OutlawMC is the second in the Brad Coulter Series.
Wolfman is Back, the third in the Brad Coulter Series, with be released in Fall 2019.
In his 40 year career, Dwayne has served as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair.
Dwayne is a popular speaker at conferences and to writing groups presenting on realistic police, medical and paramedic procedures.
The co-author of four paramedic textbooks, he has spoken internationally at EMS conferences for the past three decades.