What happens when you don’t believe in the afterlife or ghosts…and you become one? This is what Midnight Merlot has to make peace with as he finds himself not only walking the mean streets as a ghoul, but also figuring out the peculiar way he died.
For today’s feature, author Tom Conrad chats with me about Rich Pickings For Ravens, the first of his Afterlife Crisis Trilogy.
I’ve browsed your books, and they look unique and very fun! Can you tell me where you draw inspiration or ideas from? Do you have any (writer) influences?
Firstly, thank you for the compliment, I’ve certainly a range of styles (my most recently released short story is gritty realism), but Rich Pickings for Ravens and a few of my novellas are most definitely fun and intended to be out and out entertainment. Secondly, making no attempt to avoid writer clichés, I draw my inspiration from the rich tapestry of life. Each of my books contains an element of ME, though exaggerated to the Nth degree. Finally, I’m influenced by many writers (Barnes, King, Lott, Pullman, JK Rowling, John Twelve Hawks). I think there’s something to find or be inspired by in any writer’s work; you just have to be willing to look.
If you had to pick a “favorite” of your stories, which would it be, and why?
That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die…. I really like Frankie Drake as a plucky and honest kind of character. I don’t think the title leads readers to guess it’s VERY romantic, but I love the title nonetheless. I’m also really fond of Rich Pickings for Ravens, my first and currently only full-length novel.
Your novel, Rich Pickings for Ravens, is about the afterlife. How is is unlike your average ghost story?
Midnight Merlot is a humanist ghost who doesn’t believe in ghosts until becoming one. In places, it’s a very philosophical story, but hopefully with the right balance of fun, action and a little… smut.
If you found yourself to be a ghost, what would be the first thing you’d want to do?
You’ll have to read Rich Pickings for Ravens to find out. I think that’s probably the major aspect which is true. I’d probably follow the path Midnight Merlot takes.
Do you have any projects you’re working on? What can we expect next?
Part two of The Afterlife Crisis Trilogy. A follow up novella to That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die…. (loosely about Internet dating) and several short stories, hopefully all out in 2013.
What are you currently reading?
A Tom Stoppard play called After Magritte. I’ve just finished a Jeffery Deaver novel, The Blue Nowhere.
Thanks Tom for sharing your story with us, and letting us get to know you better. I look forward to checking out Rich Pickings!