Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Q & A with Jude Hardin

I interviewed Jude Hardin, author of Pocket-47.

Q: What makes Nicholas Colt different from other (unofficial) PIs?
He’s a former rock star and the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed his wife and baby daughter and all the members of his band. That gives him a unique worldview, I think.

Q: How did you come up with the character?
Honestly, I just gave him a name and he sort of evolved from there. He turned out to be a badass with a wry sense of humor and a fat emotional hole.

Q: What's next for you and Colt?
I recently turned the second book in to my agent. I’m sure she’ll have some editorial comments and suggestions and we’ll probably go back and forth on a rewrite or two. Then she’ll start pitching the manuscript around New York.

Q: How do you promote your work?
I've done some guest blogs and some bookstore signings, and I've been active on Kindleboards and Facebook. I've done some giveaways, I frequently leave a link when I comment on other blogs, and I recently posted a guest column for Chuck Sambuchino (one of the editors for Writer's Digest magazine) on his Guide to Literary Agents blog. Pocket-47 received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, and I link to that whenever possible as well.

Q: How did you get published?
Pocket-47 started out as a book called The Kill Switch. I landed an agent with it, and he pitched it around New York without success. I did a major overhaul on the plot and the character, and the result was Pocket-47. The same agent tried to sell the new version, but it was 2008 and the economy was collapsing and the market got tighter than ever. I finally decided to go it on my own, and I ended up placing it at a small press.

Q: What are your thoughts on ebooks as a reader AND a writer?
Ebooks are the future of publishing. No doubt about it. I got a Kindle for Christmas last year, and I haven’t bought a dead tree book since.

Q: What's your idea about the psychotic sidekick in PI novels like Hawk and Joe Pike?
They’re fun, and useful, and I guess I could go into a whole Freudian analysis about them, but I’ll leave that to the scholars. I like them, but I think they sometimes steal the show from the main character. Colt does what he does alone, and that’s the way he likes it.

Q: In the last century we've seen new waves of PI writers, first influenced by Hammett, then Chandler, Macdonald, Parker, later Lehane. Who do you think will influence the coming generation?
I think those writers will continue to be huge influences, and also writers like Loren D. Estleman, Andrew Vachss, and Lawrence Block. Who knows? Maybe someone will read one of my books and then decide to write their own private eye novel.

Q: Terry Faherty came up with the following question: Is there a future for the PI subgenre in the face of the current competition from cozy mysteries and police procedurals/crime scene investigation procedurals?
Sure. Like I said, ebooks are the future of publishing. Ebooks come with unlimited shelf space. There’s room for everybody.

Q: What question should we ask every PI writer we interview and what is your answer?
What kind of car does your character drive? You can find my answer in the first chapter of Pocket-47. One person who leaves the correct answer in the comments section here will be selected at random to win his or her choice of the hardcover or ebook. Hardcover winners must have a mailing address in the U.S. or Canada. Good luck!

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