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Author Interview – Dwayne Clayden

September 24, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

Dwayne

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.

wolfman_med                                                                             

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.

OUTLAW_med 

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

Crisis Point Flat Cover 1 

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!

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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.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

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?

Tough one.

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!”

Bio:

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.

DwayneClayden.com

dwayneclayden@gmail.com

 

 

Author Interview – P.D. Workman

April 2, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

headshot circle

What inspired your latest novel?

The first book in this new series, What the Cat Knew was actually inspired by a dream my husband had! I hadn’t written any paranormal before this, haven’t written any kind of fantasy for decades, and I decided to give it a try.

How did you come up with the title?

I brainstormed a number of ideas, checked to see how many were already in use, and tried them out on the cover to see how they looked. The “cat” themed title has carried through the first three books, I’m not sure whether it will carry through the rest of the series.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are a number of messages in What the Cat Knew; that people should be what they are and pursue their natural talents; that things are not always as they appear; not to judge a book by its cover; that there are many different kinds of talents; and one that is fleshed out more in the next two books… the issue of consent.

cat knew new copy

How much of the book is realistic?

These books are paranormal mystery, so there are witches, spiritual messages, other psychic phenomena and magical races. But it is a balancing act between the concrete, “real” world that Reg has always tried to survive in, and the new magical world she is just getting to know.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

In some of my books, yes. In What the Cat Knew, there is not much that is pulled from my own experience.

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

You can find me on most social media with the name pdworkmanauthor.

https://www.facebook.com/pdworkmanauthor

https://www.instagram.com/pdworkmanauthor/

My website and blog is at pdworkman.com.

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I have three books written in the Reg Rawlins, Psychic Detective series so far, and you can expect more after that. You can find out my plans for the rest of the year at https://pdworkman.com/upcoming-in-2019

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I created this spin-off series from the Auntie Clem’s Bakery series because I liked Reg Rawlins so much and saw that she had a lot of potential as a character, so she is at the top of the list. But I also really enjoyed the psychic cat, Starlight, and Sarah, the feisty old witch. The villainous Corvin is a lot of fun to write and really rounds out the story and adds intrigue. In books two and three, I started to explore some other magical races and have had a lot of fun with Callie and Ruan.

Of all of the stories/series that I am working on right now, the character I think I am enjoying the most is Zachary Goldman.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I write crime fiction, but that has turned out to be quite a wide umbrella, ranging from suspense/thriller to P.I. mystery, to cozy mystery, and now paranormal cozy mystery. I have both young adult and adult books and series. They all tend to focus on outcasts, underdogs, and social issues.

mockup-books 1-3

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

For thirty years I only wrote seat-of-the-pants. I have been writing using mind-maps and outlines the last few years, but I still occasionally pants a novel here and there. Because I am writing a lot in series right now, the books tend to develop a general shape that is reflected in each book in the series, so there is less planning to do in the later books, and I am settling into a sort of minimalist outline plan right now.

What is your best marketing tip?

I struggle with marketing. It doesn’t come nearly as naturally as the writing itself. Learn from others, try new things, and be willing to stick with what works.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

While I am in a number of writing groups, I tend to answer other people’s questions more than to write mine. It can be good entertainment, but I find it best not to spend too much time on social media.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I like to work out the emotions I am feeling and get my thoughts down on paper, to produce something that both entertains and makes people think. I love the creative process and sitting down and rereading my characters’ stories again and again.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I wrote my first novel-length fiction at age 12. I have always loved writing and making books and have some of the little construction-paper books that I stapled together written in scribbles before I could even read or write.

What genre are you currently reading?

I am reading a murder mystery right now. I read a lot of crime, with some YA, literary, and nonfiction thrown in.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

I read mostly for pleasure. I do a lot of research, but generally rely on articles and short non-fiction rather than novels. I don’t generally analyze the writing of the fiction books I am reading, though I do take note if there are things I particularly like or don’t like.

Do you see writing as a career?

I am hoping to make it my full-time career in the next couple of years. I currently work full-time hours at my writing business as well as at my day job.

Bio:

P.D. Workman was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. She writes riveting young adult and mystery/suspense books dealing with mental illness, addiction, abuse, and other social issues. She has won several literary awards from Library Services for Youth in Custody for her young adult fiction. She currently has over 30 published titles and can be found at pdworkman.com. She has been married for 25 years and has one son.

 

 

 

Genres of Literature – Crime Fiction

May 14, 2018
mandyevebarnett


CFF Logo black no strapline

Crime fiction fictionalizes a multiple of crimes from murder to kidnapping to extortion. The narratives relay how the criminal gets caught, and the repercussions of the crime as well as their detection, the criminals, and their motives. It is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction such as historical fiction or science fiction, however, the boundaries are indistinct. Crime fiction has multiple sub-genres which include detective fiction or whodunits. courtroom dramas, hard-boiled fiction and legal thrillers.  Most crime fiction deals with the crime’s investigation rather than the court room. Suspense and mystery are key elements nearly ubiquitous to the genre. 

Crime Fiction was recognized as a distinct literary genre in the 19th century with specialists writers and a devoted readership. Earlier novels typically did not have the modern systematic attempts at detection: with no detective or indeed police trying to solve the case but rather more mystery in context. Such as a ghost story, a horror story, or a revenge story. The ‘locked room; mystery was a precursor to the detective stories. The most famous of course is Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, whose mental deductions and astute observations led him to the culprits. Two other notable authors in this ‘new’ genre were Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers.  

 

  • Detective fiction
  • Cozy Mystery
  • Whodunit
  • Historical whodunit
  • Locked room whodunit
  • Locked room mystery
  • Police procedural
  • Forensic
  • Legal thriller
  • Spy novel
  • Caper story
  • Psychological thriller
  • Parody or spoof

Each one commonly has a lot of suspense, hidden clues, a charismatic detective and an elusive criminal. The genre continues to develop with character analysis, covering specific themes, LGBT crimes and police investigation themes.

Have you written crime fiction? 

Which sub-genre do you write?

Why not share a link?

 

Whodunnit…Your Genre or Not?

May 23, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Whodunnit – definition: a narrative dealing with a murder or a series of murders and the detection of the criminal

This is one genre I have not yet delved into but there is always time! As a British native the author who comes to mind for me is, of course, Agatha Christie. She wrote 80 detective novels, which in anyone’s books is a lot. There was a formula to her work but it did not deter hundreds of faithful readers from buying her books as well as inspiring numerous TV series and movies. With numerous ‘red herrings’, twists and turns that kept her readers guessing, Agatha was a master of her genre. It is believed she enjoyed reading the genre so wrote ‘what she knew’ to some extent.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interesting titbit:

The earliest archetype for a whodunnit murder mystery is – “The Three Apples” in the One Thousand and One Nights, but the first ‘true’ whodunnit is widely regarded as – Wilkie Collins‘s The Moonstone (1868).

As most of you know I’m not restricted to one genre, having written children’s fiction, romance, speculative fiction and fantasy. I enjoy exploring the differences each genre possesses. Who knows maybe one will ‘click’ with me and I will find my favored genre – or not! Even Agatha wrote other genres, such as romances under the pen name Mary Westmacott and also the famous long running play, The Mousetrap.

Testing out various genres is a good way to find our true voice as a writer. Some may not appeal of course so don’t waste your time struggling with those. Sometimes an idea grows into a particular genre without us consciously driving it one way or the other – these are the fun ones.

So do you dabble or have you found your niche?

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