Monday, April 5, 2010
An Interview with Author Gary Phillips
Born and raised in what was then called South Central Los Angeles, he's been a community organizer, union rep, and headed a nonprofit to better race relations begun after the '92 riots. Besides his many mystery novels and shorts, he's written a coming-of-age graphic novel called South Central Rhapsody as well as a graphic novel about a gangster called High Rollers, and has a prose novel about African Americans and World War II called Freedom's Fight.
You can find out more about Gary at his web site.
The beauty and freedom of writing a stand alone is you can do anything you want. Blow up the world, go ahead. Have mutant alligators crawl out of the sewers…sweet. Your main character loses their mind midway in the book and runs around in his birthday suit shouting ‘I am the Master of the Universe,’ no problemo. Too, in this publishing environment as we’ve discussed, it seems it’s easier to sell a standalone. If you have a series, and that series hasn’t broken the house record in sales, then publishers are dang reluctant to take a chance on another book with those same characters. Whereas a one off is often seen as new and fresh and may get an editor excited at a house and want to champion your book.
Is it the job of the writer to leave the reader with a message? If so, what do you hope your readers take away from your books?