Jason Beech joins me today to celebrate the release of American Spartan book 2 in the City of Forts series with a Q&A interview
A rookie cop. A town on fire. Can he execute justice and survive?
It starts with a newspaper article. An economic miracle. A run-down town in the Midwest transformed. One man has effected this change, poured his wealth into converting old factories into new ventures, Main Street into a hub for deep-pocketed incomers, and put a spring into the step of a place people once avoided.
Ricky Nardilo, all grown-up, a rookie cop, isn’t having it. The man who has brought this boom is the man who shot him in his youth. The man whose son Ricky killed. He owns the town, he owns the local politicians, he owns the police force Ricky works for. As Ricky aims down the muzzle of his gun at this bigshot, his struggle between a quiet, complicit life and a personal war will tear Ricky apart and drag old friends and family into a chaos he never thought possible.
The City of Forts series
Q&A with Jason Beech
Why do you write books?
Because stories are brilliant. I love reading them, watching them, and writing them. Writing books is solving a problem. You have an idea, then you execute it, and hopefully it comes out the way you intended and entertains other people. And it looks great in your hand.
Do you write every day?
I don’t write every day, but I do think about writing every day. When I have a good streak it’ll always end with a crash into a brick wall. Which is when the words come out blunt and stubby. I need to live a bit, let it slide for a few days, and then come back fresh.
Do you work to a plot or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
I write an ending and then I work towards the idea of that ending, though I never get to it. I always reach a different destination as the characters evolve and make the simple idea become complex.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Too long. I see some write 3-4 a year and wonder how they do it. Takes me about nine months.
What’s the worst thing about writing a book?
When you’re in the mindset that you have to do it and then you don’t prepare what you’re going to write. It becomes a slog and you’re just writing to find what you’re writing about. That’s the worst. And finding things to change right up to the day of publishing. Every time.
What’s the best thing about writing a book?
The moment you know it’s taking off on the page and it’s not the pile of donkey droppings you feared.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I like dark fiction with complex characters. I made my first attempt to write after reading James Ellroy’s American Tabloid. It’s twisted, foul, fueled by conspiracy theories, and brilliant. Made me want to write, and the dark stuff, as soon as I finished.
If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?
I’m not sure. I love Iain Banks, especially The Crow Road – my novel, Moorlands, is my attempt at that, with lots of crime. But I’m not sure if he’s genre. Fantasy has an appeal, though the only ones I’ve enjoyed are Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood, Lavondyss, and The Hollowing, and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
Which book character do you wish you had written?
I wish I’d written James Ellroy’s Edmund Exley, a complex character who mixes righteousness with a sly cunning to get to the top. I love how Ellroy shows how his principles lose their edge in the heat of pressure from circumstance and peers.
About the Author
Sheffield native, New Jersey resident Jason Beech writes crime fiction. His coming-of-age crime drama City of Forts was described as “tense, atmospheric, and haunting” by UK crime writer Paul D. Brazill.
His latest novel, American Spartan, is a sequel to 2018’s City of Forts.
Jason Beech on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beech_jason
Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/JasonBeech