... Jeff Carlson
1. Tell me about your book Shrike and where you got your inspiration for it?
For 30+ years I had in me the concept of someone who is one person during the day and someone completely different at night. In time, I came up with someone who avenges those wronged who didn't or couldn't get help from the police.
2. If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would you sing?
Cara Mia by Jay and the Americans. There's just something about that song that makes me want to belt it out, my inability to sing notwithstanding.
3. What is one misconception people have about you?
There are those that think I'm quiet and shy. That may be true until you get to know me - by that time, your life as you knew it is pretty much over.
4. Are the titles of your books important?
Extremely so. If they don't mean anything to me, how can they be important to a potential reader?
5. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that dreams die horribly.
6. Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I did not enjoy most of my childhood. So, since I didn't like reality, I found that I could create my own and I carried that ability and desire into adulthood.
7. Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Indeed I do. Despite what Writers' Digest and triple-doctorate holders say, continue to be a champion of the English language. Follow the rules of usage, grammar and punctuation. Let your writing be to a student an example of what good English is. Some super-educated people will tell you not to worry about what you and your parents learned about English since the language is "evolving." Bull. It is up to a writer to keep the English language from devolving.
8. What are you ambitions for your writing career?
Blue sky: I'd love for Shrike to become famous enough so that I might find the encouragement to finish the novel I started before I lost my joy.
9. If a two year old hands you a toy phone, do you answer it?
Indeed I do. I don't stay on long, as most two year olds don't have unlimited plans.
10. Where would your dream vacation be?
Sweden. My family's history started there.
11. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
Fried Green Tomatoes. When Ninnie Threadgoode talks about people being 'scattered to the four winds,' my eyes grow misty.
12. If you could bring someone famous back from the grave, who would it be?
My brother. I would try harder to convince him to keep living.
Set in present-day Raleigh, North Carolina, Shrike is the story of one young woman's overcoming tremendous physical, emotional and logistical adversity to defeat evil incarnate. When Taryn Spire and her best friend learn that some banking executives plan a cybercrime to embezzle funds from the North Carolina State Fair, the adventure begins. A botched attempt by the perpetrators to silence them permanently leads to a dramatic transformation for Taryn - watching a television program featuring a video clip of a shrike with its prey destines her to become a crime fighter. With the help and the love of an unlikely ally (a motorcycle salesman), Taryn, as her alter ego, dispenses a unique type of justice.
Jeff has aspired to be a writer since his grade school days. He lives in North Carolina's Piedmont Triad. When he's not thinking about writing, he likes ice hockey and traveling. Shrike is his first novel.
Facebook - www.facebook.com/JArthurCarlson