So I’ve been tagged in this kind of group question-asking recommendation chain called THE NEXT BIG THING. Authors answer questions about their work and then “tag” other writers to do the same. I got sucked into it by Alex Sokoloff, who tagged me along with Wallace Stroby, Michelle Gagnon and Zoe Sharp. (Click their names to read each of their entries.)
Here are my answers:
1) What’s the title or working title of your new/next book?
I’ve got several media tie-in projects in the works right now, none of which I’m able to post about yet, but my most recent book is the first of my lesbian private eye series Butch Fatale: Dyke Dick. It’s called Double D Double Cross. There’s a second Butch Fatale book in the works as well.
2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve had this idea in my pocket for years. I’m a avid fan of vintage hardboiled pulp and I’ve always wanted take that traditionally hypermasculine genre and give it my own modern spin. So I created a classic, old-school private dick who just happens to have a vagina. That’s how Butch Fatale was born.
3) What genre is your book?
Pure hardboiled pulp. With a generous helping of erotica on the side.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Or TV series?
Hollywood doesn’t really have much room for females who identify as masculine of center, so it would be pretty hard to cast a well known actress as Butch Fatale. However, I was thrilled with this video put together for my book trailer contest by a young LA actor named Max.
As far as I’m concerned, the part is hers!
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Butch Fatale is a fast-talking, skirt-chasing, two-fisted lesbian private investigator with an insatiable appetite for two things — women and trouble.
That pretty much says it all.
6) Is/will your book be self-published or traditionally published?
This series is really a labor of love without much in the way of blockbuster, mainstream appeal. Since I’ve already published more than ten novels the old-fashion way, publishing the series myself in eBook form seemed like the ideal option for this project. I also did a successful kickstarter campaign to raise money for a special, limited paper edition of the first and second books bound back-to-back in the old “Ace Double” style. I like to call it the 69 edition. Of course, work on the series has been slow going, due to all the tie-in work I’ve had to take on in order to pay the bills. But I tinker with it whenever I can, as a way to relax and have a bit of fun on the side.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first book, about six or eight weeks. This second one is going slower, due to my current heavy workload, but I really want these books to reflect that quick and dirty pulp aesthetic. I don’t want to be polishing each sentence for years and years. That’s part of what makes it fun.
8) What other books within the genre would you compare this story to?
You can see the clear influence of Richard Prather in the series, particularly the comedic elements. Like Prather’s famous dick Shell Scott, Butch is tough and smooth with the ladies, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See #8 for the who. For the what I’d say that I was tired of reading hardboiled crime novels in which LGBT characters are either comic relief or villains. I wanted to create a queer hero.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Did I mention the sex? It’s dirty. Real dirty.
I'm not going to tag anyone else with this, but I will ask you readers to share your own recommendations of favorite vintage hardboiled detective novels. I'll start with one of mine: STRIP FOR MURDER by Richard Prather.