AUTHOR FEATURE – Kevin Doyle
About the Books
Squatter’s Rights: When private detective Sam Quinton sets out to solve the murders of a stripper and small-time gambler, he ends up in the middle of an organized crime war, testing Quinton’s loyalty to an old friend and making him the killers’ next target. While working to stay one step ahead of the killers, Quinton also has to safeguard the life of an elderly couple, who unwittingly hold the key to solving the murders and ending the war.
And the Devil Walks Away: A disgraced ex-cop is hired by a convicted serial killer to dig up information not to absolve him of his crimes but to in fact prove that he committed more murders than the authorities know of. He is attempting to bargain for a reduced sentence by providing information of his previous killings, but in another state another man, who the original killer has never met, is taking credit for his crimes.
Interview With the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve been an avid reader since before I could remember. Around the age of ten or so I discovered paperback books, and one of the earliest I purchased was The Other Side of the Sky, a collection of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. While most of those stories are excellent, about midway through I stumbled on “The Star” and was blown away. (And yes, even at ten I understood light years and all that, so the twist ending of the story made perfect sense to me.) I was so blown away by the ending of that particular story that I began imagining what it would be like to tell a tale that would leave that kind of effect on someone. Plus, the opening story, “The Nine Billion Names of God” was a shocker as well.
What genres do you write in?
My short stories are almost entirely horror, and while I have written one horror novel, most of my longer works are in the mystery field. I also had a little novelette released at one point, One Helluva Gig, which the publisher classified as rock fiction, but it’s sadly been out of print for a while.
What drew you into writing these specific genres?
To the best of my knowledge, it wasn’t any sort of conscious decision. When I first began writing short stories, around 1984 believe it or not, I experimented with several different genres before settling primarily on horror. But decades later, as I began experimenting with longer works, the majority of my ideas gravitated towards the mystery genre. Although, as I said, at least one of my longer works, The Litter, is a fairly horrific piece.
How did you break into the field?
I began in the eighties submitting stories to small press magazines. This was back in the days when most ‘zines were still actually printed, sometimes made of rough paper, and usually had circulations under 1,000. Starsong magazine, out of South Carolina, published my first handful of stories. To the best of my knowledge, the ‘zine’s circulation hovered around two hundred, but its editor/publisher, Larry D. Kirby III, helped me a lot and gave me enough of a boost of confidence to keep on going. Over the years, I sold more stories to an assortment of ‘zines, and while I don’t have a lot of time to devote to short stories lately, I still ever now and then manage to churn one out.
In terms of longer works, I completed four novels that went absolutely nowhere before I got the idea for One Helluva Gig. It was a novelette, 14,000 words, and I submitted it to various publishers assuming that it could fit into an anthology or something similar. Then Vagabondage Press contacted me and wanted to release it in e-book form, and things kind of went from there.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your work?
Honestly, I’m never after anything heavy or serious. My main goal is that people be entertained, and maybe get a chill or two, out of my work.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Well, so far it definitely isn’t the paydays. One day last year, a co-worker saw my new Camaro and asked if I’d purchased it with my royalties (I didn’t). I replied, truthfully, that the royalties occasionally filled up the gas tank.
On the other hand, the other day I got a message over Facebook from a reader in another country who snapped a picture of herself holding a copy of The Group, which had just arrived in the mail. It’s the occasional moment like that that warms the heart.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Keeping it all straight. It seems that with each project the plots get more and more complex. It’s common now for me to have six or seven files going concerning a particular work; whereas, I used to just sit down and do up an entire book by the seat of the pants. Now I have files for outline, chapter outlines, character bios, timelines, information to doublecheck, and finally the manuscript itself. It’s a lot more work than it used to be, and I’m always worried that I’ve overlooked some obvious plot hole that readers will spot right away.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Develop a thick, thick skin and be willing to take criticism. Don’t think you know everything right off, and if you can’t take constructive criticism you’re going to be in trouble.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Mysteries, of course, mainly in the private eye line. But I also have a fair number of paperback reprints of old pulp magazine characters that I haul out every few years and read. Lately, I’m beginning to rediscover science fiction.
Is there anything else besides writing that you think people would find interesting about you?
In some ways, I’m pretty much a Luddite. For instance, I never have owned and never will own a cell phone. I’ve used one a total of five times in my life.
What are the best ways to connect with you or find out more about your work?
To find out more about my work, my website is www.kevindoylefiction.com
For communication: facebook.com/kevindoylefiction
About the Author
A high-school teacher, former college instructor and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of two crime novels, The Group and When You Have to Go There, published by MuseItUp Publications, and one horror novel, The Litter, published by Night to Dawn Magazine and Books. This year also saw the release of the first book in his Sam Quinton mystery series, Squatter’s Rights, by Camel Press. Upcoming releases include the second Sam Quinton novel, Heel Turn, and another crime thriller, And the Devil Walks Away. Doyle teaches English and speech at a high school in rural Missouri.