John Wisniewski interviews Beau Johnson

JW: When did you begin writing, Beau? Did you write short stories?

Hi John, thanks for having me. I have written seriously the last ten years or so, once my youngest was out of diapers. It was then I found the time to get back to what I started before “life” (as I’ve been known to say) got in the way. I’m primarily a short story writer and have never published anything over five thousand words. One day I’ll crack the novel nut. You just wait and see!!

JW: Could you tell us about writing “A Better Kind of Hate”? What inspired this
Collection of stories?
Hmm. I would have to say Bishop Rider inspired A BETTER KIND OF HATE. I mean, once I’d written four or five stories about him and realized I had something with legs, well, things sort of took off from there. It’s been fun too, and I have always told his story out of sequence for some reason, so it’s always nice when pieces of his life I never knew existed start falling into place.
JW: How did you develop the Bishop Rider character, did you see him as your

Alter-ego?
Ha! I would say Bishop and I are as far from each other as people can get. I’d like to say I could go out and do what he does, but besides defending myself and the people who put up with me, I have too much empathy to vanquish people in some of the ways that he does. As for how he came to be, well, I came up with April Rider first, Bishop’s sister, and only after she is raped and murdered by six men in masks does he enter the fray. It’s a different kind of beginning, that’s for sure, but seeing where the big guy and I are now, I’d take it no other way.
JW: What makes a good pulp/noir story or novel? Any favourite pulp/noir authors?
Well, I think that may be more subjective than I like for a first date, John. I mean, we HAVE just met. Nah, I kid. For me it’s many things, a collection of sorts, but I guess I’d go with voice if pressed. Character coming in at a close second and plot for third. I also enjoy a good revenge tale, preferably with some dark humour thrown in. As for the names you require, there are just too many to choose from, too many greats out there, and I’d hate to miss someone and forever feel poorly because of it. However, I will mention my master, my great Uncle Stevie, and that it was his book Misery that put me on this path.
JW: What will your next book be about, Beau?
ALL OF THEM TO BURN is also a collection of shorts, but one which deals with Bishop Rider and Co. in a way that THE BIG MACHINE EATS and A BETTER KIND OF HATE did not. There are also other, unconnected tales, sure, but I found myself filling in some of the gaps in Bishop’s story, from close to the beginning of his struggles and right up to the end of his life. If might deal with a baton passing of sorts as well, but either way, as I’ve been known to say: the struggle will conclude.
BIO: Beau Johnson has been published before, usually on the darker side of town.  He is the Author of A BETTER KIND OF HATE and THE BIG MACHINE EATS, both published by Down and Out Books.  Look for Bishop Rider’s continuing struggles in ALL OF THEM TO BURN, coming 2020, also from Down and Out Books
beau johnson