Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Elusive MR CURTIS

The Grey Man is a thriller written by J.L. Curtis with detail and expertise drawn from somewhere...himself? Movies? Too much television? Andy Griffith? Well, I guess it might be all of that...minus Andy Griffith and television and movies...because he has been around guns for a long time and enjoys shooting and anything associated with them. Curtis might have included experience or knowledge in the book, or maybe just lucky guesses. He won't say.
He is a very intelligent and well accomplished man from the south, originally from down Lousiana way, but prefers Texas. His book reflects his expertise in firearms and each character has been scripted in detail so you feel as if you really know them. The book is detailed, the characters come alive with each page turn and...if you like America, justice, guns, military, and a western flair with intrigue and suspense... and yes, a thrilling ride along the way...then you will enjoy The Grey Man by J.L. Curtis. I loved it! I got a chance to sit down with Mr. Curtis and hash out an interview. He has a deep, sexy southern voice. I suspect John Cronin got his slow drawl from Curtis. Isn't there a Mary Sue in all books?
Hello, Mr. Curtis. How are you?
Hello. Fargo. I'm like sunshine on a butter biscuit. And you?
Is that a southern thing? Sounds like butter on top of butter.  I'm like a fart in the wind blowing downhill to the enemy. It's a good day.
Well, I guess. Um. What does that mean? Never mind. I maybe don't want to know about that.
Well, true. This is about you, not me. I'm from the Midwest, raised in the West. You are from the south living in another, different south. It's like our mind channeling and wave reductions might be misfiring.  I think we can work this interview out. Frankly, your intelligence level is far beyond mine. However, these language barriers are going to be the death of me. Help  me when you can. I don't speak southern and I have not taken the decoder class.
Uh. Sure. Go ahead with the interview. I will try to keep you up.

First: Give us a bio of yourself, background, and future goals in writing. Tell us about how you came up with this storyline for The Grey Man.

My bio. Let me see...old fart, retired Navy Mustang, trying to put food on the table... born/raised in the South, so...I am nice to women, dogs and babies.... Story line kinda wrote itself from the snippets I put up on the blog-http://oldnfo.org/.   
Snippets. Sounds like something off The Muppet Show. A relative of Kermit?
I'm not following you. Have you read my blog?
Yes, I have. I follow you, actually. You have several venues. I find them all interesting. You also like guns. Anyone who likes guns is good. What inspired you to write a book? Where did the inspiration come from?

I made the mistake of putting up a little short story... ;-)  I didn't want another Perfect Hero (tm), too many of them out there already.  I wanted a human hero.  And I wanted to do something different.  As they say, write what you know, and this doesn't get me put in Leavenworth, so that was a consideration too! 
What? Why would you get put in Leavenworth? You growing pot in the Navy? Hydroponics? I thought you were retired. That means you made it through the gamut. My dad was Army and my uncle was Air Force. I trained Marines. I myself, was involved in 4-H. The four clovers? You ever heard of them? Probably not, it's secret squirrel shit.
Being a Navy Mustang is something I am proud of and it is a big deal, an honor, and a prestige.  I had a very successful Navy career.
I suppose you did. Thank you for your service. But you had a horse. I don't mean to insult you., but I was just confused as to how you would get them on the ship. Let's focus on the next question...What was your greatest challenge during the process of writing your first word to the publish date?

A horse on the ship? No. That's not what that means. Let me answer your question.  Editing....&*(*^% editing...  Did I mention how much I HATE editing???  Fantastic group of Alfa/Beta readers though. I really had a great editor and every person that read my book really took part in helping me and created a greater end product.
You went to the book factory? I knew I was missing out on something. How does it feel to be a published author?  
Strange... I've always avoided publicity...
Me, too. I hear ya. It just finds me in inopportune times. Which character is your most favorite in your book? Why?  
Yes :-)
Really? You are one of those that can't pick a favorite child? Seriously? These characters are not even real. Fine. Be Switzerland then. I liked John Cronin the best. Maybe because he is so complex.  Do you enjoy writing the villains or hero-heroine characters most? Why?  

Both, because you have to have some good interaction to make the story believable, which means the characters have to be believable.
True. I think you did very well in the book. It is very believable. Do you have any future planned works? Advice for new upcoming authors?  

Maybe... :-) At least one more of these, and maybe a third (depends on how many words I have left over).  Advice- Don't listen to the naysayers... THEY have a vested interest in reducing the competition for 'their' titles...
That is great advice. It is also something that I struggle with because I can't ignore their words, I just have to forge ahead anyway. You can't succeed without trying, right? Wait until you get your first bad review...and we all get them. Once a reviewer said I was trying to be clever in my book. She apparently doesn't know me. That is how I AM. I am clever. Hey lady, clever, clever toilet lever...bring it!
Ma'am. You sure have some troubles today. Are you doing alright?
Yes, I just need a drink or the smell of gun powder up my nose. They should make that scent in a fucking candle, I tell ya. Thank you for asking. I'm sorry I got distracted. I have rivets and neck twitches from side effects stemming from bad reviews.
Anyway, on with the show! How would you best describe what you hope a reader gets out of your book? For example: Is it for enjoyment? Hidden metaphors? Entertainment? Or hopes they continue the series or future works of yours? Or was the book written for you as a dream or goal accomplished...i.e. bucket list item?

Enjoyment and maybe a bit of knowledge about long range shooting.  It was done to keep me out of the bars and give me something to do on airplane flights...
What kind of bars? Jail? Or the drinking kind?
Oh, so you are a rabble rouser.  A true southern man. Ha. Pipe dreams. I know you have had a great career and had to behave. You can't fool me. You can be naughty when you retire.  I've been behind bars many times. I got out right away tho...the advantage of the badge. Yep. (tee hee) I sleep on planes, just a little suggestion. If you are rested up on the plane, you can get off the ground running. And if you drink on the plane, you can't get a DUI or go to jail unless you say those magic words or get crazy. I mean, there is no such thing as an FUI.
What is an FUI?
Flying Under the Influence. NOT unless you go to the cockpit and ask the pilot if you could put your hands on the stick thing. And never mind. I know. Pilots are sensitive about their sticks. Anyway...why am I getting off on tangents? Do any of the characters draw from your experience, your personality? Friends? Family?  

I know NOZZINK... :-)
That was cute, Colonel Klink. Or did Schultz say that? Anyway. I bet you think I was too young to know Hogan's Heroes. One of my dad's favorite shows. I think, however, you are referring to the current administration of our top office of the United States and his General friend. So...getting anything concrete of an answer out of you is like pulling a Shasta camper out of a buffalo's butt. Tell us some hobbies, interests when you are not writing.

Um. I'm not sure I understand your logic. I mean, camper....buffalo...I am not tracking.
It's a western thing. Buffalo are in the west.
Yeah. It still doesn't make any sense.
Fine. I will put it this way. It's like carrying a bucket of crawdads uphill with a hole in the bucket.
Well, is the hole big enough for only the water to drain out, because that could be a great thing if you were fixin' to eat 'em. Now if the crawdads slipped out because you had a big hole, then disaster strikes.
(big sigh) I think we should have ordered drinks. You probably need a big one to put up with my nonsense. First of all, in Wyoming, crawdads are called crayfish and they are used as bait. We do not eat those vile things. And squirrels? We look at 'em. They are cute. Sometimes they are annoying when they poop on your car. We don't wear them. We don't fry them. We don't roast them. They are not made into kabobs. Back to the interview focus, please tell us some hobbies, interests when you are not writing.
Shooting, golf, hot rods, good food... Gave up on women- to old and slow to chase, much less catch them...
Fat ones.
Pardon me, Ma'am?
Fat ones. You can still catch the fat ones. They are slow. I mean, you don't have to give up on women. There are still some out there. You are still young enough to have one.
Yeah. I think I will pass. I will stick to what I know.
Ok. Just a suggestion. I don't want you to be lonely when there are opportunities out there. Anything else you think is important that I haven't asked you yet? 

You didn't ask about my 'inner' motivation and all that other happy, touchy, feely horseshit... Not that I had any... I just don't like being told I can't do something...
Oh, this isn't Oprah for God's sake. If your book was made into a movie, who would play John Cronin?
Well, I think he is a Tommy Lee Jones or Clint Eastwood type.
Really? Those are two of my faves, but aren't they kind of old? What do you think about Channing Tatum? Well, maybe he's too young. Who would play Jesse?
Well, I don't know.  I have no idea. I have never really thought about the woman celebrities.
I see. Totally blocked women out of your mind. Sad really. Alright, what is your favorite gun and why?
A Colt Python because I have had one for years. Second would be a 1911.
Really? You don't like those radical master blasters they make today that shuck out thousands of bullets at once or that fancy new Glock 42?
Uh. No. Not interested as my number one choice, anyway.
Ok. Then. Those are nice guns, by the way. Any gun is a good gun. What do you think happened to D.B. Cooper?
I'm serious. I always ask a strange question.
I think he is dead. I don't think he survived the jump. I could give you many reasons why I come to that conclusion, but it is all relatively simple. He is dead.
Do you like Duck Dynasty? Does that show make you feel southern pride?
Who? What? I really don't have time to watch television.
Nope. I read a lot of books. Anything really. Except romance novels.
Me either. Not a romance novel person. Do you prefer the Kindle or paper books? A southern man that reads. You are an anomaly aren't you?
Nothing. It's like a small gopher.
Uh...what was your question?

Do you prefer the Kindle or paper books to read?

Definitely paper. Always paper. I read many books when I fly, however, so I have a Kindle.
Me too. Love the paper. True book worm right there. I find the Kindle is easy for travel. I want to thank you, Mr. Curtis, for the great interview. I loved your book. It is well written and very, very enjoyable. I would classify it as FANTASTIC! You will have much success! I will highly recommend it. I think you are already climbing the Kindle charts! I will be putting my thoughts on Amazon shortly. Good luck to you.
Thank you, Ma'am. I appreciate it! Good day, Fargo!
Go out and grab this book for a great read. If you like thrillers, this one is for you! It's different, intriguing all the way through, and more of the series to come in the future! You won't be disappointed!

Mr. Curtis is a great man. He will be one to watch!


Old NFO said...

Actually is was Sgt. Shultz... :-)

Coffeypot said...

For you Army/Air Force pussies, a Mustang in the Navy is a valued and hard to get title. If comes from starting the Navy career as an enlisted man and working up the latter in rank until you feel you are qualified for officer training. It is very competitive and only a few make it. He was an 'airdale' (in aviation) and became a pilot with carrier landings, etc. You ain't a dummy from the South and able to do that. And he now travels the world working for somebody and something to do with the gubment. I am proud to call him a blogging/Facebook buddy even before he wrote the book (which is awesome, by the way). And I wondered where some of your questions come from. Honestly, you shouldn't drink or smoke before doing something like that. If you are going to drink and/or smoke, call me instead.

Momma Fargo said...

John Coffey,

I know Jim is a great man and very, very brilliant. Yes, being a Navy Mustang is a big deal. Shhh...about his work. I know he is not a dummy from the south and I do not put southern men in the dummy category. I was just having some fun.

Old NFO said...

LOL, I thought it was funny, and ya gotta have some fun with these 'interview' thingies... No offense was taken as the whole thing was done tongue in cheek!!! :-D

Slamdunk said...

Fun and informative interview. I'll take a look at the book. And now I can use FUI with confidence...

Mrs. Crankipants said...

Funniest interview ever!

Fire Pup said...

Even us old pussies in the Air Force, we still had advancement from enlisted to officer. I know, I R 1. Or was.

Then there are the Marines. Division of the Navy....