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Monday 13 July 2015

ℚ Courage Resurrected: Ray Courage Private Investigator [3] - R. Scott Mackey

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Courage Resurrected (, Big Hound Publishing, 213 pages), the third instalment in the Ray Courage Private Investigator series.

Download Courage Begins (the series prequel) FREE!

Author Q&A | Trailer | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Scott and welcome to BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for Courage Resurrected?

"The concept of making someone “undead” (and not in the Zombie/horror sense) and how that would affect the living intrigued me.  What if Ray Courage’s wife hadn’t actually died 13 years ago as he believed?  I started with that premise and let the plot evolve from there."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book and Ray Courage series, and how?"
"My life is nothing like Ray’s.  We’re of similar ages and live in the same city, but after that there’s little resemblance.  I certainly wouldn’t want to put myself into the dangerous situation he finds himself in in all three of the books so far."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover design is by Karen Phillips, who happens to live in the Sacramento area, though we’ve yet to meet face to face.  She developed three concepts for the cover.  I loved the fiery car immediately.  It serves as a metaphor for the story, and of course the events it depicts are the impetus for the entire novel.

I liked one of her other designs for the book so much that I asked her to adapt it and make it my new cover for Courage Matters, the first book in the Ray Courage series.

She also did the cover for Courage Begins.  Karen is great, a true professional who delivers quality work on time and on budget."
Why should we read Courage Resurrected and the Ray Courage series - what sets it apart from the rest?
"I believe all three books in the series so far deliver a rich reading experience providing empathetic characters, a strong sense of place, a sense of humor, and an engaging plot told with a strong narrative voice and tight dialogue. Courage Resurrected is a little different from the other two books in that it is told from multiple viewpoints, not just that of Ray’s. This adds to the complexity of the plot, and also creates a sense of menace that is more urgent than in the other books."
Can you tell us something quirky about the series, its story and characters?
"The characters are not drawn from any real life people.  What I do hear from readers who live in or know about Sacramento is that they enjoy reading about some of the actual locations I write about in the book.  I’ve also received dozens of e-mails from readers asking for recipes for some of the meals Ray whips up or eats when he dines out.  Like me, Ray likes to eat.  The inquiries motivated me to write a Ray Courage No-Nonsense Cookbook.  I worked with a nutritionist to develop the book.  It has something like seventy recipes, cocktail recipes, and a list and description of Ray’s favorite beers."
I had actually started to highlight the various IPAs that Ray samples in Courage Begins...  I am definitely looking forward to this cookbook :-)

Who would you recommend your series to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"Clearly, it is aimed at mystery readers, especially those who enjoy the private eye genre. Beyond that I think anyone who likes a good story told well would enjoy Courage Resurrected and the other two books in the series.  Readers who like a little humor mixed in with a little grit have praised the book as well.

As far as warnings, there is some violence and some swearing. For that reason, I’d probably rate it PG-13."
If you could / wished to turn your series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I could see the Ray Courage being played by Bryan Cranston or Kevin Costner, though for different reasons.   Bryan could capture both the humorous side of Ray as well as his intensity. Kevin boyishness and athleticism (Ray is a former college golfer) would lend themselves to an interesting portrayal.  

As far as Rubia goes, I think Maya Rudolph would be perfect.

As far as directors go, I love the storytelling style of Vince Gilligan.  I know he’s mainly a writer, but would do a great job in directing a Ray Courage movie or series."
What is your writing process?
"I go through three stages in the writing process: pre-writing, writing, re-writing.

The pre-writing stage typically takes several weeks. This is where I take notes, take long walks, ask myself a lot of “what ifs” and ultimately come up with a working outline for a novel.

When I turn to the writing stage, I usually write fast and can create a novel in a month or two because I’ve thought through everything pretty thoroughly in the pre-writing stage. During this stage I get up early and write for two to three hours, then I do the same thing every evening. I do this six days a week. I write standing up at a desk using a Macbook Pro.

Once I’ve completed the manuscript I walk away from it for at least two weeks. Then I do at least two, but usually three, passes through the manuscript during re-write. I start by looking at the overall structure of the book to see if there are any logical flaws in it. Then I dive down and look for stylistic problems before checking for grammar and punctuation issues. I then give it to my editor and proofreader, who always find things that I missed."
What is in store next?
"I’ve completed the draft of the next book in the Ray Courage Series, Courage Lie Beneath, which will be released this fall. In this book Ray doesn’t know whom to trust as he encounters eco-terrorists, Asian gangsters, and a myriad of other characters who seem unable to tell the truth.

After that I’ve already begun plotting the next book, much of which will take place in the Carmel/Monterey area of California."
That's quite a lot to look forward to! Thank you again for joining us and chatting to us.
"Thank you so much for the interview! Scott"

Courage Resurrected - available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview.

Scott Mackey said...

Thank you for hosting me this week. I'm sorry this post is a bit late in the day. I've been traveling from California to Alabama and only just now was able to log in. I look forward to any questions from your followers.

Unknown said...

Hi Scott, I really enjoyed your interview! And I'm certain this book will be terrific based on the first two I have read! Thank you for sharing!

Scott Mackey said...

Thanks Betty. I hope you get around to reading Courage Resurrected. I do think you'll enjoy it.