Today I'm delighted to welcome Nick Taussig to my blog as part of my crime fiction week features. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions about how he came to be a crime fiction writer and also gives us a little insight into his latest book The Distinguished Assassin which has recently been published.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a crime writer?
Hell, if I couldn’t be a criminal in the real world, then at least I could be one in a pretend world.
On a more serious note, I think that the majority of people find crime a compelling and intriguing subject, the great allure of tabloids testimony to this. What is that drives someone to crime, to transgress the law? We find this question absorbing because the majority of us, in truth, have all come very close, and yet something holds us back, be this greater self-control, moral responsibility or goodness. The reasons for crime are normally manifold and complex. I also wanted to write a crime novel, on a more practical note, because my other books suffer from the affliction of not falling into any clear genre, a bad thing if one wants to actually sell some books as well as write them.
Tell us something about yourself that your readers probably don’t already know?
I would find it very difficult to live without a dog in my life, and by my side. They bring about the best in me.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
It’s the story of a good man, who, when placed in extraordinary circumstances, commits evil, and is then forced to confront what he has done: he has destroyed a piece of his own heart.
Where do you get your ideas from for your stories?
From all around … books, radio, film, real-life experience
Percentage-wise, how much time do you spend researching and how much time do you
Good question. Maybe 50:50.
Are there any writers that have influenced you as a writer?
Philip Roth, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Paul Auster, Norman Mailer and Rachel Seiffert, to name a few…
How hard is it to keep coming up with different/alternative ways to kill someone off?
Hard, because, let’s face it, they’ve all been done. Therefore, it really is in the telling.
How do you relax/unwind after writing gruesome scenes?
John Coltrane, a beer, and the company of my wife and son.
Are you one of those writers who wake in the middle of the night with ideas for plots, new story etc.?
Have you ever had writer’s block?
Yes, and so I read instead.
If you weren’t a writer, what career path would you have chosen to follow?
I have another job too. I produce films.
How long did it take you to get your first book published?
Do you have a set daily writing routine?
Yes, very early in the morning to mid afternoon.
If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
I’ve written others – literary and love story. I’d love to write a kid’s book, and also a work of non-fiction, in the vein of In Cold Blood or The Executioner’s Song.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Don’t ever give up writing. As long as you write, whether you’re published or not, you are a
writer. A writer is someone who writes, not someone who is published.
Are there any crime fiction books that you wish you’d written?
Crime and Punishment, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Papillon, Laidlaw.
When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
No, but I should.
Now for a little bit more about the book...
1952. Stalin's Russia. Persecuted by vicious MVD agent Vladimir Primakov, betrayed by his beautiful wife and forced to the very bottom of life by the cruel system he lives under, war hero and former professor Aleksei Klebnikov is offered a mission by the notorious thief-in-law Ivan Bessonov: to assassinate six leading Communists, all of them evil men.
Aleksei agrees to undertake it, this mission, after which he will finally have his revenge on Primakov, who also stole his wife. But when, with just one man left to kill, Aleksei is suddenly reunited with her, he discovers that all is not quite what it seems and that perhaps he has an even greater enemy than Primakov, his wife and the Communist system.
If you like to find out more about the book, perhaps read an extract or watch a trailer, then why not head over to http://www.thedistinguishedassassin.com.