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Wednesday 23 September 2015

ℚ Deadly Lullaby [1] - Robert McClure

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Deadly Lullaby (, Alibi, 348 pages) a Suspense Thriller.

"Robert McClure is the real deal, an author who produces pulp fiction the way Chandler and Hammett did--with depth and heart."--Otto Penzler, editor, The Best American Mystery Stories

"Too compelling to put down."--Roger Hobbs, bestselling author of Ghostman

"Deadly Lullaby is, at heart, a father-son story, but one in which the father is a ruthless gangster and the son a cynical cop. I loved both of these flawed characters. Robert McClure has written a rousing début, elevated by pitch-perfect dialogue and a whiplash pace."--Peter Swanson, author of The Kind Worth Killing

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


What was the inspiration for Deadly Lullaby?
"For some reason—Father’s Day may have been the impetus but I’m not sure—I wanted to write a father-son story and what I came up with was “My Son,” a short story about a hit man and his son, an edgy LA police detective, that was originally published in the kick-ass ezine ThugLit.  The story caught the eye of uber-agent Nat Sobel and he contacted me, said he was a fan (the mere thought of this compliment still blows my mind) and offered representation.  No one in human history has accepted an offer any faster.  Nat read some of my other published shorts and urged me to write a novel.  Shortly thereafter, “My Son” was selected for republication in The Best American Mystery Stories 2009, so we settled on expanding that into a book.

The father-son story I’ve now come up with is Deadly Lullaby, a work that never would have happened without Nat coaching me through many drafts and never accepting a single sentence he didn’t consider to be the best I could form.  Family relationships is a timeless theme because they can be so rife with conflict.  There is a lot going on in Deadly Lullaby—gangland politics, violence, murder mystery, romance, pure lust—but at bottom it’s a story about a man who loves his son. "
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The hearts of the characters who populate the book certainly reflect my experiences.  I was born and raised in downtown Louisville, Ky., directly across the street from the backside of Churchill Downs Racetrack, the site of the Kentucky Derby.

My father Charles (who died young when I was 22) was a gunsmith who owned Charlie’s Gun Shop, a small business on 7th Street Road, not far from our house right in the heart of a notorious block that was then known for its strip clubs and prostitutes.  Growing up in the Churchill Downs neighborhood was a study in the characters that surround any race track--professional gamblers, bookies, bail bondsmen (one of the most notorious being the father of my then best friend), fences, pawnbrokers, loan sharks, prostitutes and pimps, hustlers of all stripes and nationalities, and cops.  Lots of cops.

All these people were my father’s customers, especially the detectives and patrolman who purchased their service weapons from us and often asked Dad to modify shotguns and handguns to their specifications.  I hung out at Charlie’s often and worked the counter during summers when I hit 20 or so, and like my father grew to respect all these people, and I liked most of them.  Not surprisingly, I majored in Criminology in college, and worked in jails a couple years before and after graduation . So, I’ve come to know many cops, crooks and other shady characters over the years.  Every single one informs my writing to some extent."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Deadly Lullaby - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"We wanted to capture the gritty LA setting and hit man aspect of the story.  I think Scott Biel of Random House’s art department nailed it."
Why should we read Deadly Lullaby and what sets it apart from the rest?   What makes your book unique?
"The characters set the book apart.  Most people would probably have a hard time finding a character in the book who’s “good” in the traditional sense, including the two protagonists.  From the very start, though, my goal in writing crime fiction has always been to create characters that thieve, kill and create other forms of mayhem who readers can’t help but love, and the guiltier the reader feels about it, the better.  I feel like I accomplished that with DEADLY LULLABY.

The protagonists are Babe Crucci, a career hit man just released from San Quentin, and his son Leo, an edgy LA police detective, who are estranged from each other due to Babe’s extended stretch in prison. Stridently summarized, the remaining characters are an LA mafia kingpin, who is Babe’s ex-boss, the kingpin’s henchmen, a Russian gangster who spent time in San Quentin with Babe, a Cambodian drug lord who helped found The Oriental Lazy Boyz gang in LA, and Babe’s sidekick Jack Barzi, nicknamed Chief."
Who would you recommend Deadly Lullaby to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Any reader who’s drawn to the advance reviews should love it.  Early reviewers are describing DEADLY LULLABY as a “rollicking” crime thriller with a murder mystery component that still manages to be darkly humorous; the primary focus of the book remains on the family issue of whether Babe Crucci can achieve his goal of successfully reuniting with his son Leo.

Crime fiction guru Otto Penzler, the editor of The Best American Mystery Stories, said I write “pulp fiction the way Chandler and Hammett did—with depth and heart.”  Roger Hobbs, the bestselling author of GHOSTMAN and VANISHING GAMES, said my book “was too compelling to put down,” and Peter Swanson, the author of THE KIND WORTH KILLING, and THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART, said that I’ve “written a rousing début, elevated by pitch-perfect dialogue and a whiplash pace.”  With all this advance praise for the book, hopefully it will draw a diverse base of crime fiction readers."
If you could / wished to turn Deadly Lullaby series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’ve always envisioned Quentin Tarantino directing with John Travolta playing Babe Crucci and Leonardo DeCaprio playing Leo.  I answered that question quickly because I’ve had a lot of time to think about it.  Sony Pictures & Entertainment purchased an option on the short story—including the future book—the month after it was published in The Best American Mystery Stories.  Sony extended the option once, let it expire than purchased a new option.  After purchasing one extension of the last option, Sony let it expire last month.  My agents wouldn’t be surprised if Sony negotiated another option yet again.  That’s Hollywood, or at least seems to be in my case."
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’m a crime fiction writer and probably will stick with that genre.  I’ve been a crime fiction fan since I started to read, but have read and enjoyed books in every genre.  I especially enjoy historical fiction, and can see myself eventually writing an historical crime drama. "
What is your writing process?
"In a word, boring.  I rise as early as I can to write, usually at 5:00 a.m. but often earlier.  Don’t get me wrong, a lot is going on in my head when I write that’s interesting, weird even, but only to me.  The mechanics of the process is boring to watch: I just sit at the computer and stroke the keyboard.  That’s the one thing about writing that doesn’t beat being a trial lawyer: No one ever admires you while they watch you work, and why would they?"
What is in store next?
"I’m working on a sequel to DEADLY LULLABY that I’m calling THE SLOW DAWN, the next phase in the evolution of Babe and Leo Crucci."
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?

Thank you so much for getting that selfie with the elusive Ricky the Cat, who is absolutely gorgeous!

Deadly Lullaby 
Out on 29 Sep 2015!

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