Saturday, May 23, 2015

Interview with Performance Poet Warm Pie
The International Guy of Mystery managed to speak with Warm Pie during the Sydney Slamapalooza, which turned out to be Pie's third poetry slam victory in two weeks. The interview was cut short when adoring fans demolished part of the stage while demanding an encore from Pie.

IGM: Do you prefer being called Warm or Pie?
WP: Where is my cat?
IGM: I don't know. Let me ask you about your first collection of poems, which has sold over 500,000 copies in seven languages. The title poem, "I Peed," has been referred to as the most complete poem in the 21st Century by Yoko Ono. Would you mind performing it for us?
WP: I just did.
IGM: I mean, with the words and all.
WP: OK. "Sunlight through the blinds/ Cat whiskers. The world/ Smelled like milk./ Mama picked me up./ I peed."
IGM (weeping): Thank you! Thank you!
WP: Where is my cat?
IGM: I don't know. Who or what are your influences?
WP: Of course Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, but I've always loved the Dadaists. Do you know where my cat went?
IGM: No, but I'm being told that you need to return to the stage, or what's left of it. Thank you, Warm! Thank you, Pie!
WP: I'm hungry.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ask an International Guy of Mystery
Dear Guy,
I was wondering if you could tell me about a type of book, or genre I guess, called Steampunk. I was riding the Greyhound home to Baker City from a Star Trek convention in Vegas, dressed as Brunt (who as you know is a liquidator with Ferengi Commerce and doesn't like idle talk) when this guy boards in Greeley (how we ended up going through Northern Colorado still baffles me) and tells me I would love reading Steampunk. I told him I was only interested in supplanting Grand Negus Zek, which made him clam up. So, is there such a type of literature called Steampunk?
Baffled in Baker, Oregon

Dear Baffled,
Yes, I have heard that there is a literary sub-genre called Steampunk, and there are two logical descriptions. One would be mystery novels where annoying little punks, like Macaulay Culkin, get people very angry or steamed up (think Home Alone). The other would be about the punk subculture, people with Mohawks and dog chains, having lots of steamy sex (think Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols, but don't think about the sex acts because they would likely involve bondage and sadism). I had a similar encounter with a stranger on a train who pulled my leg, trying to convince me that Steampunk was a type of science fiction based on 19th Century technology. I almost told him that, since there were no punks nor much sex in the 19th Century, and since (hello!) science fiction is about the future, not the past, his story made no sense, but he was dressed like a space alien with pointed ears, and I didn't want to rile him. I did titter a bit behind my train schedule, though.
International Guy

Friday, May 15, 2015

Interview with Marilyn Meredith

The International Guy of Mystery interviewed Marilyn Meredith after he had failed to find gold in a stream near her home in the Sierra Nevada foothills (the 150-year-old map he'd bought from a genuine gold prospector had the word Walmart written on its back--ancestor of the modern businessman?) Marilyn is a prolific author! She's published more than 35 mystery novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Violent Departures, from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of two chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and her blog at

IGM:     If you had to give a quick, one-sentence description of your novel (or series) to a Hollywood mogul, what would you say?

MM: Two violent departures and a haunted house baffle members of the Rocky Bluff P.D.

IGM:   What inspired you to write this series (personal experience, books you love, real people and events, etc.)?

MM: First, yes, I did enjoy reading police procedurals, but never thought about writing one until my son-in-law became a police officer. My daughter didn’t like to hear his stories, so he told them to me. He took me on my first police ride-along. We also lived in a neighborhood with many law enforcement families, so I observed a lot about how what was going on with the job affected the family, and what happened at home affected the job. A theme that flows through all the books in the series. Yes, I do use some real events, but they are greatly fictionalized.

IGM:     What gives you the most joy as a writer?

MM: There’s nothing better than having a reader tell me how much they liked a book I wrote. I do have some fans who are really great about sharing what they enjoyed most about a book.

IGM:     What is the hardest thing about writing?

     MM: Writing is the best and most satisfying part of the whole process—but it
     doesn’t stop here. Next comes the rewriting and the editing, and I enjoy            
     both. But what takes the most time and effort is promoting the book and     
     I’m usually doing that while writing a book in my other series.

IGM:    How did you come up with the titles?

MM: Some titles are easy and come about from something that jumps right out of the plot. The title, Murder in the Worst Degree, was given to me before I ever wrote the book. Towards the end, I was scrambling to figure out how to tie the tile in with what I’d written. A few times I’ve asked my critique group (who hear all my books chapter by chapter) for suggestions.

IGM:    Tell a little about your process. Do you know how your novels should end before you start?  

MM: The short answer to the question is “No.” I often begin thinking I know—but more times than not, I even change who I think the murderer is as I’m writing.

As to the process, because I write series—I have ongoing situations with characters that must progress—and actually, that is helpful because it gives me minor plot threads to weave into the main story. Next, I need to come up with a murder: how it happened, motives for more than one person, who those suspects are, and other crimes to occupy the police department.

IGM:     Pretend you are fielding a baseball team with your favorite writers. List them by position.

MM: The only baseball I ever watch is when kids are playing so really don’t have a good answer for this one. I have many favorite authors—really too many to list. I enjoy reading new writers’ books too.

IGM:   Pretend your book is being made into a movie. What actors would play the lead characters? (Note: if your book is being optioned for a movie, you may wish to send several thousand dollars to the International Guy of Mystery Foundation as a tax write-off).

MM: I’ve been asked this question before, and because I already see my characters as individuals, I have no idea who would play the leads in a movie.  I know some authors, especially those who write romance, who pick out specific actors and base their characters on them. I’ve never done that. What I have done is pick particular characteristics and appearance of people I’ve met and give them to the people in my books.  Fortunately no one has ever recognized him or herself.

Here's a blurb for Violent Departures:

College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Interview with Filmmaker Progress Hornsby

The International Guy of Mystery met internationally famous independent filmmaker Progress Hornsby on a floating birthday party for Danny DeVito aboard the cruise ship Monkey Business on the San Francisco Bay (Note: Mr. DeVito was not on board). The International Guy found the enigmatic Hornsby on deck as The Monkey Business crossed under the Bay Bridge.

IGM: Progress, I guess the first question is about inspiration: where do your ideas come from?
PH: Wait. Will you say that again? I'd like to shoot you doing that.
IGM: What? Oh, um, I guess the first question is about inspiration...
PH: No, do it like before, you were sort of picking your nose.
IGM: I was not.
PH: Wow, that's crazy! Nice! You did it again. Keep talking.
IGM: Where do your ideas come from?
PH: People are crazy beautiful, I love to watch them.
IGM: What makes a good movie?
PH: It has to have legs and be crazy beautiful.
IGM: What do you mean by legs?
PH: Oh, do that again, look down at your shoes, man. Your bald spot is great.
IGM: I don't have a bald spot.
PH: Sweet! Hey,it's been lovely, but I need to go. Ciao, Baby.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Interview with Book Critic Mimi van Gogh

The International Guy of Mystery spoke with world famous book critic Mimi van Gogh in the backseat of her parents' car as she was rushing from the Frankfurt Book Fair to catch a flight to Paris for a gala library opening.

IGM: What an honor to finally meet you, Ms. van Gogh!
MvG: It is nothing.
IGM: Is Mimi van Gogh your real name, or is that a nom de plume?
MvG: Go fish.
IGM: What are you currently reviewing?
MvG: The London Times has requested a review of this "Alphabet Book" by an obscure author I will not bother to mention. I find it terribly predictable.
IGM: How so?
MvG: Who does not know that A is for apple?
IGM: Oh, yes. Do you dislike most books that you review?
MvG: Most American books for children are unfortunately childish.
IGM: Are there authors or books that you particularly enjoy?
MvG: I went through a Marcel Proust phase, but now I prefer something with more fictive elan, more muscular diction, and less self-conscious ontological ennui.
IGM: I...I feel the same way. Do you see any trends in publishing?
MvG: There is only one trend, and that is to make money. I must say adieu now.
IGM: What does that mean?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Interview with Lesley Diehl

The International Guy of Mystery interviewed Lesley Diehl while lying on a psychologist's couch behind a haystack in a cattle field near a gator-infested swamp in Florida. Diehl is a former professor of psychology and was able to quickly diagnose the Guy with various psychological disorders as she answered his questions.
Diehl is also a prolific writer and has published numerous short stories as well as two cozy mystery novel series, always with a strong dose of humor, and always featuring sassy country gals.

IGM: If you had to give a quick, one-sentence description of your novel (or series) to a Hollywood mogul, what would you say? 
LD: I never say anything in one sentence.  I am a former academic and therefore very long winded. This is the story of a Connecticut fashionista who moves to rural Florida to set up a high end consignment shop with her best friend.  She is a sassy, in-your-face kind of gal and she's snoopy with few social graces.  That means she's always getting into trouble.  She seems to have a knack for stumbling onto dead bodies.  In some cases, she’s implicated in the murder.  In others, she gets involved in solving the crime because that's just what she does.  She is aided in her amateur sleuthing by her business partner and best friend as well as a cadre of friends including a mob boss, a hunky private eye, her ex-husband, a Miccosukee Indian and his grandfather and, sometimes her good friend, a detective with the local police. 
A high end consignment shop in the swamps of Florida, you say?  Sure, women everywhere like to dress well even when they're wrestling an alligator or herding cattle.
Yep, it would be a comedy.

I know I'm not playing fair so here's one sentence: Connecticut fashionista comes to rural Florida to open a consignment shop, but finds more than second hand merchandise when she finds a body on her dressing room floor.  Since this is a series, she stumbles onto bodies everywhere, on an airboat, in the swamp, in a mud bog, and on and on.

IGM: Whew! Remind me not to ask you for a long answer! OK: What inspired you to write this series (personal experience, books you love, real people and events, etc.)?
LD: This isn't the first series I've written, but it is the one closest to my heart.  My paternal grandmother was the queen of recycling.  She never bought new and she passed this proclivity for bargains onto me.  Or maybe it's just genetic.  I've furnished my cottage in upstate New York with finds from garage sales, auctions and consignment shops.  I only buy new if it's on sale.  I am both environmentally responsible with my recycling, repurposing, and reusing, and I am cheap.  So, of course, my protagonist, Eve must own a consignment shop.

IGM: What gives you the most joy as a writer?
LD: I write humorous mysteries for the most part and my joy is in being able to entertain myself as I write and hope that others will get a good laugh out of reading what my strange brain creates.  If I don't laugh at what I'm writing, then it doesn't belong on the page.

IGM: What is the hardest thing about writing?
LD: I hate doing the rewrites.

IGM: How did you come up with the titles?
LD: My titles for the Eve Appel mystery series are very straight forward, i.e., A Secondhand Murder, Dead in the Water, A Sporting Murder, pretty revealing of what's inside the book, but I love to think up crazy titles such as in my Big Lake Murder mystery series, Dumpster Dying, Grilled, Chilled, and Killed.  I love those!

IGM: Tell a little about your process. Do you know how your novels should end before you start?
LD: I used to write by the seat of my pants and never really knew what might happen.  Now I write to my publisher's schedule and to meet it, I must outline.  Usually I deviate wildly from the outline, but it's there to give me psychological comfort.

IGM: Pretend you are fielding a baseball team with your favorite writers. List them by position.
LD:  I have to tell you that I do really hate baseball (I do not know what is wrong with me), but it's a fact that I have never sat through an entire game.  But then I dislike most organized sports, so I don't engage in them and I don't watch them (except for golf which I sometimes play very badly and I do watch it on TV, so there!).  The only sport I'm mildly interested in is quidditch (from Harry Potter-I like the idea of flying around on brooms), but I know little about it.  When I looked it up on the internet, I found it was very complicated, so I tossed out my original idea that I would field quidditch players.  I am forced, because of my dislike of team sports, to ignore your question.  As you can see, I not only dislike team play, but I am not a team player.  I don't follow the rules, although I did color inside the lines when a kid.

IGM: Physician, heal thyself! How could you not like baseball? OK, last question: Pretend your book is being made into a movie. What actors would play the lead characters? (Note: if your book is being optioned for a movie, you may wish to send several thousand dollars to the International Guy of Mystery Foundation as a tax write-off).
LD: My protagonist, Eve Appel is tall, thin and blonde.  I think Angelina Jolie with a wig would be perfect.  Madeleine, her business partner and friend could only be played by that tiny, blonde gal who does Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory.  Eve's grandmother is a round, white-haired woman fashioned after the look of Paula Dean.  Do you think she might leave the kitchen to play Grandy, Eve's Grandmother?  As for the men in the book, I'm not good with thinking of male actors, so I think we should audition some unknowns.  I sometimes think when I'm walking down the street or in a restaurant that there are people with the right look.  Who knows?  They might have talent.  Besides it would be fun to audition handsome, exciting and smart men, well, with the exception of Eve's ex-husband who is good looking, but not so smart.

Please visit Lesley's website and order her books by following the link below:

Preorder link: