Short, Sharp Interview: Christopher Irvin

PDB: Can you pitch FEDERALES in 25 words or less?

An ex-Mexican federal agent devotes himself to an outspoken former politician and her cause in the face of ever-darkening circumstances. A noir in the vein of Traffic and Man on Fire.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Music – I’m all across the board: Dr. John, The Civil Wars, Incubus, Metric, Deftones. Soundtracks to Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Spring Breakers

Television – True Detective, Justified, Almost Human and the Winter Olympics

Movies – Springbreakers, Stoker, The Ice Man, You’re Next

Books – Big Maria by Johnny Shaw, Snowblind by Christopher Golden, Saint Homicide by Jake Hinkson, Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto, Fish Bites Cop by David James Keaton, The Dead Women of Juarez by Sam Hawken, Die A Little by Megan Abbott, Cheating Death, Stealing Life by Eddie Guerrero, The Squared Circle: Life, Death and Professional Wrestling by David Shoemaker, Blood & Tacos Omnibus. I’m planning a short story binge on Laird Barron, John Langan and Glen Gray next.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

Yes, especially when you find a fantastic book and just sit back and soak it all in.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

I’d love to, though I’m not sure where to start. Working on a comic right now – we’ll see how that pitch goes.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

It depends. I had the bulk of Federales in my head before I began to write, but I went back for a lot of the details. I think that is key – choosing the right morsels out of the pounds and pounds of research that while fascinating, don’t enhance the story or reading experience as an information dump. For my current WIP, about a retired professional wrestler, I’ve been researching quite a bit. I grew up a huge fan of ‘the sport’ but it is eye opening (and heartbreaking) to read about the history as an adult and reflect on my childhood memories.

IRVINPDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

Yes and yes. Almost, I think, necessary today. It’s been a huge positive force (also a distraction at times) that has helped me connect with wonderful writers who I’ve since had the fortune to meet in person and others who I hope to cross paths with down the road. Like anything, it’s all about balance.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

I’m close to completing two-thirds of a new novel. New short stories out or forthcoming in Beat to a Pulp, Needle and Trouble in the Heartland. A few collaborative projects are coming together as well. Should be an exciting year.

Bio: Christopher Irvin has traded all hope of a good night’s rest for the chance to spend his mornings writing dark and noir fiction. His short stories have appeared in several publications, including Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp, and Shotgun Honey. His debut novella, FEDERALES, is out NOW from One Eye Press. He lives with his wife and son in Boston, Massachusetts. For more, visit christopherirvin.net.