Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Video Killed the Radio Star by Duncan MacMaster! I will be sharing an Q&A. Video Killed the Radio Star was published by Fahrenheit Press on July 26, 2018.
Money in the bank and his dream girl on his arm – life was looking pretty sweet for Kirby Baxter.
Of course it couldn’t last. Where would the fun be in that? This is a sequel after all.
After solving the murder of a movie starlet the previous year, Kirby is doing his best to live down his burgeoning reputation as part-time Interpol agent and amateur sleuth.
Then reality TV comes knocking next door.
Million Dollar Madhouse is a reality TV show where a bunch of washed up celebrities are thrown together in a dilapidated mansion while their attempts to renovate the building are broadcast 24/7 for the viewers delight.
Kirby’s quiet town is thrown into chaos by the arrival of camera crews, remote control video drones and a cast of characters including disgraced actress Victoria Gorham, political shock-jock Bert Wayne and reality TV royalty Kassandra Kassabian.
When one of the cast members turns up dead the local police turn to the only celebrity detective in town for help and draft an unwilling Kirby into their investigation.
The first body is only the beginning of another rip-roaring adventure for Kirby Baxter and with Gustav his loyal driver/valet/bodyguard/gardener//chef/ass-kicker at his side, our hero plunges into the fray with his usual stunning displays of deductive reasoning and sheer bloody luck.
First of all, can you please tell us about your latest book?:
It’s called VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR, and it stars comics geek/amateur sleuth KIRBY BAXTER and his Scooby Gang of friends solving the murder of a talk radio host who is literally and figuratively killed by television.
Where do you find inspiration for your novels?
Usually in pieces. I will see something in the news, hear some rumour, read some story from history, and over time, those pieces gel into the plot and characters for the story. Usually the plot and characters form together, with the characters and their personalities driving how the story turns out.
Who is your writing hero?
I have many. Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, PG Wodehouse, Jim Thompson, PD James, Arthur C. Clarke, Dorothy L. Sayers, James Ellroy, JRR Tolkien, SCTV’s writers, and the many who wrote Batman and the Justice League comics when I was a kid.
Which book do you wish you had written?
I try not to think about that, or I’d just sink into a bottomless pit of jealousy.
What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?
First: Read a lot, then write a lot.
Then get your book done.
After that let it stew for a little while, maybe work on something else for a few days, then dive into rewriting. Because real writing is found in rewriting and editing. Lots of rewriting and editing. It might seem like hard work at first, but you will be surprised at all the ways to improve your work that you will discover.
If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?
That’s a tricky question. Inviting Chandler and Thompson would be risky because they’d probably get drunk and in a fight with each other. Hammett would lecture everyone about how Stalin was misunderstood. So I guess I would play it safe and invite Agatha Christie, PG Wodehouse, and JRR Tolkien, to have a pleasant meal while discussing character and plot construction, and world building.
What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?
Q— What’s an under appreciated work that mystery and crime writers should read or see?
A— A personal favourite of mine that’s mostly forgotten is a film from the 1970s called The Last of Sheila. It was written by actor Anthony Perkins and Broadway composer Steven Sondheim, and is a masterclass on how to structure a whodunnit. The clues are literally everywhere, but still has enough well played misdirections and distractions to keep you guessing until the very end. It’s also a subtle satire on celebrity with the cast of suspects all being parodies of Sondheim & Perkins’ Hollywood friends and colleagues.
About the Author:
Duncan MacMaster is a writer, pop-culture blogger, and film school survivor from the untamed wilds of Eastern Canada.
When he’s not concocting plots for Kirby Baxter to unravel he’s posting rants and rages about the business behind pop-culture on his blog.
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