PDB: Can you pitch ALL THE WILD CHILDREN in 25 words or less?
Crime, glitter-rock, sex, drugs, parenting, guns, summer of love, 1970’s, 50 years, one mad life writ large. Noir memoir. Introduction by best mate Tad Williams.
PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
Music: As always The Clash, Pogues. Lately Admiral Fallow (Scottish band) has become my go to for a certain whimsical writing mood.
Books: Storm Giants by Pearce Hansen blew me away. Abide With Me by Ian Ayris is a stunner, for all of us who grew up in rough, violent worlds. Wrong Goodbye by Chris F Holm, is out of my genre, but man this cat can write. Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them. By Julian Sher. I’ve been reading a lot of devastating interviews with teen street walkers for the 3rd Moses McGuire book.
TV: OK shoot me now, Walking Dead, Justified and Downton Abbey (embarrassing but true).
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
Hell yes. I know a book is great when it shuts down my writer brain and just takes me on a ride. I am a voracious reader, but only for research, or pleasure. Good prose makes me grin, bad makes me hurl the book across the room, a habit my Kindle is stopping, much to my wife’s relief.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
Yes and no. I have spent my professional life in the film industry. Seen the good the bad and the petty. I wrote a few films. The experience was always painful in the end. I don’t think that is intrinsic in film, just my personal experience. I also recognize that there are good people are out there and it would be fun to work with them. So if someone wants to make a Mosses McGuire novel into a movie, bring it on.
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
Tons and tons and tons. All the Wild Children I spent fifty years researching. Ok, it is a memoir so the research was basically living as wild, dangerous and funny a life as I could. For the crime books I am dogged about first hand interviews, hanging with the players I write about. I don’t do as much research on tech, it’s all about being honest about and for the people of the streets I walk.
PDB: How useful or important are social media for you?
Huge, it is where I have met some of my best friends, smart writers and readers willing to share what they know freely. It has opened doors, but more it has given me a community. I’m ambiguous about it as a marketing tool. I think books sell one reader at a time. Write a book that strikes the right tone and your readers will evangelize for you. If I want to sell more books then I need to constantly be raising my game.
PDB: What’s on the cards for 2013?
All The Wild Children is all consuming at the moment. Years of hard work and bam it is in the world. After that I’m balls deep into One More Body (McGuire #3). I hope to have that out in the fall. I have a stand alone cooking, it started with a short story in the Feeding Kate anthology. That may be 2014’s book, unless I win the lotto and can write full time.
Find out more about Josh Stallings here.