H Tucker Cobey completes the list of the guest authors who I met through Undeath and the Detective. That book contained his first published story! So...
What inspired you to start writing?
I literally don't even remember--it was that early--but for a while there I put it down, and I remember very well what inspired me to pick it back up. In sophomore year of college, a friend of mine posted on my Facebook wall, saying only, "Tell me a story." I sat down and banged out the first thing I'd written in two years at that point, and sort of never really stopped.
Do you have another job (paid or otherwise) apart from being an author? If so, how do you juggle your time?
Good Lord, yes; I have two. No one I've talked to wants to publish my actual books, so I've got to work. I split my time between being an SAT prep instructor--the SAT being a somewhat important standardized test in the US--and a martial arts instructor. I juggle this by trading writing for sleep.
What does it feel like watching your first book fledge and leave the nest?
I'll tell you when someone publishes my first book. Seeing it happen to my first story was pretty awesome, though.
Are you character or plot driven? What do you do if one of your characters starts developing at a tangent?
I've never really understood what it means to be either. I'm honestly just sort of... driven. I sit down at my favorite Dennys with a set of headphones and an infinite supply of iced coffee, and like eight hours later I have a few thousand words. What happens in between is kind of a blur.
If you were in a tight corner and had to rely on one of your characters to save you, which would it be and why?
Deacon, from "Undeath of a Salesman." I have a variety of high-powered characters among the things I've written, but Deacon unequivocally *would.* That there is all the difference.
If you had no constraints of time and a guarantee of publication, what book would you write?
I would trade it for Cog Killer, a complete manuscript sitting on my hard drive that is my favorite thing I've ever written. Seriously, if anyone out there knows a literary agent (or, blessing of blessings, you are one) who'd be interested in a cyberpunk detective noir fair-play mystery, please tell me. I'm having a devil of a time finding one on my own.
Is there a classic book you started and simply couldn't finish?
Many of them. I went to a college predicated on reading classic books, and many just didn't do it for me. Among the most embarrassing are Crime and Punishment and Don Quixote, which are of course books that every educated person must absolutely love because of course.
What’s your favourite historical fiction book? And why?
Though choosing between O'Brian and Forester is always a trouble, and choosing between their individual works an even greater labor, my heart belongs with Master and Commander simply because I've served as crew on a brigantine that matches her given dimensions to a few feet, up to and including the "queer sort of half-deck." There are things O'Brian gets wrong, certainly, but so much more he gets right--and in so many moments, he captures the spirit of the experience perfectly.
What’s your favourite mystery book? And why?
This may be cheating a bit, but easily the most well-used and looked-through volumes on my shelves are the Baring-Gould "Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Vols. I and II." While I'm not sure I could add significantly to the praises already sung about Conan Doyle's famous detective duo, I'll certainly take this opportunity to talk up William S. Baring-Gould's wonderful annotations. They significantly add to my enjoyment of the stories, yet are almost totally unintrusive--a rarity in any annotated edition.
What's your next project?
Heck if I know. Trying to get my manuscript published, I suppose. I'm always on the lookout for anthologies to write for as well.
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