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J. D. Rhoades

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, J. D. Rhoades, courtesy of the author; 220x264

J. D. Rhoades

American author J. D. Rhoades has worked as a radio news reporter, club DJ, television cameraman, ad salesman, waiter, practicing attorney, and newspaper columnist.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I don't know that it's influenced me stylistically, but I know that meeting fans and other writers inspires me to keep going, to keep writing, to keep trying to get better.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Shortly after The Devil's Right Hand came out, the fine folks at Murder By the Book in Houston contacted me about doing a signing. I got on the phone with David Thompson to discuss dates, and he let it drop that they would be doing a Noir Night with some fellows named Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Allan Guthrie, and oh, yes, Ken Bruen. Would I like to be on that?

Now, Ken Bruen was and is one of my all-time favorite writers. He writes noir like no one else. His first Jack Taylor book, The Guards, knocked me flat on my ass. So when I had a chance to be on a panel with one of my idols, I think my response was something along the lines of "who do I have to kill?"

As I flew down to Houston, I got more and more nervous. The other participants were much more experienced and savvy at this book thing than I was, and they all seemed to know each other. Plus, you know, Ken Freakin' Bruen. I hoped I'd at least get to say hello and tell him how much I loved his work before I got stuck down at the end of the table, listening to the other guys talk.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. When I got to the store, Ken was signing stock. He got up, came over, hugged me, and told me in that wonderful Irish accent how much he'd liked The Devils' Right Hand. I was floored. One of my favorite writers had not only read my book, he liked it! He really liked it! (I wasn't nearly as cool and blasé then as I am now.) And Ken and the other fellows could not have been more generous to the new guy, before, during, and especially after the panel. In fact, it's the after that sticks with me, where we all ended up at the home of MBTB's McKenna Jordan, listening to Ken read from his work -- after which he insisted that the rest of us read from ours.

Since then, I've met Ken Bruen a half a dozen times at various functions, and he remains as he was the first time I met him: friendly, funny, open, and incredibly gracious. And his work keeps getting better and better.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Elmore Leonard. I love his characters, his dialogue, the economy of his writing.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

I better stick with my wife.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Sarah Palin.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My guitar. I think on a long space voyage (and given current technology there's no other kind) I'll finally have time to practice.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

To be remembered and read long after I'm gone. That, and large stacks of cash. Forced to choose, I'll take the cash.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

It comes in those moments when all the outlines, plans, and intentions you have drop away and the story starts writing itself.

submitted by J. D. Rhoades

19 August 2014

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Just the facts:
Born: Born in Moore County North Carolina, in 1962.
Resides: Still here in Moore County.
The Devil's Right Hand, 2005 St. Martins Minotaur, currently available in independently published e-book, being re-issued in Fall 2014 by Polis Books
Nominated for Best First Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America
Good Day in Hell, 2006 St. Martins Minotaur, currently available in independently published e-book, being re-issued in Fall 2014 by Polis Books
Safe and Sound, 2007 St Martins Minotaur, currently available in independently published e-book, being re-issued in Fall 2014 by Polis Books (one of January Magazine's "Best of 2007")
Breaking Cover, 2008, St Martins Minotaur, currently available in independently published e-book
Storm Surge, 2010, independently published e-book
Lawyers, Guns and Money, 2011, independently published e-book
Gallows Pole, 2011, independently published e-book
Monster: Nightrider's Vengeance (as J.D. Nixx), 2012, independently published e-book
The King's Justice, (as J.D. Nixx),2012, independently published e-book
Broken Shield, 2013, independently published e-book and trade paperback
Devils And Dust, coming February 2015, from Polis Books.
Short Stories:
"Spadework" Murdaland, 2008
"Behind Every Man," Spinetingler Magazine (Winter 2006)
"24/7 Security" Crimespree Magazine, Issue 22, (Winter 2008)
"So Round, So Firm So Fully Packed", Out of the Gutter, 2008
"Players," Uncage Me, Bleak House Books, (June 2009).

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