Pro-File with Brendan Dubois
1. Tell us about your current novel/collection.
My great publisher Pegasus Books has released my 17th novel, BLOOD FOAM, which is the ninth novel in my Lewis Cole mystery series. The first novel in the series, DEAD SAND, was published in 1994. It’s both hard to believe and it’s also gratifying that I’m still writing about Lewis Cole, and haven’t gotten tired of him yet.
In BLOOD FOAM, Lewis is asked by his friend and former lover, newspaper editor Paula Quinn, to track down her missing fiancé, Mark Spencer, the lawyer for their local town. He’s been gone for four days, isn’t home, hasn’t shown up for work, and hasn’t answered his emails or phone.
Lewis doesn’t like Mark Spencer, but he still has feelings for his old girlfriend, and he agrees to see what he can do. Soon, one little fact that doesn’t make sense brings him to a violent confrontation when Lewis and Paula realize they are no longer chasing down leads, but are being chased by very violent men with a deadly agenda.
I think it’s my best Lewis Cole mystery yet, but then again, I always say that.
Here’s a couple of recent reviews:
"Series fans will enjoy the ride." -- Publisher's Weekly
"DuBois' thrillers starring Lewis Cole can be picked up at any point in the series, but fans who have been reading them from the start will really appreciate how DuBois' characters keep getting back up after being tossed around by life. This ninth installment featuring Cole, a retired research analyst for the Department of Defense, shows him in a very vulnerable position: his historic New Hampshire home has been gutted by arson, he's run out of money, he's sleeping in his car, and all the while, a tropical storm is surging up the Atlantic coast. Enter his former lover and still good friend, a local newspaper writer, who seeks Cole's help in finding her fiance, a very Steady Eddie guy, a lawyer and town council member, who has unaccountably disappeared. Cole finds an ordinary but overlooked piece of data that cracks open the lawyer’s previous life. As Cole and his friend hunt for the fiance, they suddenly become the hunted. DuBois gives us scene upon scene of incredible tension, relieved by Cole's mordant wit, and building to a truly gasp-inducing climax. This story arc started in the seventh Cole thriller, DEADLY COVE (2011). The characters who were wounded and torn apart by violence in that mystery are still coping with the aftereffects here. DuBois gives the reader both exquisite suspense and deeply realized characters." -- Booklist (Starred review)
2. Can you give a sense of what you're working on now?
A month ago, I finished the first draft of the next Lewis Cole novel, STORM CELL, which will be the tenth novel in my series. It’s currently with my first readers, and I hope to get it out to my publisher in a few weeks.
In January 2016, one of my oldest childhood dreams will come true when my first true science fiction novel, DARK VICTORY, will be published by Baen Books. It’s a tale of an alien invasion of earth, and how ten years later, the battle goes on, mostly fought by teenagers. It was a thrill to write and a greater thrill to have it get published.
Also in 2016, Midnight Ink will publish a stand-alone thriller, NIGHT ROAD, which takes place in the upper reaches of the New Hampshire border with Canada, involving drug smugglers, Homeland Security, motorcycle gangs, and an ex-serviceman seeking to regain his life and honor.
There’s another novel, a massive thriller, that’s with a major publishing house at this moment, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will have a happy conclusion.
I’m also working on a number of short stories, along with doing some self-publishing of my earlier works. I’m also in the process of releasing an alternative history novel I published some years back, AMERIKAN EAGLE, which was released under a pen name. This novel takes place in 1943, ten years after the assassination of FDR, where Huey Long is president of the United States, and is slowly turning the country towards fascism. I’m hoping that fans of mine who might have missed this book when it first came out will give it a chance this time around.
I’ve also found an unusual second career of appearing on game shows. In late 2012 I became a “Jeopardy!” game show champion, and this past year, I was also a winner on the trivia game show “The Chase.” It’s a lot of fun and usually means a free trip to LA.
3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?
The same answer from the last time I had the pleasure to appear on your blog, Ed. To have the best job in the world, in which I set my own hours and pace, and get paid for storytelling, and to meet fans and writers from all over the world.
4. What is the greatest DISpleasure?
Editors who take months to make a decision, who won’t reply to your phone messages or emails. Agents who act as gatekeepers and editorial reviewers, overlooking their primary job to assist writers in their careers. Agents who also don’t reply to emails or phone messages.
Royalty statements that make no sense. And pay scales, for the most part, that haven’t even come close to the realities of today’s economy.
5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?
Beats the heck out of me. Publishing is changing so fast and furious I doubt any advice I give will still be revelant.
6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in print again?
John D. MacDonald, of course. And it seems like Ed McBain --- Ed freakin’ McBain! --- has fallen into the memory hole. Tony Kenrick and Edwin Corley, two great thriller writers from the 1970’s also come to mind. Richard Hoyt wrote some great Cold War thrillers during the time. And if there’s any justice, Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake will still be revered in the years to come.
7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that moment.
I was working at my corporate communications job at utility in New Hampshire when my agent called in the summer of 1991, saying that my first Lewis Cole novel, DEAD SAND (and my fourth novel in actuality) had been purchased by Pocket Books. I had to admit tears came to my eyes; ever since I was twelve, I wanted to be an author, and now, 20 years later, my dream had come true.
But you know what? Each subsequent sale has also been a joy. Each book is a miracle, and each book sale is a miracle times two.