Blog Hoppy

Author and Cubano Supremo Alex Segura wrote the great Miami-based crime thriller Silent City. After he was tagged by Kristi Belcamino, he tagged me for this latest blog hoppiness, a series of four basic questions. Check out his answers over at his blog. Here are mine:

What are you working on?
I’m in the neverending process of polishing up my first novel, Hipster Death Rattle, or maybe I’ll call it </Williamsburg>, a title a friend suggested that I am playing with. Actually, it’s not my first novel. I wrote a book back in grad school but like a demon spawn it must remain in the dark until eternity. Typical coming of age story. Pastiche crap. I had no idea what I was doing then. But the new book is crime fiction. Which is not to say I know about better now. In any case, it’s currently helping to fill the inboxes of several agents.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Well, it probably does a little, but for the most part it doesn’t and shouldn’t. Crime fiction readers expect certain tropes, even stereotypes—the relentless investigator, the sadistic villain, the bipolar pharmacist, the forlorn nail salon person—and if you want to play in that genre, you have to give those to the readers. However, how you do it all might vary, of course, and I guess that would be style talking. So I hope my style differs a bit. More ellipses, perhaps. . .

Why do you write what you do?
Sociopathology. Or, more specifically, because it is the world that helps me express and expel my inner demons the best. I grew up with crime, in a household where crime was constant, in a neighborhood of gangs and shootouts, in a time of inflation and recession, a dirty, unrefined, graffiti-decorated New York City. It’s me. It’s who I am. So it’s the world I cannot help playing in. Also, most people seem to like when I write it. Except when I use too many four-letter words.

How does your writing process work?
I think of an idea, most likely in the shower. Then I worry it again and again, like fingers callusing over prayer beads, or a poodle gnawing a T. Rex femur, or a regular cat with a regular mouse. When I hear a character’s voice clearly and/or I see a series of events unfolding, I start scribbling. Sometimes the scribbles connect themselves, sometimes I do an outline to connect them. Then I write it out. And then I polish it again and again until I love it then can’t stand it then love it again. At one of those love points, I send it out.

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To continue this Blog Hoppy Thingie, I hereby tag Terrence “Timberwolf” McCauley. A proud native of the Boogie Down Bronx, Terrence P. (for Pugnacious) McCauley is an award-winning writer. His first two novels,  Slow Burn and Prohibition, and his next were recently picked up by Polis Books! McCauley has had short stories featured in Thuglit, Action: Pulse Pounding Tales Vol. 1 and 2, Atomic Noir and Big Pulp. He recently compiled Grand Central Noir, an anthology where the proceeds go  to a non-profit called God’s Love We Deliver. Head on over to his blog next week for his answers.

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