Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Duane Swierczynski

Last year, Duane Swierczynski, author of The Blonde as well as "other books about crime and vice and exploding heads," interviewed Jamie Malanowski, author of The Coup.

Turnabout being fair play and all that, Malanowski has now interviewed Swierczynski about his latest book, Severance Package.

The introduction and first exchange:

Fans of crime novels who don’t know the name Duane Swierczynski would do well to make the acquaintance. Duane has just published his latest novel, Severance Package, a funny and exciting tale of mayhem that updates the Ten Little Indians idea, subtracting some of the whodunit, adding several vats of plasma, and, most interestingly, adding in lots of anxieties about modern office culture. It was a fun read, perfect for the pool, a tad less perfect for your cubicle, and I'm delighted to recommend it. Duane took some questions from us last week.

PLAYBOY: You've written an excellent crime novel (The Wheelman) and an excellent, uh, mad scientist mass murderer novel (The Blonde), both of which took place on the scenic beaches and mountains of Philadelphia. Severance Package also takes place in Philly, but almost entirely within the confines of a single office building. Where did you get the idea for this novel? Is there a part for Steve Carrell?

DUANE: You’ve just pinpointed why I love setting novels in Philly—all of the beaches and mountains! Actually, this bastard child has many fathers. One was the Valerie Plame case. I wondered what it would be like to work for a company that was a front for a spy ring… and you had no idea. (Because that would be me. Totally.) Also, I’ve had the unfortunately experience of having to fire someone, and it struck me how much it was like a professional hit—you pick the time, the place, the method, then BLAM. A person’s life is changed forever. So I thought, gee, what if this whole thing were a bit more literal? And… okay, I admit it. It’s a naked plea for Steve Carrell’s attention. (Steve. Call me.)
Read the entire Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue