Short, Sharp Interview: Preston Lang

the-carrierPDB: Can you pitch THE CARRIER in 25 words or less?

Girl with sultry voice tries to highjack drug courier. Courier plays innocent and girl becomes violent. Things get complicated.

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

I’ve been reading Harry Whittington and Mavis Gallant lately. I don’t think they would have gotten along very well, but they were both professionals.

And listening to a lot of jazz: Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans. And a lot Cuban and Dominican influenced music: Irakere, Fulanito.

As for TV, I finally got to see The Thick of It, so I’m happy about that. We don’t have enough vulgar Scotsmen on TV in the USA.

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

No one is an objective reader.

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

I’ve written plays. Recently I worked on this immersive theatre soft-core orgy project with acrobats and roasted pigs. It’s running in New York City now. I wrote a few monologues about motherhood and drug trafficking.

I’d definitely do film or TV. I’d do a lot of things for money.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

A decent amount. Some is taken from what I’ve done or heard first hand (I guess that counts as research) and a lot comes from books. I’ve also found the internet useful and have recommended the google search engine to several of my friends.

I try to use my great aunt for research purposes, but she just tells me lies and then laughs about it later—no, I never said that.

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

I’ve got a twitter account now. I should use it more.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

More books. I’ve got two and half done, and a few ideas all set to go. There’s insurance scams, depraved carnies, and maybe a period piece about jazz musicians. I’ve also got an idea for a series about an amoral Canadian private detective in America; it’s based in large part on my wife.

Bio: I’ve written a number of plays, stories, and articles but The Carrier is my first published novel. I’ve done some investigative work for a newspaper, and a few other jobs that have been very useful in learning the craft of crime fiction. I’ve also worked as a mathematics instructor, a census taker, a furniture mover, and a lounge pianist.