Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Interview with Wounded Prey's Sean Lynch

Today's guest is Sean Lynch, author of Exhibit A's Wounded Prey.

How long was Wounded Prey gestating in your head before you put pen to paper?
I conceived WOUNDED PREY on Halloween night in 1987.  I was finishing a pre-shift workout and running on a jogging path along the eastern waterline of the San Francisco Bay.  I saw a group of small children trick-or-treating.  They were being herded by a harried mom, and as I jogged past I couldn’t help but imagine, “What if I were a bad guy?  What if I weren’t an off-duty cop, but instead a monster? Who would stop me, if I decided to snatch a child?”

The extension of that chilling thought got my creative juices flowing.  Though I’d only been a cop a couple of years, I’d already been exposed to a few people who shared some of the qualities embodied in Vernon Slocum.

How did you hook up with Angry Robot/Exhibit A?
I was lucky enough to have my work taken on by the top thriller agent on the planet, Scott Miller, of Trident Media Group.  Scott recognized my stuff as a little ‘harder-edged’ than your average crime-thriller, and connected me with Exhibit A Books, and its helmsman, bestselling author Emlyn Rees.  Exhibit A is a division of Angry Robot Books, the crew which turned the Sci-Fi world end-up with their gonzo, go-for-broke style and stable of rock-star authors. I was honored Exhibit A gave me an opportunity to be a part of their posse.

Which of the leads most resembles you, Farrell or Kearns?
There’s doubtless a bit of me in both Farrell and Kearns.  But I would have to say, since I was such a green cop when I wrote WOUNDED Prey, that Kearns more closely reflects me at the time of the book’s writing.

Where did Vernon Slocum come from?  He was one scary bastard.
Vernon Slocum is a mish-mash of a number of people I knew, from my upbringing in Iowa, military service, and my early days as a cop.  I cobbled him together like the Frankenstein monster, from a menu of evil qualities I’d seen or experienced.  I added a heavy dose of historical fact in his backstory, especially the stuff about the mental health funds being cut by the Reagan administration during the 80’s.  That event created the Petri dish for a being like Vernon to gestate in. Vernon Slocum is definitely a man of his times.

What can we expect in the future from Farrell and Kearns?
I’m currently sketching out a Farrell and Kearns sequel where the duo goes to the Arizona desert and tries to snare a flightless bird with an elaborate collection of ACME products. 

Kidding aside, I’m brewing a sequel, and don’t have anything definitive I can describe yet.

Who would you cast in a Farrell and Kearns TV series?
In a perfect world, I would cast Ed Harris as Farrell, Ryan Gosling as Kearns, and Vin Diesel as Vernon Slocum.  I envision Vin with a crew-cut, gnarly teeth, and his body covered in Vietnam-era military tattoos in much the way Robert DeNiro’s Max Cady was covered in biblical ink. 

What are you reading now?
I’m re-reading an AMERICAN GUNFIGHT, by Stephen Hunter; he’s worth the second perusal.  My next reads are en route; I’m waiting anxiously for my copy of Richard Parker’s SCARE ME and Dan O’Shea’s PENANCE, which are on order. 

What is your favorite book of all time?
Tough call.  Pushed hard, it would have to be Anthony Hope’s A PRISONER OF ZENDA.  Hope was truly a thriller pioneer.

Is there a particular book that made you want to be a writer?
There are a lot of works which influenced my writing, but if I were to point to one, it would be Robert Parker’s LOOKING FOR RACHEL WALLACE.  It is such a smooth, efficient work.  Parker made it seem effortless.

What is your favorite dirty joke of all time?
Q:  What’s the hardest part of having sex with an underage girl?
A:  Getting the blood out of the clown suit afterwards.  (Old Sex Crimes detective joke.)

Any non-Farrell and Kearns books in the works?
I’m working on a stand-alone, as well as a character-based series.  With any luck, you’ll be hearing more from me in the future.  I hope.  Really I do.  Cross my heart.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Do it.  Write. Quit making excuses.  You’ve done enough damned research.  Put your boogersticks on the keyboard and throw down.  You can always edit later.  The crappiest finished work ever written trumps, “It was a dark and stormy night…” at the top of a blank page.

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