I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Which authors inspire you?
“I like dark humor and a literary writing style. Genre doesn’t matter to me if the book is well written. Favorite authors include Denis Johnson, Raymond Carver, Bret Easton Ellis, Dennis Lehane, Cormac McCarthy, Walter Tevis, David Benioff. Favorite female authors include Kate Braverman, Kate Christensen, Lionel Shriver and Jennifer Egan. There’s more. I’m a voracious reader.”
If you could write in any other genre what would it be?
“I love books that are genre benders, stories that overlap the boundaries between genres. My favorite is a dark crime novel with a touch of romance. And satire, ironic humor makes a dark book more enjoyable for me. I love Irish writers. They seem to capture everything I like in a story.”
How much research was involved in writing the book?
“Whiskey Sour Noir took some research because I wanted to learn about the history of whiskey (Interesting stuff, actually; I learned about Scotch while I was at it!). I also studied up on the Gulf Stream. Current scientific research suggests that this important flow cycle up the east coast of the U.S. and across to Europe may be stalling, perhaps due to global warming. Dilution from melting ice and rapidly warming seas are causing changes in the flow. This could spell dramatic temperature fluctuations in the near future. Or it might not. I decided to let the potential for crisis serve as background tension for the love story between Cat Avery and Tami Lee.”
Who is your favorite fictional character?
“Tyler Durden. From Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Because Durden represents the angry part of ourselves that we like to deny. I love how the author brought that to life and then enflamed the world with it. No wonder the book is a cult classic.”
What is your favorite book?
“Too many to list! I like different books for different moods, but if I fall in love with a book I will read it over and over. I’ve read The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye many times. Both of those books seem perfect to me. Perfectly rendered characters, perfect writing and timeless stories.”
What are you reading at the moment?
“I just finished Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo. Lovely and intimate, a great little novel. So now I am reading her other novel, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. These books are fictionalized memoirs of her life as a peasant in rural China, a young actress living in Beijing, and a girl in love with a gay man in London.”
Do you have any advice for other writers?
“If you are serious about being a writer, you need to read, read, read. And try to read books from all genres by both male and female authors. Yes, there are differences—and we can learn from them. I always tell my clients (I’m an editor) and new writers to practice, practice, practice. We all need to take time with the craft. Anyone can write, but to write well takes a lot of time and effort. And desire. The best thing about writing is that it’s such a healing act. It’s like dreaming, allowing the mind to create order out of chaos. It’s good for the psyche. So I encourage anyone who has the urge to go ahead and do it, make time for your writing.”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
“Writing in general is a challenge for me. I started by writing textbooks and nonfiction books for all ages, and that was hard enough. But fiction writing is really difficult. It’s not easy to create believable characters who can evoke real emotion in readers. But that’s why I love writing. I love a challenge!”
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