Ace Atkins will be joining us for tonight’s Noir At The Bar, starting at 7PM at Opal Divine’s. We asked the author a few questions about his new novel, Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot. Also, be sure to check MysteryPeople’s review here for more on Ace’s latest.
MYSTERYPEOPLE: While Spenser, Hawk, and the rest of the gang sound and act like they should, Cheap Shot has more of your voice, with some new bad guys and a touch more introspection. How much of this was a conscious choice for the book?
ACE ATKINS: With each Spenser I write, I’m certainly becoming more comfortable continuing this iconic series. I think with the third novel, I can use some of my own story telling to expand and grow Spenser’s world. But keeping core players intact.
MP: Football, something that you and your father (Bill Atkins) were heavily involved in, is the backdrop to this story. What did you want to convey about the game and its players?
AA: I mainly did not want pro football or that circus to overshadow the family drama. I played SEC football and my father worked for the NFL as player, coach and scout. So I wasn’t overwhelmed with wanting to bring out every detail I learned. I wanted the focus on the Heywood family.
MP: It seems that Robert B. Parker helped you continue the series by creating Six Kill, Spenser’s protegee, in the last book. What do you hope to do with the character?
AA: It was his final gift to readers – an apprentice for Spenser. I wanted to honor this and make him a continuing part of the series. But I do foresee a day when Z will be ready for his own adventures.
MP: You told me part of this book was an allusion to the Glenn Ford film Ransom. What did you like about that movie so much to pay it homage?
AA: The combustible household where the action takes place and the fantastic twist when Ford’s character makes a controversial decision on how to get his son back.
MP: Is there anything you’ve discovered about Spenser writing for him, that you didn’t notice as a reader?
AA: His incredible patience in all things. Person and professional.
MP: You’re headlining our Noir At The Bar on May 12th. How many drinks do you plan to have before you read?
AA: This is an important question. Two beers to start. Any recs, Scott?
Ace Atkins will be reading from his new novel at MysteryPeople’s Noir at the Bar on Monday, May 12 at 7PM at Opal Divine’s. You can order copies of Cheap Shot now, via bookpeople.com. You can also check out the MysteryPeople review of Ace’s latest here.