Deja Vieux cover

Ep:046  David was born and raised in the Boston area, though he was fortunate to live in San Diego in the 3rd and 4th grades, where he was bullied into losing his “horrible” accent. His family moved a lot, but he considers his hometown to be Weston, MA, even though he was only there for 5 years of school.

He’s published nine books, including seven featuring New Orleans-based detectives Michel Doucette and Alexandra “Sassy” Jones. The most recent, DEJA VIEUX, was published in May. He’s a 5-time Lammy nominee, and won the 2010 Lammy for Gay Mystery for his second book, ECHOES.

He and his husband Brian moved to Kennebunk, ME, four years ago. His primary occupation is graphic design and branding strategy. In his spare time, he gardens, reads, watches the various permutations of LAW & ORDER, and practices guitar

Transcripts Available on Website

Deja Vieux by David Lennon

Soldier Down by Neil Plakcy

Simple Justice by John Morgan Wilson

Transcript:

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Brad Shreve 0:01
Welcome to Gay Mystery Podcast featuring interviews with renowned LGBTQ authors, and up and coming talent of mystery, suspense and thriller novels. I’m your host Brad Shreve. And Justine is here with her weekly recommendation. Before my interview with David Lennon this week, we’re going to hear from Justene as always with her weekly recommendation. Hello Justene

Justene 0:29
Hello, Brad, how are you?

Brad Shreve 0:31
I’m hot and sweltering but I’ll survive.

Justene 0:35
LA is really in the midst quite the heatwave

Brad Shreve 0:37
now, with the high humidity reminds me when I lived in North Carolina.

Justene 0:41
Yeah, it’s like a sauna out there. So I you know, you’re interviewing David Lennon and I recommended the first book in his Michel Doucette Sassy Jones, New Orleans investigations Quarter Boys several months ago. So with any luck People will have picked that up already and read it and the interview will be even that more much more interesting.

Brad Shreve 1:06
Absolutely. We definitely talk about the series in the in the interview.

Justene 1:10
So here’s what I got today. Soldier Down: a Mahu Investigation. It’s book 13, a Maki in the mahu investigation series by Neil Plakcy. And let me just say it’s book 13 Brad. And you don’t have to start at the beginning. This works very, very well as a standalone book. He just covers just enough of the background so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. He does a very good job of that a lot of a lot of authors spend way too much time recapping stuff instead of just telling you what you need to know for this book. So feel free to pick this up. This is set in Hawaii, the main character, Keno and this is going to be another hard word for me as we know how I mispronounce it. But Kimo canepa, aka kapa. haka. Yeah, I think that’s the Hawaiian pronunciation.

Brad Shreve 2:09
I’m sure you did better. I’m terrible with Hawaiian pronunciations.

Justene 2:13
Yeah. Well, he is a Hawaiian police officer. And his partner is a nice little side story about his partner Mike, who’s a assistant firefighter. They are co parents with a lesbian couple with twins between them a boy and girl set of twins. And so there is a nice B plot about the challenges of raising children in non traditional families. Because at some point the kids come up and say, so we think that one of the dads should live with one of the moms and the other dad should live with the other mom, and we can still go between and there’s a challenge in your life that you never really would expect.

Brad Shreve 3:00
It’d be tough

Justene 3:01
it’s gonna be tough. And then the A plot is a great mystery. So one of the lesbian moms is often Congress is a taken over stub year and is up for re election to the her own first term. And she is under the mentorship of a very senior high profile Congresswoman whose father died 50 years ago in Hawaii when he was a soldier on leave from Vietnam. And the Congresswoman can’t find any details even though she’s got access to the classified records. So she decides, oh, this great detective that this young congressman is talking about. He can solve this case, no pressure there. And somehow he gets assigned an FBI agent whose specialty is financial crimes, and they go down a rabbit hole That is is remarkable. And it’s real good old fashioned police work and how particularly frustrated cold cases. And they go down a lot of false paths and a lot of the witnesses are dead. And it is just a wonderful investigation. And you follow the clues and there’s a lot of insight to particularly how it was like in the Vietnam War for soldiers it also what it was like for gay men back then. And then, you know, as you as they find people still alive. They’ve all taken different paths in their lives in terms of how they lived out being a gay man in the years and the decades since the late 1960s. So we’ve got this all woven together in a remarkable way. And it’s just a great read. I sat down and it was one of those books where I read it straight through and didn’t have any regrets for the time that I put in. And it’s got an intriguing recommendation from me.

Brad Shreve 5:06
You got an intriguing recommendation? Yeah, sounds like I would really like it.

Justene 5:12
And and if you really want to go back and read all 12 books before you get to this Well, I can see that being a worthwhile endeavor. But if you just want to pick up this one, you got an interest in the Vietnam War era, or you like cold cases. This is good. All of all of his books are set in Hawaii. And all of his characters are typical of the mixed races that now inhabit the island of Hawaii.

Brad Shreve 5:40
Which is a great read. Sounds like a good read and a little escape to Hawaii, for those of us that aren’t there

Justene 5:48
who can’t get there just yet.

Brad Shreve 5:49
Yeah, absolutely. You have anything from ReQueered Tales this week?

Justene 5:55
ReQueered Tales is really excited that Simple Justice by John Morgan Wilson is being released next week. This is a top mystery. It won the Edgar Award for Best first novel when it first came out. And it has been rewritten, revise extensively by the author himself. And you know, Christopher Rice is doing the foreword. And we are really pleased to bring out this this powerhouse of a book.

Brad Shreve 6:29
Yeah, not many LGBTQ authors have gotten Edgar Awards, I would say it’s very few.

Justene 6:36
Well, he was the first one a very few, but he was the first.

Brad Shreve 6:41
Very nice.

Justene 6:42
Yeah. So preorder that now on Amazon.

Brad Shreve 6:46
Available for pre order. So yeah, Simple Justice by John Morgan Wilson. And the other was Soldier Down by Neil Plakcy.

Justene 6:56
Right. You got all the names, right.

Brad Shreve 6:58
I know. I’m proud of myself.

Justene 7:01
yeah, well, yeah, but you let me do the Michael Doucette Sassy Jones little trick there.

Brad Shreve 7:09
Yeah, even though David Lennon told me how to pronounce them, I always get it wrong. Yeah. So anyway, well, I’ll see you next week. Sounds good. See you then. We’re sponsored by ReQueered Tales, preserving our LGBTQ literary heritage, one book at a time. Check them out at ReQueered tales.com. David Lennon’s family moved a lot but he considered his hometown to be Weston Massachusetts even though he was only there for five years of school. He’s published nine books. His most recent Deja Vieux was published in May. He’s a five time Lambda Award nominee and won the 2010 Lammy for best mystery for his second book, Echoes. He and his husband Brian moved to Kennebunk Maine four years ago. His primary occupation is graphic design and branding strategy. Welcome, David.

David Lennon 8:15
Thanks for having me on, Brad.

Brad Shreve 8:16
Oh, it’s good to have you on. So I’ve got to ask about your series the Michel Doucette Sassy Jones New Orleans mystery series. You’ve written seven books in that series. Tell us about Doucette and Jones.

David Lennon 8:31
Okay, well, when the series first starts out, they’re homicide detectives who are partnered together. Michel is gay. He was born and raised in New Orleans by a single mother who had some emotional issues which definitely affected him. Professionally he’s established, his personal life is pretty much non existent. And he’s the sort of character who sort of prefers observing from the shadows because he’s a little bit afraid of getting to involved in losing control in life. Sassy. It’s actually an ironic nickname that was given to her by her grandmother because she was such a serious, quiet little girl. Sassy grew up in the swamps in a tiny town in the atchafalaya basin, moved to New Orleans for college and never left. And she’s sort of the emotional rock of the series. She’s steady, she’s calm, she’s more mature. She’s 15 years older than Michel and definitely far more comfortable with her emotions. At the same time, she doesn’t suffer fools. There’s seven books in the series. They’re set over an 11 year period in book time. And although Michel is the real main character, the focus does shift around a little bit. Some books are more Michel centric, some it’s totally equal. And Echoes which you mentioned won the Lammy is actually focused on Sassy. I think that even though Michel’s more main character Sassy is definitely not an sidekick you know, the series couldn’t exist without her.

Brad Shreve 10:03
Well, despite you’re moving around, I don’t think that you have lived in New Orleans, but you made it the setting for the series. Why there?

David Lennon 10:13
You know, I when the idea for the first book came to me, I was on my way back from a vacation down in New Orleans, and I met somebody who just moved to the city. I started thinking about, you know, what his life was going to be like there. The strange idea popped into my head, I wrote down some notes stuck in a drawer for seven years. So when I decided to, I wanted to write for a long time, but when I finally started, I just automatically set the first book, The Quarter Boys in New Orleans, but I was never thinking that it was going to turn into a series. And in retrospect, you know, it would have been a lot easier to write a series someplace where I’d actually lived because I do a lot of research. Fortunately, I do have some friends down there who can make location suggestions, things like that for me,

Brad Shreve 11:05
what’s one of those interesting things you learned in your research?

David Lennon 11:10
oddly, I didn’t realize and this actually sort of came up in the second book that how much of the city has to be built up high. Because, you know, they built it below the Mississippi River. So entire sections of it, you can’t have basements and unfortunately, I did have a basement in one of the books. So I you know, I learned you can’t do that.

Brad Shreve 11:37
Well, in your latest novel, Deja Vieux, did I get that correct? Okay. It’s currently available to purchase. Why that title? Tell us about the story.

David Lennon 11:47
Okay. The last book in the series was came out in 2012 – 2013. And at that point, I thought I was done. That I completed the story arc for the characters outside of the individual mysteries. So when I decided to go back to it, you know, obviously the known saying is deja vu already seen. And there’s a big element of that in this book because it takes place in the same setting as the fourth book Blues Bayou, I bring back a lot of the same characters. So that made sense. But of course, being an author, I want to put a little clever twist on it. So I went with Deja Vieux meaning already old. And part of that is that aging is a recurring theme in the book. Part of it takes place in a nursing home, but it’s also an expression of my own fear in revisiting the series because it’s like okay, is this smart? has its time already passed? In essence, is it already too old that I shouldn’t be doing it.

Brad Shreve 12:53
Now some series such as Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, she’s been 27 novels and I don’t think any time has passed whatsoever. But you have aged your characters 11 years since you started the series. Yep. Do you have to be cautious developing a character over time in the series?

David Lennon 13:14
Well, you do. I mean, personally, I think it’s more fun to read characters who evolve. But, you know, a lot of people like comfort food, they like what’s familiar. And so there’s always the risk that you’re going to go in a direction that somebody doesn’t like. And they may just leave the series even if, you know, if they trust you. You may eventually bring it back to something they want, but one false move, you can lose readers.

Brad Shreve 13:44
Did you take marketing into account when you were deciding on the series?

David Lennon 13:49
No, I really I really didn’t. You know, I didn’t. I wasn’t thinking about marketing at all. I mean, as I said, I didn’t wasn’t even sure I was going to be doing a series. It was a good year and a half after the first book before I I realized I might be able to do something with the characters again.

Brad Shreve 14:04
We’ve kind of touched on this quite a bit, but I want to go a little deeper. What are some considerations you have to take into account when writing a mystery series?

David Lennon 14:12
Well, I think one lesson I learned is you have to be really clear upfront about what it is that you’re writing. I hadn’t read any other genre fiction or genre fiction, before I started writing, so I wasn’t aware of the conventions. And if I had been, I wouldn’t have made the burgeoning relationship between Michel and Joel, so central to the first book, because it created the expectation for some people that I was writing MM. And that became a problem down the road when it was obvious that I wasn’t going to deliver a happy ever after. The other thing is figuring out where your focus is going to be. Is it on the mystery? Is it on the characters? Is it on some sort of a combination? Because as you mentioned with the Janet Evanovich novels, things happen in the character’s life, but the character doesn’t really change. And that’s the same sort of thing with Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie’s books, the focus is really on the mystery, but a series like, you know, either Henry Rios or the Benjamin Justice series, I would argue that the mysteries are almost secondary to what’s happening in the personal lives of the characters. I mean, they’re, they’re great mysteries, but they always are intertwined with what’s happening in the personal lives of the characters and they forced the character to a wall. So I think you need to have an understanding of what it is you’re hoping to accomplish with a series upfront.

Brad Shreve 15:45
Yeah, and things have actually changed in that way over the years. I remember reading a rules for mystery in air quotes from the 1920s. And one of the things they stressed is the story is not not about your characters. They don’t want to know your personal life. People want the puzzle. So, interesting change.

David Lennon 16:08
Yeah, I remember having a discussion with Drewey Wayne Gunn about that, that in a lot of the hard boiled classic mysteries. There might be a dame who comes along, but the detective never gets emotionally involved.

Brad Shreve 16:22
Well, you talked about reading the gay mystery genre, do you read much outside the genre?

David Lennon 16:27
I read mostly outside the genre. Most of my reading is mystery, but probably 80% of it is not gay.

Brad Shreve 16:35
How does that benefit you?

David Lennon 16:37
I think that within any any genre, and particularly sub genres, you have tropes, that if that’s all you’re reading, you can start to believe those are requirements that you have to include in your plot. And so potentially, we end up with the main character in every book being a sort of tormented loner who has a traumatic event. In his past that keeps him from becoming emotionally accessible. So I think that if you’re reading outside of it, you’re going to see there are other approaches into stories that you can have a wider variety of characters. You can stylistically approach things from a different perspective. I mean, not that all mysteries are stylistically the same, but you know, you can, you can actually write parodies of mysteries or romances, which tells you that there are certain approaches that are pretty common. So I think if you read other things like, you know, some stream of consciousness sort of fiction, how can you incorporate that into a mystery, so that it makes it just a little bit more interesting or a little bit different?

Brad Shreve 17:47
Yeah, the stream of conscious writing is becoming very popular these days. And interesting thing regarding tropes. Before I really started writing, I took a course on writing And it was given by the executive editor of a publishing house that I won’t name. And but she did it on her own time. And at first it was a good course. But then it became more and more obvious that she was saying, here are the slots just fill them in every story. And you’ll have a book.

David Lennon 18:23
So she wasn’t giving you a cautionary tale. She was giving you a roadmap.

Brad Shreve 18:27
Yes, exactly that if this if you want to be published, here are the things that must occur. So I was very disappointed in that class is kind of boring. Yeah, exactly. Well, it’s time for awkward questions authors get Okay, and you’ll need to step back while I spin the wheel.

David Lennon 18:46
Okay, now is this a real wheel that you have in your house?

David Lennon 18:50
Oh, of course. The Price is Right has nothing on my wheel.

David Lennon 18:55
I guess podcasts pay really well.

Brad Shreve 19:01
Okay, well, here we go. Okay.

Brad Shreve 19:09
Okay, your question is one of those that’s a little blunt. How come I’ve never heard of you?

David Lennon 19:17
Okay, well, now I know you don’t have a real wheel because you could not have found a more appropriate question for me. Um, yeah, I think it’s squarely on me. You know, when I started writing Well, when I started publishing, I did make an attempt to send out review copies. I put up a Facebook page as an author. And I tried to establish some relationships within bookworld. But I’m not comfortable with it. And what I discovered is I was really bad at keeping up the Facebook page, because I had nothing to talk about. It’s like, Oh, I’m writing. I’m writing. I’m writing, oh books coming out ta da. So I just I stopped making the effort. I really admire the authors who get out there and make connections and sell themselves. I don’t think that that’s a bad thing at all. In fact, you know, I, for a living I, you know, I encourage my clients to sell themselves all the time. That’s what how I make my money. But I just have a tough time doing it. When it comes to writing. It’s like, I finished a book, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s it. I don’t really think about them again. I should, but it’s a lost opportunity.

Brad Shreve 20:38
Yeah, and I’m not sure how much a Facebook page or a group really helps. I think it’s a piece of the pie.

David Lennon 20:46
Right? You have to have some sort of social media presence, I believe, and and I don’t have any at all.

Brad Shreve 20:52
Yeah, but if you look at some of the really popular authors and look at the number in their groups, their numbers look staggering, but then when you divide it by the number that probably read their novels, you really see that they’re reaching out to a very small group of people that I presume is part of the thing. But again, as I said, I think it’s a piece of pie. There’s a lot of other things that need to go with marketing. And as writers, we generally do not like marketing.

David Lennon 21:16
No. I mean, it’s, you have to create unless you just haven’t, sorry about that didn’t mean to bump the microphone. Unless you have an amazingly engaging personality naturally. It’s difficult to do. It’s almost like okay, I have to put on author face now. And what is that?

Brad Shreve 21:36
Yeah, and I’ve seen some courses on author marketing, and those are probably worth more time than the one I spent on how to write a novel or how to write a mystery novel.

David Lennon 21:45
But I have to say though, after listening to Cheryl, Head on your show, I just found her so engaging that I immediately bought her books.

Brad Shreve 21:55
She’ll be happy to hear that she actually was a lot of fun to talk with it. She was an easy conversation. Now you’ve written a couple of standalone novels, but you’ve primarily focused on Michel Doucetet and Sassy Jones over the years. Can we expect the new series down the road?

David Lennon 22:13
I don’t I don’t know about another series. I I’ve had an idea that I’ve been kicking around for a long time. It’s a set in the 70s. The main character is a young woman cop. But I don’t know if I have it in me to develop it right now. You know, my writing is really slowed down. I used to be able to get the first draft done in a couple of months. Now that it’s like two years. So I don’t know but double definitely mean more books in the Michel Sassy series, and maybe a few other one offs.

Brad Shreve 22:48
You work full time, and you’ve published nine novels over the years. Kind of said you are holding back a little bit is how are you able to bounce your job with your writing

David Lennon 23:00
It’s, it’s difficult. I am pretty, pretty good at maximizing time. So, you know, when I wake up in the morning, unless I’ve got email waiting for me that has to be taken care of for work. I’m good at blocking everything out for a few hours until I get my writing done. It’s purely an illusion that I was at all prolific because, yeah, it’s nine books in 10 years, but written over 13 years, and there have only been three books in the last six years. So it’s not as difficult to balance the time anymore, because I’m not writing nearly as much.

Brad Shreve 23:41
I don’t know whether it’s true, but I heard recently that the typical writer who writes a series or wants to write more than just a novel, they stop at three for whatever reason. Now, I don’t know if that’s true, but if that’s that is true, you’ve beaten them.

David Lennon 23:56
Wow. Almost three times over.

Brad Shreve 23:59
Yes, and so good on you. Do you read the reviews?

David Lennon 24:07
No, I don’t. I did in the beginning. But even the good reviews never said the things that I hoped they would. You know, when you’re writing, you know what goes into it, you know what your intentions are, you know, the things that you hope people will recognize. And when they don’t they focus on something else, even if it’s great. It’s like, Oh, God, how come they didn’t see that? I did that. And then of course, you’re always going to remember the bad reviews weigh more than the good ones. So I just found it was it was making me not feel good about being in bookworld.

Brad Shreve 24:48
Yeah, it really can bring you down and I learned now from those who have gone before me that not to read my reviews, but allow somebody to read them and give me a synopsis of what people say.

David Lennon 25:01
Makes sense. That makes a lot of sense.

Brad Shreve 25:03
Yeah. If there’s a recurring conversation that’s going on, that can be good, but don’t read them yourself.

David Lennon 25:09
Yeah. I mean, I obviously I see the value in criticism. You know, particularly if you’re missing the mark on something with your books over and over again, then you should take that into account. But so much of the criticism that you see on things like Amazon, it’s so subjective. And, and oftentimes, the people just don’t seem to know what it is they’re getting into. It’s like, oh, there’s too much gay content in this book. Like, well, it’s a great book. What were you expecting?

Brad Shreve 25:39
Yeah, I had another interview with someone who said they were criticized because the book, it was a gay novel. They were criticized because the book was too male. I don’t even know what that means.

David Lennon 25:55
You can’t be too male as far as I’m concerned.

Brad Shreve 26:00
So you’ve been nominated quite a few times for the Lammy’s. And you won once. But you told me that the Lambda Awards have changed over over the years that they used to have a set number of nominations. But they changed it based on the number of nominations by the number of submissions. Now, yes, the number of submissions that they get, though, change the nominations based on how many they get submitted, submitted. Yep. What are your feelings regarding that decision?

David Lennon 26:30
A part of this comes from what I do for a living, which is, you know, the branding side of things. If you’re going to position yourself as the most prestigious Literary Award LGBTQ Literary Award. I think you have to be really careful to make sure that everything that you are promoting anything that you’re putting your stamp of approval on, is really worth it. And that starts with making sure that you have a enough judges and that there qualified, and then just making sure that the only books that get nominated are the ones that that should. So as soon as they jumped from, I think it used to be three to five nominations, and then they went to some sort of a percentage. So, you know, I’ve been a judge, and the year I was a judge, I think there were 41 submissions. And they told us we had to come up with eight finalists, and there were five books that we all thought were great. And then there were three that was like, they’re okay. But we have to nominate them because that’s what they’ve told us. So now as a as a nominee, because I think I’ve been nominated twice since then. It made me wonder, you know, was this really that good? Or was I one of the Okay, good enough sort of people. So I think that it’s damaging for for credibility purposes. Even though I’m sure that you know, you have more nominees, you can sell more tickets. And obviously they need to bring in money. So I do understand it from a strategic standpoint, but I think it devalues the award a little bit.

Brad Shreve 28:09
When you judged, that for the Lambda Literary?

David Lennon 28:12
Yes,

Brad Shreve 28:13
you kind of touched on but share that experience.

David Lennon 28:17
It’s a lot of work. They actually asked the year after I won for Echos, they reached out and asked me if I wanted to be a judge the following year. And I guess that’s how they used to find the judges, they would look at the pool of people that were nominated the previous year, and see if they could get some of them to participate. So at that point, I was putting I was submitting a book for that year, so I didn’t do with that. But a couple of years later, I was contacted and asked if I want to be a judge. So then I said sure, you know, you guys have been very good to me. I feel like I should give back. But it’s it’s a difficult process because it’s a lot of books. You don’t have a ton of have time to read them. So you do have to kind of skim through a little bit, and then figure out, you know, after 20 – 25%, whether you have the time to continue with a book, or whether it’s obvious that the quality is just not there. And then the the actual judging process, from what I hear differs from group to group. I mean, we put together all of the judges put together their comments onto a spreadsheet, assign grades, and then we actually went through them had discussions, figuring out you know, who our top choices were.

Brad Shreve 29:37
Well it’s an awfully big commitment, commitment as a writer, if you’re reading 41 books, which I can’t imagine because you have only a certain amount of time to read that many and try to do your own thing.

David Lennon 29:49
Yeah. I decided that I would not write during that time period.

Brad Shreve 29:53
I don’t, I don’t see any other way.

David Lennon 29:56
And I’m blown away at some of the categories. You know, it’s like women romance, you know, they have 100 submissions some years. How do you possibly get through that?

Brad Shreve 30:06
I would have no idea. What novels Do you believe are underappreciated?

David Lennon 30:12
Well, I can’t I wouldn’t say necessarily underappreciated because she she’s gotten a lot of awards. And I guess she sold a lot of books back home, but I don’t know too many people outside of Scandinavia who read Ann Holt, and I think that her Hanne Wilhelmsen series is amazing. It’s, I think, 10 books. She started publishing them in 93. And the most recent was 2016. The main character is a lesbian Detective Inspector in Oslo. She’s brilliant, she’s abrasive. Sometimes you just want to scream at her and then the next minute she does something totally endearing. And what I love about the series is the evolution Have the character that she does age in time. So you know, you’re talking about a 23 year period where she loses a wife to cancer gets into new relationships and ends up in a wheelchair. And the I think it’s the eighth book, which was oddly, the first one published in English is first person, the rest of the series is third person. So it’s great because in that one book you actually get inside Connie’s head, because oftentimes, you’re wondering, What is she thinking? And you finally get to find out what she’s thinking and it’s so cool.

Brad Shreve 31:40
No, I’ve never heard of an author doing that writing it from one perspective and then change it in the next novel. That’s interesting that she did that. Yeah. similar situation with one of my favorite authors is Lawrence Block. He’s not a gay mystery author. But he his novels, if you talk to other writers, they know him and he’s one Numerous numerous awards, including the Edgar award, but when I talk to the general public, nobody’s ever heard of it. So it sounds sounds a lot like Ann Holt. You’re getting the accolades but for whatever reason, they’re not getting enough people that know who they are.

David Lennon 32:15
Yeah. I also wonder about about Val McDermid. The year that I won the Lammy she also won for lesbian mystery, and she got the Lifetime Achievement Award. But I had never heard of her before then, and her books are wonderful. And her Carol Jordan Tony Hill series has been made into the TV series Wire in the Blood. But I still don’t know anyone else who reads Val McDermid.

Brad Shreve 32:43
Are there any queer Mystery Writers that have inspired you over the years?

David Lennon 32:48
I can’t say initially, because I wasn’t aware of them. You know, I say it sounds really stupid egotistical, but when I decided to write it mystery, I thought it was coming up with something totally new. And then when I started looking for publishers, I discovered that, oh, there’s these other books out here. They’re these other people. So I think I was already old enough. I was in my 40s at that point, but how old was I? 45. So I think that your your writing is formed earlier or you’re being inspired to be a writer obviously happens earlier. That said, once I started reading the canon, you know, Joseph Hanson, and John Morgan Wilson and Michael Nava, and R.D. Zimmerman, that really inspired me it did, you know, it didn’t necessarily change the way I wrote. But I just thought, wow, these books are so good. And they go so much deeper than what I would have expected. So that inspired me and then When that damn Marshall Thornton came along that inspired me to because I’m kind of competitive and so when something good came along it I tried to raise my game

Brad Shreve 34:13
yeah I’m I did the same I look at those that have won awards are doing extremely well and like you said I don’t try to plagiarize but I it definitely encourages me to improve my writing skills.

David Lennon 34:26
Yeah, yeah Jeffrey Round Jeffrey Round inspires me to I think he’s very good and Gary Ryan is his Detective Lane series.

Brad Shreve 34:37
Well, I had a very similar journey. I wanted to write a mystery with a gay character and I didn’t know it existed either. And what happened in my case was I started writing towards male male romance novels because I thought that’s all there was. And I was going to allow my mysteries always been my thing. So I was gonna allow my character to have a mystery. But I felt like getting by to read it and enjoy it, I was gonna have to go the male male route. And it took me it took me forever to write that novel. And I ended up not writing that novel once I learned others are out there, such as yourself and other writers. And I ended up having to redo the whole novel from a genre that I wanted it to be because I learned Hey, other people are doing it. Yeah. I was very grateful for that.

David Lennon 35:27
Yeah, wish I’d known earlier. What was out there I owe a lot to to Drewey Wayne Gunn. He was sort of my my guru and introducing me, too. What had come before me.

Brad Shreve 35:39
Well, David, it’s been a pleasure having you on the show, as always, that 30 minutes goes by so fast.

David Lennon 35:45
Thank you so much for having me on, Brad. I appreciate it.

Brad Shreve 35:52
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