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Sunday 30 August 2015

ℚ 13 Stolen Girls: Layla Remington Mystery [2] - Gil Reavill

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about 13 Stolen Girls (, Alibi, 285 pages) a Triller Mystery, book two of Layla Remington Mysteries series.

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

A big welcome to Gil Reavill, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for 13 Stolen Girls?

"Once again, as with the previous Layla Remington mystery, 13 Hollywood Apes, glorious Malibu and inglorious Los Angeles are my main inspirations.

But for this specific book there was a case that I wrote about as a journalist that haunted me for a long time.  In 2000 police arrested John Edward Robinson in Olathe, Kansas on multiple murder charges.  One reason he was able to evade capture for so long is he made sure his victims were not discovered by hiding their bodies in steel barrels.  I was also inspired by another less-publicized, even secret aspect to the Robinson case that is simply astounding, one of the most incredible circumstances that I ever ran into in my years as a crime reporter.  Can’t explain it here since it’s a spoiler."

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?

"I have four older sisters, and I’m the only boy in the family, so I’ve always been attracted to strong female characters in fiction.  Layla Remington is my ideal.  She isn’t flashy, isn’t a drunk, isn’t saddled with some obscure psychological disorder.  She just gets the job done.

I believe women are the natural moral compass of the world.  As a character, Layla aligns herself with that.  I would personally trust her with any murder case in which I was involved—except, you know, if I was the perp.  Then I’d run."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for 13 Stolen Girls - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I recall the moment I saw the cover to 13 Stolen Girls.  I had an almost physical reaction. There was a spookiness quotient to it that I responded to instantly, yet it wasn’t exploitative.  The design is by Scott Biel.  The photo is from a stock house, but Scott put the elements together so well.  This cover and the previous one in the Alibi series, 13 Hollywood Apes, hit the right L.A. noir note I was going for.

So, yay, Scott!  I’m a fan and here’s a shout out to you!"
Why should we read 13 Stolen Girls and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?
"I’ve always thought of crime fiction as writing within a form, like the fourteen lines of a sonnet.  Genre is a gift.  Oddly enough, its restrictions promote creativity.  So, yes, there are non-unique aspects of crime fiction.  There’s always a murder somewhere along the line.  But beyond that, what do you do with your fourteen lines of verse?

The “13” series—the first Layla Remington mystery, 13 Hollywood Apes and this current one, 13 Stolen Girls—has been just so much damned fun to write.  And right out of the gate 13 Hollywood Apes knocked down a Thriller award nomination, so I have to believe they are fun to read, too.  Abraham Lincoln did a book review once (who knew?) and he had a great line: “People who like this sort of thing will find this is the sort of thing they like.”  I’m not going to go any farther than that."
Can you tell us something quirky about 13 Stolen Girls, its story and characters?
"Layla Remington was named by her mother after the Derek and the Dominoes classic [Layla].  I always like to place my stories within the context of the larger culture as a whole.  Among its other aspects, 13 Stolen Girls is a book about Hollywood and movie-making.  So the book slips into contemporary culture like a warm bath.  The golden shores of Malibu are always worth a visit, too."
Who would you recommend 13 Stolen Girls to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend 13 Stolen Girls without qualification, but I’m the author!  It doesn’t exactly fall into the cozy category, but, hey, cozy readers!  Stretch your limits!  You might like it.  You can skip the ooky-gooky barrel scene.

Absolutely slavish fans of 50 Shades of Grey—all you millions out there—there’s a plot point in 13 Stolen Girls that has to do, for better or worse, with your favorite reading material."
If you could / wished to turn 13 Stolen Girls and the Layla Remington Mystery series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Layla Remington would be played by a doomed young actress named Tarin Mistry, who departed from the scene entirely too soon.  The director is the young hot-shot George Dannemoor, and the male lead is the up-and-coming Radley Holt.

You won’t find any of these folks in IMDb.  They’re in 13 Stolen Girls, where they will never disappoint anyone by making a bad movie or turning in a lousy performance."
LOL - That IS the point of a dream-cast after all! ;-)   And another reason to read 13 Stolen Girls... so we can find out who these characters are!

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?

"I try to write books that I would want to read.  I like to tread the thin line between gore and splatter, between the ghoulish and the manipulative, the outlandish and the absurd.  In non-fiction crime, I’ve written one book about an incident in Mafia history [Mafia Summit: J. Edgar Hoover] and one about job-shadowing a crime scene clean-up company [Aftermath: Cleaning Up After the CSI Goes Home].  My wife, the author Jean Zimmerman, writes historical novels, so I’ve had a ring-side seat for those, The Orphanmaster and Savage Girl."
What is your writing process?
"My keyboard comes with a pair of manacles attached.  Wake, slip wrists into manacles, write until exhausted or until the keeper comes to release you.  I write all the time."
What is in store next?
"The next Layla Remington mystery, 13 Under the Wire, takes us back a decade to when she was a probie at the police academy.  A lot of the action takes place along the U.S.-Mexico border.  I’m finding the writing of this one to be very satisfying, in that it allows me to fill in some emotional spaces in Layla’s portrait.  She loved a boy back then…  Well, you are going to have to read it."
I definitely plan to :-)

And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

"Here’s me with a natural faux-hawk.  Nothing I can do.  Wake up with it.  Some of us have to beat style back with a stick."

Haha, brilliant!

So you heard it; if you're a fan of cozy mysteries or 50 Shades does it for you, 13 Stolen Girls is the next book for you ;-)

13 Stolen Girls - available Now!

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Anonymous said...

Hey, nice back and forth -- and while I could say 13 Stolen Girls is a great read for anyone, that invitation to cozy readers was more in the way of a challenge. There are definitely un-cozy scenes in the text! Love your site! -- Gil Reavill

BooksChatter said...

:-) un-cozy scenes... they can skim those ;-)
Thank you for popping by Gil, and thank you for the compliment!

I am really looking forward to reading this book (damn you, TBR pile!!! and lack of hours in the day!!!)... and I actually purchased the Orphanmaster as it is only over £1 / under $2 on Kindle! That is an unusual read for me but it sounded too good to miss out on!