Sunday, July 23, 2006
lunchboxhero007: Bryon Quertermous
MWhite8482: Dave White
Odo6140: Gerald So
MWhite8482: So how did you come up with the idea for the story, Bryon?
lunchboxhero007: The idea for the story actually came from PEOPLE magazine
MWhite8482: do tell
lunchboxhero007: it was a story about a kid who stole a collectable rifle from a friends dad and sold it to buy drugs and the dad actually went looking for it and found it and got the judge to lessen his sentence
lunchboxhero007: the dad went mainly looking in the suburbs but I started thinking about what would happen if he had to go into the nastier neighborhoods to look for it
lunchboxhero007: a few months later I was itching to start writing a PI short story because I hadn't done so in almost six years and felt it was time
lunchboxhero007: and I thought that gun might make a nifty macguffin for a PI and rolled with the story from there
lunchboxhero007: Mark Farmer (originally Dallas Ellington) came about because I was sick of Kenny Shepard. I had this real young character that was starting to bug me and I knew if I wanted to do a bigger, more complex novel, I would need a more complex character so I thought I could play around in short story form to get a new character
lunchboxhero007: by the time I was done editing the short story, I was well into the novel featuring Dallas Ellington and the two characters weren't at all alike. The short story takes place in Flint, MI and I wanted a Flint PI that I could work with.
Odo6140: I see.
lunchboxhero007: Mark Farner is the vocalist and lead guitarist for the Flint-bred band Grand Funk Railroad and thought the name was a nice tribute since I like naming my characters after musicians.
Odo6140: and also common enough to not necessarily be a reference.
lunchboxhero007: I'd like to do more with Mark and explore his character more because I really have no idea what his backstory is. I know hes divorced and has a daughter and was recently fired as a cop and that's it.
Odo6140: and also common enough to not necessarily be a reference.
MWhite8482: so what's next for mark then? any idea?
lunchboxhero007: as soon as I'm done editing the first Dallas Ellington novel, I'd like to go back and write another Mark Farner story. Something that deals directly with his past.
MWhite8482: now what's the novel about?
lunchboxhero007: I can tell you're asking questions for the archive and the audience, Dave, because you already know what it's about
MWhite8482: uh. and if i have brainlock?
lunchboxhero007: that probably wouldnt surprise me either.
MWhite8482: not my fault you can't attract a crowd.
lunchboxhero007: so about the novel...The Scars We Carry is about a former child-star from the 80s who tunred to life as a cop after he was scarred in an attack in the early 1990s.
lunchboxhero007: When a production company comes to Detroit to film a True Hollywood Story-type about Dallas and his new PI agency partner, the producer is killed and it starts to look like its connected to Dallas's attack.
MWhite8482: hmmm I see.
Odo6140: what's your writing process, Bryon, and how does it differ from story to novel?
lunchboxhero007: for novels, I pretty much just try and knock out a first draft blind. I have a vague idea about the story and just start writing, discovering the plot as I go along.
lunchboxhero007: the same thing goes for shorts as well, though I sometimes have an ending in mind
MWhite8482: endings, huh?
lunchboxhero007: I didnt write short stories for a period of about six years, four of which I spent rewriting my first novel LUNCHBOX HERO, from scratch about six different times
MWhite8482: ouch six times?
Odo6140: I see.
lunchboxhero007: I only got back into them in the last couple of years to try and hone my writing skills and work on my endings. I find short stories are much more reliant on a successful ending and my first few tries out of the gate proved it
lunchboxhero007: yeah, Im a slow learner
Odo6140: doing fine from where I stand.
MWhite8482: so what's on the agenda for mr. q
lunchboxhero007: much of the sucess of Mr Saturday Night Special is due to the extensive editing it got under Gerald's eye while it went through the submission process at a different magazine
lunchboxhero007: I've never really been much of a rewriter on short stories so this helped me turn my brain that way and carried over into the next couple stories I wrote after it.
Odo6140: Oh, glad to help. I have to rewrite everything.
MWhite8482: Gerald just re-wrote that post.
lunchboxhero007: next up is hopefully the revisions for the novel. I have a story called "Murder Boy" out on submission to Neil Smith for his post-modern pulp issue of the Mississippi Review
lunchboxhero007: and I'll have a story out next year in Detroit Noir from Akashic Books (hopefully)
Odo6140: what's the status of Demolition?
lunchboxhero007: it's in the can write now and should be live later this evening
Odo6140: oh, good.
MWhite8482: detroit nnoooiiirrrrrrrrr nice
Odo6140: there really should be a NJ Noir.
MWhite8482: Jersey NOIR
lunchboxhero007: yeah I'm very excited about that, but trying hard not to get too excited until contracts are signed and everything
MWhite8482: ah yes contracts
lunchboxhero007: there's a bunch of places that could still be tapped. if everything goes through, this will be my first piece of paid fiction.
lunchboxhero007: okay, what other questions are there?
Odo6140: what/who were your influences?
lunchboxhero007: well until late in junior high, I was mostly a science fiction fan and that came across in my early writing. I read a bunch of fantasy stuff, too, but the dual discovery of Robert Parker and Robert Crais forever turned me into a crime writer.
MWhite8482: how'd you come across them?
lunchboxhero007: my uncle John who is the only other writer I knew growing up. he's an amateur sci-fi writer and was very encouraging to me. He gave me my first two typewriters and a bunch of books.
lunchboxhero007: hes the main reason why I started off writing sci-fi at first even though I really didnt have a knack for it
lunchboxhero007: hes also the one who turned me on to Michael Connelly
lunchboxhero007: and graphic novels which were a huge influence as well
MWhite8482: interesting new tidbit of info about Bryon
lunchboxhero007: which one? btw, I'm on a dialup connection at my parents house so dont get too worried if I disappear for a bit at some point
MWhite8482: the John stuff was interesting.
lunchboxhero007: oh right, yeah my uncle rocks, hes getting the dedication in my first book
MWhite8482: not Raymond Embrack?
lunchboxhero007: how about you Gerald? where did your early inspiration come from?
Odo6140: I started by writing espionage stories, basically as a fan of Bond and the Saint, Mission Impossible, U.N.C.L.E. They were barely edited.
lunchboxhero007: interesting, that explains your first novel and CJ Stone
Odo6140: I like period for some reason.
lunchboxhero007: any relatives or friends who encouraged you?
Odo6140: not really. My inspiration was an 8th grade classmate who had a book published in our school library. That switched things on somehow. I didn't realize I would be jealous.
lunchboxhero007: lol, jealousy fuels us all
MWhite8482: so I hear.
lunchboxhero007: I've been much more productive since Dave's news
lunchboxhero007: I do tend to be envious of people, but not so much jealous
lunchboxhero007: my envy does tend to fuel me through the hard patches of writing
lunchboxhero007: so whats everybody reading besides Playboy?
MWhite8482: Immoral by Brian Freeman
Odo6140: Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii.
Odo6140: How is Immoral?
MWhite8482: not bad... just started it yesterday.
Odo6140: I want them to do Firefly books.
lunchboxhero007: I've got a copy of Immoral lying around somewhere
lunchboxhero007: Have you watched any more episodes of Psych, Gerald?
Odo6140: Yeah, I've seen the two so far. Good stuff.
Odo6140: It's good to see a character with no angst.
Odo6140: or at least angst he deals with actively.
MWhite8482: okay guys I gotta go... catch ya later.
Odo6140: Bye, Dave.
Odo6140: Thanks for this, Bryon. Sorry about the low turnout.
lunchboxhero007: no problems, thanks for this opportunity.