AUTHOR INTERVIEW – Tom Pitts
THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF July Mystery Week Special!
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About the Book
Beaten and left for dead, young Steven finds himself stranded in a small Northern California town. When a mysterious stranger named Quinn offers a ride, Steven gets in the car and begins a journey from which there is no return.
Quinn has an agenda all his own and he’s unleashing vengeance at each stop along his path. With a coked-up sadist ex-cop chasing Quinn, and two mismatched small town cops chasing the ex-cop, Steven is oblivious of the violent tempest brewing.
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
Learning to type, actually. Way back in the mid-nineties, I had to learn to type for a job, and I refused to use one of those computer programs that taught you the old-fashioned way. I was on a lot of drugs, and there’s no way my mind could focus that long. So I decided the easiest way was to write a book. So that’s what I did. It worked too. I mean, I learned to type. As for the book, it’s still sitting on a floppy disc somewhere.
What genres do you write in?
Crime Fiction, crime thriller. I think I prefer the latter tag, it’s more applicable to what I do. I try to keep things moving, and the reader interested.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
True crime pulled me into crime fiction, strangely enough. There’s a book called the Westies by T.J. English, specifically. The criminals in it resonated with me because they felt real. They were drunken screw-ups, working class jerks, and a lot more like the bad guys I’d run across in real life. Being involved with criminals and petty crime while I was a drug addict, I discovered the reality of criminal life, and it was nothing like it’s represented in books, TV, and movies. I think in the last ten years, there’s been a movement toward capturing life at the bottom rung of the criminal ladder, but it’s still got a long way to go to break away from the kind of glorification you used to see with movies like The Godfather.
How did you break into the field?
I was dragged in kicking and screaming. I sent a story to a writer friend of mine named Joe Clifford. It was a story about being interrupted while shooting up in one of those pay-by-the-minute porn booths. He dug it and asked me to read at a series he hosted in Oakland. I got up there, knees knocking and hands shaking, and read and absolutely slayed. It gave me the confidence to push onward and start sending more stories out.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
A sense of what the criminal mind is really like. There are no masterminds, there are no evil geniuses. There are, however, a whole lot of lowlifes.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
When I’m about three or four chapters in and the story starts heating up and I don’t know where it’s going. It’s the point in a novel when the plot begins to broaden and new characters get introduced, to the reader and myself. It’s the thrill of watching my own tale unfold.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Carving out the time. I’ve still got to contend with the day job, my family, and all the little things life throws at you, so I’ve got to make sure I get that steady time in behind the keyboard. Right now, that means getting out of bed hours before I have to, daily. Writing a novel is a slow process, so consistency is paramount to progress.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Stop wanting, and start doing. Send something out to a small press or an online magazine. Especially the online mags. Having been an editor for several years at Out of the Gutter Online, I can tell you the online mags are always looking for content. Getting a story out there can light a fire under you to march forward to the next level.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
All kinds, but in truth, it’s been hard to keep a sense of variety up in the last few years. I’m immersed in my genre for many reasons and the weight of the to-be-read stack keeps me from spending time with non-fiction and other literature. It’s unhealthy, I know. The only thing cure is more reading. Fortunately.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find
interesting about you?
Shit, I was in a touring punk band back in the 80s, a junkie in the 90s who ended up on the street, a struggling dad while I dispatched taxis during the graveyard shift for the 2000s, and I’ve been a crime writer ever since. I guess gauging my life as interesting would relative to a person’s perspective. A lot of the other stuff people might find interesting I really can’t talk about in a public forum, but bits and pieces have been published here and there.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
My web address is tompittsauthor.com and I’m always out there on social media. If someone wants to ask a question or find a book, just whistle.
About the Author
Tom Pitts received his education firsthand on the streets of San Francisco. He remains there, writing, working, and trying to survive. He is the author of two novellas, Piggyback and Knuckleball. His shorts have been published in the usual spots by the usual suspects. Tom is also an acquisitions editor at Gutter Books and Out of the Gutter Online.
Find Tom Pitts online …
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Pitts/e/B009XOC82M/