Back in October, I reviewed Broken, the debut novel of author Matthew Storm. It features a compelling, albeit self-destructive, woman private eye named Nevada James. Mr. Storm, who’s publicity shy, agreed to an interview. Here are the results.
GG: Your bio suggests that you didn’t immediately set out to be a writer. Have you always been a reader?
Since the time I was able to read. I’ve always had my nose in one book or another since elementary school.
GG: What sorts of books do you prefer?
I tend to jump from genre to genre. Lately I’ve been reading histories. 1776 by David McCullough was a recent favorite, as was Rubicon by Tom Holland.
GG: When you initially set out to write a novel, what led you to choose the P.I. genre?
I’ve loved the genre since childhood. I devoured Robert B. Parker as a teenager and would have to acknowledge his influence on my own writing.
GG: How did your protagonist, Nevada James, first come into being?
Nevada showed up on my doorstep in the mid 1990’s. Eventually she insisted I write her book and wouldn’t leave me alone until I did. Now she wants another one.
GG: Many male writers wouldn’t even think of using a female protagonist. What inspired you to go against the grain?
It’s not really about going against the grain. Characters are who they are. When I started Nevada’s book she actually was a man. By the end of the first chapter she wasn’t anymore.
GG: What do you like about P.I. novels? Do you have some favorite authors or series?
Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels for sure. Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder series. It’s about the characters for me.
GG: What do you find the most satisfying about being an author?
When someone tells me they felt a personal connection to the book, whether it’s to the characters or the story. That’s pretty good.
GG: What’s the worst part?
Oddly enough, it may be that I’ve got more stories in my head than I’ll ever live long enough to write down. And more show up all the time. It’s frustrating.
GG: If you could make any two changes to the state of P.I. novels today, what would they be?
I’m not qualified to answer this one!
GG: Will you give us any hints about whether you plan a series with Nevada James or when we might see another book from you?
Nevada’s next book, “Scars,” will be out…whenever I manage to finish it! She has a lot more stories waiting, and one of these days she’ll catch up with the Laughing Man. Or he’ll catch up with her. One or the other.