Issue 12 Interviews

Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Double Lives, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied,Buffalo And Sour Mash and Locked In Cages. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. He also teaches creative writing at University and workshops.

Godwin was interviewed by Hector Duarte Jr. for Sliver of Stone.

Richard Godwin

Richard Godwin

For any artist wondering if, how, and when they might get published, much less win a Pulitzer Prize, Gilbert King’s career is an inspiration. With dreams of becoming a major-league baseball player, King went to college at University of South Florida. It didn’t take him long to realize that, when it came to baseball players, the talent pool was wide as it was deep. Just two math credits shy of graduating college, King moved to New York City, where he landed freelance writing and editing assignments for small newspapers and magazines. A self-taught photographer, King’s fashion and beauty work made it to national magazines such as Glamour, Jane, and Modern Bride, as well as international editions of magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Madame Figaro, and Marie Claire.  King went on to research and write various illustrated coffee-table books, as well as ghostwrite for celebrities and noted experts in their fields. A fan of true-crime, King’s first book, The Execution of Willie Francis: Race Murder and the Search for Justice in the American South, recounted the brutal crime, community vengeance, and legal heroism surrounding the unsuccessful execution by electric chair of a seventeen year-old black boy in Louisiana in 1946.

The book was well received, but had only modest sales. It was while doing research on the Willie Francis case that King became fascinated by another investigation, this one involving the alleged rape of a white girl by four black men in Lake County, Florida in 1951. The case would pit a young attorney, Thurgood Marshall, the most acclaimed civil rights attorney of his age—destined to serve on the United States Supreme Court—against the Klan, a brutal sheriff’s department, and the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover. At the time, the case drew national attention but had largely been forgotten. Using the Freedom of Information Act, King plunged himself into the research, which included Marshall’s personal papers, and other long-buried documents including FBI reports that revealed the innocence of the “Groveland Boys,” as the four accused came to be named. Against the advice of his previous publisher, who feared that the story wouldn’t have a broad enough audience, King wrote Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America(Harper). The book received smashing reviews, including its designation as “Must-read, cannot-put-down history” by Thomas Friedman, writing for the New York Times. In spite of the praise, King’s expectations for the success of the book were modest. Until one day, out on the golf course, King received a text message from a friend: “Dude, Pulitzer!”

The cryptic text was followed by a torrent of congratulatory texts, calls, and emails informing him that Devil in the Grove had received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. The book also became nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction, and was named a “Book of the Year” by The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and Amazon. Recently, filming has begun on the film adaptation.

Nicholas Garnett asked Gilbert King to talk a little about his career, his interests, and his future.

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Gilbert King

Conor McCreery is the co-creator of Kill Shakespeare, the swashbuckling tail of Bardicide published by IDW. The series has been adapted for the stage, as a board game, and is currently being developed for television. He’s also assassinated the character(s) of Sherlock Holmes and Harry Houdini in Holmes vs Houdini for Dynamite Comics and is currently killing more things in Titan Comic’s Assassin’s Creed title (all with the awesome Anthony Del Col).  Conor has contributed stories to numerous anthologies including the latest edition of the New York Times best-selling Anthology FUBAR: Age of the Sword. He started his writing career as a journalist in Canada where he became the head-writer for Business News Network, as well as a producer and occasional on-air personality. He later plied his trade in Ghana at The Statesman the country’s oldest independent paper, where he managed to collect several death threats (and annoy the ruling party of Zimbabwe) while working on features covering, among other things, Ghana’s orphanage system, student riots, and the country’s first major off-shore oil discovery – as well as writing a weekly NBA column in an attempt to convert an entire nation into fans of his beloved Raptors. His work has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Grid, WIRED.com andGlobeinvestor.com and in Living with Shakespeare, published by Yale University Press.

Conor was interviewed by Thomas Logan for Sliver of Stone Magazine.

September 11, 2012.

Conor McCreery

Poet Laura McDermott’s first book, Visions on Alligator Alley (Lominy Books), is an uncommon book. First it’s a “story in verse,” or a verse novel—a bastard genre that while not often seen, has a long tradition that includes works such as Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and Anne Carson’sAutobiography of Red. Add to that a layer of ekphrasis, a literary work that either describes or is inspired by a work of art and you have a bastard of a bastard that is a narrative interwoven with dramatic images.

The project was the unintended culmination of McDermott’s 2014-2015 stint as writer-in-residence at Girls Club, a private foundation and alternative art space in Fort Lauderdale, FL that is the only private collection open to the public that features works by contemporary visual artists. During her residency, McDermott began writing new poems and revising extant ones as a response to the exhibition in place at the time, The Moment. The Backdrop. The Persona. which focused on single works or series of works that evoked narrative. The product of that flurry of writing takes us on a journey where we see a tomboy struggling with impending womanhood in the shadow of her difficult gearhead father. The speaker in Visions on Alligator Alley eventually claims her conflicted self near the end of the book with the poem,” The Pact,” where she asserts:

I made a pact with you, mechanic men—
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown woman with a gearhead father;
. . .
Now is the time for racing.

As Girls Club Executive Director Michelle Weinberg declares in her introduction, “Visions on Alligator Alley is a modest epic of sorts.”

Yaddyra Peralta of Sliver of Stone recently got together with McDermott for a brief chat on the process of creating this book together.

Laura McDermott

Will “the Thrill” Viharo is a freelance writer, pulp fiction author, B movie impresario and lounge lizard at large. His published bibliography includes the retrospective anthology series The Thrillville Pulp Fiction Collection featuring all of his standalone novels, as well as the definitive omnibus The Vic Valentine Classic Case Files (both available from Thrillville Press). Gutter Books offers the first and final Vic Valentine novels, respectively, Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me and Hard-boiled Heart. Additionally, Will has written two sci-fi collaborations with Scott Fulks, It Came From Hangar 18 and The Space Needler’s Intergalactic Bar Guide.

Viharo was interviewed by Hector Duarte Jr. for Sliver of Stone.

Viharo email signature (1)

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