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Duane Swierczynski

Sunday, November 6, 2005


: Jan Long
duaneswier: Duane Swierczynski
g_so: Gerald So
macavityabc: Bill Crider
mysdawg2003: Aldo Calcagno
raybanks77: Ray Banks

mysdawg2003: What part of the touring has been the most interesting so far?

duaneswier: Good question. For me, it's the surprise factor. Like that friggin' box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. The most interesting experiences have been the oddball events: the home invasions, the bar signings.

mysdawg2003: Any groupies?

duaneswier: Hah! Not unless you count Dave White. But actually, he's more stalker-ish than anything. Especially when he stands below my bedroom window at night. Whispering.

mysdawg2003: When does Dave have time for that? OK, right then, Are you in the process of anything new and are you able to write on the road?

duaneswier: Well, most of my tour dates have been local, so I can still write at home. I'm hitting the road in a few weeks, but I plan to bring a laptop and write along the way. And I'm finishing up... finally... novel #3.

macavityabc: So, Duane, what's the next book.

duaneswier: It's called THE BLONDE, and it's set in the same universe as WHEELMAN. Though it's not a sequel. A minor character from that one pops up in this one. If james cain and Woolrich teamed up to write a chick-lit novel, it'd be something close to THE BLONDE.

raybanks77: Is it true that your heist book was found in a getaway vehicle, or is that just more self-mythology?

duaneswier: Ray, that is completely true. I'll dig up the link if you want...

g_so: Wow.

raybanks77: I just thought that was incredibly cool.

macavityabc: Yeah, but the guy was caught. Didn't I see on your blog that he was successful up to the time he read your book?

raybanks77: ?

duaneswier: This is a long link, but...

g_so: Continue, Ray.


duaneswier: Yep, he had a nice run until he foolishly bought my book. Poor bastard.

mysdawg2003: ?

raybanks77: Are you done with non-fiction now you're a fiction hound? And what happened to GOODISVILLE?

duaneswier: I miiiiiiiiiiight return to nonfiction at some point (in book form), but I'm having too much fun with fiction right now. Al and I are turning GOODISVILLE into a Broadway-style musical comedy. Nathan Lane IS.... David Goodis

raybanks77: So it'll be GOODISVILLE! then

duaneswier: Yes!

g_so: Go ahead, Aldo.

mysdawg2003: In your day job as an editor of a newspaper, do you ever draw inspiration (or persiration) from stories that are filed?

duaneswier: Definitely. There are parts of THE WHEELMAN heisted from real life. Not to ruin anything, but a certain character is smeared with peanut butter at one point? That's from a real news story.

mysdawg2003: Are any of them too weird to publish that you would like to share in the future?

duaneswier: I haven't run across a story that's too weird to report...

macavityabc: After reading Secret Dead Men, I don't think anything's too weird for Duane to publish

raybanks77: Yep, the soul in the toilet seat was... interesting.

duaneswier: ... but there are some that I think wouldn't fly as fiction. Just too ridiculous.

g_so: next q anyone?

duaneswier: That was just me acting out a fantasy, Ray. I'll say no more.

raybanks77: ?

g_so: go, ray.

raybanks77: I often ask this, because I think it's a telling question: you ever break a guy's nose?

duaneswier: You assume I have, but it's just not true

raybanks77: You never broke a nose?

duaneswier: I did split one guy's lip, though.

duaneswier: Cut it on his braces. I was in fourth grade.

raybanks77: Ever killed a puppy by stroking it too hard?

duaneswier: Nope, never broke a nose. Unless... did I break your nose at B'Con, Ray?

mysdawg2003: lol

duaneswier: That was just "rough play"

raybanks77: You didn't, but you did look like you were going to at times.

macavityabc: Just remember the "safe word."

duaneswier: I think your first words to me were something like, "You're a freaking monster..."

g_so: next q?

mysdawg2003: Thanks G

raybanks77: Well, I expected a short, stocky guy.

macavityabc: ?

duaneswier: That's just too funny.

duaneswier: Shoot, Bill.

macavityabc: What with the day job and all, when do you find time to write novels and Broadway musicals?

macavityabc: And how many words or pages a day do you write?

duaneswier: It's always been a night thing with me, even in high school. I do most of my fiction writing between 10 and 1 am. When I'm being a good boy, I try to hit 1,000 words. I've done as much as 3,000 at a time. If I'm being a loser, it's more like 250 to 500.

macavityabc: We old guys have to hit the hay by 10 p.m.

mysdawg2003: or the hay hits us.

duaneswier: Believe me, I'm feeling like that way more and more.

g_so: next q?

mysdawg2003: ?

g_so: go aldo.

mysdawg2003: Noir Night? What is it? Who is it? why should I spend my hard earned money to go?

duaneswier: Ah, Noir Night is the stuff of legend. It's been pushed back to May 2006 (I think)

raybanks77: (and why wasn't Banks frickin' invited...)

macavityabc: But you're coming to Houston sooner that that anyway, right?

duaneswier: But Bill can tell you how cool the first one was. Ken and Jason and Dusty Rhodes and Al Guthrie in the same room?

duaneswier: Yep. I'll be there signing with Steve Brewer (author of BANK JOB) on Dec. 8th. Can't wait.

macavityabc: Is that the original "noir night" date?

duaneswier: Banks, you know you're invited...

duaneswier: Yep, Bill. Exactly.

macavityabc: I'll try to be there.

duaneswier: That would be terrific. It's a bit of a drive for you, isn't it?

macavityabc: Only about 40 minutes.

g_so: next q?

mysdawg2003: OK, party at Criders afterwards. I'll bring the Diet Pepsi

duaneswier: Cool. The first noir night was my first-ever appearance as a fiction guy, and it couldn't have been better. Huge crowd (mostly thanks to Ken)

raybanks77: ?

duaneswier: And the crowd really seemed to have a good time. Then we stayed up way too late drinking and reading from each other's books.

mysdawg2003: ?

g_so: go ahead, ray.

raybanks77: Sorry, folks - my keyboard packed up. I was going to ask: What's been your favourite moment in your fiction career so far?

duaneswier: That's a tough one.

raybanks77: I never said it would be easy.

duaneswier: But I think it has to be the sale to St. Martin's. I'm still have chills.

raybanks77: Did you giggle like a girl?

duaneswier: Not that the sale to Point Blank wasn't cool, but I always suspected Al was just humoring me.

raybanks77: I know that feeling.

duaneswier: Speaking of Al... he's the giggler.

raybanks77: Only if you tickle his belly.

duaneswier: When something amuses me, I break a nose.

g_so: go, aldo.

mysdawg2003: You met Mr. Connelly in NY at one of your signings. Did Mike recognize you?

duaneswier: Nicely planted! Yes, he did, which was really weird. I'd only met him once, and it had been months. Of course, he did know I was in town, because we were dropping in at the same stores throughout the day. The coolest thing was, he bought a copy of WHEELMAN at Black Orchid and left it there for me to sign it.

g_so: next q?

duaneswier: I was just gobsmacked.

duaneswier: One thing that's really impressed me is how... except for Banks... how incredibly generous and cool people in the mystery community are

raybanks77: I thank you... Hey, WAIT A MINUTE!

g_so: q?

duaneswier: You're even nicer, sweet cheeks.

raybanks77: Shucks.

macavityabc: ?

g_so: go ahead, bill.

macavityabc: Read any good books lately?

mysdawg2003: Damn, bar question

duaneswier: I'm reading a fantastic one right now. Robert Ferrigno's PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASIN. It's just brilliant.

macavityabc: I've read two or three of his books. He's good, all right.

duaneswier: It's about the US in 2040, when we're divided into an Islamic nation and a conversative Christian nation.

macavityabc: OK, that's a lot different from the ones I've read.

mysdawg2003: Have you read Neil's PYSCHO book

duaneswier: I'll read whatever Ferrigno writes. The first two novels that turned me on to crime ficiton back when I was a teenager were Joe Lansdale's COLD IN JULY and Ferrigno's HORSE LATITUDES. I haven't read Neil's book yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I need to make sure I'm in a stable state of mind first. It might put me over the edge.

mysdawg2003: JAN!

calgflames: Hi, sorry I'm so late.

macavityabc: ?

duaneswier: Hey, Jan!

g_so: go ahead, bill.

macavityabc: What other Lansdale books do you like? If the list isn't too long, that is.

duaneswier: Oh geez, he's another favorite. I just re-read ACT OF LOVE, and thought it was terrific. So fast moving.

macavityabc: Geez, I remember reading that one in manuscript, many years ago.

duaneswier: THE DRIVE-IN books are essential. As are the Hap and Leonard books.

macavityabc: I just got THE DRIVE-IN 3.

raybanks77: Have you seen BUBBA HO-TEP?

mysdawg2003: IS DRIVE IN 3 out yet?

duaneswier: I can't wait for DRIVE-IN 3. And (he says, shame-facedly) I haven't seen BUBBA yet. I must.

raybanks77: Shame, shame, shame.

duaneswier: I haven't even watched SHAUN OF THE DEAD yet. It's sad.

mysdawg2003: bought the dvd for the missus.

raybanks77: SHAME SHAME SHAME!

duaneswier: (Lowers face into hands. Weeps.)

raybanks77: As well you should...

macavityabc: And don't forget "Incident on and off a Mountain Road" on Showtime. Great stuff.

duaneswier: Before PRAYERS, I finished COLD LIGHT by John Harvey. He's another brilliant one. On top of that, his Charlie Resnick is a Pole, so what's not to love?

raybanks77: A jazz and meat loving Pole.

mysdawg2003: Not sure why Harvey doesn't have a larger following here.

duaneswier: I can't figure it out, either. His books are very American, actually.

g_so: next q?

duaneswier: Set in Nottingham, sure, but as far as style...

duaneswier: Don't be afraid. I'll answer pretty much anything. (Instantly regretting saying that, with Banks in the room)

raybanks77: ?

duaneswier: See?

raybanks77: Heh heh heh

duaneswier: Shoot, Ray.

raybanks77: So we're looking forward to THE BLONDE. After that, do you have anything planned? How many books is the St M contract for? And what about short stories? Seems like everyone's in an anthology these days...Three for the price of one - bargain.

mysdawg2003: nice

duaneswier: The contact is for two books; I'm hoping they'll re-up, because I have three ro four more books in my "Perp Series" planned

macavityabc: ?

duaneswier: And after the Blonde, I do want to take some time and write a bunch of short stories. Go ahead, Bill.

macavityabc: What about a paperback sale of WHEELMAN?

duaneswier: I just learned last week that SMP will be doing it in paperback next fall. Trade paper. Which is a thrill.

macavityabc: Great news!

mysdawg2003: ?

duaneswier: Definitely. I had been hoping for mass market.. I just think it would be easier to sell... but I'm thrilled either way.

macavityabc: Trade paper is the wave of the future. Trust me.

duaneswier: Really? I worry that it's still too expensive for an impulse buy.

mysdawg2003: Without a doubt!

duaneswier: And I'm an unabashed lover of mass market paperbacks.

mysdawg2003: HBs for us collectors.

macavityabc: Me, too. But Lansdale says trade paper has made him a lot of dough and brought a lot of readers.

duaneswier: Well that's good news. Here's something odd, though: my editor Marc told me SMP does very few hardboiled/dark/etc. stuff in mass market which is why ken is in trade paper.

macavityabc: And selling well, I'll bet.

raybanks77: Is dark more literary now, you think?

duaneswier: But then i thought about it, and Dan Simmons' Joe Kurtz books are in mass market, and so will Dusty Rhodes' DEVIL'S RIGHT HAND.

raybanks77: I hope so - I want to buy a leather jacket with corduroy patches on the elbows.

duaneswier: That's the question of the year, Ray. It all gets silly after a while. Here's another strange thing: In Barnes & Noble, I'm in fition/literature, but in Borders, it's mystery.

macavityabc: Nobody at the chains actually reads books.

duaneswier: I'm not sure how I feel about the B&N placement. I like being exposed to more readers, but feel a bit like a traitor to the genre.

raybanks77: Pfft.

duaneswier: Hah! I've never had a problem with being a genre guy. I like genre!

macavityabc: Another Lansdale bit of wisdom: being in fiction/lit is better than being in the genre racks, for sales.

duaneswier: That's what I've been hearing. I put my faith in Champion Joe.

macavityabc: You can't lose that way.

raybanks77: Also, you can get away with not having a plot if you're on the literary shelf.

mysdawg2003: Lets hit up a couple of these stores each and move Duane's book to the front table

duaneswier: Phew! (wipes sweat from brow)

g_so: Go ahead, Aldo. Sorry, someone at the door.

duaneswier: It's me at the door, Gerald.

g_so: "I'm chatting. Go away."

mysdawg2003: That right Gerald, I had to knock at your door for the ?

duaneswier: Want to make sure it's actually you.

mysdawg2003: forget the damn question

duaneswier: Hah!

mysdawg2003: ok, speaking of anthologies, I here that you are going to edit one. Spill the beans

duaneswier: nicely done, El Jefe.

raybanks77: He's sneaky.

duaneswier: Okay, I guess this is the first public announcement of this from me...but half of you already know, so what the hell. I'm editing a anthology called DAMN NEAR DEAD, which will be geezer noir stories. It'll be published by David Thompson's Busted Flush Press.

mysdawg2003: The man has no life

duaneswier: I owe two people in this chat feedback on their stories... (ahem, cough cough) But that will be coming very soon.

macavityabc: Pins and needles.

raybanks77: You've been busy.

mysdawg2003: lol, I sent one?

duaneswier: So far, it's an incredible line-up: Bruen, Lippman, Billingham, Gorman, a certain Mr. Crider, a certain Mr. Banks

raybanks77: Well, those are all stellar names. Should prop up the dross like Banks. Should he make it into the anthology.

duaneswier: Banks will definitely be in the anthology. I'm trying to finish up THE BLONDE first, but after that's off to SMP, I put on my editor hat.

mysdawg2003: When you hit LA, are you planning any invasion signings in the Valley, home of porn?

duaneswier: If there's a home that needs invading, I'll be there.

raybanks77: Especially if it's a home of porn.

duaneswier: Aldo has generously offered to be my Wheelman when I visit LA in two weeks.

g_so: That's cool.

duaneswier: He wants to hit bookstores. I say we knock over Piggy Wigglies.

raybanks77: No money in bookstores.

calgflames: Duane, I'm in a state of shock. I'd give anything to live where you do because of the Phils....and you couldn't care less about them! Be still, my heart.

duaneswier: I'm sorry, Jan. I'm a disappointment to my mother, too.

mysdawg2003: Snatch and grab Kilbasas

calgflames: Hopefully if you ever do a signing in this area, I'll be able to hear you. :)

duaneswier: Now you're talking, Aldo.

mysdawg2003: Jan, he is coming our way

duaneswier: That's right...

calgflames: When and where?

duaneswier: Mysteries to Die For, Nov. 19th, 3 p.m. And the Mystery Bookshop at... possibly noon (Aldo, we'll have to talk first. Bobby is game for noon, but I didn't know about your sked.)

mysdawg2003: Dude, I got the mini van gassed up, let's roll

duaneswier: Excellent.

macavityabc: Gotta go. Had a great time, Gerald. See you guys later. Maybe Duane in December. And I might be blogging about Ray's THE BIG BLIND in a day or so, having read it this weekend. Nice work, Ray.

duaneswier: Thanks for stopping by, Bill.

calgflames: Bye, Bill.

raybanks77: Yikes, you actually BOUGHT it?

g_so: Thanks again, Bill.

duaneswier: Hope to see you in December....

mysdawg2003: Damn fine piece of literary fiction

(16:09:15) macavityabc left the room.

duaneswier: Thanks, Gerald. I'd better go, too. Family beckons...

g_so: Thanks, Duane and everyone.

duaneswier: Thank you Gerald. This was a lot of fun.


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