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Sunday 8 November 2015

ℚ♫ Blind Shuffle: Rusty Diamond [2] - Austin Williams

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Blind Shuffle (, Diversion Books, 265 pages) a Hard-Boiled Noir Mystery Thriller, book two of the Rusty Diamond series.

"I wanted to take a bite out of BLIND SHUFFLE before breakfast but ended up reading straight through lunch. I finished it on a plane to Tijuana. This was my first Rusty Diamond novel…it won’t be my last. Dig in." —Patrick Hasburgh, creator of 21 JUMP STREET

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

A big welcome to Austin Williams; thank you for joining us today.

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Austin Williams has shared with us his music playlist for Blind Shuffle - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Blind Shuffle?
"I’m an avid fan of the hard-boiled school of fiction, going back to the early masters of the 1930s and ‘40s.  The iconic world-weary private eye navigating a shadowy realm of crime—gun in one hand, bottle in the other—and confronting nefarious characters of every stripe has always appealed to me.

Blind Shuffle, the second installment in the Rusty Diamond series, features a protagonist who embodies many of the classic hard-boiled elements but does so in a contemporary and hopefully unique way.  Writing this series allows me to try my hand at a genre I’ve appreciated as a reader for decades, while attempting to inject a fresh modern flavor.  It’s an invigorating challenge."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"It would be foolish in my view to deny a basic assertion that all writers of fiction drag something of themselves—intentionally or not—into their work.  No matter how far removed a fictional character or situation may lie from a writer’s own life experience, it all gets filtered though a range of personal biases and preferences.  There’s no way to entirely divorce oneself from a creative work, nor any reason to do so.  On the other hand, it’s a mistake for readers—or reviewers, for that matter—to overly identify a writer with his or her work.  For example, I gather that some of the most violent and gruesome stories of all time have been penned by decent, mild-mannered souls."
Why should we read Blind Shuffle and what sets it apart from the rest?
"I think the central character of Rusty Diamond is the defining aspect.  There’s no shortage of literary series in the mystery/suspense field that feature returning central characters who grow more complex with each book.  What makes Rusty different is the backstory and skill set he brings to the table.  Rather than falling into one of the more conventional archetypes (cop, private eye, investigative journalist, etc.) Rusty is a former stage magician whose career in Las Vegas was derailed by a drug-addled performance gone horrifically wrong.  This rather esoteric background leaves him equipped to pursue clues, penetrate veils of deception and confront an array of menacing antagonists, despite having no formal investigative training."
Can you tell us something quirky about Blind Shuffle, its story and characters?
"Blind Shuffle takes place in and around New Orleans, and I tried to include as many true-life locations as possible to enhance a sense of verisimilitude.

One central locale is a casino situated in the small rural town of Vacherie, Louisiana.  This casino is owned and operated by one of the book’s primary villains, Joseph Abellard.  I based the physical description of Abellard’s joint on an actual establishment in Vacherie that I visited during a research trip in the Spring of 2013—the Jubilee Casino.

In my first draft of the book, I used the casino’s real name in the interest of realism.  When working on a second draft, I reconsidered that decision.  Given the great amount of criminal activity that takes place inside the casino in my (fictional) story, it seemed unwise to identify the real place by name.  I was less concerned with a possible defamation suit than with a sense of poor decorum in borrowing a legitimate business’s name for this purpose.  Hence, readers will find a place called the Carnival Casino in the pages of Blind Shuffle that bears a striking resemblance to the Jubilee.  As the standard legal boilerplate cautions, any similarities are strictly coincidental."
Who would you recommend Blind Shuffle to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend this book to all readers of general adult fiction, with an emphasis on fans of mysteries and thrillers.  No warnings or disclaimers are necessary, except to say those readers unduly bothered by measured doses of profanity, violence and sexual situations may want to look elsewhere.  If the book were translated word-for-word into a movie, it would receive an R rating, and it’s certainly less extreme than many movies carrying that designation."
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’ve focused solely on the mystery/suspense field of late, but as a reader I enjoy all types of fiction.  The quality of the writing is the determinate factor.  A well-written story covering virtually any subject matter can command my attention if it’s composed with style and clarity.  I can’t say if I’ll venture far afield of the mystery genre with my own efforts, but quite a range of narrative moods can be encompassed within that heading.  I try to give each book its own feeling, shaped by the geographical location where the action takes place as much as the events of the story itself."
What is your writing process?
"I’m not nearly as regimented as many writers seem to be.  My baseline for a productive day is two thousand words, but that’s just a guideline.  It’s better to knock out five hundred solid words than two thousand mediocre words that will require heavy revision."
What is in store next?
"I’m now at work on the third book in the Rusty Diamond series, which will come out in late 2016 or early 2017.

After that, I intend to complete an earlier trilogy I started in 2008 with a novel called Crimson Orgy and continued in 2011 with The Platinum Loop.

It’s too early to say what I’ll be working on after that book is complete, but I’m happy to have plenty to keep me busy for the moment."

Blind Shuffle - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

1 comment:

Omnimystery News said...

Great interview! I always like to get to know more about the authors whose books I read. Thanks so much for introducing Austin Williams to us!