Thursday, December 22, 2016

Interview with Author Harvey Havel

The Thruway Killers

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?  
I had written several fiction novels before "The Thruway Killers", and the other projects dealt with fairly weighty issues.  I tried to make the books important to society in some way, as I addressed several concerns that challenge our country to do better and help more people.  These books were also overly academic, and I wasn't exactly sure who my audience would be - maybe college students and professors, but not much else.  

I was tired of working on such projects.  I wanted myself and my readers to have a fun while reading a book, and so I designed "The Thruway Killers" to be an easier read, more entertaining, and more of a page-turner that wouldn't put readers to sleep.  I also wanted to write about a topic that was more mainstream while still holding to just a few core literary values.  I aimed to make "The Thruway Killers" easier to digest and especially to entertain a bit more than be mired in the academic. I also wanted to have a bit more fun while writing it.  Yet, for me, the book was still hard to write for some reason.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe us your targeted reader?
 In “The Thruway Killers”, Droogan McPhee is the son of a wealthy entrepreneur who owns several liquor stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.  His step-mother is roughly Droogan’s same age. Together they plot to kill his wealthy father for the inheritance money, until Droogan shoots his step-mother instead by mistake. What follows is an odyssey
along the New York Thruway, as the police will stop everything to make sure that the
fleeing Droogan is captured and brought to justice.

"The Thruway Killers" reads more like a movie than anything else, as I wanted the book to align with what is considered to be contemporary entertainment.  Just like the movies and television, I wanted to target 20-30 year old men and women, black and white.  This book has an even wider appeal, as there are many characters in there - both black and white, male and female, and old and young.  I hope I am able to bring readers together so that many people from all different walks of life can enjoy this book.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting  thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
The readers should say, "Damn that was really fun to read!  I couldn't put it down.  It's time well-spent.  That Harvey Havel writes some entertaining stuff.  It beats out the movies and the television.  Finally, we found a book that has a hand in replacing all of that."

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Try to write every day, if possible.  Work hard at writing, and try to read as often as you can.  Also, stay away from the booze and the drugs.  These two elements in a writer's life are tempting, but it won't make a person a better writer.  Work hard, have fun, but also remember that you need to live your life as well.  Don't forget that a writer's experience, more so than technical mastery, is what counts more.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I think the e-book has really come along.  I don't see very much of a future in hardback and paper back books.  This is no way means that literature has taken a hit, just the physical properties of a book that is taking the hit and is changing how we read.  Literature will soon be read on screens. It's all happening (and has been happening) right at this very moment  There will also be a push to convert the books that used to line library shelves into digital products that can easily be downloaded for readers on individual screens, thereby saving tons of space.

In terms of literary trends, I'm hoping that writers will soon return to American realism rather than press on with some of the bubble-gum stuff that is out there now and also make money for these corporate publishers.  Publishers have to see beyond money to get the very best literature - in my humble opinion, of course! 

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
I guess I wanted to have a fun time with this book, as stated earlier.  Making the book fun and entertaining was difficult.  Also, I used to plan out and outline whole chapters before I set out to write them down.  I was really big on preparation.  But with this book, I decided to let go of that and see what could be written by just using the higher spirits in the world and my own writerly instincts.  Some people prefer preparation, but in this book, I'm writing 'by the seat of my pants."

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
My book is not boring, and it probably won't put my readers to sleep - or at least this is what I'm hoping!  Readers who are looking for a good time in the world of books - something lighter and not too profound - will like this book, and I hope readers will take the plunge with me and concentrate more on entertaining literature than more academic and traditional literary material.  I have several main characters that I hope the readers will devour, and these characters work within a much quicker pace than much of the ordinary literary work that is out there.

Harvey Havel is a short-story writer and novelist. His first novel, Noble McCloud, A Novel, was published in November of 1999. His second novel, The Imam, A Novel, was published in 2000.   In 2006, Havel published his third novel, Freedom of Association.  He has published his eighth novel, Charlie Zero’s Last-Ditch Attempt, and his ninth, The Orphan of Mecca, Book One, which was released last year.  His new novel, The Thruway Killers is his latest work.  The Orphan of Mecca, Books Two and Three, will be released next year as well as a book, An Adjunct Down, which he just completed.  His work in progress is called In the Trenches, about a Black American football player.  He is formerly a writing instructor at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey.  He also taught writing and literature at the College of St. Rose in Albany as well as SUNY Albany.  For more information, see:

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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