Author Interviews: O’Neil De Noux and Hold Me, Babe

O’Neil De Noux,  I write in multiple genres with 33 books published and 350 short story sales. 

My mysteries have won the SHAMUS and DERRINGER Awards and my novel JOHN RAVEN BEAU was the 2011 Police Book of the Year (Police-Writers.com). My mysteries include the Dino LaStanza Series, John Raven Beau Series, Lucien Caye Series and Jacques Dugas Series, as well as stand-alone books BOURBON STREET and SLICK TIME. Historical novels include BATTLE KISS, USS RELENTLESS and DEATH ANGELS.

When and why did you start writing?

Why? Because I have to write. It’s what I was put here to do. When? I started in high school and continued writing and learning my craft. Ray Bradbury says we all have 100,00 bad words in us. I got them out of the way early.

What inspires your writing?

Reading. All writers need to read good books and bad books. We study and learn and want to do it ourselves. Our own voice. Our own vision. Create our own worlds.

How would you define creativity?

In writing – using my imagination to invent characters and their worlds.

Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?

I will read what I last wrote and continue with it. If it’s something new, I concentrate on writing the first page and usually rework it a few times before I move on. Coffee is a must.

If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?

It will come. Keep working at it and quantity will make for quality.

What do you believe make for great writing?

A little inspiration and a lot of hard work and rework and ignoring what anyone says about your writing except when they say something isn’t clear. Look at that part again and make it clear.

Which writers have influenced your writing?

In alphabetical order:

Paul Bishop, Ray Bradbury, Frederic Brown, Howard Browne, Max Allan Collins, Bernard Cornwell, Samuel R. Delany, David Dodge, George Alec Effinger, Harlan Ellison, Loren Estleman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ken Follett, Allan Guthrie, Thomas Harris, Channing Hayden, Ernest Hemingway, Greg Iles, Alexander Kent, Stan Lee, Elmore Leonard, Robert S. Levinson, H.P. Lovecraft, Wade Miller, C. L. Moore, Marcia Muller, James L. Nelson, George Orwell, Max Phillips, Bill Pronzini, J. D. Salinger, James Sallis, Jeff Shaara, Dayne Sherman, H. G. Wells, Kent Westmoreland, Harry Whittington, Kate Wilhelm, Charles Willeford, Charles Williams, Roger Zelazny and Dave Zeltserman.

How do you measure success as a writer?

Staying power. Timelessness. Their stories and books keep being read.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

I disliked writing the lone non-fiction true-crime book I wrote because it was like writing a long police report. I began to despise it when the publisher cut over 30% of the book, so much it doesn’t make sense. It is my only book out of print and will remain out of print.

What’s your biggest fear as a writer?

I won’t have time to finish all the ideas I have.

What traits do you feel make a great writer?

Persistence in writing and the ability to recognize the writing’s the thing. Not the sales. Not the accolades.

Describe your latest book to our readers.

HOLD ME, BABE is a private-eye novel set in 1951. Two cases arrive at Private Eye Lucien Caye’s office in the New Orleans Lower French Quarter. The first is a murder case already solved by the New Orleans Police Department. The client believes NOPD arrested the wrong man. Yeah. Right. The second case – find who wrote a song recorded by a now defunct record label eleven years ago here in New Orleans, a song that is now a hit. There are royalties.

It is slow, plodding work, sifting through slim leads of a murder case full of deception and misdirection as the song from the second case, How Could You Leave Me, haunts Lucien. When a young, alluring, doe-eyed woman with auburn hair steps into Lucien’s life, trouble soon follows – gunplay, murder, mayhem, lust, maybe even love as Lucien learns why the song’s original title was Hold Me, Babe.

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

I’d like them to feel something and want to more.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Find your voice and stick with it and don’t be afraid to take chances.

Can you give our audience a writing prompt to help get them writing?

Write your first draft quickly and write the second and third and four and fifth drafts slowly.

What’s next for you?

I am 1/3 of the way through another private eye novel, then I’ll start immediately on another police procedural.


hmb-kHold Me, Babe

by: O’Neil De Noux

On a lazy spring evening in 1951, two cases arrive at Private Eye Lucien Caye’s office in the New Orleans Lower French Quarter. The first is a murder case already solved by the New Orleans Police Department. The client believes NOPD arrested the wrong man. Yeah. Right. The second case – find who wrote a song recorded by a now defunct record label eleven years ago here in New Orleans, a song that is now a hit. There are royalties.

It is slow, plodding work, sifting through slim leads of a murder case full of deception and misdirection as the song from the second case, How Could You Leave Me, haunts Lucien. When a young, alluring, doe-eyed woman with auburn hair steps into Lucien’s life, trouble soon follows – gunplay, murder, mayhem, lust, maybe even love as Lucien learns why the song’s original title was Hold Me, Babe.

This is a classic 1950s private eye novel with good old American sex, violence and humor. A murder mystery featuring a character whose stories have won the The Private Eye Writers of America’s prestigious SHAMUS AWARD for BEST PRIVATE EYE SHORT STORY and The Short Mystery Fiction Society’s DERRINGER AWARD for BEST NOVELETTE.

Lucien Caye novels include New Orleans Rapacious and Enamored and the short story collection New Orleans Confidential.

Born in New Orleans, O’Neil De Noux is a prolific American writer of novels and short stories. Much of De Noux’s writing is character-driven crime fiction, although he has written in many disciplines including historical fiction, children’s fiction, mainstream fiction, science-fiction, suspense, fantasy, horror, western, literary, religious, romance, humor and erotica.

 

About the Author

Scott Mullins is a freelance writer and digital content manager. When he’s not finding ways to distract himself from writing his novel he writes killer copy for companies all over the world. Connect with Scott on Twitter @ScottMullins86 or LinkedIn. He’s always looking to connect with other writers.