Monday, July 1, 2013

Interview: Ben H. Winters (Countdown City Blog Tour) + Giveaway

(Technically a post for Tuesday, July 2nd. May be dated as July 1st as I'm posting it just a couple hours shy of midnight.)

Today we have author Ben H. Winters joining us on the blog to share more about himself and his trilogy, The Last Policeman. I was provided the first and second book from Quirk Books to be part of this tour, and I'm excited to take part and have him join us!


The Last Policeman               Countdown City

Pixie: Let’s get one of the usual questions out of the way first. What inspired the idea behind The Last Policeman trilogy?

Ben: I had been interested for a while in doing a mystery novel, and specifically in doing detective fiction. A novel I wrote for kids, called The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, was nominated in 2010 for the Edgar Award, and I hadn’t even really thought of that book as a mystery—it’s a fun and silly romp, with a secret at its heart. So I suddenly began thinking, hey, you know what? I think this is what I am, I’m a mystery writer! And I was pleased. The end-of-the-world aspect came into it later. I guess I was curious about how I could take on this basic set up—man seeks murderer—in an unexpected way. I loved the bigness of the apocalypse, the sense of scale it gives to the whole story. Although I hope that part of what’s engaging about the Policeman books is that all of that, all that armageddon business, is very much in the background; where our interest lies is where Hank’s does, which is the business of solving the crimes.

Pixie: What would YOU do in the case of an impending apocalypse?

Ben: Every time someone asks this, I wish I were a flashier kind of personality, and I could claim I would go hang-gliding, or travel around the world and so on. In truth, I think I would do the things I love, as much as possible: read, be with my wife and kids, eat ice-cream sandwiches.

(Pixie: Ice-cream sandwiches sound really nice, btw.)

Pixie: A quirky question: If it was your last night on Earth, what would you like to be your last meal?

Ben: Well, I know the beverage would be a Brooklyn lager, and dessert would be ice-cream sandwiches. (And not to rain on the parade of the question, of course, but as we learn in The Last Policeman and especially in Countdown City, the reality of an impending apocalypse would severely disrupt agricultural production and global supply chains, meaning it would probably be hard for everyone to get ahold of all the luxuries they would want to enjoy at the end.)

Pixie: You wrote some “Monster Mash-ups” like Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters and Android Karenina. Do you see any more work like this in the future for you?

Ben: Probably not. Those two books were extremely fun to do, but I have found even more pleasure in writing books from scratch, as it were. 

Pixie: Speaking of future work, I know that we have book three of The Last Policeman coming sometime in the near future, but do you have any other projects in the works that you can talk about?

Ben: Actually, yes—I have written two books of scary poems for kids, the first of which is called Literally Disturbed and comes out this summer, published by Grosset and Dunlap, a Penguin imprint. A great joy to write, and a project that obviously taps into a very different part of my brain than the Policeman series.

(Pixie: Sounds exciting! I bet my youngest step-daughter—a growing bookworm herself would like that, too!)

Pixie: Who are some of your favorite authors? Books that you would recommend?

Ben: Recently I’ve been reading a lot of crime novels, including re-reading the always delightful Ripley series by Patricia Highsmith. In terms of new fiction, you should read The Unknowns, the debut novel by a guy named Gabriel Roth, which is remarkable—clever and sad and very gracefully written. Speaking of which, my fellow Indianapolis-based author Michael Dahlie’s book, The Best of Youth, is a remarkable character portrait and also funny as hell. Oh, and I also just read A Light Between Oceans, which really swallowed me up for a while.

Pixie: Anything else you want to add?

Ben: Only thank you for your interest in me and in my books!

Pixie: Thank you for taking the time to be here today! Be sure to drop by again!

P.S. I hope you know you kept me up all night after reading Bedbugs with creepy crawly feelings. Ha!


Be sure to check out Ben H. Winters on Goodreads, too.
Would you like to win The Last Policeman and Countdown City (the first two books in this exciting trilogy?) Check out the details below!

What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?

Until the 26th of this month, I have a giveaway up that you want to enter if you're the slightest bit interested in these books. Here's your chance to win the first AND second book-- The Last Policeman and Countdown City, and see what it's all about!


U.S. Only (Sorry, my international lovelies!)
As with all of my contests, I'm not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged packages.
Don't try to cheat the system. I check before I draw a winner.
Speaking of winner, if the chosen one doesn't reply back in a timely manner to email (48 hours), I have the right to choose a new one.
18 or over--or 13 and up with parental permission.

Thanks! Enter below with the Rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment

Drop a line! We love having your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...