A story about a haunted diner with strange goings-on? Ghosts with murderous intentions? I’d totally read that. And it’s what today’s author is here to share with us. That and the X-Files script he wrote and sent in. Welcome Len Boswell!
Would you rather be abducted by aliens or a serial killer?
Being abducted by aliens sounds like the best choice. A little travel, a little probing, maybe a meal or a snack, with the bonus of missing time and maybe a strange tattoo. A serial killer? Sounds too stressful and final. At least with aliens there might be a chance.
Would you rather be locked in a haunted insane asylum or lost in the woods with a killer on the loose?
I’ve been to a haunted insane asylum in West Virginia, and as creepy as it was, the alternative sounds much scarier and much more deadly.
Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or Ghostbusters?
I’m totally in the tank for Scully, so definitely X-Files. Again, aliens sound more interesting than ghosts. And I once wrote an episode of X-Files and sent it in for consideration. I’d been commuting over a bridge that had an accident almost every day. I thought, maybe the bridge is occupied by a troll, so the episode had Scully and Mulder in a battle of wits and traffic jams with a troll. Unfortunately, I sent in my episode just as the show was being cancelled. The tyranny of timing.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in the same setting, where would you choose?
New Zealand speaks to me, cries out to me. I can’t imagine a better setting for a thriller, mystery, or fantasy.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A rat terrier, because my own rat terrier, Cinder, sits behind me on my office chair, performing duties as muse each morning as I write.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a memoir of my father called Unboxing Raymond. When my sister died a couple of months ago, my nieces came upon a box marked “Ray Boswell’s treasure box.” There was more than a hundred items in the box, many of which immediately evoked memories of my father and the events of his and our family’s lives. Each chapter involves pulling an item out of the treasure box and writing about its meaning. I’m hoping to finish the manuscript in October.
Flicker is a modern-day ghost story set in a haunted diner. When Charlie Brace buys, refurbishes, and opens a diner that’s been up on blocks for many years, he gets much more than he bargained for, from neon signs that flicker insanely, to a quirky staff, to odd customers, to an even stranger hobo-philosopher who picks through his dumpster while lecturing him on the moon and mythology, to the amorous advances of the previous owner’s widow, to a mysterious mother and child who appear at the diner one morning carrying steaming baskets of pies that are, in a word, charmed, to the appearance of ghosts with murderous intentions.
Are the mother and child ghosts or do they just bake great pies? What about Charlie’s head waitress, who dresses like a woman from the 1950s and spouts diner lingo no one has used in years? What about the man in the dumpster? What about the widow, who seems to be holding back about her husband’s death? And what about the customers, who grow anxious and impatient whenever the pie runs out? Who exactly are the ghosts, why are they haunting the diner, and why do they want to kill Charlie?
“One part Kurt Vonnegut, another part Carl Hiaasen . . . Len Boswell is a quirky, off-kilter, and very talented novelist.” — Michael P. Hartnett, author, The Blue Rat
Len Boswell is the author of nine books, including Flicker: A Paranormal Mystery, Skeleton: A Bare Bones Mystery, Stick Figures, Santa Takes a Tumble, The Leadership Secrets of Squirrels, Barnum’s Angel (2020), and his ongoing Simon Grave mystery series: A Grave Misunderstanding, Simon Grave and the Curious Incident of the Cat in the Daytime, and Simon Grave and the Drone of the Basque Orvilles (2020). He lives in the mountains of West Virginia with his wife, Ruth, and their two dogs, Shadow and Cinder.