Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Conversation with Crime Novelist Javier Márquez Sánchez

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Javier Márquez Sánchez
with
Javier Márquez Sánchez

We are delighted to welcome novelist Javier Márquez Sánchez to Omnimystery News today.

Javier's first book to be translated into English (from his native Spanish) is Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo (280 Steps; March 2014 ebook format), a noir crime novel.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Javier about his work.

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Omnimystery News: When writing a book, how do you decide whether it will be a stand-alone novel or one of a series?

Javier Márquez Sánchez
Photo provided courtesy of
Javier Márquez Sánchez

Javier Márquez Sánchez: I have a story. Then come the characters. When the novel is finished, I see if there's need for anything more about these characters, to know them better, to see them in new situations. I never think about a series before I have finished the book.

OMN: Into what fiction category would you place your books?

JMS: I don't like labels, because usually they are not fair. They are too simple. Think about The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka. Would we say it's science fiction or fantasy? Sure, but just on the surface. In my case, I write hard-boiled, but just on the surface. With my books I want to tell a story, of course, but I want to talk about things I think they are important too, like political corruption or civil rights. The label I choose is just the road for my walking.

OMN: Give us a summary of Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo in a tweet.

JMS: Eddie Bennett is a detective from Las Vegas, in the fifties, involved in a case that reached from John Wayne and Frank Sinatra to U.S. Army.

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in your books?

JMS: When I write a story there is always something of me in one or several of the characters. In this novel everything happens in the fifties, and somehow the protagonist, Eddie Bennett, is my alter ego. If I could live in that period I would be like him; his looks, his vices, his friends …

OMN: Tell us a little more about your writing process.

JMS: There are compass writers and map writers. The first ones know where they want to go, but when they start their adventure they have no idea where the path will lead them. The second ones have the path well marked before starting to walk, but can afford some changes along the way. I'm that kind of writer, the map ones. Before writing the first line of a new story I need to know what will happen, to have a basic structure and development of the characters. From there, I do like to give the characters freedom, so that they grow and surprise me. But in many cases they change, and then I am forced to find alternative routes on the map. This is the moment when we say that "the characters come to life." It's fascinating when that happens.

OMN: How do you go about researching the plot points of your books?

JMS: I like to research well when I write a book. After all, I am a journalist. I like to dig into the details of the story and the characters. With a historical plot you have to be very careful. Sometimes there are details that seem insignificant, but it makes a difference: the model of a car from 1955, the name of a street or the traffic direction, the style of clothing, the way of speaking and thinking, if a building or an organization did exist or not at that time … We have to check that we are recreating the world in a right way. But this goes for all writing. If I write about China today and do not document well, I can fill my text with terrible mistakes.

OMN: If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, to research a setting for a book, where would it be?

JMS: That would be a whole lot of expenses. My next novel is set in many different places: Turkey, Iran, Greece, USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Morocco, Spain … If you ever have the funds, I would be very happy!

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author? And what might you tell an aspiring writer?

JMS: I would give the aspiring writer the same advice they gave to me: Just write the story you'd like to read; don't think about the readers, critics or the money. The book will be authentic, and at worst, you'll enjoy it like a child while you write it.

OMN: Complete this sentence for us: "I am a crime novelist and thus I am also …".

JMS: I am also a researcher of the dark side of the human soul.

OMN: What are some of your outside interests? And have any of them made their way into your books?

JMS: I like to play music. I play guitar, harmonica and sing in a country & rock band call The Last Drink. And movies, I love movies, so I watch and read a lot about cinema. Both hobbies are present in my novels: there are always musicians and actors, movies and songs …

OMN: Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo is an unusual title. How did it come about?

JMS: It comes from a line: "Sometimes life can be as lethal as a Charlie Parker solo", which a barman says to Eddie Bennett in the novel. Eddie's best friends are barmen from Las Vegas, and they are some kind of philosophers.

OMN: What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

JMS: I love it when people say "It was like watching a film while I was reading the book!"

OMN: If your book were to be adapted for television or film, who do you see playing the key roles?

JMS: If I could say any names in the movie history, I would say James Caan and Angie Dickinson. If today's actors, perhaps Liev Schreiber or Jon Hamm playing Eddie Bennett.

OMN: Have any particular authors influenced how and what you write today? What about films?

JMS: I think Ernest Hemingway has been always my main influence. Over the years I discovered Cormac McCarthy, John Cheever, John Fante … I love movies, and it's impossible for me to say which one is my favorite, but some of my favorites are Casablanca, The Quiet Man, Wild Bunch, Bring me the Head of Alfredo García, Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Red River, The Big Sleep, and The Godfather.

OMN: What kinds of books do you read for pleasure?

JMS: All kinds, from horror stories to classic, noir or drama.

OMN: Do you have any favorite literary characters?

JMS: My favourite characters … It's hard to say. Geoffrey Firmin, from Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, perhaps. Or John Fante's Arturo Bandini. From mystery series, Sherlock Holmes, without a doubt.

OMN: Create a Top 5 list for us on any topic.

JMS: Top 5 authors:

1. Ernest Hemingway;
2. Cormac McCarthy;
3. Jim Thompson;
4. Edward Bunker; and
5. George V. Higgins.

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Javier Márquez Sánchez is Editor in Chief of the Spanish edition of Forbes. He has been Editor in Chief of the Spanish edition of Esquire Magazine and Deputy Director of Cambio16, and has written several novels, short stories collections and non-fiction books on film and music. Sometimes he plays music with his two bands, Rock & Books and The Last Drink.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at JavierMarquezSanchez.com or find him on Facebook.

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Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo by Javier Márquez Sánchez

Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo
Javier Márquez Sánchez
A Noir Crime Novel

Las Vegas, 1955: The gambling capital of the world, paradise of the Mafia and its luxury hotels offering endless opportunities to tourists and Hollywood stars alike. In the midst of it all; Eddie Bennett, a problem solver who lives in a suite at the Flamingo, drives a Pontiac Silver Streak and hangs out with the stars and the mafia bosses.

One day he's asked to handle the paperwork related to the death of a young actress. But after a little snooping around, he discovers that there's more than a broken heart behind her death.

The investigation takes Bennett from the bars and casinos of Las Vegas to the set of The Conqueror in the middle of the desert, and on the way he runs into John Wayne and other Hollywood stars, pretty girls, mobsters, state secrets and more dead bodies …

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)

The Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates is Today's Third Featured Free MystereBook

The Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates

MystereBooks is pleased to feature The Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates as today's third free mystery ebook (A Suspense Thriller; Kindle format only).

This title was listed for free as of the date and time of this post, April 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of 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.

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The Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates

The Taste of Fear
Jeremy Bates
A Suspense Thriller
Publisher: Ghillinnein Books

American movie star Scarlett Cox and her husband, hotel tycoon Salvador Brazza, head to Africa to get away and resuscitate their ailing marriage. When robbed of their money and passports, they seek help from the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam on the very day Al Qaeda chooses to bomb it. In an eyeblink they are taken hostage and whisked across the border deep into the Congo, one of the last truly wild places left on earth.

Battling terrorists, deadly wildlife, and cannibalistic rebels, Scarlett and Sal must find a way to survive in a violent, primeval world. And the only person who may be able to save them is the assassin sent to kill them.

Amazon Kindle Book

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

A Night To Forget by Frederic Lindsay is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

A Night To Forget by Frederic Lindsay

MystereBooks is pleased to feature A Night To Forget by Frederic Lindsay as today's second free mystery ebook (A Jim Meldrum Thriller; Kindle format only).

This title was listed for free as of the date and time of this post, April 23, 2014 at 6:45 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of 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.

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A Night To Forget by Frederic Lindsay

A Night To Forget
Frederic Lindsay
A Jim Meldrum Thriller
Publisher: Endeavour Press

After a fraught dinner with his ex-wife and her husband, Detective Inspector Jim Meldrum escapes early to drown the experience. The next morning he awakes in an expensive Edinburgh hotel with bruised knuckles, aching ribs — and no memory of how he got there. Over by the window, a woman he doesn't know is getting dressed. If she is to be believed, they have spent the night together as lovers. Later that day, the body of a man beaten to death is discovered in an unoccupied room of the second floor of the hotel — in the room next to the one in which Meldrum woke up. Who was the dead man? And who killed him?

Tormented by doubts as to what might have happened during the lost hours on the night of the murder, Meldrum fears the answer may ruin his life. Yet he conducts his search for the truth with unwavering integrity. He will track down the killer … ;even if it might be himself.

Amazon Kindle Book

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Private Eye by Jason Deas is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

Private Eye by Jason Deas

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Private Eye by Jason Deas as today's free mystery ebook (A Cameron Caldwell Mystery; Kindle format only).

This title was listed for free as of the date and time of this post, April 23, 2014 at 6:30 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of 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.

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Private Eye by Jason Deas

Private Eye
Jason Deas
A Cameron Caldwell Mystery
Publisher: 3-Day Ranch Press

Ex-cop Cameron Caldwell swears he'll never work for a police department again. But, after getting a DUI in his police cruiser it isn't really an issue. The real issue now is staying alive. Cameron knows secrets that could cost him his life and flees to what he hopes is a quiet mountain retreat. Launching a detective agency in the town of Miner's Bluff, he unknowingly stumbles into a world of murder, moonshine, shifty characters, and even deeper secrets.

But the biggest secret belongs to him. It's the cornerstone of all his troubles. Cam can look into another's eyes and see their darkest sin — their most evil act. And it's beginning to take a toll on his sanity.

The murder investigations of his past and present collide as Cam tries to keep his life from unraveling and his eyes from tearing him apart.

Amazon Kindle Book

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Today's Mystery and Suspense Update from Big Fish Games (140423)

Big Fish Games

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

• Our Featured Title is Amazing Adventures: Riddle of the Two Knights.

• The current Catch of the Week is Mystery of the Ancients: Curse of the Black Water, just $2.99 through Sunday, April 28, 2014 only.

• Today's Special Deal — Big Fish Favorites Sale! Hundreds of Big Fish Favorite Games Are 60% Off for two days only! Use coupon code FAVES at check-out to purchase any Standard Edition game for $3.99 or use coupon code FELIX for Collector's Edition games at just $7.99. Offer valid through April 23rd, 2014 only until 11:59 PM PT.

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

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Amazing Adventures: Riddle of the Two Knights

Our Featured Title today is Amazing Adventures: Riddle of the Two Knights

An ancient chessboard is unearthed and the missing pieces need to be found. A curious trail leads you from the crowded bazaars of Morocco to the snow-swept summits of the Swiss Alps. With each new piece, a strange tale of two Medieval Knights is revealed. Complete 25 missions by finding hidden items and solving unique puzzles. Good luck!

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

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Mystery of the Ancients: Curse of the Black Water

The current Catch of the Week is Mystery of the Ancients: Curse of the Black Water

You travel to the remote island town of Black Water, investigating the mysterious disappearance of two archaeologists when you encounter a mythical monster straight from the ancient myths of Poseidon! What cursed secrets have these archaeologists unearthed beneath the town? Now it's up to you to save the world from falling into a curse of eternal darkness! Uncover the truth lurking deep below the island's darkening waters.

A sample version is available to download and play for free for one hour. You can purchase this game at the special price of $2.99 through Sunday, April 28, 2014.

Also available for this game: