Dani Amore is a crime novelist living in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about her dark, mysterious and sarcastic ways over at www.deadlysarcasm.com
Can you sum up Dead Wood in no more than 25 words?
A disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator finds himself on the trail of a hired killer who has mysterious links to his own tragic past.
What was your motivation for writing it?
A true story, actually. The serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer used to drug his victims. Once they passed out, he would kill and dismember them, then have sex with their body parts.
One of his victims, however, managed to escape. He staggered into the street, completely drugged out, and flagged down a cop. Dahmer came chasing after him and convinced the cop the victim was his boyfriend, and was merely drunk.
The cop gave the victim back to Dahmer, who took him back to his apartment and butchered him.
I always wondered what that would do to a cop. To have a person come to you for help, and you hand him back to a serial killer who then kills him in the most ghastly manner possible.
I thought it would be an interesting starting point for a character in a crime novel.
How long did it take you to write?
For the first few months, I had a bunch of starts, stops, and startovers. I always seemed to get to about page 100 and then trash the whole thing.
Anyway, by the time I was ready to drink a crate of vodka and pursue my dream of bagging groceries at Publix for a living, I found my stride.
The rest of the book came pretty quickly, maybe another couple of months.
How important is a book's central character?
To me, a great character is only the beginning. It’s the relationships that character has that really makes it fun for me. In this book, I had a great time with John’s relationship with his wife, and one other woman, in particular. To me, that’s what makes a book feel complete. No matter how great a character is, if that’s all there is on the page, readers will eventually become bored.
What's the best piece of business advice you've been given?
The best piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is also one of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever been given. It was told to me by my boss in advertising. He’d given me a project. He wanted it done right, but he also wanted it done fast so we could bill the client.
He handed the folder to me and said:
“Kill it and bill it.”
Words to live by, my friends.
What's your favourite part of the writing process?
Finishing the first draft, driving to this little cabin I have on a small lake, building a big bonfire, and getting absolutely wrecked.
As a writer, how would you describe your ideal reader's taste in crime fiction?
My ideal reader likes Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, but wishes there was a little more sex and violence on the page. They also have a good sense of humor, perhaps leaning slightly toward sarcasm. And they love reading about strong women.
From an artistic rather than financial perspective, what book do you wish you had written?
Where do you find out about new books?
My current favourite is http://ebookbabe.com/. The Babe does not disappoint.
Do you have any other projects on the go?
Yes, the sequel to DEATH BY SARCASM, called MURDER WITH SARCASTIC INTENT, is just about ready. I’ve also got a Western coming out in the spring of 2012.