23 Nov 2015


Author Interview / Earl Javorsky

Things haven't been going well for Charlie Miner. His work as a private investigator involves him with an endless roster of shady characters. His ex-wife is borderline crazy. And he hasn't been getting to spend anywhere near enough time with his teenage daughter Mindy, the one person in his life who truly matters to him.

When he wakes up on a slab in the morgue with a hole in his head, though, things get even worse.

Just before the shooting, Charlie was investigating a case involving fraud, gold, religious zealots, and a gorgeous woman who seemed to be at the center of everything. Even with a fatal bullet wound, Charlie can connect the dots from the case to his attack. And when his daughter is abducted by someone involved, the stakes get exponentially higher. Charlie needs to find Mindy before the criminals do the same thing to her that they did to him.

After that, maybe he'll try to figure out how he's walking around dead.

Irreverent, circuitous, and surprisingly touching, Down Solo introduces a crisp new voice to suspense fiction.
1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? Tough question. There are so many authors whose work I love, and yet probably very few I can imagine working with. Elmore Leonard is gone, so there goes boot camp with the master. I would listen very carefully to everything James Lee Burke had to tell me, but our styles differ so greatly that working together (not sure what that means, really) would be problematic. Same with Cormac McCarthy. I’ll go with Nic Pizzolatto, whose book Galveston has a lot of heart, and who was able to take his vision of a noir crime story to the screen with True Detective.
2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? A typical day for me is waking up at ten, making breakfast and playing Scrabble with my wife, and then doing stuff like I’m doing now: interviews, networking and promotion, social media, etc. I do editing and proofreading work, so I get to read a lot of good work and get paid for it. Finally, once in a while, I’ll go on a week-long creative jag and crank out some material. Right now, I’m two months behind on my contract deadline for a third book (a sequel to Down Solo). I am not a disciplined worker.

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you? The typing part.

4. When and why did you first start writing? I wanted to be a writer pretty early. When I was about fourteen, I got the meanest English teacher in my high school. She kicked five people out in the first five minutes of class, and I was likely going to be the sixth. I got poor grades on my first few papers and decided I was going to step up my game. I started getting As, which served as affirmation that I was good with words on paper. My thought was to go into journalism, but I got distracted by the music world.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book? Down Solo was just an off-the-wall idea that came to me out of the blue: A character wakes up looking down at his body on a gurney in the morgue. When he hovers closer to it, it pulls him back in and he finds he can make it move. Now he needs to know who put the bullet in his brain. From there it’s pretty much a Chandleresque mystery, but with a touch of Stephen King. In Trust Me, I had a model for the protagonist (myself) and for the villain.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? Giant reader. Always have been. I call myself a print junkie; I read while I pee (I’ll pick a random page in the AP style book). I started with science fiction when I was a kid, then moved on to the Beat stuff, dabbled in literary until I realized it mostly didn’t interest me, and then just went eclectic, from Borges to Jonathan Lethem, Iain Pears to Robert Crais. Right now I’m reading Assumption, by Percival Everrett, whom I had never heard of until I read about him in The Atlantic.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? Sure. Read, write, take a class. Join a read-critique group. Leave it when the experience gets old, but stay in touch with the people you liked. It helps to be in a culture of writers and not exist in a creative vacuum. Read Strunk and White. Own a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style. Know the rules so can break them. Be satisfied with the intimacy you can create with whoever reads your work and hears you as you want to be heard.

Earl Javorsky is a writer and editor living in Oceanside, CA. You can read more about him and his books at www.earljavorsky.com.