Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Shane Gericke

Shane Gericke, whose new book Cut to the Bone releases on June 5th, talked to Julia Buckley about his debut novel, Blown Away, back in November.

Part of the interview:

Your one-line grabber for [Blown Away] is “Special Forces-trained serial killer rampages ritzy Chicago suburb in psychopathic quest to annihilate rookie cop Emily Thompson.” First of all, great action verbs, Shane! Second, it reads like a headline, heaven forbid. Is this the newsman in you emerging even in mystery sales?

Somebody smarter than me once said, Past is prologue. I agree. I spent 25 years as a newspaper editor and writer, primarily at the Chicago Sun-Times, before abandoning that perfectly good paycheck to write books. The skills that make a good newsman—persistence, observation, willingness to ask questions, writing fast and accurately, accepting editing not as an insult but seeing the forest for the trees, ability to translate sounds, sights and smells into taut, readable prose, and ability to drink gallons of bad coffee without staying awake all night—are superb training for book-length writing.

Besides, I loved writing headlines. My all-time favorite was “Jerked to Jesus,” for a news story about an execution by hanging. If those three words didn’t make you read the story, you’re brain dead. I didn’t write it, of course — waaay before my time — but I wish I had.
Read the entire interview, and visit Shane Gericke's website.

--Marshal Zeringue