Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ken Mercer

Ken Mercer's new novel is East on Sunset.

From his Q & A about Slow Fire, his first novel, with Hector DeJean:

Hector DeJean: What inspired your book?

Ken Mercer: On Independence Day, 2006, my family and I made a trip to a small town in rural northern California.

We’d been to this particular town before: it’s charming, picturesque, and filled with Gold Rush-era architecture.

After unpacking, it quickly became apparent that the town had changed in the two years since our last visit. Homes had fallen into a state of disrepair. Stores were boarded up. People’s faces were covered with sores, as if affected by a biblical plague. The place now had a scary feel.

I asked my wife what the hell was going on, and she told me that it seemed as if the majority of the town’s populace was tweaking on meth.

I was skeptical — at the time I was unaware of the meth epidemic that was sweeping rural America.

When we got back home, I did some quick online research, and discovered that a large clandestine meth lab had just been raided not far from the town. As I dug deeper, I started to get excited by the dramatic possibilities inherent in a fictional small town that is being overtaken by the pernicious influence of a clandestine meth lab. I thought it could be Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Red Harvest, but written with a modern crime fiction sensibility.

HD: How and why did you start working on this book?

KM: I had been writing about...[read on]
Visit Ken Mercer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue