Monday, 5 January 2015

Guest Author Interview - Andrew Stanek

After a brief hiatus over the festive period the Guest Author Interview feature returns with an interview with mystery author Andrew Stanek:
Click on image to buy from Amazon

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Andrew Stanek. I'm an independent author from Fremont, California and I'm a pretty new writer - I started writing about a year ago. I've lived in California my whole life. I grew up here and I went to college in Southern California.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I think it was basically that I had a lot of stories in me that I wanted to get out. I majored in biology in college but I just couldn't stand being stuck in an underground lab all day doing. Wherever I look, I start seeing a possible story behind everything, and I think that's what pushed me to become a writer. Murder mysteries specifically were pretty natural for me. I grew up with Agatha Christie.

Where did the idea for your latest book come from?
I recently wrote a firestorm of eight mystery novels - Murder on Wheels, Death in Detail, Shell Game, Vanquished, Heartbreak, The Murder Next Door, Vanishing Act, and Domino Effect - all featuring Felix Green, my kleptomaniac detective. I decided to write these novels after I got an overwhelmingly positive response to my first Felix Green mystery, Death by Nostalgia.

Felix himself came out of events I've experienced. A lot of the problems that the fictional Great Redmond City faces in my mysteries relate to problems that we have locally, some even in my home city of Fremont.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history - who would it be and why?
While I'd be tempted to follow some ancient figure and unravel a great historical mystery, I think I'd choose my grandfather. I never really knew him and I'd like to spend a day with him.

What makes your books stand out against the competition?
A lot of things! First, my books are tinged with humor in a world of murder mysteries that have gotten increasingly bleak. I don't think murder mysteries should have to weigh on you. My detective, Felix Green, is colorful and interesting, and he contributes to a lighter atmosphere. I think the relatively short length - a three-hour read or so - will also be appealing to a lot of people.

What was the last book you read?
I'm afraid there's a horrifically dull answer to that. I last read "Financial History of the United States" by Paul Studenski and Herman Edward Kross. Before that, I read "Evil Under the Sun" by Agatha Christie.

What is your favourite word?
My favorite word is "singular," when used to mean "special or unique." I first came across it in this context in the works of Conan Doyle. Holmes often talks about the "singular" qualities or items or people. My other favorite words are "mountebank" and "life."

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm not working on anything at the moment. I'm trying to get people interesting the books I've already written! I have some vague sketches for another mystery novel and a fantasy book.

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
I wrote eight Felix Green mysteries (which I've already mentioned are Murder on Wheels, Death in Detail, Shell Game, Vanquished, Heartbreak, The Murder Next Door, Vanishing Act, and Domino Effect) in a very short period of time. There's a sort of wisdom in the industry that the best thing you can do to sell more books is to write more books so I decided to put that theory to an extreme test. It hasn't worked very well for me so far.

You can find all eight books by searching for name ("Andrew Stanek") on Amazon.

Click here to buy Death by Nostalgia from Amazon US / Amazon UK

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