eSpec Books interviews John L. French, contributor to The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, currently funding on Kickstarter as a part of the #Make100 campaign.
eSB: What is your idea of a bad-ass faerie?
JLF: My idea is something like Tolkien’s elves or Irish heroes like Cuchulainn and the Red Branch. A warrior race that prizes the literary, mystic, and scientific arts as much as it does the art of combat. (Note: For truly bad ass, read The Raid by Randy Lee Eickhoff.)
eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, “So Many Deaths”, that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?
JLF: “So Many Deaths” appeared in BAF 3 – In All Their Glory. I’m a crime scene investigator for an east coast city. I also started out writing crime fiction. So most of my stories, regardless of genre, usually have a crime element to them. Danielle knows this and for In All Their Glory she asked me to write a faerie story about a SWAT team. And so I did, setting the story in Baltimore and making sure it had both faeries and a SWAT team. When I sent it to her she liked it but … “John, what I really wanted was a faerie SWAT team.”
So I wrote another one, tying it into the first. The two stories were then combined and published as “So Many Deaths.” So Danielle, and the readers, get two Swat teams for the price of one.
The names of the faeries in in the story came from two different sources. The male names were taken from Tom Holland’s The Forge of Christendom. The female names from my daughter’s fashion magazine. The name of the lead faerie detective and the style of his part of the story were inspired by the old TV series Dragnet. (art by Linda Saboe, www.croneswood.com).
The name of the lead detective on the mortal side, Beth Steele, came from the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?
Guardsman Fredag, appreciates good wine. However, being an underpaid law enforcement officer he drinks the cheap stuff.
eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?
First there was an argument with Danielle, I’m sorry, a professional disagreement, about the spelling of the word “Faerie.” It ended the way all such discussions end with “I’m the editor and you’ll spell it my way.”
The part of the story set on Earth was not a problem. For the scenes set in Faerie I had to build a culture, a mythology, and a political structure to make the story work.
eSB: What is your first recollection of faeries growing up?
Tinkerbelle, and clapping my hands in front of the TV so she wouldn’t die. When the 2003 movie came out I found myself the only one in the theater clapping to save Tink when she was poisoned. (I clapped quietly so as not to embarrass my daughter.) I like to think I alone saved her life.
eSB: What interested you in writing for this series?
Danielle asked. When Danielle askes it’s hard to say no.
eSB: Tell us something about yourself that is bad-ass.
I work crime scenes. I’ve helped catch murderers, rapists, and serial killers. Plus I was in three Batman comics.
eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?
Detective Beth Steel has worked her way into my Bianca Jones supernatural mystery series. One day I might tell the story of what happened to her immediately following the end of “So Many Deaths” then send her and Bianca into Faerie seeking justice and vengeance.
eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?
There are my pulp fiction based books The Devil of Harbor City, The Nightmare Strikes, and The Grey Monk: Souls on Fire. And there’s the Bianca Jones series – Here There Be Monsters, Bullets and Brimstone, Rites of Passage, and Blood is the Life.
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
Along with Patrick Thomas, I’m currently editing Camelot 13, due out in 2018. And a new Bianca Jones collection, Monsters Among Us, should be out this spring, hopefully before the Memorial Day weekend.
eSB: How can readers find out more about you?
I’m on Facebook, and readers are free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
John L. French has worked for over thirty years as a crime scene investigator and has seen more than his share of murders, shootings and serious assaults. As a break from the realities of his job, he writes science fiction, pulp, horror, fantasy, and, of course, crime fiction.
In 1992 John began writing stories based on his training and experiences on the streets of Baltimore. His first story “Past Sins” was published in Hardboiled Magazine and was cited as one of the best Hardboiled stories of 1993. More crime fiction followed, appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, the Fading Shadows magazines and in collections by Barnes and Noble. Association with writers like James Chambers and the late, great C.J. Henderson led him to try horror fiction and to a still growing fascination with zombies and other undead things. His first horror story “The Right Solution” appeared in Marietta Publishing’s Lin Carter’s Anton Zarnak. Other horror stories followed in anthologies such as The Dead Walk and Dark Furies, both published by Die Monster Die books. It was in Dark Furies that his character Bianca Jones made her literary debut in “21 Doors,” a story based on an old Baltimore legend and a creepy game his daughter used to play with her friends.
John’s first book was The Devil of Harbor City, a novel done in the old pulp style. Past Sins and Here There Be Monsters followed. John was also consulting editor for Chelsea House’s Criminal Investigation series. His other books include The Assassins’ Ball (written with Patrick Thomas), Paradise Denied, Blood Is the Life, The Nightmare Strikes, and Monsters Among Us. John is the editor of To Hell in a Fast Car, Mermaids 13, C. J. Henderson’s Challenge of the Unknown, and (with Greg Schauer) With Great Power…
You can find John on Facebook or you can email him at him at email@example.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs
Facebook – John French
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/John-L.-French/e/B004CLN9SI/