Today I’ve invited Richard Hacker, author of the Nick Sibelius series, to stop by. Thanks for being here, Richard!
Where does the inspiration for the humor in your crime novels come from?
Thanks for having me today Audra. Can you believe it's 2014? You asked about the humor in my novels. I've always been a fan of writers like Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty), Carl Hiaasen (Sick Puppy), and Donald Westlake (God Save the Mark). Injecting some humor in a crime novel gives everyone a little more humanity. And I like to laugh.
If your main character were to make a New Year’s resolution, what would it be?
The main character of the series is Nick Sibelius, who has had a run of back luck over the last few years. He lost his wife, his police partner, his job on the Houston Police Department and has been living in a trailer just outside of Pflugerville, Texas. As a private investigator, he keeps hoping for low stress, run of the mill jobs like a divorce case. Instead he keeps running into very bad people with schemes which always seem to attract Homeland Security. In Dirty Water, he finds himself in a struggle with a man intent on destroying the water supply of Central Texas. And in Chain Reaction, which comes out in March, he faces off with a secessionist prepared to go to war to make Texas a sovereign nation. Nick's New Year's resolutions include: drink only after 5pm, find a woman I can love, get a new carburetor for the pick-up, and find a client who is not some megalomaniac wanting to take over the world.
What type of research do you do for your crime novels?
Some of my research is simply staying current with events in Texas which almost write themselves. Gov. Rick Perry actually shot a coyote while on a jog. In other words, he runs with a loaded handgun. He also called for the succession of Texas from the Union. A man tapped an aquifer which provides San Antonio with much of its water in order to farm fish. I could go on and on, but these little tidbits fall into my brain and out comes the twisted world of Nick Sibelius. I also do some background research. For example, with the desalination plant in Dirty Water, I had to get educated on how they work, what they look like and where you might want to build one in Texas. And I also do some experiential research, which involves going to a gun range to fire the types of guns my characters are using. It gives me a feel for the weapon, the kick back, the sound, the smell. All important details -- even if I don't use it all. And yes, while I'm more of a Booker bourbon man, I drink some of Nick's Jack Daniels for the sake of my art.
Describe your latest novel in 25 words or less.
Hoping to lock in the desalinated water market, an egomaniacal gaming entreprenuer schemes to contaminate the Austin water supply for centuries, unless Nick can stop him.
THIS or THAT:
Dick Clark or Ryan Seacrest?
I'm a future oriented kind of guy. So Ryan Seacrest.
Conspiracy Theory or Whodunit?
Magnum PI or Rockford Files?
Magnum PI had a cool car and a helicopter. Magnum PI
Inspector Gadget or Carmen San Diego?
Go, Go Gadget!
Where can we learn more about your books?
You can learn more about my books, Toxic Relationship, Dirty Water, and in March -- Chain Reaction, at my website, www.richardhacker.com and at your favorite digital bookseller.
Thanks Audra. Hope everyone has a great 2014!