Tell me about yourself, Dana?I’m one of those guys you hear about who took twenty years to become an overnight success, except apparently night’s not quite over for me. I do have a couple of Shamus Award nominations for my Nick Forte private detective stories. (No wins, though. They’re only willing to bend their standards so much.) I’m lucky in that my day job pays well. This frees me up to write exactly what I want. I’m doubly lucky to find there is a (small) cadre of people who like that sort of thing, so here I am, still typing away.
Tell me about your current Book:Fill in the blanks: When five drug dealers are shotgunned to death, a small town cop must find out who and why, or else a drug war could erupt in a town that can barely get along as it is.
RESURRECTION MALL is the story of the efforts of a televangelist to start up a religious-themed shopping center in Penns River PA. Funds are hard to come by and dry up altogether after the execution of five local drug dealers in the mall’s food court. Detective Ben “Doc” Dougherty wants to clear this up before a full-blown war erupts, but no one steps up. Now he has to not only solve the crime but figure out why there’s an apparent vacuum left behind.
What are you working on now?The working title is SMALL TOWN CRIME. It’s another in the series that includes RESURRECTION MALL. An escaped convict who plans to just pass through Penns River decides to stay when a mass shooting occurs in a local department store and he realizes the cops are too busy dealing with that to worry about a few armed robberies.
Where is your favorite place to be when you write?I do virtually all my writing in an extra bedroom I converted into an office at the back of my house. It looks out onto a woodsy area I find relaxing and frees up my mind.
What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?Not to kid yourself: it IS a business, first, last, and always. That doesn’t mean it’s not also a lot of fun. The trick is to set your own definition of success, with reasonable expectations.
What is your favorite Website?It’s either DKPittsburgh Sports—which covers all the Pittsburgh sports teams and is a critical resource for expatriates of The Burgh like me—or the Bill James Online site, which features articles and discussions on baseball. I’m a seamhead from way back.