Author Interview: Roger Peppercorn – On The Devil’s Side of Heaven

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Author Interview

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

Well they say to write what you know so I’m write crime fiction. Which, now that I say that out loud sounds bad. I really don’t know much about crime at least not in the firsthand stance. But I do read a lot about crime, and the commission of crime. Which again doesn’t sound that good when you say it out loud.  

What made me write this book. After a while it was either sit down and write it or attach electrodes to my frontal lobe and flip the switch. Again, not like it sounds out loud like it does in my head.

Kidding aside I had been working on it for a long time and there was a point where this story was consuming a lot of my inner dialogue so at some point I sat down and just let it flow through my fingers to the keyboard.

I have two new projects I’m thinking about all the time one is the follow up to my first book which is titled The Sometimes Long Road home which will have all of the main characters from the first book, It picks up about a year and a half later.

I’m also working on a new set of characters for a book that right now is called Bearing the Cross. It will revolve around an ex-priest named who still is doing the work of a priest just without the collar. This will be a different kind of crime thriller with a whole new set of characters. But I promise there will enough murder and mayhem to keep you entertained.

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

Really good questions, Well, I’m a first born. I have one other sibling who is a cop oddly enough. Not sure how the order of birth shapes my views of the world but I spent some years in the service when I was much younger. I have always had a bit of a wonderlust in me. Always looking to the horizon wanting to know what is on the other side. After I got out my wondering the earth didn’t stop. I got a job in telecom that allowed me to work all over the states and some time over in Europe and of course Canada.

Those travels probably more that anything else really forged my views of the world. What you realize after all that time on the road is most places are the same. I mean everyone has the same priorities which are family, health, food on the table, paying the mortgage, and retirement. Trying hard not to make the mistakes of their parents not that they have kids.

Probably that more than anything else is what has formed my views on the world. Maybe get out more go beyond the borders of where you exist. I don’t know I guess that’s probably it.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

Favorite place to write is probably in a hotel room while I’m on the road. It’s quiet without any distractions. Maybe some light music in the background. Yeah probably that’s my favorite place. Definitely late at night.

I so wish I could get up throw a pot of coffee on sit down and pound it out. But that’s not really my writing style. Sometime after eight there is generally whiskey or beer involved. Normally I’ve been working on a scene or a few scenes throughout the day and now its time to sit down and write them out. If nothing else I get the premise of the scene out of my head.

I’m also big about spreading out. I need a lot of room for the elbows. Now this is going to sound maybe a bit weird or diva like, but I have this thing about sitting and writing in one spot for a long time and my arms sweating on a desk so I will put hand towels under my arms so they don’t sweat. So, nothing to weird or odd I hope.

I think you definitely need a fairly routine place to create but there are no real rules to writing.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

Well when you write murder and mayhem, I suppose you can’t be hung up on some gore. But and this next part is going to sound preachy. I don’t knock someone off lightly and there is a bit of the dramatic when it happens. Plus, I think it is a lot like nudity in film and TV. It should not be gratuitous, and it should serve the story in a way that moves it along. I also don’t think it needs to be that graphic which is a bit hypocritical because all of my death scenes are pretty graphic.

All of my characters make it through the first book but not everyone will make it to the end of my next novel. Those scenes are taking a lot of planning and prep ahead of writing them.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

Well my favorite author is James Lee Burke and probably its going to be about scene setting and his dialogue structure. When he sets the table in a scene it is very vivid to the reader which makes the fictional world he has created another main character. It adds layers to not just the story but also every scene, but it is his dialogue between characters that really stands out. The back and forth between characters and the reactions they have are just so crisp. From a storytelling perspective it’s next level writing.

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

Ah, man these are really good questions. Something no one knows. Well for those that only know me through the dust cover or social media they know a lot. And I’ve given you a lot in this interview. But to hit the highlights I was born and raised in Colorado which is convenient since that’s where the book takes place. I now call South Dakota home, Primarily in the beginning because that’s where my wife is from and I really fell in love with the area and now four kids, four dogs, a bird and seventeen years later it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.

In the last couple of years, I have taken up smoking as a hobby, and that’s not the Mary Jane or Marlboro smoking either. I’ve always wanted a smoker for things like chicken wings or any other kind of meat. I have perfected smoked chili and meatloaf that is awesome to say the least.

But probably the thing they don’t know is I am horrible at grammar. I failed it often when I was in high school. Right after I signed on with Wallace, I did give them a heads up this was not my strong suit. Leesa my publisher told me not to worry because I didn’t own the patent on bad grammar.

So yeah probably that. I suck at grammar.

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

Man, these are really good questions. A backpack for company and three items in my survival pack. So if this is the genie in the bottle and the obvious like kids and wife aren’t part of it because obviously you know they would be if I could.

Endless supply of electricity for a laptop cause you know why not? It’s a deserted island so I assume there are pirates at some point which means rum so I’m good there. Of course the electricity could also be used for the smoker. Shoes. Have to have a really good pair of shoes because in that movie castaway and die hard that whole not having shoes thing seems like it’s a problem.

So electricity for the smoker and laptop (came with the talking backpack doesn’t count) and good shoes.

This probably says a lot about me, right? I may have to come back to this question and change it up so I don’t sound so weird.  

8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?

Ooh flying would be nice, No more airports. But then there is transporting so good news is I wouldn’t have to wear tights and a cape cause nobody should have to see me in tights and a cape. I kinda like the idea of way super smart. But then I’m going to be explaining everything and that seems like its going to become a real pain at some point.

How about that magic ring to create things? That could be fun but then again there would be a mask and a hidden identity plus now I’m back to tights but not a cape. So maybe that doesn’t work out the way I think it does. Which by the way what is it about capes and tights to the superpower? A bit overdone at this point isn’t it?

How about invisible? That could work. I like that idea. Cept at some point it maybe gets a little creepy right? And then not to mention your out on a date with the wife and she’s talking to some dude she can’t see and now she has to worry about getting locked up for mental issues and your kids start to think your god. So, yeah that’s going to be a problem. Not sure how that works itself out in the end.

Superpower in my existence. Can I make one up? Which sounds stupid because that’s not a thing. By the way and this is off topic I love those shows that hunt for bigfoot. And the in-camera interviews talking about bigfoot. My kids love those shows.

How about not being a jerk ever? Always have the right response no matter the situation. You’re a lot more likable, no tights or a cape. Your wife and kids aren’t getting carted off for talking to themselves all the time. I don’t sound like a ego maniac or narcissist. So, I’m going with that. Not being a jerk ever.

9. Favorite snack?

My daughter got me hooked on those little halo oranges. We eat a lot of those around the house and even when I’m on the road I generally get a bag of those and snack on them.

But if its not the healthy snack then it would have to be those jellybeans that are covered in the nerd candy. Not sure what they are called or where she got them, but they are awesome. Love those things.

However, its hard to beat a good solid corn chip and salsa. And for whatever reason you can only get the good chips in Mexican restaurants. Why is that by the way?

Can’t say no to a good chocolate bar though. But if you go that route there should be peanuts and cherry filling involved. Plain chocolate is good, don’t get me wrong but if its going to be your favorite then you shouldn’t have to scrimp.

Pudding is making a comeback in our house. My wife has been getting those little pudding cups for snacks around the house. I like those.

Another good question.

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I mean it’s the 500 so who cares if you know how to get there and I’m definitely not driving the speed limit. This has to be Fast and Furious territory here. Like the only time you get to be nasty on the drive. But your going to need the soundtrack to really pull this off because otherwise you’re just driving aimlessly really fast and for not a lot of good reasons.

Could you imagine driving a high-end sports car on the way there, but you never break like 45mph? Kind of feels like a crime in of itself.

I really enjoyed this. Loved the questions. Thanks for the time and opportunity.

RP.

On The Devil’s Side of Heaven

by Roger Peppercorn

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GENRE:   Thriller / Crime

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BLURB:

With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life.

Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he’s retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life.

Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado.

Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.

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Excerpt:

A little after midnight on a clear and cold morning in March, Jimmy Dix parked his car three miles from the farmhouse. From here it would all be on foot. The sky, dark and overcast, would cover his approach to the farmhouse situated in the adobe desert, fifteen miles from the little town of Loma, CO. His target presumably would be asleep and unaware of his impending death.

Big Max Benson had been clear in his instructions. The job had to be tonight. Jimmy hadn’t bothered to ask why. Fifteen thousand dollars had been more than enough to silence any idle curiosity he may have had. And the promise to convert all the red ink that bore Jimmy’s name in Big Max’s ledger to black had been the clincher. He had driven fifteen hours in a rental car he had picked up in a hotel parking lot just outside of Billings, MT. In the trunk, Big Max had left a cut down 12 gauge shotgun, an AR-15 and a 9 mm pistol. Each weapon had come with more than enough ammo to do the job. Jimmy had brought along his own set of NVGs for the nighttime raid.

He sat in the car, staring out the windshield, thinking about the three mile hike he had in front of him. The car heater was cranked up to high. The dashboard clock read 12:02; the hike would take him about an hour. He thought about the task at hand. After he arrived, he would need probably thirty minutes to scout his final approach plus maybe another fifteen to twenty minutes to get set up. Maybe another five minutes to carry out the job. Jimmy did the math in his head and figured that worst case scenario, he would be back in the car no later than 4 a.m. This would leave him more than enough time to get clear of the area. Jimmy smiled at the thought of coming in under the cover of darkness, killing someone and then leaving under the same veil before any cops showed up.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Roger Peppercorn has suffered for the better part of his life from wanderlust and this need to see the other side of the horizon has taken him to all parts of the world. The people and backdrop of his travels have served as the inspiration behind his characters and storytelling.

As a child, his mother taught him to read and write. His father’s collection of Louis Lamour novels provoked the fantastical images in his mind and the romance of the written word. In the seventh grade, his history teacher brought the characters of a bygone era alive. From that point on, Roger began to hone his skills in storytelling. After high school, Roger took a course in creative writing that was taught by a long haired hippy in a Hawaiian shirt. 

Roger’s grandmother used to tell hypothetical tales of traveling across the plains in a covered wagon, the woes of having a son sent off to war, and the larger-than-life man she met at Pea Green Hall who later became her husband.

His first two novels “On The Devils Side of Heaven” and “The Sometimes Long Road Home” take place on the western slopes of Colorado, in the sleepy town of Fruita, where he grew up. They center on the strained relationships and sorted histories of three characters – Walt, Ronald and Jessica, and violence that erupts around them.

Roger is married and is a father of four beautiful children. He currently calls South Dakota his home.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorroger.peppercorn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRogerPepper

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/59279393-therogerpeppercorn

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devils-Side-Heaven-Roger-Peppercorn-ebook/dp/B077QTZ31P/

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Side-Heaven-Roger-Peppercorn-ebook/dp/B077QTZ31P/

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Published by

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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