Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tom Cain

From UK novelist Tom Cain's Q & A with Ali Karim at The Rap Sheet:

AK: Considering the controversial aspects of your work, what with the death of a popular princess in a Parisian tunnel in The Accident Man, followed by a manically fundamentalist Christian nutter who tries to bring on “the Rapture” in your second novel, were you nervous about reader reactions?

TC: Well, I’m used to writing about controversial subjects as a journalist and (though this hasn’t happened for a while). I’ve faced about as much in the way of abusive reviews, snide profiles, and general media poison as any writer is ever likely to get. I’m pretty much immune to it now. My only concerns would be if I actually wrote something that attracted the attention of the authorities (ever more possible as antiterrorism laws are used to stifle free speech), or I somehow antagonized a special-interest group--or a criminal one, come to that. I wouldn’t want my family to get caught up in any crap of my creating. But, hey, I’ve just written a short story about an attack on a British prime minister, so clearly any worries aren’t inhibiting me thus far!

All that said, I’m pretty careful not to give offense just for the sake of it. Carver is not a remotely political character, the books take no party/political line, and I do let my villains state their case. I always admired the way that The West Wing, while it clearly offered a liberal Democratic fantasy of a hero president, at a time when the real one was George W. Bush, often gave really good arguments to its Republican characters. So I try to let the devils have some reasonably good tunes ... and it’s kept them quiet so far....[read on]
Read "Bloodsport," a never-before-seen, three-part short story by Tom Cain, the creator of shadowy “accident man” Samuel Carver [Assassin].

--Marshal Zeringue