Wounded Prey, your first novel, just came out and I really enjoyed it! I have to ask, how did you celebrate when you found out the book had sold? Once I came down off the ceiling, I took the family out to a steak dinner. I’m a big believer in breaking bread as commemoration.
In your bio, it says you began writing as a rookie cop. Were there any particular cases that inspired Wounded Prey? Bits and pieces of a number of actual cases inspired me, both from my direct experience and those of other cops I worked with.
Your villain, Vernon Slocum, is about as bad as it gets, and I imagine you had to visit some pretty dark places when writing his scenes. Did you require any decompressing after writing his scenes? Great question. Believe it or not, all of my writing, whether about Vernon Slocum or any of the other characters which sprang from my sub-standard mind, was how I decompressed from my real job.
What made you decide to set Wounded Prey in the 80s, as opposed to the present? I wrote WOUNDED PREY in the 80’s, so the story is technically accurate for the era. Also, the Vietnam veteran angle, as well as the Reagan Administration cutting mental health funding, created a unique germination medium for what became Vernon Slocum. Years later, when I was re-editing WOUNDED PREY for submission to literary agents, I contemplated updating the narrative to a modern time-frame. But I quickly gave up on that idea; Vernon Slocum is truly a man of his times. The 1980’s is where he belongs.
You have a military and law enforcement background, which I’m sure helped in your writing, but did you have to do any specific research for the book? I really didn’t, I’m ashamed to admit. Other than some historical stuff I obtained from an older cop who was combat Marine in Viet Nam, and saw action in the Chu Lai Peninsula, everything else is a by-product of things I already had fermenting in my noggin.
Who, or what, are some of the biggest influences on your writing? I was inspired by a great number of creative influences. Writings such as the Continental OP series by Dashiell Hammett, the scripts of Rod Serling, the films of Howard Hawks, Walter Hill, and Sam Peckinpah, to name a few.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Unquestionably a panster. I’ve never had anything more than an opening scene in mind before I sat down and started to write.
What piece of advice would you give to a struggling writer? Write. Do it. Like everything else, the more you do it, the better you get. Stop quitting halfway through something, because it isn’t perfect, and FINISH A WORK. You can always edit later. If you’re lucky enough to have people surrounding you who will give you honest criticism, and not just stroke your ego, and you can digest it and take it to heart, you’ll undoubtedly go far. Like most important things in life, NOT QUITTING is the key ingredient.
I read that you enjoy late night creature features. What’s one of your favorites? Howard Hawks’ original 1951,’The Thing From Another World.’ Absolute top-flight script, music, mood, and tone. Still gives me goose bumps.
Favorite beer? That’s the toughest question you’ve asked, Kristin! I drink Bass and Boddingtons in the winter, and Dos Equis Amber Lager and Third Shift in the summer. But pushed into a corner, my favorite beer is…drum roll, please…Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Outstanding brew. Like all good beers, they get better the more you drink…
What’s next for you and your intrepid investigators, Ferrell and Kearns? I’m ruminating on a sequel to WOUNDED PREY as I write this, and don’t have anything definitive laid out yet. Maybe I’ll re-write Farrell and Kearns into angst-ridden, hormonal, teenaged vampires and put them in the Pacific Northwest. How about, ‘Twilight of Vernon Slocum: The Awakening’ for a title?
Keep up with Sean: Website | Twitter
About WOUNDED PREY: “It’s time to finish what he started…” A young girl is snatched in broad daylight from outside her school and later found brutally murdered and hanging from a tree. When recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector, Bob Farrell, sees this on the news, he realises his worst nightmare has just come true. The same brutal killer a government agency stopped him from putting away twenty years before is once more on the loose. As the killer wreaks a trail of blood and destruction across North America, Bob Farrell sets out to track him down. But Farrell’s not playing by the rules any more than the killer is, and soon the FBI have both of them in their sights…via Interview: Sean Lynch, author of Wounded Prey | My Bookish Ways 2013.