I’ve got another author q&a to share with you all today and its the turn of Steve Brewer, whose latest book Side Eye was published in May 2017.
About the author:
STEVE BREWER is the author of 20-plus books about crooks, including the recent crime novels PARTY DOLL, LOST VEGAS, THE BIG WINK and CALABAMA.
His first novel, LONELY STREET, was made into a Hollywood comedy starring Robert Patrick, Jay Mohr and Joe Mantegna. BOOST currently is under film/TV option.
Brewer’s short fiction appeared in the anthologies DAMN NEAR DEAD, THE LAST NOEL, CRIMES BY MOONLIGHT and WEST COAST CRIME WAVE, and he’s published articles in Mystery Scene, Crimespree and Mystery Readers’ Journal.
A former journalist and syndicated humor columnist, Brewer now works as a writing coach, book doctor and University of New Mexico lecturer. A frequent speaker at mystery conventions, he was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in 2011.
Married and the father of two adult sons, Brewer lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA.
Check out Steve’s Amazon page HERE.
About Side Eye:
Josh Nieto celebrates his 18th birthday by walking out of Juvenile Detention and into a sweet job as the driver for an elderly loan shark named Malcolm Hunt. But when Hunt’s Dixie Mafia past catches up to him, Josh finds himself in the middle of a blood feud.
“Steve Brewer’s latest is a bare-bones tale of murder, deceit, and betrayal. A prison-hardened member of the Dixie Mafia has tracked down the man he blames for his incarceration, and he intends to get his pound of flesh. The only person who can save the man’s life is a kid just released from juvenile detention, but he’ll have to risk his freedom to do it.” — Bill Fitzhugh, award-winning author of HUMAN RESOURCES
“Fast-paced, fun, and funny, this caper is another must-read from the master.” — Edgar Award-winning author Charlie Price
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Arkansas, but have spent most of my adult life in Albuquerque, NM, and in Northern California. Most of my 30 books are set in those locations. I worked as a journalist through my twenties and thirties. Started trying to write fiction on the side when I was 30. Quit full-time journalism at 40, but started writing a weekly humor column that ran nationwide for 10 years. Do you see a pattern with these round numbers? I turned 60 recently; no telling what will happen next.
My wife and I live in Albuquerque, not far from the University of New Mexico, where I teach in the Honors College. We have two adult sons who make us proud.
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I started in newspapers, but around age 30, when I was working for the Associated Press in San Francisco, I caught the fiction bug.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Real-life news stories provide a lot of the jumping-off points. Then it’s a matter of asking “what if” until I’ve got a plot.
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
I write books about crooks, often with a comic twist. I wrote nine tales featuring bumbling private eye Bubba Mabry; the first one, LONELY STREET, was made into a 2009 Hollywood comedy starring Jay Mohr and Robert Patrick. I recently published three crime novels under the pen name Max Austin for Penguin Random House’s Alibi imprint. My new book, SIDE EYE, is about an 18-year-old orphan who gets hired to be the driver for an Albuquerque loan shark who’s losing his eyesight.
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
Yes, but not enough. We’re all flailing in an ocean.
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Dreaming up the story and writing the first draft. The rest of it is work.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
The vagaries of the publishing industry. I’ve had a roller-coaster career.
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
I’m not sure, frankly. I’ve certainly slowed down lately.
What’s next for you?
I’ve been thinking about doing more short stories.
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
Like most people these days, I spend too much time staring at news reports on my phone. But I have always loved to read, especially crime fiction. Right now, I’m reading Don DeLillo and Sam Wiebe.
Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
“The Hunter” by Richard Stark
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Pretty much everything by Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake/Richard Stark
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching and grading papers. Overseeing the rehab of a 70-year-old house that we bought a few years ago.
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I love to listen to music – jazz, blues, rock – and I’m a big fan of basketball and football.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
These days, we mostly stay home or visit relatives. But I do love the California coast.
Fried okra. You can take the boy out of the South …
Coffee with too much sugar in it.
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
I’ve spent my entire life writing; I’m not sure I can do anything else. Nothing else gives me the same creative charge. But I do love teaching, and I recently doubled my teaching load to two classes per semester. I teach an Honors writing workshop every semester as well as upper-level courses on the creative process and American crime fiction. Great fun.
Many thanks to Steve for taking the time out to answer my questions! 🙂
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