John Wisniewski interviews Mark Slade

WITCH FOR HIRE PUBLISHER'S FINAL COVER

When did you begin writing, Mark?

I was about 10 years old. It was after seeing the Twilight Zone for the first time.

Any favorite authors?

Ray Bradbury stands out as my fav. I’m also a huge Ross Macdonald, Ed Mcbain, Rod Serling, Robert E. Howard.

Could you tell us about writing “Mr. Zero“, Mark? What inspired you to write?

Its book 1 of my Barry London series. London is a fixer for the mob.  He’s sent to his hometown to help out a crooked cop and find out who torched a nightclub.

I’d been reading a lot of crime books.  Especially the Parker series by Donald E Westlake. And a lot of old 70s film and tv shows. Initially London is the mafia’s private detective.

How did you create the Barry London character?

Barry London is the name of someone who was a security person at a job I had. I joked with a co worker that he really worked for the mob.

What makes a good suspense/crime novel?

Boy that’s a question im not educated enough to answer. I just fashion my stories on what my idols wrote.

What drew you to suspense/crime writing?

The writers I mentioned. A lot of culture from the past inspires me. Sometimes news items. Sometimes conversations with people.

A lot of movies and TV drew me to the genre. Rockford Files def had an impact. Plus my mom was really into mysteries. My brother got me into Ross Macdonald and Ed McBain. I loved the Lovejoy series from the British. And when I started writing again, Paul D Brazill and T Fox Dunham had a big impact on me as well.

Could you tell us about writing “Mean Business“? How did you see this story?

I wanted to do a series of short stories about Barry London. Flesh out his world. Have Mr. Choaladi send London to diff places. In the story Mean Business I knew I wanted London to meet hillbillies and tangle with snakes. Luckily those stories appeared in an anthology a time for violence. Switchblade mag, Punk Noir, nd a few other places. 

Are there any film noir/crime film’s that you like?

Oh there’s so many! L.A. Confidential, Angel Heart, Marlowe, too many to list. I love all the old Black and white films. Paul Thomas Anderson has a few, but I really like Inherent Vice. Coen Brothers, David Lynch.

Can we talk about “Witch for Hire” which has an occult theme? Is this a subject that interested you?

Well, I’ve written more horror than crime. So writing about a witch who is a detective seems natural. Its the first real novel I attempted and it took a year and a half to write. I love the cover Cameron Hampton painted for me. Funny, I thought that book would have more purchases because it has a female protagonist. And occult story. Evelina Giles and her Reporter friend and her assistant Mungo solve a string of murders tied to a town in Virginia that disappeared during a flood.  A lot of plot twists I cant give away.

mark slade