Stephen Allan over at Noir Writer recently interviewed J.D. Rhoades, whose third "Jack Keller" novel Safe and Sound releases in the coming week.
A couple of exchanges from the interview:
NoirWriter: What was the first book you read that made you want to be a writer?Read the entire interview.
Rhoades: That's a tough one. Probably some early Robert Heinlein or one of Harlan Ellison's short story collections back when I was but a yoot. The one that got me back writing again in my thirties, though, was Molly Ivins' collection MOLLY IVINS CAN'T SAY THAT, CAN SHE? I started writing newspaper columns soon after that. A few years later, I started reading the work of North Carolina's own Katy Munger, who wrote a series set in Durham. That really inspired me, because it showed me that where I was could be an interesting setting.
NoirWriter: What is your definition of redneck noir? How does it compare with other noir stories?
Rhoades: Redneck noir is basically dark crime fiction set in the South. It started out as more of an attitude I wanted to hold in my head as I wrote. I was listening to a lot of Steve Earle, who remains one of my favorite artists. Songs of his, like "The Devil's Right Hand" and "Copperhead Road" tell stories about southern boys on the edge, both of society and of their sanity. I used to call them "songs about psychotic hillbillies." But at the same time, there's a lot of compassion in those stories.