If there was ever a book that belonged in the Blogger Book Fair, this is it. When The Deep Purple Falls is a novella that Ed Aymar posted a chapter at a time online. His MC killer seems like your neighbor, brother … anyone!
1) Why did you decide to put up your work–not a sample but a full book–for free? Have you enjoyed the blog format?
Thanks for those kind words! I wanted to give people a chance to see my style before my novel comes out in the fall, and “free” is an easy sell. The response to the prequel has been terrific, which is awesome, but now I’m kind of thinking I should have charged, like, a dollar a chapter. Because Doritos aren’t free.
I do like the serial format. A lot of writers (and publishers, most notably Amazon) are experimenting with serial fiction, and I think the style has been helped by the renaissance of good TV and its weekly format. The one thing I did, that I recommend, is writing the book before I sent the first chapter out into the world. You want to make sure you finish the story, and if it’s unfinished, it might stay that way. That’s not fair to readers. Plus it gives you more time for editing and crafting a better story.
2) My fave line from the opening is when this brutal hitman, perhaps a serial killer, says, “Something about my life had started to bother me.” Do you think that this brutal protagonist has something relevant to say about life–to everyday readers?
That’s a really good question. I think he does. One of my turn-offs in reading are perfect heroes. I hate it when the protagonist is always one step ahead of his or her enemies, and never in any real danger, physically and, especially, morally. My protagonist, Frank / Bardos, does a lot of things that are evil. But I also took pains to show another side of him. He ends that first chapter distraught that his ex-girlfriend has found someone else, and I think readers can easily relate to emotions like that (or others that develop in later chapters).
I think, in a general sense, male writers (especially male crime writers) are guilty of making characters that are wired for only male readers. Love is expressed through sex, females are ancillary, emotions are absent. Their heroes are stone, but literature should be the chiseling into that stone. Hopefully my protagonist reveals an emotional depth that people find both compelling and necessary.
3) Artists Angela Del Vecchio and Janet Bell both contributed illustrations to the story. Has their artwork, inspired by the story, also contributed to it’s ongong development?
When the Deep Purple Falls was written before their contributions, so I wouldn’t say that their artwork contributed to the development of the story, but definitely to the development of the book. An illustration from Angela’s murderer’s row of characters is on the cover page of every chapter, and Janet’s photographs (showing scenes from locations in the story) are on the final page of each chapter. In the spirit of collaboration, I didn’t give them any real guidance. Ange had a few different ideas before deciding on the murderer’s row, and Janet’s eye was the deciding factor with the photos. I didn’t want to be the art director; just a contributor.
4) You have lived all over the place and studied writing. What is it about your background that drove you to write this story?
Baltimore, really. I’ve never lived there, but the city has always held a romantic side to me. I even proposed to my wife there. Baltimore holds a mix of beauty and charm and depression and struggle that appeals to me and speaks to the characters. When the Deep Purple Falls takes place throughout Maryland, but I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is a Baltimore-based novel.
5) Now that we know you, give us your pitch.
When the Deep Purple Falls is a thriller. It’s about a hit man who, at the same time that he’s questioning his choice of career, loses his girlfriend and realizes that his faith in his boss may be misplaced. It’s a comedy! Not really, but there are some funny moments. You can read it at my site or at Juke Pop Serials Visit Juke Pop Serials (I’d also appreciate it if you voted for it on Juke Pop; I don’t ask for much).
6) Your first novel is due out his fall from Black Opal Books. Tell us about it and how it relates to When the Deep Purple Falls?
I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is a revenge story gone bad. Tom Starks’ wife was murdered three years ago and is released from prison on a technicality. Starks decides to seek revenge, and hires two hit men to do the job for him (well, one hit woman). When the Deep Purple Falls takes place just before the time period in I’ll Sleep and tells the story of the two assassins Starks hired.
7) What’s your flavor: Dexter or Hannibal Lechter?
Ha! I’m not sure either. But there is a third, lesser-known character I like – Lawrence Block’s current serial protagonist, John Keller. I’ve admired Block for a long time and the Keller novels are fascinating and even endearing. Well, maybe just endearing to me. I hope that doesn’t make me weird.