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Friday, August 17, 2012

Interview With Michael Haskins by Jacqueline Seewald


If you happen to visit Key West, Florida, you’ll want to visit the house once occupied by Ernest Hemingway. You might even run into him on the street. But wait, Hemingway is dead! The man you meet is likely to be near Hemingway double Michael Haskins who writes exciting “guy” novels.

Michael Haskins came to Key West fifteen years ago to be the business editor/writer for the daily Key West Citizen. After five years he left to become the city’s public information officer. Since 2008, he freelances for Reuters News out of Miami while he continues to writer his Mick Murphy Key West Mystery series. Michael grew older outside Boston, and has lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles and spent many summers in Tijuana, Mexico before moving to Key West. His latest novel, published this month by Five Star/Gale in hardcover, CAR WASH BLUES, garnered a favorable review in LIBRARY JOURNAL.

Question: What is the genre of your novel?  Why did you select it?

Answer:  I think of myself as a mystery writer, but am told my stories fall under thriller too. I am a member of both the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Question:  Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your latest novel?

Answer:  Car Wash Blues is my sixth in the series and I wanted to bring Mick Murphy’s past to him, but I also wanted a conflict between Murphy and his black-bag friend Norm Burke. I did this by having Norm use Murphy to draw out a Tijuana, Mexico, drug cartel.

Question:   Can you tell us about some of your other published novels?

Answer:   The first two, Revenge and Tijuana Weekend take place on the West Coast. The other four take place in Key West, Florida. It is a series, so many of the characters return in each book. In the Key West books, I draw on real people and places to add a touch of realism to the stories. Now bars, restaurants and friends ask about being in the next book.

Question:   What are you working on now?

Answer:  I am half-way through Key West Latitude (working title) and it is a lot darker than my previous books. So dark, as a matter of fact, the section one is told in Norm’s voice because Murphy has gone over the edge after what happened in Stairway to the Bottom. Section two will be in Murphy’s voice. Also, unlike the previous Key West books, this one opens in Ft. Lauderdale, goes to Tampico, Mexico and Baton Rouge, before getting to Key West.

Question:   What made you start writing?

Answer:  It all began in the last years of high school when I got hooked on Hemingway’s short stories, then his life and I wanted to writer and have chased the dream ever since.

Question:   What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?

Answer: Read. Reading is a very important part of learning to write. Of course, you need to write daily and become good at self-editing afterward. Read the type of books you want to writer and spend time understanding what impresses you in those books and then try to do it better in your story.

Question:  Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?

Answer:  All my current books are on Amazon and Kindle. Car Wash Blues will be available on Amazon, now for pre ordering but not Kindle for at least a year. Trade paperback copies of my books can also be ordered from Amazon via my website, www.michaelhaskins.net

If you like mystery thrillers with lots of atmosphere, check out Michael’s books! Comments and discussion welcome here.


20 comments:

dkchristi said...

I lived in Key West from 2000 to 2003 and what a time that was! From a flooded apartment to parades like I've never seen and generosity beyond imagination, Key West has something for everyone. The beauty is unsurpassed in small gardens that owners share with the public to the surrounding sea. I will never forget those years that this review brings to the surface. Thanks! dkchristi.com author of Ghost Orchid & more

Christy Tillery French said...

I've visited Key West once and still think about that trip. We took the boat out daily and enjoyed snorkeling and seeing all the beautiful scenery. Met and fell in love with a manatee who paid a visit to our dock every day.

Christy Tillery French said...

Oops. Posted that before I said how much I enjoyed this interview. Really like your book titles, Michael, and your books sound interesting.

Unknown said...

Although I'm from Texas, I love the Key West area. That's probably why I like your books so much--besides darn good writing. I do love thrillers!

Michael Haskins said...

DK, why would you move away? Most expensive little city in the world, maybe?
Christy, thank you for the kind words and for reading! When I lived on a houseboat we always looked forward the the manatees' visits. Fished off the porch!
Texas, thanks for the nice words. Signed in Houston two years ago. Are you close? May go there later this year or maybe Dallas, on the way to Los Angeles.
Thanks all for taking the time to respond.

Mary F Schoenecker said...

I liked that DK uses real people and real places in his books. I did that with musicians and restaurants in my first series installmentof Maine Shore Chronicles. Good luck with your WIP and congrats to Jacqueline for a good interview.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Excellent interview, Jacqueline and Michael. I haven't been back to Key West since the mid-90s and I miss the pina coladas. I don't think they taste the same anywhere else (except maybe San Juan, PR). :D

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thanks for the kind words, Mary and Pat! I've never been to Key West, but I hope to get there one day soon. Great setting for mystery novels!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Nice interview! I know Mike, and he's a great guy as well as a terrific writer. He fits in well with the Key West mystique! Best of luck with this latest release.

Anita Page said...

I haven't been to Key West for years, but your series will give me chance to revisit. Best of luck with this, Michael.

Maggie Toussaint said...

My husband and I headed down to Key West one winter but we only made it as far as Key Largo before we parked the car and got a hotel room. The weather was crappy and we were done. I hope to get there for real in this lifetime.

Enjoyed reading about your dream.

Maggie
another Five Star author

jenny milchman said...

What a great setting for a mystery! I hope to get there one day--and maybe run into Michael :)

Michael Haskins said...

Thanks to all for taking the time to comment. Key West is a great place to live and play, and yeah, write. We have bad weather, besides hurricanes, Maggie, but we need a break for all the sun once in a while! Patricia, I've lived in San Juan too back in the days before Cuban exiles and drugs, but pina coladas are great, especially after the third one. Anita and Jenny, what are you waiting for? Summer rates are low and it's cooler here than in most places on the mainland! To my friend Nancy, hope to see you at the MWA luncheon in Sept. The festival is KW seems to be a go, so hope you'll be on a panel.
Again, thanks to all for the kind words and your time. I appreciate it.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Michael,

Thanks for being interviewed at Author Expressions! I hope this provides more publicity for your exciting mystery thrillers!

Mike Dennis said...

Michael and I are members of the Casa Marina Group, a critique group in Key West consisting of five authors. He's been reading his novel-in-progress to us one chapter at a time and I can say it's his best yet. He's skillfully brought Mick Murphy through a host of changes over the course of the series, and I for one will rush to buy this novel when it comes out.

Michael Haskins said...

Jacqueline, it was a pleasure and a lot better than a root canal! Kidding it was fun and I hope to reciprocate in the coming weeks.
And for Mike Dennis, he is a writer a great Key West series and a great critique guru.

Muskie said...

What a great interview! I have read all of Michael's books. I would suggest to anyone who enjoys good mysteries to check out his books. You won't be dissappointed! Thanks Michael! Looking forward to reading Car Wash Blues.

IAN SHAW said...

Nice interview Michael!

Michael Haskins said...

Muskie and Ian, thanks for the comments and taking the time to read the interview. See y'all at the North of Havana Cigar Social Club!

Zoë Sharp said...

Great interview! I visited the Hemingway house a few years ago when I was in the Keys. Didn't see you there, though, Michael!