Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sean Chercover

John Kenyon interviewed Sean Chercover, author the terrific debut crime novel Big City, Bad Blood, at Things I’d Rather Be Doing.

Part of their dialogue:

TIRBD: This has the feel of the first book in a series. Were you conscious of that throughout, or did you drop things in later in the writing process as you began to flesh out ideas for subsequent books?

SC: It was always my goal to make Ray Dudgeon into a series character. After the fist draft was completed, I actually found myself taking things out, more often than dropping them in. I'd look at a scene and I'd say, "Don't need it here; save it for the next book," and I'd cut and paste it into another document. I wanted Ray to remain at least a little bit of an enigma, who we'd get to know over a series of books, and I didn't want Big City, Bad Blood to get bogged down in backstory.

You've said in other interviews that your idea for the second book featuring Ray changed a bit because of the things he experienced in Big City, Bad Blood. Assuming more bad things befall him in subsequent books, are you putting an expiration date on your character by taking these things into account?

I think it's a pretty safe bet that bad things are gonna happen to Ray in subsequent books, but I don't want to be sadistic about it. I mean, he really goes through hell in the first book. But it's a good question. I don't have a specific expiration date, but it is important to me that Ray grow and evolve as a character. Which means one of a number of things… He may get to the point where he just can't (or doesn't want to) do this for a living anymore, so he leaves Chicago and takes over the charter fishing business from his grandfather on St. Simons Island. Or he may come to a tragic end, either physically or mentally. Or he may find a way to do the job, while avoiding the really powerful bad guys and the really dangerous situations. In any of those scenarios, the series has a finite lifespan. But how long will it take him to get to that point? Six books? Ten books? More? I have no idea.

And of course there is another, even more horrific scenario: At some point, people may not want to read about him anymore.
Read the entire interview.

The Page 69 Test: Big City, Bad Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue