Today I’m interviewing Robert Downs, author of mystery novel “Penchant for Vengeance”. Welcome to my blog!
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Even though I’ve been a reader all my life, and I wrote song lyrics, or really bad poetry, since I was a teenager, I never tried to write books, until I watched Finding Forrester. Instead of starting small, I decided to either go big, or go home, so I wrote a novel. It’s probably my biggest book to date (or at least it was until I removed 90% of it), and it has been reworked multiple times, yet it’s still not a publishable piece. But I didn’t give up on it, or writing, so I wrote another book, and another one, and another one, until I published my first novel in 2011. Other than reading often, that’s the best piece of advice I can offer to aspiring authors: don’t give up. One day your number will be called, and you need to be ready for it.
What inspired you to write this book?
I didn’t have any particular inspiration for PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE. What I wanted to do is write a police procedural, since I’d never written one of those before. I like to challenge myself. I had an idea for a character, and a setting in mind, and I built the story around the character. It’s really Luke’s (my main character) story, and I was just happy to be the one to tell it. Whether I was successful or not is really up to the reader. I’ll continue to tell stories, since that is what I like to do, and if I’m lucky, I’ll pick up a few readers along the way.
What is your editing process like?
It varies from book to book. Some books need more help than others, since the creative process is unpredictable at best, and at its worst, it can be a giant mess. So the number of edits can vary greatly. But what doesn’t change is my dedication to the process, and how I go about it. I write the first draft as quickly as possible, since going fast works best for me. Once the first draft is completed, and I set the book aside to give myself some distance, I edit my printed manuscript by hand with a red or blue pen. On this pass, I’m looking to remove what doesn’t work and occasionally add what I think might work better. I’ll also shift pieces around if part of the story is out of order. Once this is completed, I enter my changes in the computer, and once that is complete I make another pass. This time I’m looking to expand and grow the story, and I do that on my computer, which is the same way I write my first draft. I’ll repeat the process as many times as necessary until the story is complete. Once it is done, I send it off to my publisher, and if they like it, I receive a contract. Screaming for joy (on the inside) normally happens somewhere between the yes and the receipt of the actual contract, and sometimes it occurs at both times.
Is this your first book?
No, PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE is my fifth novel. My first two novels were hard-boiled mysteries with a playboy PI and a mysterious bartender named Dragon Lady, my third was a female amateur sleuth forensic accountant, and my fourth novel was a standalone thriller set in southeastern Virginia. The titles of my previous novels, in order are FALLING IMMORTALITY, GRACEFUL IMMORTALITY, LACOUR’S DESTINY, AND THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE.
Did you set any writing goals for 2017?
Not really. At least not in the normal sense. I knew I wanted to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so I’m currently doing that this month. I’m writing the sequel to the novel I wrote last year for NaNoWriMo, and I hope to publish both one day. But that’s a ways down the road. Since I write as much as I can and as often as I can, I did reach a goal that I had in mind ever since I started my writing career, and that was to publish two books in the same year. THE FIX will come out next month with my publisher Black Opal Books, and it’s a noir novella. It’s my first attempt at noir and a novella, so I’m excited to try two new things at once.
Are you working on something now?
Since I never stop writing, and I am working on multiple books at once, it all depends on how you define now, and what stage in the process you are talking about. THE FIX will come out next month, I am currently awaiting my publisher’s initial edits from another novella that will hopefully come out next year, and there’s also my NaNoWriMo novel. PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE is my fifth book, and there’s a certain level of excitement for me, since I am under contract for books six through ten with Black Opal Books. I hope to continue doing this for a long, long time, but that is ultimately up to my publisher and my readers. I’ll control what I can in this process, and that’s to continue to write.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/RobertDownsBooks
About the Book
Title: Penchant for Vengeance
Author: Robert Downs
Charlottesville, Virginia, Police Detective Luke McGinty has a closet filled with demons, along with a few skeletons; a steady job, but no steady partner or girlfriend; and is still married to his wife Sallie, even though she’s been dead for three years. Then his detective work takes a turn for the worse when a body is discovered at the downtown mall. One dead body isn’t enough, though, and another one turns up. When ties to a cold murder case in another county present themselves, Luke realizes that, if he doesn’t tread carefully, he could end up short more than just a few answers…
Robert Downs aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. When he’s not writing, Downs can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. To find out more about his latest projects, or to reach out to him on the Internet, visit the author’s website: www.RobertDowns.net. PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE is his fifth novel.
Giveaway for 2 paperbacks and 2 eBook copies of “Penchant for Vengeance” during the book tour.
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