Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michael Lamendola, All Night Long Shot




AUTHOR: Michael Lamendola
BOOK TITLE: All Night Long Shot
PUBLISHER: Michael Lamendola


Tell me a little about your book.
ALL NIGHT LONG SHOT is the third installment in my Red Fox Series, although it is very readable as a standalone crime thriller. Sal and Buddy Boy are not very good at being bad, having learned how to be criminals by the seat of their pants. They are sent by their boss to recover a meth chemist that a rival gang stole from theirs. Things don’t go as planned and the chemist gets away, and trying to fix their mistake only causes more problems. Now the rival gang has started a turf war, and with Sal and Buddy Boy caught in the middle, they must somehow take down the entire criminal organization from the ground up... and do it in one night.

What gave you the idea for this particular story?
The Red Fox Series was born from my reading one too many Stuart Woods “Stone Barrington” novels. What was originally a formula I found escape in became stale, and I thought I could do better! For ALL NIGHT LONG SHOT, as well as the other two novels in the series, I simply sat down and began writing. No outline. No preconceived notions. This approach to writing, I believe, really gets me thinking on my feet, and brings a palpable sense of urgency to the story I am telling, since the action in the book is literally unfolding as I write. The idea for this story was created as each word was put on the page, all the way to the ending.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Since my day job involves me singing on cruise ships for six to eight months at a time, I am blessed to not only do what I love, but have ample free time to write. Many sea days have been spent crafting my novels! When I am on land, I will steal away at local coffee shops in my San Diego neighborhood... usually four hours at a time.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t even know I was a writer until I took a look at my travel blog one day, which at the time had over fifty lengthy posts written over the span of five years. This was back in 2008. I hadn’t had any formal training, for writing anyway, but through those blogs I realized I had developed my voice. A mix of wit, sarcasm, and blissful ignorance, I found that my blogging voice was a perfect fit for the story I had brewing in the back of my head. That later became my first Red Fox novel, DIRTY WORK. After that I was hooked, and wrote the sequel, THRIFT STORE BOUNTY HUNTERS in less than six weeks.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
My crime thrillers aren’t going to help anyone save their marriage, or challenge the reader with deep, meaningful metaphors. My novels are pure escapism. The original idea was to write a novel for the guy who thinks he hates to read, putting the elements of a great action movie into words: witty dialogue that moves the story, believable characters that behave badly, car chases, explosions, and drinking. Turns out, both genders find my books entertaining. Like my series’ tag says, my books are kick ass, and funnier than hell, and I stand behind that statement.

Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
Up to now I have only written crime thriller novels with a heavy dose of humor. People have compared my work to Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker. I honestly had never heard of either one, as I am not a very well read guy myself, and did not read any of their work until after I finished ALL NIGHT LONG SHOT. Turns out my voice is indeed similar to theirs. That said, I suppose it could be safe to say I write with a touch of noir.

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
I find writing to be a creative escape. Perhaps that’s a byproduct of not doing it for a living. Since I am writing on the fly, occasionally I find my characters backed into a corner. Rather than scrap a few chapters and try again, I see this as a unique challenge to find an interesting way to keep the story rolling. Now, since I have yet to become a household name, I do my own editing as well. While I don’t mind it, it keeps me from focusing on creating new content. A necessary evil to be sure, but something I hope to one day entrust to someone else!

Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Thankfully no! If I was involved in the stuff I put my protagonists through, I’d be writing this from a prison cell. What is real about my novels are their setting. All three Red Fox thrillers take place in San Diego. I almost always use real locations, such as the series’ namesake bar, to create a bond between the action and where it takes place. To me, it’s a cool idea that one of my readers could find themselves in San Diego and decide to visit some of my novels’ locations.

What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Everything! I’ve researched tons of random information for my Red Fox Series, including guns, horse racing, meth labs, wine menus, the height of a particular water tower... it’s surprising how much real world information goes into a work of fiction! Also, the action in ALL NIGHT LONG SHOT is held to a strict timeframe, since Sal and Buddy Boy only have until morning to complete their huge task. And since the action takes place all over San Diego and borderland Mexico, Google Maps has become my best friend. If you have a bone to pick with five unfortunate individuals spread over San Diego, consider my book a Thomas Guide for getting the job done!

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Absolutely not. I have found that being an untrained writer helped me to avoid certain stigmas associated with crafting a story. I write my novels to be true to the characters found inside their pages. The bad guys, pushers, hit men, and gang leaders are bad people... and bad people use filthy language and guns with reckless abandon. And since one of my protagonists is a cynical, borderline alcoholic, and the other holds a detective license equivalent to a night school GED, they don’t make solid decisions either! I understand that not all readers appreciate this kind of storytelling. Thankfully, that’s why Amazon invented the sample download!

What about your book makes it special?
Too often I have read dust jackets on thrillers that claim the book they are keeping the dust off of are funny. Most of the time they aren’t, and that drives me crazy. It’s false advertizing! I take humor very seriously, and when I claim that my books are funnier than hell, I mean it. But I am careful to keep the humor within the context of the story... no gangs of midgets in my books! The humor evolves from my two protagonists who seem to always be in over their heads, and rely on poor decision making and blind luck to get them out. Bottom line is my books’ humor is grounded to the plot, and I guarantee they’ll make you laugh out loud.

What is your marketing plan?
If I had a fool proof marketing plan, my books would probably be about marketing, which wouldn’t make them so interesting. Essentially I utilize social media, writing 140 character posts about things I find funny and exciting. It’s my hope that this entices people to invest a few bucks in 78,000 words more. I’ve also had success with Amazon’s KDP Select program, but it helps that I have a series of three books.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
For videos of me singing, a grip of cruise ship blogs, and samples of my kick ass, funnier than hell crime thrillers, visit my webpage at www.MichaelLamendola.net! You may even find pictures of me with my shirt off...

Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
The hardest thing about writing is putting it off.

What’s in the future for you?
Right now? A grilled cheese sandwich and a pickle. Once I finish that, I will get back to work writing my cruise ship tell all book.




SYNOPISIS: Abducting a meth chemist from a rival crime family is a simple job for a couple of experienced thugs. Unfortunately for Sal and Buddy, that's one thing they're not. One misplaced gun and a can of mace later, the chemist is on the loose, and a turf war ensues. Thrown in the middle and running in opposite directions, Sal and Buddy must eliminate the competition in order to stay alive. Armed with stolen weapons, little skill, even less common sense, and a rusty Buick coupe, the odds of survival are slim to not a chance in hell. Even worse, they have to take out an entire criminal organization from the ground up, and do it all before morning.

ALL NIGHT LONG SHOT is the third installment in the kick ass, funnier than hell Red Fox Series. Each page is packed full of explosive action, poor decisions, foul language, bad guys that know how to be bad, good girls that know how to be bad, and enough drinking to make Betty Ford swoon.

All Night Long Shot – Sample
Setting: It’s eleven at night. Sal and Buddy Boy set up a fake stalled car situation to lure out a tow truck driver named Mitch, a guy who works for the rival crime gang they need to take down. He tows them back to his garage, and now it’s time to do the deed.
____________________
We enter a small waiting room, decorated with only the finest furniture the junk store couldn’t sell or burn. Through a doorway across from us is an office with a couple of desks, Mitch sitting at one and writing on some paper. The fluorescent lights weakly buzz from above as we walk into the quiet room.

“Have a seat guys,” he says, sliding some papers across the desk. “This is all basic stuff. Just fill out your contact and payment info. I’ll roll the tow into the service charges and give you a discount. You don’t gotta pay until I fix the car, once I figure out what’s wrong.”

Sal grabs a pen and begins to scribble, hopefully negating to include any real information, or using pseudonyms that might have already been used in an eighties sitcom… and yeah… he’s done it before.

“You call us a cab?” I ask, watching Sal enter an address that would only be accurate if we lived on a KOA campground in Montana.

“Already done,” Mitch replies, leaning back in his creaking office chair. “I use a regular guy. He’ll be here in a few minutes.”

Sal puts his pen down and reaches for his wallet. “I think I left my wallet in the car,” he says, looking at me. “Would you go out and get it? It’ll be in the glove box.”

“Sure,” I say, almost stammering. I push up from the chair, stopping in mid rise when I notice Mitch is aiming a gun right at me.

Mitch notices me noticing the gun. “I think you two need to sit down.”

Doing as I am told, I sit back down. Sal, who does not move, looks like he has already mentally sat down a second time, just in case.

2 comments:

  1. I like books that help me escape. Seems we have a lot to escape from these days.

    ReplyDelete