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Fun and Games with DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI

Written by Mike Stotter

1. How do you work - locked away somewhere quiet, or wherever you happen to be?

I can more or less write anywhere -- in fact, quite a bit of FUN & GAMES was written on a long cross-country drive from L.A. to Philadelphia last summer. A lot of my literary heroes (Charles Willeford, Jim Thompson) would write in hotel rooms, so I like to labor under the delusion that I'm continuing some grand pulpy tradition. But most times I'm writing from my luxurious basement office in Philadelphia.

2. Describe your study, if you have one - and what is on your desk

I was kidding about the luxury part. My office is basic. Four walls: three of them are hidden by bookcases jammed with paperbacks, hardcovers, graphic novels. The fourth wall, the one I face when I write, has a mish-mash of my kids' artwork. (Right now I'm staring at a Christmas tree, a paper plate mask and a drawing of the mask of Tutankhamun.)

Someone once said that a tidy desk is a sign of a diseased mind. If this is true, well, then I'm Charlie freakin' Manson, beause I can't relax and write until my everything on my desk -- beer mug of pens, mouse, drink coaster, etc. -- is in its correct place.


3. Do you eat when you write (in the UK at the moment, everyone seems to be food obsessed) and if so, what?

Eating a thin pretzel chip right now, in fact. But I try to avoid eating my desk. Drinking is another story. I start with a single Diet Coke (don't drink cofee), then drink water nonstop, like I'm trying to break up a kidney stone or something.

4. Are you an athlete, or possibly a would-be athlete ... even if not, what sort of exercise do you take?

Every night I go down to the docks for midnight bare-knuckle fist fights with the most unsavory characters of the Philadelphia underworld, and we don't stop until we've lost enough blood to paint the hull of an ocean freighter.

Then I wake up and sometimes walk on a treadmill.

5 . Which other Mulholland author do you look forward to reading, or have you read with enjoyment?

Every single blessed one of them. Seriously. Not only are there longtime personal favorites on the Mulholland list (Warren Ellis, Greg Rucka, Joe Lansdale), but so many outstanding new voices that I can't wait to read. One new guy who really impresses me is Q.R. Markham, who wrote this really stunning spy thriller, ASSASSIN OF SECRETS.

Fun and GamesFUN & GAMES is published 23rd June 2011 by MULHOLLAND at £6.99 in paperback

Duane Swierczynski



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