-What was your inspiration for the Eddie LaCrosse series?
A whole mix of things. Tom Skerritt’s deadpan performance in Alien, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels, a desire to see a level of irony missing from the fantasy I was reading, and the Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon.” I wrote the first version of Eddie way back in high school, and oddly the first third of the initial novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, remained relatively constant even as the rest of the novel changed drastically over the years.
-Does Eddie LaCrosse reflect you in any way?
Ha! I wish. Eddie is smart, professionally competent, and always ready with a sharp comment or sword. In other words, nothing like me. I also gave him the superpower I wish I had, which is the ability to judge people accurately.
-What were the challenges of placing a mystery series in a fantasy setting?
The biggest challenge was finding the right voice. I must’ve rewritten it a hundred times over the years, each time in third person, trying to force it into the epic fantasy mold. When I finally tried writing it as if it was a pulp detective novel instead of a Wheel of Time knock-off, that’s when it really came alive. Writing in that voice was easy. And typically, it only took me damn near twenty years to figure that out.
-What kind of research was necessary for a series like this?
Not much of the technical kind, like you’d do for a novel set in the contemporary “real” world. It was more finding out what had already been done, and looking for details no one else had exploited. Each novel had one central concept, around which everything else orbited: dragon eggs as nuclear weapons in Burn Me Deadly, the story of the real pirate Black Sam Bellamy in Wake of the Bloody Angel, and Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale in He Drank, and Saw the Spider.
I did take a fencing class while writing the second novel, to understand a bit about fighting with swords. It was me, and a dozen kids with the oldest being sixteen. I showed them no mercy.
-Will there be more Eddie LaCrosse books in the future?
As always, that depends on economics. If there’s a sudden surge of interest (i.e., bigger sales), then I’m sure there will be. And I’ve done a few short stories here and there. And if there is interest in a new novel, I know exactly what the plot will be. So here’s hoping.