News & Views

Mug Shot: Kevin Egan

Kevin Egan is the author of eight novels, most recently A Shattered Circle, and Midnight, a Kirkus Best Book of 2013. He works in the iconic New York County Courthouse, which serves as the setting and inspiration for most of his recent fiction. Several of his courthouse mystery stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. His short fiction also has been published in Thuglit, Rosebud, and Westchester Review.

Tell us about your latest work.
A Shattered Circle involves a judge suffering from dementia. His wife, who also is his secretary, is fiercely protective of him, his career, and his reputation. The working title of the novel was A Small Circle, which was the title of my AHMM short story that became the germ of the novel. The term “small circle” was meant to convey the progressively circumscribed life of a person afflicted with dementia, especially Alzheimer's. In the novel, the small circle is the protective ring of trust and secrecy the judge's wife has created to protect her husband. Unfortunately, events from both of their pasts threaten to shattered the circle.

When and how do you find time to write?
My strategy is to have discipline make up for lack of time. On weekdays, I have three writing sessions. Two of them are automatic – the commuter train rides from between the suburbs and New York City. The third session of the day is lunch hour in the courthouse library, but that depends on how the workday is going. On weekends, I will get up early at least one, if not both days, depending on where I am in a project. Weekend work usually involves editing the previous week’s work and blocking out where I hope to go the following week.

How much and what kinds of marketing do you and how do you feel it works for you?
I always start with an event at the Mysterious Bookshop. Beyond that, I write guests posts for as many web sites as will have me. I have done readings at several independent book stores and at the fabulous KGB Lit Bar. However, independent bookstore events seem to be dwindling along with the stores themselves, so in the future I will turn my attention to libraries. I established both a Goodreads author page and a Facebook page four years ago, but can’t seem to work either of them very well. Self-promotion just isn’t in my DNA.

What fictional detective would you like to be and why?
The quick answer is Jack Reacher and the simple reason is: Who wouldn't want to be? But before there was a Jack Reacher, the hands-down answer was Spenser. For me, Spenser had everything: toughness leavened with a deadpan wit, a marvelous foil in his buddy Hawk, and the exquisite Susan Silverman as his love interest. Plus he could cook.

In five words or less, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Same time every day.

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