Sunday, May 7, 2023

Q&A with Patrick H. Moore




Patrick H. Moore is the author of the new novel 27 Days. A private investigator and sentencing mitigation specialist, he is based in Los Angeles.


Q: What inspired you to write 27 Days, and how did you create your character Nick Crane?


A: About 10 years ago, I decided I would try my hand at writing noirish thrillers. At that point I was reading Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie novels, James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels, and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher stories. 


All three of these characters fall into the general category of hard-boiled or hard-edged. I decided I would create a character with similar characteristics, but with a compassionate heart beating beneath his rough and sometimes brusque exterior.


The first step in creating this character was coming up with a name. I wanted a name connoting strength and competence––that here is a man who can take care of business and who will not quail when the going gets rough. I tried to put myself into a mentally receptive state in which I let the potential names come to me. Come they did and I finally settled on Nick Crane.


By the time I wrote 27 Days, I had already written two previous Nick Crane thrillers. The first, which was called Cicero’s Dead, was indie published in 2014. The second book, Rogues and Patriots, will be published next year by my publisher Down & Out Books and will serve as a prequel to 27 Days.


In both Rogues and Patriots and 27 Days, Nick Crane finds himself pitted against “the principals,” a shadowy group of wealthy, aristocratic, and entirely unscrupulous alt-right extremists. It’s fair to say that my inspiration in writing both of these books was to create twisty and exciting page-turners that also address some of our nation’s most glaring social and political issues.


Q: The Kirkus Review of the novel calls it “An up-to-the-minute thriller that ably tackles contemporary politics.” What do you think of that description?


A: I believe Kirkus Review’s statement that 27 Days is “an up-to-the-minute thriller that ably tackles contemporary politics” is an accurate representation of what 27 Days tries to accomplish.


Unlike many thrillers, 27 Days provides a setting that mirrors the actual political and social situation in our nation in recent years and continuing into the present. Readers diving into the story will find themselves ensconced in a world quite similar to the actual world in which we live here in the United States, in which alt-right extremists pose a clear and present danger to our democracy.

Q: Did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: This is a great question. When I started writing 27 Days, I had no idea what would happen or how it would end. Once I was 30 or 40 pages into the book, I realized that the major crisis Nick Crane would face would be the fact that his close friend and partner Bobby Moore had been abducted by “the principals,” and that Nick would have to try and rescue him.


I remember very specifically making the decision to place both Nick and Bobby in virtually impossible situations, i.e., I wanted to make the rescue operation as difficult as possible for Nick and his team to carry out.


While writing the story, I made numerous changes to the plot including the fact that Nick––to his surprise––finds himself working closely with a young, idealistic FBI agent named Carrie North who is determined to bring lead principal, Nick’s nemesis Marguerite Ferguson, to justice.


Although he enters into this partnership with Special Agent North very reluctantly, Nick soon realizes that her assistance is indispensable as he formulates and attempts to execute his rescue operation.


Note: I don’t usually do much plotting in advance; rather, I work more or less organically in that I allow the plot to come to me in bits and pieces while I am writing.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?


A: I hope readers take two particular things away from 27 Days. First, I want readers to enjoy a highly entertaining page turner. I hope that readers will get deeply involved in the story and the characters and will thoroughly enjoy the many thrills and chills they encounter along the way.


Second, I hope that readers come away from the story with the sense that contemporary thrillers can effectively address present-day social and political issues. In short, I am trying to do my small part to make thrillers not only entertaining but socially relevant as well.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Presently, I am fine-tuning Rogues and Patriots, which will be published sometime next spring by Down & Out Books.


As soon as I am finished with Rogues and Patriots, I will dive into writing the sequel to 27 Days, which has the working title Giant Steps. In this book, Nick Crane will do everything in his power to vanquish “the princiapls” once and for all. How will Nick accomplish this most difficult task? That is a good question that I will try to answer as I move forward with Giant Steps.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: In closing, let me just say that I really appreciate this opportunity to appear in your blog, and I hope that your readers will enjoy this interview.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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