Welcome, Mike Faricy, author of Last Shot, a mystery suspense published by Beau Coup Publishing.
Let's get to know Mike (although he admits he did one interview and the woman probably went home and locked her doors).
I’m the oldest of five children, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951, the height of the baby boom. I graduated with a degree in history and English. My very patient wife and I live in St. Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland.
I worked in the Graphic Arts Industry. I loved it. I was in the pre-press (lithographic) industry. Sadly, the industry no longer exists, replaced by digital cameras and computer programs like PhotoShop. In addition to all that, I’ve been a soldier, a freelance journalist, a bartender, a seller of designer cakes, as well as owner of a painting and decorating company. On the off-chance that none of my paying jobs managed to offend you, I also play bagpipes in the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band.
I like the part about very patient wife. Lol. We get so little credit. So when did you learn to play the bagpipes? I understand they aren't easy to play.
If I’m involved, it can’t be too difficult. I learned to play a long time ago, I think just after Gettysburg… I was fortunate to take lessons from and then play in the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band, in St. Paul Minnesota. I’ve been playing with them for over twenty-five years. We have a lot of fun, and it’s allowed me to have multi-generational friends that I can enjoy and not have to play the part of responsible adult. Not that I’m all that responsible to begin with…
Mike, you are beginning to sound like a bad boy. :)
Mike has written a cool book, Last Shot, Case 6 in the Dev Haskell mysteries. Here's a blurb: Private Investigator Dev Haskell decides the best thing he can do is turn down Desi Quinn's request for help. He's not the guy to get involved in a long term investigation that's guaranteed to cost Desi a small fortune and offers little promise of a result. That's before events take a turn for the worse.
Now, Dev has a debt to pay, but how can low-rent-loser Pauley Kopff be teamed up with squeaky-clean Citizen of the Year, Gaston Driscoll? Not to mention an exotic dancer named Brandi, a born again Swindle Lawless and a Detective Norris Manning adding to the chaos. Dev lets go only to grab a bigger piece, but every time he thinks he's found the answer more questions arise.
Between the humor and sex, Dev gets deadly serious, after all, it is his Last Shot.
What jumped out at me in Last Shot is the wicked humor (mostly because I write with humor, too).
You have some great lines: "not-quite-awake people surgically attached to their coffee." "More than one guy I knew didn't realize he was in a relationship after an alcohol fueled wrestling match in the back seat of a car." "I've come to understand I probably wasn't his first love scam and certainly not his last." "What remained was grimy thread bare and could probably serve as a Petri dish at the Center for Disease Control." "We use my ass as bait." "The only time he took his eyes off my boobs was when I was crossing my legs." "I don't think they were the kind of people who worry a lot about grammar and punctuation." "I put my ear through the door, but couldn't hear anything through the grime."
You love snappy dialogue. Where does that come from?
It probably comes from me being a wise guy. As I was growing up I wasn’t the largest guy in the neighborhood and one of my defense mechanisms was my humor, not that it necessarily worked. As a teenager I was somewhat shy and very intimidated by girls; so again, the humor served as a defense. Plus, I like to laugh.
I like a good laugh too.
Did you do research on private investigation? Cops? Strippers?
Surprisingly, I do attempt research for my novels. I have some favorite arresting officers I’ve talked with. They seem to have a common trait, a really wild sense of humor, but then I guess you’d have to in that business. They also love to tell you about some of the situations they become involved in which makes the rest of us sound extremely dull by comparison. As for the strippers, I’ve known/know a number of women in that line of work. Most people don’t realize that--at least in the US--many pay the club a fee to dance for a shift. It’s then up to them to earn enough in tips to make it worth their while. For some of them, it becomes a very profitable undertaking. I’ve known a couple of school teachers, a mom and a med school student who chose that line of work. That said, there is the possibility one can become ‘exposed’ to an undesirable element of society.
Besides the pubs, why live in Ireland?
My wife lives here. We have a long distance marriage. She is Irish and lives in Dublin. I’m from the US and live in Minnesota. We both have extended families in our home countries. We’re lovers, best friends and also husband and wife. We’ve both been around the block a few times and even though we are apart from time to time, we talk daily. In fact, I’m pretty sure we communicate more than a lot of couples who live under the same roof. When we do get together, we don’t have time to argue about petty things; it’s always erotic and exotic. Of course, once I finish my chores in Dublin, I suddenly find myself in the airport with my luggage.
That's a huge commitment to marriage, Mike, and very admirable.
In Last Shot, you talk about the skywalks and how this affects the retail economy.
Oh yeah. In St. Paul and Minneapolis, along with a lot of other cold weather cities they built a skyway system. It’s essentially a hallway going over the streets and connecting the downtown buildings on the second floor level. The skyways eliminated the foot traffic on the ground level. All sorts of small businesses that were on the street level for the past 100 years moved to interior 2nd floor store fronts. The streets became more or less desolate, especially November through April. At just about the same time, shopping centers and malls began to take off, neutering all sorts of traditional downtown retail trade. Now-a-days, you pay a premium price for most on street parking downtown. But why would you go there because all the shops are in the malls where you park for free anyway? Add to that the new work force of contract and working-from-home employees, and it’s not a good move for downtown St. Paul.
My hometown has suffered with skywalks as well. Who knew?
I noticed your characters have an unusual names—Pauley, Desi, Gaston Driscoll, Swindle. Where do those come from? Did you sit around and think what is the funniest name I can slap on these people?
Sort of, what I do is continually scan the news and obits for names. I have a list of male and female first names along with a list of last names that I constantly add to. I like to suggest an individual might be demure or possibly dangerous by their name. I like the reader to be able to develop a picture of the individual in their mind. Pauley is sort of an unsuccessful, wanna-be wise guy. Desi Quinn is a vulnerable woman, bright, possibly naive. Gaston Driscoll comes from a privileged background, he’s a success in his own right, just ask him. Swindle Lawless, where to begin? She occasionally appears in the Dev Haskell series, In Last Shot she’s reinvented herself as a ‘dancer’ (read stripper) who conducts a prayer service at the end of her shift. Right now she’s operating under the mantra that you ‘must sin before you can be saved,’ and she’d like nothing more than to aid you in your quest for salvation.
LOL. I read the obits too and collect names.
And how much do donuts rock?
A lot, but let’s not limit it just to donuts. Dev Haskell meets a number of people in coffee shops and along with coffee there might be the occasional pastry. Okay, maybe a platter of pastry. (LOL) Whenever I find myself in a coffee shop I wonder what, exactly the people hanging around there do all day? You could say they’re working, but most of the computer action seems to be with Facebook friends. They read the paper from front to back, or a book (hopefully one of mine). I seem to have missed the entrance to the world they inhabit. I’m still always just one step ahead of the sheriff.
How did you get from a sales career to writing?
It’s a long story and not too interesting. Way back, prior to electronic publishing, I wrote crime fiction books that I would submit to publishers. You don’t submit your manuscript. You send what is referred to as a query letter. The letter consists of three paragraphs, the first two describe your work of genius and the third paragraph has a sentence or two about your wonderful self. You also enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope so you can receive your rejection in a timely manner. I had written five or six books and sent close to a hundred query letters out on each one. All rejected. Then one day, one of my query letters was returned unopened. Across the front of my envelope was a large purple stamp that read ‘Return to Sender’. On the back of my envelope was a hand written note that read ‘This does not fit our needs at this time.’ I’d sent the letter to one of the big six New York publishers, and they—apparently--couldn’t be bothered to even open it. It dawned on me that Mike Faricy from St. Paul, Minnesota didn't have a snowball's chance with these guys. But, there was a new side gate into the publishing playground. It was called Amazon and electronic publishing. I haven’t looked back. That said, if that New York publisher called today, I’d sit down and talk with them, but I’d do it with my eyes open.
You've hit the nail on the head, Mike. Most of us have gone through those same trials.
Now, down to the nitty gritty of writing. What is the hardest part--drafting, editing, research, or marketing? Why?
For me, the most difficult part is the marketing. When I write, I’m in charge. I determine when the project is completed, I write, massage, edit, rewrite, reedit countless times. I have dozens of pairs of eyes review the work before it’s released. But all along, I’m pretty much in control. With the marketing, there may be a beginning, but there is no end. It is continual, seven days a week. Then there is that fine line between good marketing and becoming a real pain and intruding. Add to that the fact that what is working today, whether a specific promotion or a price point or whatever, will change. The industry is in a constant state of flux and today’s hot idea may fall by the wayside in thirty, sixty or ninety days or even over night. Even with all the social media and networking, I think the single most effective ‘tool’ is word of mouth. If you hear from a friend that they really enjoyed a specific author and you might, too. That sort of endorsement can be priceless.
I agree with you on word-of-mouth. That is what's known as going viral. If only...
What is your newest project? Anything else you want to share?
I have a new book in the Dev Haskell series due out at the end of March, 2014 entitled Ting-A-Ling. My current top secret project is a completely new series entitled Corridor Man. Broadly stated, it’s about an attorney who gets into some trust fund difficulties and is disbarred. He can’t practice law, but he can ‘work the corridors’ for a firm. It’s a bit darker than my Dev Haskell series. It’s actually based on a couple of guys I’ve known over the years. I’ve really enjoyed seeing where the story is taking me. Corridor Man is due out later this May, 2014. Then I’m back writing another Dev Haskell adventure.
Wow, that sounds interesting. In fact, you know some interesting people.
Let's do a speed round:
Favorite color: Red or black. Does black count?
Favorite drink: I can’t limit it to one. Guinness, whiskey, or bourbon on ice. Craft beers and cold water.
Favorite movie: The Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges--hey, I’m a guy. LOL
Favorite accessory: None
Thank you, Mike, for being with Coffee Time Romance and me. I wish you much success.
Find Mike at:
Website | Facebook: Mike Faricy books and Dev Haskell | Twitter
Find Last Shot on Amazon at US | UK | AU
I laughed out loud! (Ann)
By Ann White - www.AuthorsOnTheAir.com
Laughing out loud while reading, in my mind, has always been reserved for Janet Evanovich’s novels. If I am on an airplane and I hear that certain laugh that just explodes out of nowhere, I will often turn and look and the laugher will hold up an Evanovich book. I will nod knowingly. And of course, it has happened many times that I was the laugher, holding up the Evanovich book.
Well, Mike Faricy had me laughing out loud in the same way. I have to admit (don’t tell), that sometimes when I am awaiting a patient in the trauma room, and the team gathers, I will sneak a read on my iPhone. In Merlot, Faricy has such outrageous characters with equally outrageous foibles that I embarrassed myself the other evening with a wild belly laugh pre-trauma (and from the chaplain no less!)
And it got worse (or better) – my poor husband likes to sleep at night. (Imagine that!) Since I get home in the wee hours, I sneak into bed with my iPad – and I brought Merlot with me. About every chapter I would explode with a laugh. Couldn’t help it
Between Merlot (the protagonist) trying to rob a bank and falling for the bank teller; to Otto – the king of deep fried bacon on a stick with his Walter Mitty fantasies about marrying this same bank teller so she could do his laundry – not to mention the rest of the zany cast -this was a laugh fest leaving me smiling days later as I post this blog.
Faricy provides the twists and turns we need to keep turning the pages – but it is the fun and quirky episodes that make this book a delight to read.
After nearly passing out from the suspense of the J.D. Rhoades books I was reading (see previous posts) – I enjoyed the light hearted fun, humor and whimsical nature of Mike’s characters.
Laughing is good for us — if you need night or two of fun and laughter – and a kooky mystery – pick up Merlot. You will be laughing as you thank me.
Mike will be a guest on Authors on the Air – Blog Talk Radio — here’s the link to the program
My Review of Mike Faricy's Russian Roulette
By Duncan McGonall
Russian Roulette is the classic detective novel and such, is expertly crafted and extremely well written. Devlin Haskell is a wholly believable character. His wit and sarcasm mark his personality. The tacit friendship with his contact within the police department, Aaron and his reputation as player and all around typical (if a tad stupid) guy produce a r...eliable narrator in a story told in first person.
The use of first person narrative is effective and readers can easily place themselves in Haskell’s shoes.
The story itself is fast paced and I could not detect the dreaded mid-point slump. Haskell’s life is threatened overtly no less than twice and the plot is full of clever setbacks and disappointments, add that to engaging characters the reader actually cares about, good, bad and a bit of both and run-ins with the Russian mob just became more than an obtuse artifact of infrequent headlines. Clues are drip fed as the tale spins into one dead end after another. This story is one where the cliche is made to work and work extremely well. Once all options are exhausted, the one we are led to least expect is found to be thick as thieves with the worst of the worst.
Though not a deep study of human nature, Russian Roulette is a quick and very entertaining read and once you start, you really don’t want to stop. Satisfying the urge to resolve the suspense is irresistible.
Book Reviews by Elizabeth A White
Having the last laugh with Mike Faricy
Laurie's Interviews & Guest Blog Spots
Mike Faricy is featured in an Author Spotlight Interview