Short, Sharp Interview: Scotch Rutherford

Scotch Rutherford headshot 1PDB: Can you pitch YOUR NEW BOOK in 25 words or less?

Switchblade Issue 1—the very latest no-limit crime fiction anthology. Featuring the very best in the business outside the big 5; a real steal for only $6.95

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

I wish I’d written the script for “Heat” (Michael Mann) A film that inspired the 1997 North Hollywood bank shootout, and was most famous for Pacino and Di Niro’s first scene on film together. It’s a brilliant piece of work, filled with pure style. The downtown LA shootout scene was probably the most accurate and dynamic depictions of combat on film, next to “Saving Private Ryan. Cast-wise it’s got everyone—except maybe for Michael Madsen. “Heat” is my top pick for contemporary film noir.

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

Well, being a fledgling author who’s yet to make the leap from short fiction to novel-length prose—I think any talk of scripts based on the novels I haven’t written yet is kind of putting the cart before the horse. However, I do have a finished short script adapted from my short story, “The Pareto Principle”, which appeared in Pulp Modern 10.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

You know, I just love the kind of authors who can take the reader to a pivotal plot point, and then switch gears completely, denying the reader of any possible dissatisfaction in knowing what’s going to happen next. Christa Faust does this flawlessly. I also love authors with a knack for humanizing unlikable protagonists—Jim Thompson does this very well, and so does Lawrence Block, whose “Hit Man” series is one of my favourites. I’m also a big fan of tech noir, and Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon series is one of the absolute best in that genre. If you haven’t read these books, they’re a little like PKD’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep thrown into a vat of hard boiled hydrochloric acid.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

What do caviar and Michael Jackson have in common?

They’re both black and come on little white crackers. Okay, so that was a little off-color, but I’m not exactly known as a man of taste. Sadly, I can’t claim that one, it isn’t mine.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Megalomania by Black Sabbath, off of the Sabotage album. It’s a layered piece about religious deprogramming, and one man’s interior struggle between the ego, and the id. It’s incredibly melancholy for about the first two minutes, then Bill Wards percussion builds into a fist pumping tempo, and once Tony Iommi’s guitar kicks in it’s like the roar of a high performance muscle car, taking a sharp corner—practically going off the rails, before Ozzy even starts to sing. And then it gets really good.

switchbladePDB: What’s on the cards?

Failure—and then success. And isn’t that what we all want? Bad news before the good news.

PDB: Anything else?

Yes—check out Paul D. Brazill’s Brit-Grit flash fiction piece, Getting Away With It, between the pages of Switchblade 1 

Bio: Scotch Rutherford is an independent screenwriter and short fiction author, out of Los Angeles. His fiction work has appeared online and in print. He is the creator and managing editor of the quarterly noir anthology, Switchblade.