Folks, it’s my joy to have Tim O’Mara on the blog today. We chat about Breaking Bad, TV crime shows, warning labels, and plenty more! Also, don’t miss the GIVEAWAY at the end of the post.
If you could be an extra on a murder mystery movie or TV series, what would it be and what would be your role?
If I could be an extra on TV crime show, it would be any of the Law & Orders. My role would be clear: I would simply tap the investigating detectives on the shoulder and point out that the perpetrator is more-than-likely the actor I’ve seen in numerous other shows and on Broadway. It might be the daughter of the victim who makes a quick appearance before the first commercial, or maybe the victim’s co-worker who’s slightly too busy to stop what he’s doing to give the detectives his complete attention. Maybe it’s the janitor pushing a mop in the background I know I just saw play the killer on Elementary. Maybe if these TV cops watched a little more TV, they’d recognize the killers sooner and save us all some time.
Is there a genre or literary niche that you feel hasn’t gotten it’s deserved amount of attention?
Yeah, one genre that does not get nearly the respect it deserves is ours: Crime and Mystery Fiction. If you’re looking for a good example, go into any chain bookstore and you’ll find a great crime novel, usually right past the Literary section. What the hell are we writing if it’s not “literary?” I actually had a reader once—my wife—express surprise that I used metaphors and similes in my novels. I’m funny that way and hope to one day move on to symbolism and allegory.
If I could experience on TV show again for the first time, without a doubt it would be Breaking Bad. I’ve never seen a show get better with each episode or a character develop the way Walter White did over the five seasons. I hope I never experience a disease that comes with memory loss, but if I do, watching Breaking Bad for the “first time” would take away some of the pain. Best damned show ever.
Reality in my fiction: how important is it? Lengthy travel, cussing, and bathroom breaks happen in real life. How do you address these mundane occurrences in your writings?
There are no “mundane” moments in my books. If a character has to answer the call of nature, I use it to advance the story. If he or she has to get from one place to another, I do it quickly and expediently—and as interestingly as possible. (Like the subways in New York City.) Every conversation means something: they advance the plot, provide backstory, and show character. I subscribe whole-heartedly to Elmore Leonard’s advice: You know those parts of the book that readers skip over? Don’t write those. I may be paraphrasing a bit, but that’s the gist of it. (I’d say more, but you’d just skip over it.)
If I came with a warning label it would be: Caution! Tim O’Mara might use your words and/or actions in his next book! Also, he’s slippery when dry.
What does your Writer’s Den look like? Neat and tidy or creative mess? Can you write anywhere or do you need to be holed up in your author cave?
My “writer’s den” I’m proud and snobby enough to say is New York City. I can write anywhere, inside or out, quiet or noisy, near the Hudson River, under the trees of Central Park, in a McDonald’s at lunchtime. I don’t believe in writer’s block. Where I live (in Manhattan) “writer’s block” is a street where two or more authors live.
Where to Find Tim O’Mara
TIM O’MARA has been teaching math and special education in New York City public schools since 1987, yet he is best known for his Raymond Donne mysteries about an ex-cop who now teaches in the same Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood he once policed: Sacrifice Fly (2012), Crooked Numbers (2013), Dead Red (2015), Nasty Cutter (January 2017). His short story, The Tip, is featured in the 2016 anthology Unloaded. The anthology’s proceeds benefit the nonprofit States United To Prevent Gun Violence.
Payback leads to an unmarked grave in Ross Klavan’s Thump Gun Hitched. A freak accident forces two L.A. cops to play out a deadly obsession that takes them from back alley payoffs to hard time in prison, then deep into the tunnel networks south of the border to a murderous town that’s only rumored to exist. Before the last shot is fired, everything they thought was certain proves to be a shadow and everything they trusted opens into a trap.
Life was so much simpler for Tim O’Mara’s marijuana-selling narrator in Smoked when all he had to worry about was keeping his customers, ex-wife, and daughter satisfied. When he forges a reluctant alliance with his ex-wife’s new lover, he realizes there’s lots of money to be made from the world’s number one smuggled legal product—cigarettes. Unfortunately, his latest shipment contained some illegal automatic weapons. Now he’s playing with the big boys and finds the price of the game way over his head. Murder was never part of his business model.
And finally in Twist of Fate, Charles Salzberg follows Trish Sullivan, an ambitious TV reporter working in a small, upstate New York market. She receives a note from Meg Montgomery, a beautiful young woman convicted of murdering her husband and two children. Montgomery claims she’s innocent and Sullivan, smelling a big story that may garner some national attention, investigates and turns up evidence that the woman has, indeed, been framed. What happens next changes the life of both women in unexpected ways.
Get your copy today!
The publisher, Down & Out Books, and JKS Communications are offering up 1 paperbook copy of Triple Shot to one USA winner. To enter, do the Rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments: 1) Do you have a USA mailing address? 2) If you could be an extra on a murder mystery TV series or move, what would it be? Giveaway ends September 22, 2016, midnight.