Monday, August 7, 2017

Meet Russ Colchamiro Author of LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM

Today we have Russ Colchamiro with us to discuss about his latest book LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM

So Russ, tell us about your education?
B.S. Secondary English Education, Buffalo State College; Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was a late bloomer. I went overseas for my final semester—I backpacked through Europe for a month and then lived in Manchester, England for three months—this is back in 1994, before travel was as accessible as it is today. In a real way that trip changed the course of my life.
What are some day jobs you have held?
You name it, I’ve done it! But to this day probably my favorite job ever was being a paper boy. This is back when teenagers could still get those jobs, back in the 1980s. I was my own boss, had money to spend, and I was alone a lot, which I liked. Plus I spent so much time around physical newspapers that it turned me into a junkie. I still love print papers to this day. Being a waiter was fun, for its time. You learn a lot working in restaurants. Everyone should do it, at least once.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
Besides the news—which makes me want to vomit these days—I try to read fiction every day. I have several writers I love, including (among others and in no particular order) Christopher Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Harlan Coben, Sara Gran, Elmore Leonard, Alan Moore, Kurt Busiek, and John Steinbeck.
When did you start writing? (It may be your first article or blog.)
I dabbled in high school, wrote on and off in college, but by my mid-20s was working as a journalist, and taking fiction much seriously.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Since I was a little kid. I wanted to be a writer … and a scientist. I’m terrible at actual science, but science fiction? That seems to be working out pretty well!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Write the best books I can, every time out. Financially, I’d love to get to the point where this is how I earn all of my money, for the rest of my days. I’m working on it …
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I work full time, have a long commute, and have seven-year-old twins—my ninjas.  So my writing time is after my kids go to bed, and when I can on weekends. For the most part I write 9 pm – 1030 pm every night. Then I walk the dog and clean the kitchen. I try to make those 90 minutes count.
Is LOVE, MURDER & MAYEM your debut work? If not so, what have you written?
To date I’ve written four novels—Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, Astropalooza, and Crossline. I’ve also contributed to another half dozen anthologies. But Love, Murder & Mayhem the first anthology where I served as the editor, running it from conception to completion, including contributing my own story.
What genre are your books?
Science fiction and fantasy, a mix of comedy, mystery, and action adventure, although I’m moving more into crime fiction and noir.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Love, Murder & Mayhem is a new anthology from Crazy 8 Press, with 15 stories from 15 authors. While I’m typically a novelist, I served as editor for this one, and contributed one of the stories. Each tale contains at least one act of love or romance, at least one murder, with lots of mayhem, all in various science fiction settings. Admittedly, I was expecting an entire anthology of private eye stories—and we have a few—but thankfully it inspired an entire range of tales. We have superhero and supervillain stories. Off-world and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got A.I., private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob!
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
Angela Hardwick. Though the ‘world’ she appears in is galaxy hopping noir, she’s a private eye in that classic Sam Spade detective. Fedora, pinstripe suit, knows the angles.
Where did you get idea for this book?
While writing GENIUS DE MILO, the second book in my FINDERS KEEPERS scifi backpacking comedy series, I introduced—briefly—the character of Angela Hardwicke.. I bumped up her role considerably for the third and final book, ASTROPALOOZA. I always wanted to write a private eye character, and loved her right away. I’m actually planning to write a spin-off series with her. But before I jumped into a full book, I wanted to write a short story with Hardwicke in the lead, to get a better sense of who she was, her rhythms, and the kinds of stories I wanted to tell. That inspire me to create LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM.
How much research did you do for this book?
Not research so much as plotting out the entire mystery beginning to end. It actually took me a few weeks to work out all of the details. If you plot a mystery and even one little component is off base, the entire narrative falls apart. The infrastructure of your story has to be rock solid.
Release date.
Love, Murder & Mayhem debuted in July, so it’s on sale now. 
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on a top secret project I can’t talk about yet, but hopefully by early next year. After that I plan to be writing Hardwicke stories for the next several years at least.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
A series has benefits and challenges. The benefits are that you can explore your characters in deeper ways and in new situations, introducing them to any number of other characters and friction of all sorts. The challenge is to keep the character fresh, making sure you have something to say, and ensuring that you are being consistent one book to the next.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write every day. Don’t seek perfection. It doesn’t exist. Write every day, whether it’s good or bad, whether you’re happy with what you produced or not, and then, once you’ve done a strong, legit polish, working out the kinks, share your work with only a select people whom you trust will give you honest feedback that you can put into practice. Don’t be afraid to be challenged. If you don’t seek input, it’s difficult to improve. 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I’ve got books! Buy ‘em. They’re cool! And leave reviews please!
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