Publisher: G.Y. RO
Publication Date: January 3, 2014
Book Links: Amazon
Synopsis: Tom Klein wants to have kids someday. Now, he’s not looking to conceive children of his own. The slippery garlic fiend is driven by a sick compulsion to have his way with innocent little girls.
Tom Klein is a menace.
Bad enough to be a sexual predator. Klein is also blackmailing Blonde Blonde Software. Before he left the company, he made off with a precious piece of intellectual property. He’s threatening to reveal a damaging secret about his former employer. Klein is demanding a steep payoff in exchange for his silence. What does Klein have over Blonde Blonde Software?
David Pain lost his wife and job during the Great Recession. He lives alone in a cursed row house in the woebegone American town of Gin, Ohio. With no prospects for employment, the independent misfit is pursuing a new career as a private detective. Although he doesn’t have the training or the background for the job, Pain is eager to prove himself. He needs a purpose in his life,
Blonde Blonde Software is running out of time.
For his first case, David Pain has been retained by the panicked software company to reel in the fugitive, Tom Klein. In spite of some beginner’s mistakes, Pain’s dogged search leads to his recovery of a mysterious package. The shocking contents of the package will answer the nagging question about the blackmailer’s leverage. Likewise, the revelation will be the impetus for even more questions, including the whereabouts of a wayward young lady’s parents. How is the missing couple connected to Klein?
David Pain will find his purpose. At what cost to his soul? And why would a prominent company like Blonde Blonde Software turn to a fledgling private detective with so much at stake?
Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.
Schemes of the Slippery Garlic Fiend is the first book in the Cases of Pain detective fiction series. This is the origin story of the series' protagonist, David Pain. My love of hard-boiled detectives, under dogs and comeback stories inspired the creation of the character. Here is a man who lost everything during the Great Recession. All that he has left are the guts and determination to find a new purpose in his life. Pain is contrasted by the antagonist, Tom Klein, who is a scheming blackmailer and dangerous sexual predator. The inspiration for Klein came from my fascination with the circumstances that turn somebody evil. Villains don't go bad overnight. Events and experiences shape a person over the course of time. With Klein, I probe his back story. My readers will be absorbed by the series of tragic events that transformed an innocent boy into an adult monster who must be stopped at any cost. Even if the cost involves David Pain's soul. A good man can stop evil, but he will suffer from his noble actions. His soul must bleed to wash away the evil.
Q. How did writing this book affect you?
Some actors immerse themselves in a part. Sean Penn, I think, is a good example of an actor who has been known to be in character even during lulls in shooting. Writing about characters takes the same type of commitment. As a writer, you have to get into the mind of your characters, especially when you're writing dark material like hard-boiled detective fiction. Some of the tender passages of Schemes were emotionally moving to me. Like the chapter where Pain and his ex-wife banter and bicker together. They still love each other. I know it. They know it. They are miserable without each other. But they have to find their way back to each other. It's bittersweet. I kind of feel like a matchmaker!
Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?
A novel about America in the 1970s based on my childhood experiences in my old neighborhood. I'm talking working class families, ethnic strife, stoners, misfits, puppy dog crushes on teenage girls and searches for Bigfoot. No Internet!
Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?
If you would have asked me that question five or 10 years ago, I would have answered David Pain without hesitation. You know, the mild-mannered writer's ultimate alter-ego. Well, we all change as time passes. Today, I'd probably say Annawon Cutter. One of David Pain's few friends, Cutter runs a successful comic book and movie memorabilia shop. A few years before the events of Schemes, Cutter had his epiphany. He's what I call a recovering fanboy. He divorced himself from a lifetime of obsessions with comic books and general geekery. Instead, he's trying to embrace more meaningful pursuits, like studying philosophy and defending civil liberties. I'm probably more like Cutter today than Pain. But I still spend way too much time on geek sites like Ain't It Cook News! It's all fun.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
I'm working on the first draft for book two of Cases of Pain. At the same time, I'm promoting the release of book one. I have a five book story arc fleshed out for the series. Ultimately, the final direction of book two will be determined by the audience that embraces book one. It's difficult (and crazy) to write a sequel when you don't know your audience yet! I have to be prepared to make changes that will reflect the tastes of my readership. As it stands now, I intend to take David Pain to a very dark place. He isn't quite aware of it yet, but the human monsters that he faces in his cases are turning him into a full-blown vigilante. Book two takes him another step towards that fate. If my readers don't like that angle, I'll make adjustments. Although I have my vision, I'm open-minded.
Q. What are you currently reading?
I just finished Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Next on my reading list is Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet.
Q. All of the books you’ve read, which book has impacted you the most?
Wow. That's a tough call. So many books impact us over the course of our lives! For me: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Affliction by Russell Banks and almost anything by Hubert Selby, Jr. I also have to mention Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb. A lot of people prefer the movie's version of the ending. I knew men like Bad Blake. The book ending is fitting and realistic. Hollywood endings can be too sanitized for my tastes, especially when it comes to book adaptations.
Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).
I'm working on an invention to manipulate time. My time bending gizmo will extend a day from 24 to 48 hours! Seriously, when you work a full time job, it's a stretch to find free time for writing projects. In fact, I'm answering this very question on a commuter train! As far as news goes, I'm focused on promoting the release of Schemes of the Slippery Garlic Fiend. Not an easy feat for a classic introvert! I'm knocking on virtual doors and spreading the word. I'm also writing a series of essays about my fractured relationship with my father, who passed away during the holidays in 2012. I've dedicated Cases of Pain to my dad. The essays are about death and dying, and healing.
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Cases of Pain is original and offbeat. My modernist take on the hard-boiled detective has plenty of heart and humor to offset the darkness. The first person narrative moves at a brisk pace. Cases has a rhythm and a soul. The protagonist, David Pain, is the moral compass in a ragtag post Great Recession wasteland. An oddball cast of supporting characters peppers the narrative. Schemes of the Slippery Garlic Fiend is the beginning of Pain's journey. Get the book. Get in now. Follow Pain on his brave journey as he takes on the human monsters of the world. Schemes sets up the five book story arc. Pain becomes the guardian of a wayward young lady who is manipulating him to find out the truth about her missing parents. That seemingly innocent young lady is destined to become the femme fatale who will be the wedge between Pain and his attempt to reconcile with his ex-wife. The blackmail plot carried out by the slippery garlic fiend in Schemes is much bigger than it seems. Each case is building towards a shocking revelation about the truth behind the blackmail attempt, and how it ties into the twisted fate of that young lady's parents. In the end, David Pain will have to make a choice between two women. One virtuous woman. One toxic dragon lady. Both choices have deadly consequences. That's noir. As it should be.