Brad Parks’s debut, Faces of the Gone, became the first book ever to win the Nero Award and Shamus Award, two of crime fiction’s most prestigious prizes. His second book, Eyes of the Innocent, just released from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books. Library Journal gave it a starred review, calling it “as good if not better (than) his acclaimed debut.”
At Murderati, novelist Brett Battles asked Parks a few questions, including:
So I’m told you’re the first person to win a Shamus and a Nero Award for the same book…. Has that helped you get any respect from your friends and family? Or is it business as usual?--Marshal Zeringue
Yeah, every once in a while my wife wanders by the Nero Award -- a very handsome brass bust of detective Nero Wolfe -- and mutters, "Couldn't they have given you a check instead?" No, seriously, it was very gratifying to win those awards. And I think it has given me a little extra credibility, not so much with friends (who pretty much know how full of crap I am), or with family (who taught me how to be full of crap in the first place), but with booksellers and librarians and folks of that ilk. It's a very crowded marketplace, as you know, and awards help you stand out a little bit. Besides, I like how the Nero Award looks on the mantel.
Give us a little lowdown on EYES OF THE INNOCENT. Was there anything specific that inspired the story?
Yes and no. As a journalist, I did a lot of reporting on the subprime mortgage crisis, and the story starts with a character who gets in trouble in part because of a subprime mortgage. I also did reporting about house-flipping and political corruption, and those are in there, too. But it's not so much anything specific -- like one particular story I covered, as was the case in my first book -- and more an amalgam of real-life things, which I then...[read on]