Friday, May 09, 2008

Interview with Arnold Wolf, author of Chickenhawk, by fellow Blogger and author: Tamara Grant

Hello fellow crimesters... (crimesters?) The following is an interview conducted by fellow blogger and author, Tamara Grant on Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

Get to know Author Arnold Wolf!
1. Your new novel is entitled Chickenhawk. Where did you come up with the title and what was your inspiration for the book?

Chickenhawk is the term police use or used to describe a man that sexually preys on children, particularly young men and boys. (I recently saw the movie, "Street Kings" in which the Keanu Reeves character accuses some bad guys of being chickenhawks after he saves two young Korean girls from their clutches).

My inspiration for the book came from three different sources that all still had a common thread of fact running through them. First was when I worked nights as a Token Booth Clerk for the MTA many years ago, I used to watch the young male prostitutes running from the cops. Second was a newspaper article in which doctors and investigators were baffled about a sudden rise in HIV/AIDS cases among heterosexual married women in Long Island. It was later found that that this phenomenon was caused by the husbands of the afflicted women who, it was also later found out, had been buying the services of male prostitutes. Finally there was another newspaper article about a man who was a regular customer of male prostitutes and thought he’d given his family AIDS. In a fit of guilt and madness, he killed his entire family. It was later found out that he didn’t even have AIDS.

2. Who is your favorite character in Chickenhawk?My favorite character is Detective Ramos. He’s a solid, regular guy.
3. What were some of the challenges of writing this novel?The biggest challenges were in finishing. It seemed that the farther along I got in the novel, the more reason I found to procrastinate.
4. Many writers pen a novel and don't go to the next step of actually publishing their work. What was the moment when you decided to get your work published?I felt I had a very good story here. A lot of the things that happen in the novel are totally relevant to things that are happening in real life today. Besides, I have two friends. Peter and Cliff, that really liked the draft of the novel that I let them read. Together, they kept bugging me to get published until I succeeded in finding a publisher.
5. Talk about your experience in the publishing game so far?So far it’s been a fairly enjoyable experience. In the beginning I was rejected by every publisher and every agent that I approached with my work. But once I found a publisher that was truly interested in my novel, it became a fun and interesting experience.
6. What aspect of the literary world have you been unprepared for?I must admit, I was unprepared for the amount of racial and ethnic bias in the literary world. A lot of people involved in publishing, and the literary world in general, have predetermined notions of what types of books certain people should write.
7. What time of day do you prefer to write?I prefer to write during the day, usually between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00 pm. That way I can get plenty of rest and still have time to take my time writing. Then of course I can still run errands or watch t.v.
8. What type of promotion has worked best for you?I’ve found that promoting my novel through word of mouth has worked the best so far. Not just with my own friends and relatives, but their friends and acquaintances have helped spread the word as well. Then I’d say would come the internet. Using the internet I’ve been able to reach out across the world to get interest for my novel.

9. Why should people read Chickenhawk?Chickenhawk is very entertaining and has a lot of action. It’s a realistic story that is extremely relevant and seems to have been ripped right from today’s headlines. Apex Reviews compared it to John Grisham or Stephen King!
(Yeah, right)

10 Questions with Arnold Wolf....Off the top of your head:

1. Buy a book or Borrow? Support your local library and borrow a book. Support me and buy mine!

2. Zodiac Sign. Aquarius.

3. Favorite food from your childhood. My mom’s corned beef, or rice&beans and fried chicken!

4. When I come home in the evening, the first thing I do is...Put down my work bag, tear off my tie, and get rid of all the accoutrements of my 9 – 5’er!

5. The best advice given to me was from ..... and they said....My old boss Mr. Mullen. He told me to never change.

6. Favorite season.... Spring. It’s a time of renewal and rebirth.

7. The one thing that truly scares me is.... The idea of anyone in my family being seriously hurt or terminally ill.

8. 2 of my other talents are...Painting&Drawing (Artwork), and Photography.

9. In my free time I... Read, write, draw, paint, play video & computer games, study, research, hang out with my family

10. Advice for aspiring authors. Don’t ever give up, don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t write, keep your eyes and ears open and absorb all the people you meet and places you go; as these will be the foundations of your stories. Most of all, life is meant to be lived… so live it!

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