Sunday, March 16, 2014

Author Interview: Mike Faricy


Ting-A-Ling is the latest release in the popular Dev Haskell series. Set in a Minnesota polar vortex, Dev’s first mistake is answering the phone in the middle of the night. His second mistake is offering to help. Fast paced and enjoyable, the true motive remains a mystery until it’s too late, or is it? Due out March 24th, Ting-A-Ling is a suspenseful tale that will keep you guessing until the final page.

Mike Faricy writes the sort of crime fiction we can all relate to. No one will be saving the world from fanatical terrorists or international bank conspiracies. Rather, his tales are populated with the sort of individuals we all know, but wisely choose to keep at a distance. The situations they find themselves in are due to their own bad decisions, but then, bad decisions make for very interesting tales.

Mike Faricy divides his time between St. Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland which makes him the most boring guy in two towns. He is currently working on his latest top secret project.

Author Interview

What inspired you to write Ting-A-Ling?

It’s the latest in my Dev Haskell series, actually the seventh book in that series. I don’t work off an outline so at the end of any given day no one is more surprised than mean as to what has happened. The story just sort of happens with me in the Dev Haskell series. The general theme is people making bad decisions. The bad decision in Ting-A-Ling happens on page one when Dev Haskell answers the phone in the middle of the night and then things go more or less down hill from there.

Which character in your book would you say you are most like?

Unfortunately, I’m most like my main character, Dev Haskell. He’s basically a nice guy, but as I alluded to earlier he makes the occasional wrong decision. His heart is usually in the right place, he’s got a pretty long fuse and he’ll put up with a lot of nonsense, but at some point his temper ignites, and then, look out. If he’s yelling, there isn’t really a problem it’s when he becomes soft spoken that he’s really dangerous. He also does some really stupid things…

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always loved to read and write. As a little boy a big night would be my folks taking us to the library to pick out books. One of my favorite books was George the Pig. George wouldn’t share his birthday cake and on the last page of the book he’s so fat he explodes. From that inauspicious beginning I began to concoct tales. I come from a family of story tellers and I’ve always been a pretty good liar so it just seems to be natural. I work extremely hard at my writing, but it’s a Labor of Love. Capitol ‘L’ on both words. I strive to make each scene so exciting that you can’t wait to turn the page and get on with the story and I’m always trying to make each book better than the previous one.

What are you most excited about the most for readers to experience/learn from your newest book?

None of my books have anything like a message, well except maybe; ‘don’t be a bad guy’. But there is no message per se. I do hope that my readers are entertained and at the end of the book they feel the read was an enjoyable undertaking. And, of course I hope that they’ll want to order all my other titles.

Were you scared when you first published?

I don’t think scared is the right word. Certainly overwhelmed, maybe na├»ve and quite possibly clueless. I think most writers would admit that as much work as it is to write a book, what follows afterward is a lot more work and seems to be unending. The promotion and getting the word out, all takes an incredible amount of time and never, ever seems to go fast enough. 

What do you do on your down time? What do you do to relax?

I’m either doing research for my next project, you know checking out sleazy bars and that sort of thing. Or, I play in a bagpipe band, the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band, in which case I just may be running around town wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes.

What do you love most about being a writer/author?

I love the feeling of working all day long writing and then at the end of the day I look and there are eight or ten new pages. Granted they’re basically a rough draft that will be polished, massaged and reworked countless times but for me it’s extremely enjoyable to look back and say I did that. It’s great to hand my extended family copies of my book. My mother always says something like, “Oh God, do I even want to read this? Do I want to know what you’ve been up to?” Its payback time for all those years she made me do my homework.

What do you hate most about being a writer/author?

I’ll say I don’t enjoy the promotion required. I mean, I just wish everyone automatically knew how wonderfully entertaining all my books are. That said, I have met some truly fantastic people who have taken me under their wing and provided countless pieces of advice or have helped in so many ways. And they’ve never asked for a thing, they just want to help me and see me succeed. That is truly special.

What writers/authors have inspired you?

My genre is crime fiction so most of the inspiration has come from that direction, Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, William Kent Krueger, Carl Hiaasen. I’m always reading and when I land on an author I enjoy I inhale everything they’ve written. I suppose it’s another aspect of the ‘job’ but I certainly don’t consider it work.

When you get stuck in a story, how do you get through it?

I don’t get stuck. I occasionally have a situation that I’m trying to make believable and/or entertaining. I might have a situation bouncing around in my thick skull for a while and then suddenly the ‘answer’ just seems so obvious. On occasion I’m out walking with my wife and she might comment that I seem quiet or focused on something else. I’ll mention a particular situation to her, a scene, a subplot and she suddenly picks up her pace and leaves me in the dust.

Do you listen to music when you write?

No I don’t. In fact when I’m writing that is my entire focus. I don’t interact with anyone, I don’t answer the phone, in fact I have it turned off. I don’t stop to run an errand if it can possibly wait. When I write, that’s what I do. Of course, I’m such a warped individual that I enjoy doing that.

Can you write anywhere?  Or do you need a specific place to write?

I write on my computer and by the way I’m a tech Neanderthal. My wife and I have a long distance marriage so she is either visiting me in my US home in Minnesota or, I’m visiting her and writing in Dublin, Ireland. If I’m in Minnesota I’m at my desk in my office. If I’m in Dublin I’m on the far end of the dinning room table and she is gracious enough to put up with my mess and let me work. At the end of any given day writing is a solitary exercise and if you have a partner they are going to have to be pretty patient. Fortunately my wife is extremely patient with me.

Do you have advice for aspiring authors?

Yes, get typing. That can be difficult if you have a spouse, a job, children, commitments and a host of other responsibilities so you have to figure out what works for you. Maybe it’s writing from five to six in the morning or ten to eleven at night. But get started. Names are a big thing with me. I want the name to be interesting, maybe suggest something about the individual, is it a pretty woman, a dodgy sort of guy? I have an ongoing list of male and female first names and a list of last names. I scan the obits every day looking for interesting, maybe unique or ethnic names, I’m always building that resource. I also carry a pocket notebook with me at all times. I may make a note about a funny story someone tells me, a term I’ve heard or maybe even something like a car color. You never know. There’s no order to the thing, I just jot things down with the idea it may come in handy at some point.

What was the worst advice you were given in the beginning of your writing career?

Submit query letters and wait for a reply from publishing houses. My advice, don’t waste your time. Write that book, have it properly edited then publish it electronically as an independent author and get started on book number two. Endeavor to make your current project better than the previous work. The publishing world has been and will remain in a constant state of turmoil and flux. Whatever worked last year or maybe even six months ago may not work today. The tales of success about Fifty Shades or Harry Potter are inspiring, but they are the exceptions to the rule for the vast majority of us. Keep your nose to the grindstone and get to work. Gee, do I sound like a dad?

What was the best advice you were given in the beginning of your writing career?

The best advice was from William Kent Krueger. He is a top notch, ‘A’ list crime fiction author and he was gracious enough to let me join him for lunch one day. Of course I brought a copy of my four hundred page manuscript because I knew he wouldn’t be able to ignore my work of genius. He told me; ‘Every writer has a work in a box under the bed, and that’s where it should remain.” Then he told me to get to work on my next book. It was great advice, both parts.

Hey, thanks for making the time. My latest release, Ting-A-Ling is due out March 24th of this year, 2014. Please have all your readers take a look, maybe gift a dozen or so downloads to people they know. Then tell 2-300 of their closest friend. Again, many thanks, Mike Faricy.

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