Short, Sharp Interview: Alex Segura

SCFrontCover (2)PDB: Can you pitch SILENT CITY in 25 words or less?

Washed-up journalist hits bottom while searching for a missing woman – a quest that drags him into the depths of the Miami underworld.

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

 I’ve been listening to a lot of The Handsome Family, the band that did the theme for HBO’s True Detective, a show I watched pretty obsessively.

Also on the TV side, I’ve been really keen on FX’s The Americans, the new Mad Men and House of Cards.

More music: Neko Case’s latest record, Steve Earle, Avett Brothers, Waxahatchee, The Be Good Tanyas, Low, the new Dean Wareham and the new Jason Isbell album.

Movies: Loved Grand Budapest Hotel.

Books: Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet, Night Film by Marisha Pessl, Tampa by Alissa Nutting, With or Without You by Domenica Ruta, Onion Street by Reed Farrel Coleman, Double Down by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Blessed are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino, Lost Girls by Robert Kolker and on the comic book side, Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Afterlife with Archiy by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla and Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

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

I think so. You should analyze prose in the way you’d like your work to be analyzed. I think once you’re published and you interact with authors and the publishing business, you attach personality into your experience with these books, but you need to leave that at the door when you sit and read something. I do think it gets harder, though, to be completely objective. But that should always be the goal.

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

Sure, I’d love to write for film or TV. When not writing novels, I’ve written for comic books, which is a much more visual medium akin to writing a screenplay. A completely different way of writing that is more like putting a puzzle together. It works out another part of your brain.

PDB: How much research goes into each book? alexauthor (2)

It depends on the book. I always start out with the germ of an idea – like, “I want this story to really test Pete in this way,” and I know some of the broad beats I want to hit. Then I start to outline and pepper in other details. Usually that then dictates what research is needed.

I like to research real cases and crimes so the ones I present in my world read genuinely and are based in reality. It’s a challenge, but also part of the fun of writing. I also try really hard to be accurate in my descriptions of Miami. Even though I was born there, lots of things have changed in the last eight years, so the more time I spend away from Miami, the more I need to research to be accurate and true.

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

I like it for networking purposes and also to keep fans informed of what’s going on. It’s a great tool to connect with fellow writers, fans and the publishing industry. It does not, however, help me write and can be a huge distraction. So, it’s a double edged sword. It’s very easy to fall into a trap where that’s all you do and the next thing you know, you’ve written nothing new in a while!

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

A few short stories, revising and finishing up my second novel, Down the Darkest Street, and hopefully finishing a draft of my third Pete Fernandez book, Dangerous Ends. I have a few comic book projects that I can’t announce yet as well.

Bio: Alex Segura is a novelist and comic book writer. He is the author of the Miami noir novel SILENT CITY from Codorus Press and the best-selling and critically acclaimed ARCHIE MEETS KISS storyline and graphic novel, among others. He lives in New York with his wife and two cats. He is a Miami native.

 

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