Wednesday, June 9, 2010

9mm: An interview with Gregg Hurwitz

Welcome to the latest instalment in Crime Watch's ongoing series of quickfire author interviews; 9mm - 9 MurderMystery questions put to a variety of New Zealand and international crime, thriller, and mystery authors.

For the 17th in this regular series of quickfire author interviews, I fired the 9mm questions at LA-based thriller writer, screenwriter, graphic novelist (Wolverine, Punisher, and other Marvel titles) and Shakespearean scholar Gregg Hurwitz (after being a student-athlete at Harvard, he went to Oxford to do a Masters in Shakespearean tragedy). Still only in his mid 30s, yes, he's one of those people who's managed to fit so much in already, they make you wonder what the bloody hell you've been doing with your life, haha.

Hurwitz also came and visited us down in New Zealand in September last year (you can read my report on his Takapuna Library event, and our discussion afterwards, here). In person he's a charismatic, funny and down-to-earth guy, with his passion for writing and life in general quite obvious. He's known for doing hands-on research for his novels - from going on biker rides through LA canyons, to blowing things up, and going undercover in cults.

You can read my review of his latest novel, OR SHE DIES, here. But for now, Gregg Hurwitz sits in the 9mm hotseat.

The Crime Watch 9mm Author Interview: Gregg Hurwitz

Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
Sherlock

What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why? Probably the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigator series. They were less earnest than the Hardy Boys but introduced me to the thrill of investigation. Plus, anything with my boy Alfred you pretty much can't beat.

Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
A couple of short stories and some academic work. But I started quite young on THE TOWER - I was only 19 - so much of my learning came on the job, so to speak.

Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
Hike, travel, movies, books, watch baseball, play soccer a few times a week. Love food. Love hard alcohol -- bourbon in particular.

What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider?
Eating chicken throat at Yakitoriya in little Japantown.

If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
Bart Simpson

Of your books, which is your favourite, and why?
They're Watching (Or She Dies in UK/NZ/Aus) because I feel like it achieves the type of suspense I most admire in books and films. I was aiming for a different sort of effect with this book -- a story about everyday people entwined in a dark mystery -- and so I had the most fun working on this, and rewriting and rewriting it to said effect.

What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form on a bookseller’s shelf?
I was very excited. And I promptly began writing every day from 9 to 5 since that's what I'd promised myself I'd do if I sold a book. But the most exciting for me was probably when I saw my first cover. That seems to be the moment when the reality of the book (rather than the story) first takes hold.

What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
S&M stalker. Wa-hoo.

Thank you Gregg Hurwitz. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with Crime Watch.
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So what do you think of Gregg Hurwitz's answers? Have you read any of his thrillers? Have you met him at an author event? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Craig - Thanks, as always, for this fine interview. I must say, I've been thoroughly enjoying "meeting" all of the authors you interview.

    Gregg - Thanks for your answers. Now I have this terrific mental picture of Bart Simpson writing a really powerful thriller.....maybe with Sideshow Bob as the vilain ; ).

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