Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Q & A with Tom Schreck
Q: What makes Duffy Dombrowski different from other (unofficial) PIs?
I wanted Duffy to be more of an every man. I didn't want him to be agourmet, live on a yacht, be a great womanizer--I wanted a guy like therest of us who rises up when he feels an injustice. He becomes somethingdifferent if he feels that that injustice occurs to society's vulnerable. So he's a low level social worker and a bad boxer. I work in the fightgame and the vast majority of pro fighters work "real" jobs. I chose notto make him a shrink but a guy who does the grunt work in human services.
Q: How did you come up with the character of Duffy Dombrowski?
Write what you know, right? I'm a fighter and have spent my life in shittyhuman service jobs. I've had a lot of screwy girlfriends and I drink withsome real knuckleheads. I'm a huge Elvis fan, drive old Cadillacs and Ilive with not one but three hound dogs. I guess I'm not all that creative
Q: What's next for you and Duffy Dombrowski?
I've got a Duffy short story collection coming out strictly to benefitbasset hound rescue. it features seven short stories, various features onbasset hound rescue, clips from the books and its all interpsersed with myfriend Ginny Tata Phillips basset hound haiku...yes, you read thatcorrectly. The next full length Duffy comes out in '11. Duff and the gang wind up in Vegas with the Russian mob, hookers, Elvis impersonators and the issue ofMexican immigration.
Q: How much of your work is inspired by your daily life?
Every fuckin' last bit. People tell me the guys in the bar are outrageous and I tell them if they come to Albany they can come with me and go drinking with them. Every goofy thing the dog does has happened to me. I think Duffy getskicked in the nuts less than me. Every day life is all there is. When you start reaching too far beyondthat the reader knows and they stop trusting you. Every day life is more than enough if you're paying attention.
Q: In the last century we've seen new waves of PI writers, firstinfluenced by Hammett, then Chandler, MacDonald, Parker, later Lehane.Who do you think will influence the coming generation and in what way?
If the next generation of PI writers are smart they'll be copying guyslike Ken Bruen, Reed Farrell Coleman, JA Konrath, Sean Chercover, MarcusSakey, Tim Maleeny, William Kent Krueger. All of those guys are great. There also all great to drink with.
Q: Beth Terrell came up with the following question: If your PI couldchoose to be a comic book superhero, which would he choose and why?
Duffy would like to be Elvis Presley--the closest thing to a real lifecomic book hero the world has ever known.
Q: What question should we ask every PI writer we interview and what isyour answer?
Describe how pathological your level of insecurity is about your writing.How many hours do you spend daily vainly trying to dispute the idea thatevery word you've written absolutely sucks. My answer? I'm way to insecure to even think of the question.