Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Conversation with Mystery Author Max Everhart

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Max Everhart
with Max Everhart

We are delighted to welcome author Max Everhart to Omnimystery News today.

Max's debut mystery is Go Go Gato (Camel Press; July 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats) introducing private investigator Eli Sharpe.

We recently had a chance to talk with Max a little more about the character and his book.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to Eli Sharpe. What is it about him that appeals to you as a writer?

Max Everhart
Photo provided courtesy of
Max Everhart

Max Everhart: Eli Sharpe is the ex-baseball player turned private investigator featured in my mystery series. Sharpe has many of the same qualities and flaws as some of my favorite hard-boiled detectives. Exhibit A: he's a smartass, yet he has a strong moral compass, both of which, I hope, come through in his words and his deeds. Exhibit B: he has a fascinating (and highly unusual) backstory. Born in the parking lot of Red Rocks Amphitheater during a fifty-minute version of "Truckin'" by the Grateful Dead, he spent the first thirteen years of his life homeless. His parents — both hippie potheads and petty criminals — taught him how to take a punch and break into cars and homes. Too, he has five (yes, five) ex fiancées, many of which help him with cases. Exhibit C: he's quirky. Obsessions with Richard Nixon and seersucker jackets are but two examples.

OMN: Into which mystery genre would you put your series?

ME: I'd categorize my novels as hard-boiled PI mysteries with a generous helping of humor thrown in the mix. Of course, I was inspired by the works of Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald, and James Crumley, and to a certain extent, my books are an homage to the Golden Age of noir. But I also really enjoy the Spenser books by Robert Parker (and now Ace Atkins) and the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. In Go Go Gato, I wanted to write a fast-paced, somewhat convoluted plot with memorable characters and snappy dialogue. My only real goal when writing is to pen a book that I myself would like to read, and I pulled it off. Maybe some readers will agree. Would be nice if they did.

OMN: Tell us something about Go Go Gato that isn't mentioned in the publisher's synopsis.

ME: Originally, the character's name wasn't Eli Sharpe. It was Max Suits — as in he either "suits" you, or he don't. One of my favorite books of all time is The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley, and his detective's name is C.W. Sughrue — as in, "Sugar, you'll rue the day you met me." I dug that, the way the name was both pleasing to say and was kind of an inside joke. My publisher, to her credit, asked me to change it. She was right, by the way.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

ME: I write detailed character bios and a scene-by-scene outline on poster board. And here's why: I suffer from OCD. All that prep work is a symptom of my disorder, and it just so happens to be vital to my writing process. But, of course, once I start writing, I rarely even look at the character bios. They're just taped to the wall above my desk, wondering why I'm completely ignoring them. And changing 75% of how they look, act, dress, and speak. Sorry guys.

OMN: And where might we find you most often writing?

ME: Monastic is how I would describe my work space. Nothing on the walls except my aforementioned bios and outline. Nothing on the desk but my computer and a cup of coffee or Earl Grey tea. No music. No living things within a hundred yards of me. No cell phone. When I was in graduate school, I lived in a 400-square foot studio apartment. The place had a tiny closet, and I shoved (literally) a little desk in there, and that's where I wrote. It was delightfully claustrophobic, and I got a lot of work done. Even took it a step further and removed all programs and applications from my laptop. No Internet. No games. Just Microsoft Word. Doing that helped keep me focused. Guess the habit stuck with me. I have a one-track mind though. And I think "multi-tasking" is a myth, but I don't want to get off on a rant.

OMN: What is the best advice — and harshest criticism — you've received as an author? And what might you say to aspiring writers?

ME: The harshest criticism came from my dear wife, and it happened to be the most valuable to me. I'd written my first novel, and she read it and said: "It stinks. Write another one." Which I did. After I pouted for two weeks, all the while giving her the silent treatment. I figured out recently that before Go Go Gato was accepted for publication I'd written two books and dozens of short stories and personal essays. Rough calculation, that amounted to around 300,000 words, or eight years of writing. During that time, I don't even know how many times I was rejected by agents, publishers, and magazine editors, and you know what? They were right to reject me. I wasn't good enough. Yet. But I kept writing. I kept reading and writing … every day. No matter what. So my advice to aspiring writers, which is what I consider myself by the way, is simple: persevere.

OMN: Suppose Go Go Gato were to be adapted for television or film. Who do you see playing Eli Sharpe?

ME: I see Joseph Gordon Levitt playing Eli Sharpe. Levitt plays a detective in one of my absolute favorite noir movies called Brick. But if I could bring back the dead, I also wouldn't mind having James Garner circa 1978 play my protagonist. I love The Rockford Files.

OMN: What's next for you?

ME: The second Eli Sharpe book tentatively titled Split to Splinters is due out April 1, 2015, and I'm currently writing the third in the series. A few months back, I wrote a pulpy dime store type noir called A Sunday in Alphabet Land that I really like. I'm trying to get an agent for that one, so if you know any, I'm waiting by the phone/computer. On the personal side, I'm trying to teach my sixteen-month old son named Harry Huck not to hit me when he doesn't get his way. Let's just say the boy spends a good bit of time in the Timeout Chair.

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Max Everhart has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. His short story "The Man Who Wore No Pants" was selected by Michael Knight for Best of the Net 2010 and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Dzanc Books' Best of the Web Anthology. Currently, he teaches English and Creative Writing at Northeastern Technical College and Coker College.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at MaxEverhart.com and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Go Go Gato by Max Everhart

Go Go Gato
Max Everhart
An Eli Sharpe Mystery

When "Go Go" Gato, a young Cuban baseball player, goes missing mid-season, his agent hires PI Eli Sharpe to investigate. Eli, an ex-player himself, delves into Go Go's secret life, which includes a drug problem, a rich society girlfriend, and a druggie single-mom fiancée.

Eli is determined to locate the young man before one of the nasty people in his life — or his own bad habits — do him in.

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)  BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)  iTunes iBook Format  Kobo eBook Format

Danger in Academia by Emily Senecal is Today's Third Featured Free MystereBook

Danger in Academia by Emily Senecal

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

Danger in Academia by Emily Senecal

A Sliding Sideways Mystery

Publisher: Emily Senecal

… as today's third free mystery ebook. This is a repeat freebie that was last featured on our site on June 27, 2013.

Danger in Academia by Emily Senecal, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of October 01, 2014 at 7:20 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

Who knew academic life could be so dangerous?

Lainey Parker, now a senior at Columbia College in New York, is as concerned as the rest of her classmates when her favorite professor goes missing. But unlike her fellow students, Lainey happens to witness two very suspicious characters searching the professor's office for a mysterious "item". And when a certain agent for Interpol shows up to investigate, the very same man who broke Lainey's heart four years before, things really begin to get interesting — not to mention deadly.

Danger in Academia by Emily Senecal

Soho Slasher by Ben Hopkin is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

Soho Slasher by Ben Hopkin

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

Soho Slasher by Ben Hopkin

A Harbinger Crossover to International Hunters, Inc.

Publisher: Off Our Meds Media

… as today's second free mystery ebook.

Soho Slasher by Ben Hopkin, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of October 01, 2014 at 7:10 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

Kent Harbinger is on his honeymoon, but that's not going to stop him from taking on the case of all cases. In order to track down a modern day copycat, Kent and his adoptee Kyra Karela have to solve the decades' old Jack the Ripper mystery.

With the help of International Hunters, Inc., Kyra's team of the best of the best in international law enforcement, this serial killer is about to be history!

Soho Slasher by Ben Hopkin

Mr. Tea and the Bobbin' Body by Leslie Matthews Stansfield is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

Mr. Tea and the Bobbin' Body by Leslie Matthews Stansfield

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

Mr. Tea and the Bobbin' Body by Leslie Matthews Stansfield

A Madeline's Teahouse Mystery

Publisher: Cozy Cat Press

… as today's free mystery ebook.

Mr. Tea and the Bobbin' Body by Leslie Matthews Stansfield, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of October 01, 2014 at 7:00 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

Mr. Tea's owners, sisters Terry and Karen Sutter, are in high gear preparing for the upcoming high school reunion. Old friends and "frenemies" alike are just beginning to party when one of the guests, a former football player, is found bludgeoned to death in the swimming pool. Terry's boyfriend, Detective Greg Mullins, and his partner, Tom O'Hara, are on the case.

When another body turns up, Terry and Karen, along with those loveable seniors Uncle Henry and Aunt Rose, put their heads together to try and find the common thread. what they uncover is a terrifying story of brutality, revenge, deceit and old secrets that won't stay buried.

Did Mr. Tea know the secrets all along? Can he help the sisters solve the mystery before another body turns up?

Mr. Tea and the Bobbin' Body by Leslie Matthews Stansfield

Today's Mystery and Suspense Update from Big Fish Games (141001)

Big Fish Games

Here is today's mystery and suspense update from Big Fish Games …

• Our Featured Title is Death Under Tuscan Skies: A Dana Knightstone Novel.

• The current Catch of the Week is Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold Bug, just $2.99 through Sunday, October 05, 2014 only.

Visit the Omnimystery Entertainment Network for more games of mystery and suspense!

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Death Under Tuscan Skies: A Dana Knightstone Novel

Our Featured Title is Death Under Tuscan Skies: A Dana Knightstone Novel

Journey across Italy as best-selling novelist Dana Knightstone! During a lecture in a university in Tuscany, you are startled by the ghost of a 19th century girl named Eva. Decades ago, she died of a mysterious illness while her lover Giovanni left to find a cure. Why did he never return? Unravel the mystery of his disappearance as you explore beautiful landscapes in this incredible Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!

A sample version is available to download and play for free for one hour. Also available for  Mac.

Also available for this game:

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Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold Bug

The current Catch of the Week is Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold Bug

Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale gets a reboot in this fourth game in the well-loved Dark Tales series. You and your detective companion Dupin have been summoned to the seashore to help William LeGrand discover the exact location of a treasure lost hundreds of years ago. But LeGrand isn't the only one with designs on the pirate booty … A masked villain tries to make off with the code, and a mysterious woman in a veil seems to be connected.

A sample version is available to download and play for free for one hour. Also available for  Mac.

Also available for this game: