Interview with Mike Faricy, author of 'Bombshell'

Mike Faricy is the award winning author of mystery suspense thrillers woven together with a rich strain of humor and even some romance. He and his wife live in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland.

His entertaining tales are populated with the sort of quirky, oddball characters we’d all like to know more about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. They serve not so much as examples as they do warnings to the rest of us. None of his characters will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to topple the government. Rather, they’re individuals inhabiting a world just below the surface of polite society. The difficulties they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then, bad decisions make for interesting tales.

All of his books are stand alone, read them in any order you wish. Russian Roulette introduces the bizarrely devilish Devlin Haskell as a PI with a foot on both sides of the law. Dev’s adventures continue in Mr. Softee and the soon to be released Bite Me. Mike is currently working on his latest top secret project. He graduated High School from St. Thomas Academy and earned a BA in history from St. Norbert College.
His latest book is the crime fiction, Bombshell.

Connect with Mike: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Purchase Bombshell: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you for having me, it’s wonderful to be here with you. Bombshell is the fourth novel in my Dev Haskell, Private Investigator series. One night I ran into a woman I know who is on a roller derby team. The more we talked the more I started thinking Dev Haskell has to get into the roller derby scene. I liked the idea of the women all having clever names like Helen Killer, Maiden Bed, Brandi Manhattan and Harlotte Davidson. I used the name Hastings Hustlers for the English team featured in the story and things just sort of naturally took off from there. At base this is a tale of jealousy and petty rivalry that escalates into something a lot bigger and a lot more dangerous. Of course if Dev is involved there are bound to be some oddball twists and turns. But it’s a fun, fast paced read with a surprise ending or two.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It was a lot of work but it wasn’t hard. I have thousands of ideas and situations. The tough part is finding the time to address them all. I don’t work off an outline or even a rough draft. I begin my writing day by reading out loud whatever I wrote the day before. I do a light edit as I work through those pages. By the time I’ve finished that process I’m back in the flow and I start tapping keys. At the end of any day no one is more surprised than me about what plot turns and twists the story has taken. My tip for other writers, sit down in front of the keyboard start tapping keys and keep at it. Don’t be afraid to revise, delete or change, but keep at it.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

The one book I have not self published is a 1950’s noir boxing novella called Irish Dukes. It is one of the stories in the Fight Card series all written by different authors under the pseudonym Jack Tunney. A number of authors have contributed to this series and I was honored to be asked to contribute. All my other books have been self published. Bombshell is my tenth book, the fourth in the Dev Haskell series.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I should back up and say that I led the league in rejections from publishers and agents. Usually you don’t submit a manuscript or even three chapters. What you send to the publisher is a query letter. The query letter is a standard one page format; paragraphs one and two briefly describe the story. The third paragraph consists of a sentence or two about how wonderful I am. I would mail fifty or sixty query letters on every book I wrote, eternally groveling for a publisher. I enclosed a self addressed stamped envelope so the publisher wouldn’t have to pay postage on the 4x5 card that serves as their form rejection letter. One day a query letter I had sent to one of the big six publishers in New York was returned to me unopened. Across the front of the envelope was a purple stamp that read ‘Return to Sender’. On the back of my unopened envelope was a hand written note that read ‘This Does Not Fit Our Needs At This Time’. They couldn’t be bothered to even open my envelope. A dim light went on in my thick skull; Mike Faricy from St. Paul, Minnesota doesn’t have a snowball’s chance with these guys. Fortunately now there’s a back gate into the publishing world. It’s called indie publishing and I haven’t looked back.

I met with a publisher about a year and a half ago. He told me if they decided to accept my manuscript that day it would be somewhere between twelve and eighteen months before my book would be available. They would maintain the complete rights to my book, forever. I would be paid 15% commission out of which I would pay for any and all promotional efforts. Really? No offense, but let me know when we get to the good part. It just did not seem to be a workable option, at least for me.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I was really excited. We had a Friday night event with strawberry shortcake and wine for my extended family where I gave them all a gift wrapped copy of my first book, Russian Roulette. Of course I was secretly hoping they’d all want to buy ten more copies. I had my laptop on the dining room table displaying my author website. My mom called about a week later to say she wasn’t enamored with the language some of my characters use. I’ll take her comment under advisement, but it was a wonderful feeling seeing that first book published. Bombshell was my tenth book, and all of a sudden I’m working on my next title, Tutti Frutti, who knew?

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published? 

I mentioned the Irish Dukes novella in the Fight Card series, that’s due out in November, 2012. I’m working on another Dev Haskell tale, Tutti Frutti which is due out before the first of the year. I’ve two projects I’m working on beyond that, it’s just too bad I have to sleep because I could sure use the time.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

To be honest, none of my books have the least bit of redeeming social value. They are fast paced tales of crime fiction, theoretically written with a sense of humor and God forbid even a little romance. Based on the characters in my books, largely individuals inhabiting the sludge just below polite society, there is a basic life lesson to be learned or relearned; if you can’t serve as an example you may just serve as a warning. The other lesson is that all my characters find themselves in the situations they are in due to bad decisions, but then bad decisions can make for interesting tales.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

My books are meant to be enjoyable reads. There is no great message, in all honesty, there isn’t even a little message other than maybe lock your doors and pull the shade. I fear a message would take the enjoyment out of reading my tales. It’s not intentional, but I suddenly looked back and in all my tales in one way or another, a woman saves the day. She may dump Dev Haskell after that, tell him to never, ever call again, maybe block his phone number, delete him from face book. But, a woman saves the day. Maybe the message is every guy needs a good woman, Dev is still looking.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Please take a moment, get a copy of Bombshell then tell two to three hundred of your closest friends what a great read it was. Thank you for the interview, I look forward to chatting with you again. Many thanks and enjoy your week.

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