Surviving, trying to avoid the kind of characters who inhabit my fiction and writing more stories. Always more stories.
PDB: How did you research SKULL FRAGMENTS?
Research was fairly easy on this one since the stories are set in a fictionalized version of my hometown. And somehow I’ve known my fair share of criminals and unsavoury characters.
PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?
Breaking into Ellery Queen was a huge moment for me because I’ve been reading the magazine since I was a kid. Plots with Guns became a home, and I was knocked out to be chosen for Best American Mystery Stories. One of the strangest was definitely Esquire Ukraine. They picked up a reprint. I never saw that one coming.
PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?
Film: Blood Simple or The Big Lebowski. Song: “Frank’s Wild Years” Tom Waits. It never fails to make me smile. Television Show: Recently, True Detective Season 1. Book: There are just too many to name although the Collected Stories of Flannery O’Connor and Jim Thompson’s Savage Night jump to mind.
PDB: Is location important to your writing?
Location is extremely important to me. Environment plays a huge role in shaping characters, and I’m most at home when I’m writing about home.
PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?
I try not to. I don’t always succeed in resisting the temptation, but I put up a good fight.
PDB: What’s next?
More short stories. I love the form.
Bio: I’m a native of Muhlenberg County in the south-central section of Kentucky’s western coalfields. After a few years of knocking around, I completed my degrees at Murray State University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. My fiction has appeared in numerous literary quarterlies , Ellery Queen and Plots With Guns, and a number of other places. Two stories have been included in Otto Penzler’s Best American Mystery series. I’ve won the ITW”S Thriller Award in the short story category and received an Edgar nomination and two Shamus nominations in the same category. I currently reside in my hometown with my wife, my kids and my seriously neurotic dogs. Skull Fragments is my first collection.