Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Story Behind A Pack of Lies

I wrote this very short book (long short story? I don't know, I get tired of labeling fiction) about a sleazeball reporter, Lionel Kaspar. It's called A Pack of Lies and it's one half of Two Bullets Solve Everything, along with a shorty by Ryan Sayles. 

This is the most autobiographical thing I've written. I took many of my experiences as a reporter for The New Haven Register and the Iowa City Press-Citizen and shuffled them around, distorted them a bit, put them all through a noir filter. 

I often took everyday reporting situations and thought about how Kaspar might try to manipulate those situations to his advantage. He's not very good at it, but he's extremely immoral, which always helps. 

Reporting as a career always struck me as ideal for crime fiction. The obsessive gathering of information by using whatever tactics available. The way the newspaper business has decayed and how the futility of the thing covers you like a film. The smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee/booze. The ink on the flimsy pages. The pressure to lie, cheat, and steal your way to the middle. Not to mention what reporters cover--embezzlement, adultery, murder. 

I've wanted to write about all this for a long time but hadn't found a way to. My first novel was about journalism--and that manuscript will never see the light of day. I managed a few short stories. But, for whatever reason, I never hit the groove until this book. Writing in Kaspar's voice felt natural. 

That's why I'm continuing to write about him. Yep, there's more ridiculous blackmail schemes, elaborate lies, and crushing self-hatred to be published by ADR Books.

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