Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Conversation with Suspense Novelist Brett Garcia Rose

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Brett Garcia Rose
with Brett Garcia Rose

We are delighted to welcome back author Brett Garcia Rose to Omnimystery News.

Last week we introduced his new suspense thrillerNoise (Velocity Imprints; June 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats) with an excerpt, and today we're catching up with Brett to talk a little more about it.

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Omnimystery News: Tell us a little more about Noise. Is it the first in a series?

Brett Garcia Rose
Photo provided courtesy of
Brett Garcia Rose

Brett Garcia Rose: I knew when I started Noise that Leon would be a standalone character, even though I am often encouraged to write a sequel. His character was very dark, and I felt like his story peaked in the one book. My current novel, Ren, is the first in a series. I don't think the difference has as much to do with the story as with the characters themselves, particularly the emotional component. With Noise, a large part of the story was the character arc; how Leon's desperation first breaks and then transforms him. If there were a sequel, he'd be a different character; a result of that transformation, which reads more like flashback than series, but you never know.

OMN: Into which fiction genre would you place Noise?

BGR: I'd prefer that these categories didn't exist, at least not in such a stratified manner. I'd like to characterize my books as Literary Thrillers, but I've not yet seen such a classification. So thriller. Hard-boiled, maybe. Mystery? Perhaps.

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

BGR: I wrote the entire book sitting by the bay in South Beach wearing earplugs. My neighbors all thought I was crazy, surrounded by so much activity, yet all I did was write. I did get a nice tan though, and I moved away a couple of weeks before the book was released.

OMN: Describe how you go about transforming your storyline ideas into a novel.

BGR: I don't really plan at all, although I do use Scrivener for first drafts, as it makes it easier to jump around and refer back, as well as attaching notes to various sections and characters. I also write primarily in scenes, which lends itself very well to the tool and to the storyboarding approach to writing. Regarding the characters, I find that some just die out or never really get going, and I have to erase their trails from the story. Other times minor characters become pivotal and grow much larger than anticipated, which adds to the story.

OMN: How true are you to the setting of your books?

BGR: My books are not overly descriptive, as they tend to be short and action based, which makes the scene setting easier (and is the type of writing I like to read). I do try to be true to geography, however. In Noise, there was a scene where a tunnel was dug underneath a warehouse in a waterfront Brooklyn neighborhood. I researched the area, right down to the origins of that particular block (which was fascinating in itself) and the underlying glacial bedrock to see if a tunnel could even exist there. In Ren, I took liberties with the construction of the second avenue subway tunnel (location, timing, method) but I did make sure it was all possible. So I try to be true to the geography and environment, but I allow settings to change based upon the rules that govern the existing reality. And I think that's very important, at least to my style of writing. If a setting seems at all unreasonable or unlikely, then the reader will have a hard time placing him or herself into that setting, and the scene will ring false.

OMN: How did Noise come to be titled? And were you involved with the cover design?

BGR: The title, Noise, was there from the start; the main character is deaf, so the word refers to something entirely different (decide for yourself what that is).

I received 10 or so cover concepts, most of them more realistic looking than the one I chose. A few featured lions or characters set against a NYC background, which seemed a little too young adult/romance to me. Most people I spoke with advised me not to go with the current cover (I call it the scream), but I felt it matched the book best.

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

BGR: Oddly, some of the harshest criticisms match some of the best reviews, mainly focusing on brevity and minimal characterizations. That's just a style issue. Some readers like density, some like movement. I also like when reviewers comment on the writing style and the emotional content, which is something hard to find in action, noir type books, and something I strove to achieve. These are the readers I most like to reach. The best, of course, are the ones who complain, with a smile, that I kept them up all night and made them miss the train to work.

OMN: What's next for you?

BGR: Move to a new city and finish Ren.

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Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. His work has been published in Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase, Fiction Attic, Paraphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. He travels extensively, but calls New York City home.

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

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Noise by Brett Garcia Rose

Noise
Brett Garcia Rose
A Suspense Thriller

The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape. Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound. A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police-some corrupt, some merely compromised-are of little help. They don't like Leon's methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he's ever known is forward. He will not stop until he knows. Where is Lily?

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