Welcome Tom Minder! Tom has previously visited this blog, and today he’s here with his new book, which looks to contain an unusual cast of characters. Release date is October 11, 2018. Preorder it at Black Rose Writing or Amazon!
What’s your writing background?
I had the basic plot for my first novel, The Long Harbor Testament, rambling in my head for most of my adult life. I started to get serious in late 2011, and began the outline. Two years later, I had a completed and edited draft. Three years of querying agents and small presses, and the subsequent time gaps without hearing back, gave me a chance to write and publish short stories in various literary journals, and eventually compile an anthology, Chronicles of Sam.
The Long Harbor Testament was accepted by Black Rose Writing in August 2016, and published in January 2017. Chronicles of Sam followed in December 2017.
What gave you the idea for The House Always Wins?
I wanted to continue the Long Harbor story of gambling, drinking, and fast food, but needed to update to a more current locale for these pleasures. Casinos, with their easy money, non-stop activity, and look-the-other-way approach to entertainment, fit my desire to tell a story of crime and its consequences to the community. Mix in troll-carrying slot players, an amateur magician, a hairy giant who resembles the Jersey Devil, and a crossbow-toting florist, and no one is safe.
Which characters were the most and least difficult to write and why?
One of the main female characters, a casino manager, is an ambitious, double-dealing opportunist. I had to be careful to not stereotype her from a male perspective, but rather give her a chance to breathe and plot for herself. Ironically, a female security guard, who also figures prominently in the story, had to be energized into a character who was willing to plot her own future. I had to make sure that these characters were realistic, and just not male perceptions of how they would act.
The male lead, a seven foot hairy giant, was easiest to write. He has all of my bad habits, desires, and hungers, while displaying just enough charm and humanity to have people overlook his flaws.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Having the patience to outline before plunging into the story. I actually ended up doing an iterative outline: sketch out enough detail to start writing, and then updating the outline and story as the characters let me in on what they were thinking.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
One character, the crossbow-toting florist, keeps appearing at odd times in the story, leading the reader to wonder if she’s as innocent as she seems. The presence of red dahlias throughout the story clues the reader to pending danger.
Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I’m left-handed, but bat, golf, and perform normal activities right-handed.
I’ve traveled internationally for my various jobs, and ended up in a police van at midnight in a Munich back alley. I played dumb and convinced my hosts that I was harmless.
I’ve managed to keep my wife for forty-four years. I think, like above, I played dumb and convinced her I was harmless.
I frequent the casinos, convinced I’ll win a fortune, but leave lighter in the wallet, but still hopeful and convinced of later fortune.
I have an adorable granddaughter who loves playing with me because I’m just a big kid at heart.
Where can fans find you?
Facebook: Tom Minder_Author