Thursday, December 5, 2019

Interview with detective/mystery author Austin S. Camacho

Novelist Austin S. Camacho joins me today to chat about his new detective mystery, The Wrong Kind.

During his virtual book tour, Austin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Austin S. Camacho is the author of seven novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008. He is featured in the Edgar-nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey. Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press.

Welcome, Austin. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The Wrong Kind is the seventh novel featuring Washington DC private detective Hannibal Jones. This time a distraught woman hires him to track down her daughter who has run away, trying to escape the homeless shelter life her mother has come to accept. When Hannibal finds Connie Blanco she is entwined in a gang war and somehow connected to a murder. The corpse is barely cold before a second murder follows and Hannibal finds himself entangled in a complex plot revolving around stolen drugs. To keep himself and Connie alive he needs to figure out who the mastermind of this twisted scheme really is.

What inspired you to write this book?
I like mysteries that don’t start with a murder and I became interested in the growing gang problem in suburban Virginia and Maryland. Then I stumbled upon a unique way to murder someone and the story fell together.

As you can see in this excerpt from The Wrong Kind, finding a missing person doesn’t always work out well for our hero:

            if you take my advice you’ll go back up to Charles County and look in on your mama. It might not matter to you but it will make her feel a lot better.” He stood, leaned forward and offered a hand to help her to her feet.
            And then the lights went out.
            Hannibal spun in the sudden darkness, one hand snatching his Oakleys off his face while the other darted under his suit jacket reaching for his weapon. Before his fingers could manage to grip the gun his head exploded with pain.
            The impact staggered him. The left rear corner of his head. With luck that might be enough of a clue. He whipped his left fist around and back. He hit nothing but air. Then an arm wrapped around his neck. Another arm went under his right arm and he felt the hand at the back of his head. He knew the hold, not a choke in the classic sense, but what television wrestlers called a sleeper hold, cutting off the blood flow in both his carotid artery and jugular vein. He could breathe fine but with no blood going to his brain it didn’t matter. He felt a deeper darkness moving in and his balance deserted him. The arms suddenly came away. Something crashed into his knees. Most likely the floor. His arms were unresponsive, and it felt like he was falling forward. He took a deep breath because he knew the next part was really going to hurt.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My Work In Progress is about a DC-based, African American female assassin named Skye. She has accepted a contract on a mob boss.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I had written three novels by 1999 and submitted them to several agents and publishers. At that point I decided to self publish to see if anyone really wanted to read my stories. The day the first book was purchased by a reader I finally saw myself as a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’ve retired from my career as a Defense Department communications specialist. I’m still an early riser because my wife continues to work outside the home. I generally drive her to the Metro to take a train into Washington DC, then come home, fill a mug with coffee, and write for a couple of hours. It’s important that I work every day but as part owner of a publishing company I also spend time during the day editing other people’s work, and doing marketing work, especially social media. Still, I manage to lay down a couple thousand words of my own novels in the morning, five days a week.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It may be that I need to picture everything that happens in my stories before I can write it. This often means standing up and going thru the motions of a fight scene to see how it would really work. I know my wife is always amused to see me fighting invisible enemies like a violent mime.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first I wanted to be a detective like Batman in the comics I grew up on. By high school that had switched to journalism which I eventually found my way into during my Army time.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope people who read my Hannibal Jones novels can see that the books are about more than solving a crime. Each has a social theme, and the series overall is about the rising and advancing of one man’s spirit. I think Hannibal’s personal growth, what he learns from each case, makes this series different from most others.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

James Robert said...

My family loves reading so hearing about another great book I appreciate. Thanks for sharing and also for the giveaway.

marisela zuniga said...

Thank you for sharing the interview