Today, for the 24th in this regular series of quickfire author interviews I fired the 9mm questions at debutant mystery writer David Carnoy, who has had an interesting journey to print publication for his debut thriller KNIFE MUSIC. Carnoy, who is CBS Interactive Executive Editor, originally released KNIFE MUSIC as an iPhone app (it was first rejected on grounds of obscenity). It eventually went on to sell 30,000 copies as e-books for the Kindle and Sony Reader, and paperbacks from Amazon’s BookSurge (a self-publishing service provided by the online bookselling giant). KNIFE MUSIC's digital publishing success then attracted the attention of The Overlook Press, which has just released Carnoy's mystery debut as a hardcover. Apparently KNIFE MUSIC may be the first iPhone app to actually turn into a publishing contract.
You can read more about Carnoy himself, and the research he undertook for the novel (including donning scrubs to get behind the scenes in trauma centres), here.
You can read the first couple of chapters of KNIFE MUSIC here.
But for now, David Carnoy stares down the barrel of 9mm...
Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
Hercule Poirot. Yes, I know, old school.
What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
The Phantom Tollbooth. The sense of adventure, underlying philosophy, use of language--it just got into my head.
Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
I wrote a non-fiction book with my father called Father of a Certain Age (my father and his wife adopted a newborn baby when he was 52). I have been an editor at CNET.com (now owned by CBS) for 10 years, so I've written thousands of tech-oriented articles over the years and have a column called Fully Equipped. Before that I was a business writer and a sports writer.
Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
Used to travel a lot before I had four little kids (loved the Cook Islands). Skiing, soccer, biking are my main sports these days, though I also did track in college (I was a sprinter). My nephew went skiing in NZ two summers ago, so I was jealous. I also like to mow grass (I live in New York City but I have a house in upstate New York, where we have a big field). It's a good place to think, sitting on your mower and riding around. And finally, I keep and try to breed African Cichlids. When people ask me what kind of fish they are, I say African-American because they're from Lake Tanganyika but were born in the U.S.
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?
Bike ride up from the bottom of Manhattan along the Hudson. They only recently completed a bike path that allows you to ride for several miles along the river.
If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm not saying I'm like him, but you might as well go with the best.
Of your books, which is your favourite, and why?
Knife Music. Only one so far.
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?
Well, I got word from my agent that an offer had been made. But it took several months to get the contract finalized. So the celebration was kind of muted. That said, I'd saved a bottle of Dom Perignon that I'd taken from a party in the late '90s (I used to be a bartender and waiter from time to time). I said I'd only open it when I got published. So when I signed the contract I opened it. Luckily, it still had bubbles.
What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
Just started signing a week ago, so nothing too strange yet. But I'm hoping an ex-girlfriend from years ago will show up at a signing and tell me that I was the one that got away.
Thank you David Carnoy. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with Crime Watch.
So what do you think of this 9mm interview? Have you read Carnoy’s e-book turned printed thriller KNIFE MUSIC? Are you intrigued? Have you read any of Carnoy’s other writing for CBS Interactive? What do you think of his migration from digital to printed publishing? Thoughts and comments appreciated