Monday, August 10, 2009

Ten Questions Tuesday with Brett Battles

Today Miscellaneous Yammering is thrilled to present the lovely, talented, globe trotting, thrill writing, wii bowling, Sudoku solving, full time living the dream of writing for a living author….Brett Battles. Brett's new book Shadow of Betrayal just hit the shelves. It's the third in his Jonathan Quinn series.  Jonathan is a Cleaner. He makes things disappear. Body type things. Bullet type things. Evidence type things. Jonathan lives in a world shaded in gray. He takes the jobs that needs doing and does them well. Brett watches him do it, tells us about it and makes the stories riveting.

Minions please settle down, cap your beverages, return your seats to the upright position and join me in welcoming Brett Battles to Ten Questions Tuesday.

K: Good morning Brett, thanks for coming in to see me today. How was your flight from LA? Any mishaps? Did you or Jonathan have to dispose of any bodies on the way?

B: Well, there was one guy in 10B who I was tempted to help exit the plane at 35,000 feet, but I restrained myself. Otherwise it was fine.

K:  I see you brought me a copy of Shadow of Betrayal. Thanks! [opens it and looks inside] Oh, nice signature. I would think that having a signature that looks naturally at home on a dedication page would give you a hint that maybe you were destined for greatness. Did your autograph look like this from the fourth grade on or did you perfect it after you published The Cleaner and The Deceived?

B: What they don't tell anyone is that all soon-to-be-published go through an extensive signature perfecting course taught by specialists from the Institute of Advanced Handwriting. It's grueling work, but pays off in the end.

K: I did not know that. Well, ok then Brett, let's jump right into your questions with both big giant feet ….mine, not yours….although now that it's come up, I'm noticing that your feet are pretty darn big as well…hmmmm…you did say you were single, right?
[K hands him a note that says: "We'll talk after the interview"]


K: Brett you actually like to travel to the places that you use for the setting in your books. Your current book begins in Ireland. Were you there while you were writing it?

B: No. I usually do all my writing when I return from my trips. The last thing I want to do is waste time in an interesting place cooped up in a room staring at my laptop.

K: You've said that you don't believe in writer's block, that it just means that you're stuck in the story and need to go a different way. Which of your books was the hardest in that respect?

B: That's easy. It was THE DECEIVED. Second books are notoriously the most difficult. Suddenly you're faced with deadlines and expectations you didn't have when you were unpublished. THE DECEIVED kicked my ass on a daily basis, but when it was all finally done, I was extremely happy with the result.

K: You quit your day job as an Executive Producer for E Entertainment almost a year ago now. Do you still feel like it's a dream come true to write for a living?

B: Definitely! Going though each day concerned with only my characters and how to move my plots along instead of being overwhelmed by the demands of dozens of people all needing something from my department is like heaven. Add in the fact that I've wanted to be a fulltime author since sixth grade, and I couldn't be happier.

K: You like to write in public, partly because you like to people watch. You told a story about seeing Death crossing Labrea when you were sitting in your favorite coffee shop one day. Do you think he was wandering toward the tar pits?

B: He was heading more in the direction of Hollywood Boulevard...which seems like a more apt trawling area for him.

K: Speaking of death, one of my favorite quotes of yours is "Hi, I'm Brett Battles, I kill with my keyboard."  

B: It's absolutely true. I'm not sure what my personal death toll is up to at this point, but it has to be nearly a hundred or even more. Each and everyone one of those snuffed out by my keyboard.

K: And staying with the topic of death but going on to death defying acts, you saved yourself from being killed by Manny Ramirez. What did you do to Manny to make him want to hit you with a line drive?

B: For some reason he got the idea that I was on the verge of tipping off the Commissioner's Office that Manny was on a female fertility drug. The fact that he was suspended not long after that was purely coincidental.

K: You're the second author that I've interviewed with an MC who drinks beer. Did you decide that for Jonathan, or did he tell you that he wasn't a slick martini drinking 007 kind of guy?

B: It was strictly a Quinn decision. But I'm more than happy to do the brand research for him. Let me tell you, there are a TON of great beers out there!

K: Your first writer's convention as a pre-published author was pretty awe inspiring for you. Your favorite things about the event were the number of free books you were given, snagging an agent and seeing Joe Konrath work a room.  Watching Joe is like watching the Tasmanian devil, did you get dust in your eyes?

B: Did I ever. Honestly, I was completely in awe of how he had the whole room in the palm of his hand. This was in Chicago, and I'm not even sure if his first book had actually come out yet. He's quite the showman.

K:  This being the third book in the series, have you learned anything surprising about yourself or about Jonathan as the books progressed?

B: Tons, but nothing I can share...could result in potential criminal charges. Hope you understand.

And finally……

K: Who is better at wii bowling? You or your daughters?

B: Early on it was me, but now...they beat me every time. It's humiliating.

K: Brett thanks so much for stopping by today to visit with me.  I really enjoyed having you and I'd like to thank you by presenting you with this Miscellaneous Yammering travel toiletry kit with your name and the date emblazoned on the side.

 And if you look closely, there's a secret compartment there in the bottom just big enough for a garrote, a tiny cyanide pellet and some extra black socks. Cause you can never have enough socks.

B: Not only can you not have enough socks, but they have a hell of a lot more uses than just covering your feet. Thank you so much for having me. I'll put the kit to work asap.

Brett Battles interviewed Jonathan Quinn at The Plot August 11th. You can read the interview HERE.
The interview was set at the Labrea tar pits and they discuss deep weighty issues like how many onions to put on a hot dog. It was quite entertaining.

To read more of Brett visit Murderati


Karen from Mentor said...

Hi Guys,
This doesn't have anything to do with Brett's tQt.

I just wanted to let everybody know that Daniel Radosh, who was my tQt interview from July 21st JUST GOT HIRED TO WORK ON THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART....!!!!!!

I'm so happy for him.

here's a link to his announcement.
I'll be putting it in as an update to his interview as well.

And I just want you all to know that I'm happy that I helped the process along. Cause as you all know, Jon luvs me.

Karen :0)

JT Ellison said...

Great interview, Karen and Brett. Nice to see something done differently.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks JT.
I behaved myself since Brett is a gentleman.

j said...

Great interview! I'm going to click on Brett's name and see where it takes me. I hope I get to read the story about Death crossing Labrea!

Karen from Mentor said...

You'd find that story (along with a lot of others) in one of Brett's 42 postings at Murderati.
There's a live link at the bottom of the interview now to whisk you over to read more about Brett.

Karen :0)

Rachel S said...

Wow, yeah, that was a lot tamer than the other ones. Jonathon sounds like fun!

mdvelazquez said...

Great interview, Karen and Brett. I'm very intrigued by Quinn.

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Rachel and Maria,
You'll like the books. Go buy them. Buy all three....