Thursday, November 26, 2015

"Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded" by Clay Stafford

Killer Nashville Noir:
by Clay Stafford, editor

Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a giveaway and my interview with our featured author, Eyre Price. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Bestselling authors Jeffery Deaver and Anne Perry join rising stars like Dana Chamblee Carpenter and Paula Gail Benson in a collection that proves Music City is a deadly place to be when your song gets called.
Every year, some of the biggest names in the thriller world converge in Tennessee for the Killer Nashville conference, an event where stars of the genre rub elbows with their most devoted fans, where the bestsellers of tomorrow pick up tricks of the trade, and where some of the best writers of today swap dark tales of good deals gone bad, rights made wrong, and murder in all shades ...
This collection of new stories features some of the biggest names in suspense, from bestsellers to ferociously talented newcomers. Grouped around the classic theme of murder, Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded is a first-class collection and a must-have for fans of the genre.

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Praise for the Book
"Murder, mayhem, and mystery! Every story in Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded is filled with suspense, sizzle, and startling twists. I loved it!" ~ Lisa Jackson, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Chicken nuggets of suspense. Both reviles and intrigues." ~ Jennifer Puryear,
"“Reading and reviewing Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded provided me a succession of spectacular and special thrills. Not only are included stories by 21 excellent authors, all dedicated to writing the best story possible; editor Clay Stafford is the founder and driving motivation of Killer Nashville. This annual conference unites bestselling authors with those yet to be published, and with fans, connecting a vibrant network of authors and readers in a seamless never-ending symmetry of words. Reading Mr. Stafford’ s  inspirational introduction redoubled [retripled] my enthusiasm for sharing books and authors." ~ Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes of Mallory Heart Reviews
"Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded is possibly the best crime anthology of 2015. Quite often, a book of this type will have several good stories, a couple of tolerable ones, and at least one that the reader will skim past. This was not the case with this book. 'In Plain Sight' by Jefferson Bass was my favorite. I have long had an admittedly strange fascination with the Body Farm, so a mystery set there was perfect. It was so good I hated to see it end." ~

Featured Story: "Sad Like a Country Song" by Eyre Price
When desperation, aspiration, and alcohol mix, Jimmie Dallas steals a song from another up-and-coming musician named Golden Boy. When he hits it big in Nashville – largely from this song – Jimmie gets an unexpected visit from the original songwriter, Mr. Atibon, who convinces Jimmie that fame isn’t always what one thinks – especially when one bargains with the Devil. Eyre Price, the author of the Crossroads Thriller series, shows a side of Nashville that few rarely see.

Interview With Eyre Price
Eyre Price is joining me today to discuss his short fiction, "Sad Like a Country Love Song",which appears in Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded (Diversion Publishing, 2015), a crime anthology edited by Clay Stafford.
For what age group do you recommend your short story?
That’s a difficult question to answer because age is a relative guide to evaluate a reader’s maturity and readiness for certain subject material. My short fiction "Sad Like a Country Song" doesn’t contain any obscenity or graphic violence - if that’s the standard - so I would think it would be appropriate for readers of any age. The main character Mr. Atibon, however, is taken from my on-going Crossroads Thriller series (Blues Highway Blues, Rock Island Rock, Star Killer Star) and all of those titles are true to their subject matter and contain a fair amount of language and violence. 

What sparked the idea for this short story?
I lived in Nashville for some time and I was always struck by the stories I heard about a narrow alleyway that connects the famous Ryman Auditorium with the infamous honky tonk, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. There are legends of Hank Williams and other country greats slipping back and forth between the two during a Saturday night of shows and it always seemed to me that this alley must be a portal of sorts.
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the short story?
For this particular short story, Mr. Atibon, who appears in all of my novels, obviously came first. But generally speaking for me as a writer, the story comes first and then the characters present themselves to populate that idea. With my debut novel, Blues Highway Blues, the idea and story were headed one way and the mysterious Mr. Atibon completely came out of nowhere and unexpectedly hijacked the entire story. I’m still trying to get rid of him - without any success.
What was the hardest part to write in this short story? How long did it take you to write this short story?
There was nothing difficult in writing "Sad Like A Country Song". The story came to me all at once (as my writing often does), and I wrote the entire thing in probably under an hour. I maybe spent another hour or two just polishing, but it was one of those projects were I quickly realized that the more effort I put into, the more I was taking away from the work as a whole. This time, I was smart and simply let the first draft stand on its own.
How do you hope this story affects its readers?
I don’t believe in the supernatural. That is to say that I don’t think there’s anything that cannot be explained. At the same time, I think that the world in which we live is incredibly complex and that extraordinary happenings are rather commonplace - most people simply overlook them. So I have always intended my writing to open my readers’ eyes to the possibility that there may be far more to our experiences than most people are willing to acknowledge. My ultimate goal is to have my readers look at completely ordinary things (i.e., an alleyway) and see the fantastic possibilities they contain (i.e., a portal to karmic justice.) And, of course, I want to give my readers an entertaining read.
What is your writing routine?
I am a single dad, so my writing routine is really dictated by other requirements. Usually it’s relegated to a time late at night when my son is asleep and the "day job" is done. Truth be told, that suits me fine. I’ve always written in the darkest part of the night and can’t really conceive of someone sitting down to write as a 9-to-5 job. That sort of schedule would take away some of the magic for me.
How did you get your books published?
I got published the same way that everyone gets published: I persevered. I took all of the rejections (twenty years or more) and put them aside. I kept writing and kept moving forward. Eventually, the universe aligned and I was able to secure the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency to represent me, and shortly after that they were able to get me signed to a multi-title deal with Thomas & Mercer.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
There’s only one piece of advice you can give: Write. All the time. No matter what. Just write. Write.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a single dad, so that to me is Job One. The best time is time I get to spend with my son, walking the beach, kayaking, talking about everything under the sun.
What does your family think of your writing?
My son is my biggest fan.
That't great! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I had the same childhood that a lot of writers have had. I spent a lot of time alone in my room writing. I was first published at 13 and had a weekly column in my hometown newspaper, so I’ve just always been writing.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I did. But I’ve never been a bookworm. I’ve always been too consumed with my own stories to spend too much time in the worlds created by others. For me, the real joy is in the creation, not in experiencing someone else’s vision.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I suppose they did, but I’d be afraid to think too much about it. I regard my Muse as kind of a separate entity. I’m afraid that if I thought too much about it and picked apart its genesis, I might inadvertently silence it. And every writer’s greatest fear is the Muse will go mute.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Again, I’m aware of what King and so many much more successful writers have to say about studying the craft, but intellectualizing the process would be dangerous for me. There is, however, one exception: Robert Pobi (Bloodman) totally reworked my thinking and my approach to writing - and he’s scarier than King.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I’m technologically impaired, so I just don’t have the apparatus to talk to fans as often or as easily as I wish. Of the communications that I’ve had, the best was hearing from a man in the UK who said he’d always been a Blues fan and always wanted to visit the Delta, but my book Blues Highway Blues was the force that drove him to actually take that trip. Since then, I’ve had a number of people tell me that they were inspired to take the trip outlined in that book and that’s been incredibly rewarding for me.
Fantastic! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m working on a project now with a number of other people that will be quite a departure from the usual subject matter for me. At the same time, my son and I are working on the first installment of a YA series. And I’m hard at work on, One Bad Mofo, the next entry in my Crossroads series, in which ol’ Mr. Atibon is back to raise more hell.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Eyre. Best of luck with your future projects.

About Eyre Price
Eyre Price is the author of the award-winning, international chart topping Blues Highway Blues as well as other entries in his Crossroads Thriller series, including Rock Island Rock, and Star Killer Star. Price is an attorney and single dad. He and his son, Dylan, live in South Carolina’s Lowcountry with a collection of dogs and cats in a little house not far from the sea.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of eight ebook copies of Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded.

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