Author Interview: Austin S. Camacho & The Wrong Kind

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Author Interview: Austin S. Camacho

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I’ve been a major mystery fan since seventh grade, so when I decided to write I wanted to create what I most love to read myself. My private eye, Hannibal Jones, was inspired by The Saint, Travis McGee, Lew Archer, and Phillip Marlowe, among other heroic characters I love. This is his seventh adventure, and it was driven by both the need to do something a little bit different with a missing person’s story and the desire to use a murder method I hadn’t seen before.

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

What a wonderful question! I’m an only child and I think that has prompted me to create protagonists who are loners and find it difficult to rely on anyone else. Hannibal Jones, being mixed race, is an outsider in many situations and tends to trust his own instincts more than anything or anyone else. Not that it always works in his favor. His girlfriend Cindy has said, “That’s my Hannibal: Often wrong, but never in doubt.”

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

I prefer to write in my home office. My desk has been in the family for three generations and has soaked up a lot of positive energy from past owners. The walls are lined with books and I generally write with a good mix of music playing. I lean heavily on classic rock and old R&B but you might hear just about every genre of music mixed in there except country.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
If by my “darlings” you mean those turns of phrase or bits of description we sometimes write that we fall in love with… if they don’t promote the plot or characterization, or if they are edging into purple prose, I have no issue at all with simply deleting them during the third re-write. It never hurts to make my writing tighter. Now, if you mean whole scenes that an editor tells me are unnecessary or distracting, well I have a word document they get dropped into. Any of those scenes might resurface in a future book or become the kernel of a short story later.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
I’ve met most of my favorite writers at various conferences. I’m an absolute fanboy and treasure my selfies with Jeff Deaver, John Sandford, Reed Farrel Coleman, Heather Graham, and other faves. The missing introduction is Stephen King. He seems to me to be an absolute original so my big question for him would be, who inspired him? Who were HIS literary heroes that drove him to write?

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
After being interviewed a few times this gets to be a challenging question. I don’t think I’ve told anyone that I still own all of the original Signet paperback James Bond novels I bought when I was in seventh grade. They cost sixty cents and the print is tiny, but they are keepsakes.

7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

  1. A serious camp knife (preferably the Randall Model #1 seven and a half-inch blade with micarta handle.)
  2. A flint & steel kit so I can make a fire.
  3. A serious first aid kit.

I would wish every day for paper and a pen, but they won’t help me survive.

8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
Only one? Well then, it would have to be the ability to heal illness and injuries. It might not help much against supervillains, but it would really enrich my real life. Of course, I’d have to keep it secret so I didn’t get mobbed by sick strangers or dissected by the bad guys trying to replicate my abilities.

9. Favorite snack?
Lays potato chips. No other brand will do. A close second place goes to Chocolove (ginger crystallized in dark chocolate.)

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? I am totally reliant on my GPS so I guess I don’t know how to get where I’m going. And my standard road speed is five mph over the speed limit… until someone passes me. Then I follow that guy. So far the car I was following has always drawn the police attention sparing me the ticket.

The Wrong Kind

by Austin S. Camacho

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

A distraught woman hires private investigator Hannibal Jones to track down her daughter who has run away, trying to escape the homeless shelter life her mother has come to accept. When Hannibal finds Connie Blanco she is entwined in a gang war and somehow connected to a murder. The corpse is barely cold before a second murder follows and Hannibal finds himself entangled in a complex plot revolving around stolen drugs…but who is the mastermind of this twisted scheme?

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Excerpt:

As Chico’s foot hit the first step he noticed Sophia for the first time. Just as his eyes met hers, Hannibal’s right foot thumped into Chico’s chest, slamming him back into the man whose jacket said he was Dave. Then Hannibal leaped from the porch, smashing his right fist across Billy’s jaw. A side stamp dislocated Jimmy’s right knee. Dave swung past Chico and clipped Hannibal’s cheek. Sophia gasped at the flesh-on-flesh sound of the blow.

Hannibal blocked the follow-up punch and snapped two crisp jabs into Dave’s face, staggering him into the tree growing up out of the sidewalk. Chico tried to slip past Hannibal, still driving for the door.

“Not tonight,” Hannibal said through clenched teeth. Sophia didn’t think Chico ever even saw the three punches, left-left-right that put him on his back, barely conscious.

With no standing attackers, Hannibal stepped back up onto the porch. “That was fun, but now I’m running out of patience with you boys.” Hannibal reached inside his suit coat, under his right arm, and pulled out a pistol. He pointed its muzzle down at Chico’s face.

“There is nothing lower than a man who beats his woman, although anybody helping him is mighty close. I’d beat your asses some more, just for fun, but I don’t feel like answering questions at a hospital. Now, all of y’all, drag your sorry asses out of here. And if I ever hear you came back here, or if you tell anybody where this shelter is, I will hunt you down and end you.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Austin S. Camacho is the author of seven novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008. He is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey. Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press.

https://www.facebook.com/austin.camacho.author/

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Danita Minnis

I should have known I would end up here... Give me a good book and I'm in heaven. Especially romance, mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey. Give me a laptop and I'm writing any one of these, and not in any particular order.

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