Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Vater

tmgmcoverPDB: Can you pitch The Man with the Golden Mind in 25 words or less?

The Man with the Golden Mind is a detective thriller set against the backdrop of the CIA’s covert war in Laos in the 1960s.

.PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

Any old shit that made millions, really. Then it would be easier to carry on exactly as I am doing now, writing bleak, noirish tales of human frailty.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu, The Detective Maier mysteries.

 PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Joseph Conrad, Mikhail Bulgakov, Raymond Chandler, Graham Greene, Peter Matthiessen, Patricia Highsmith, Chester Himes, David Goodis, Jim Thompson, William Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Charles Bukowski, John D. MacDonald, Ross MacDonald, JG Ballard, Harry Crews, Katherine Dunn, Massimo Carlotto, Philip Kerr, Michel Houellebecq.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

There was this penguin that was breathing through its arse. One day it sat down and died.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Oh dear. Kick out the Jams, Motherfuckers.

tom vaterPDB: What’s on the cards?

Just finished writing The Monsoon Ghost Image, the third Detective Maier novel, which is set in Thailand, and send my German private eye on the search for the world’s most wanted photograph which is said to reveal the darkest side of the US’ war on terror.

 PDB: Anything else?

My publishing house Crime Wave Press has four new, utterly gripping titles out in November. Pretty chuffed about that.

Bio: Tom Vater is a writer, publisher and journalist based in Asia. He is the author of three novels, including The Cambodian Book of the Dead and The Man with the Golden Mind, both featuring former war correspondent turned detective Maier solving heinous crimes in Southeast Asia. He is also the co-owner of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based imprint that has published some thirty crime novels to date.