My guest today is the ever-creative Adam Graham. Welcome, Adam. Tell us about your new book Slime Incorporated.
Adam: Slime Incorporated is a detective novel set against the backdrop of the Idaho gubernatorial primary.
Hot shot Private Investigator Cole Ustick couldn’t care less about politics. However, his boss thrusts Ustick into the world of Idaho politics by assigning him the case of gubernatorial candidate Ignacio Hernandez. Hernandez wants to find the women behind thinly sourced allegations of sexual misconduct against him that appeared in the state’s largest newspaper.
Uncooperative campaign staffers would rather keep their own secrets than save their boss’s campaign, so Ustick takes matters into his own hands. He tricks the reporter behind the scandal into revealing one of Hernandez’s accusers. When the woman turns up dead, Hernandez is charged with her murder, and Ustick finds himself embroiled in the biggest political scandal in Idaho history.
The body count rises as Ustick tries to uncover the truth behind a power hungry alliance that will stop at nothing. Will Ustick identify the true players behind the plot or become their next victim?
In writing Slime Incorporated,
I drew on my knowledge of Idaho politics. The set up for the story
was inspired by the events in the 2012 presidential race, however I chose to set the novel in Idaho. This made the case more manageable, plus I liked the idea of setting a political thriller in Boise. Why should Washington, DC have all the fun?
I also really enjoyed writing the character of Cole Ustick, who has a lot in common with traditional detectives. He relies a lot on intuition and his wits. He’s an eccentric dresser, and he can be a bit of a smart aleck. But he also relies more on his iPhone than on his gun. Of course, he has his own problems and secrets.
This is something of a departure for you, isn't it? Do you miss the comic book elements of your Powerhouse books?
Adam: It is a departure from the titles I’ve published before. Slime Incorporated lacks the speculative element my other novels had. Long-time readers should be warned there’s no android church, no time-traveling crime victim, no Protestant aliens in UFOS, and no robotic lawyers rampaging through Seattle.
However, I didn’t miss those elements. I continue to work on the Powerhouse series (Ultimate
Midlife Crisis is the next book in that series, coming next Summer. I really enjoyed writing Slime Incorporated
and getting to know these characters. As a lifelong fan of detective fiction, it really is gratifying to write and publish an actual full-length detective novel.
Adam, I know you write in partnership with your lovely wife, Andrea. How much input does she have in shaping which series you work on? Would it be fair to ask if she has a favorite?
Adam: She’s my editor on both the Powerhouse books and on Slime Incorporated. She doesn’t choose my projects, though she’s made clear there are some she wouldn’t do. She provides a lot of insight in terms of communicating the story more effectively. She also gives me a female perspective, which is helpful in making my women realistic.
Our best co-author magic happens in story worlds she’s created. When a novel she’s written pulls me in so deep, it fills my head with plot ideas for her story world, she often invites me to contribute to the next book. Her favorite book that we worked on together was Son of Kristos. That unpublished workis a sequel in her science fantasy series about an alternate Earth inhabited by purple-skinned, matriarchal humans. Both a cop and royalty, Meleon travels across an imperial North America divided between east and west. Meleon’s lost bride, and his reclaimed son, are from Idaho, the land God promised to the Children of Diakrinth. They dream of regaining the scepter of Kristos, their royal house.
Adam: I began doing a podcast of the old time radio Dragnet episodes in March 2007. Each episode, I provided commentary before and after the show. Generally people enjoyed them, but I kept getting requests to do podcasts featuring other old time radio detective shows. The problem was, while Dragnet was iconic and had more than 300 episodes available, most other programs weren’t as well known and many had only a few episodes that survived the ravages of times.
That’s when I decided I’d do the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio podcast featuring five days a week of detective programming from the golden age of radio. After I finished the Dragnet podcast, I added a sixth day of shows to the program. I go through each series from the first to last available episodes, so listeners can see how the show develops over time. Once I finish playing one series, I just replace it with another.
I try to mix up the programs, so we have a wide berth of detective programs. Most fans of the genre will find something they like. Currently, the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio features Yours Truly Johnny Dollar (freelance insurance investigator), the Casebook of Gregory Hood (amateur detective), Nick Carter (pulp detective), Manhunt (puzzle mystery), and Police Blotter (police procedural).
You mentioned replacing programs. What programs do you plan on adding in the near future?
In six weeks, I’ll take a second look at Pat Novak for Hire, the most outrageously over the top old time radio, hard-boiled detective. We’ll also have the Adventures of Philip Marlowe starring Gerald Mohr, one of the best radio programs ever produced.
In addition, I’ll present a rare, early 1950s radio series called Pursuit. It follows the adventures of a Scotland Yard Inspector. And in early fall, I’ll be presenting the Adventures of the Saint starring the great Vincent Price.
In August, I’ll begin my second run through the Dragnet radio series. This one I’m looking forward to as I think I can do a better job this time around. I’m blessed now to have access to better quality recordings as well as a gentleman who helps edit my sound, plus I’m a more knowledgeable host than when I started seven years ago.
That sounds like great fun. And you’ve also started a World War II podcast. Could you talk about that?
Yes, it’s called The War.
Since we’ll be commemorating the 70th
Anniversary of D-day this June, I decided that now was the time to honor what the Greatest Generation achieved. The War
takes a wide panorama view, taking a look at some speeches and news reports, but also the dramatizations of real battles, and the effort on the home front, as well as the role comedy and music played in the war. The one thing I’ve come to realize as I’ve done this podcast is that World War II was different than the wars most are familiar with. It was a war we were all called upon to participate in, from buying war bonds, to turning in your kitchen fat to the butchers going into war zones. Everyone had a part to play, and I hope the programs I chose help to show that. .
Fascinating. I'm always interested in World War II stories. You have so many things going, Adam. What about your "All I Needed to Know. . ." books?
The first ebook, All I Needed to Know I Learned from Columbo,
focused on seven fictional great
detectives of literature, radio, and television. Each chapter gave a bit of background on the detective and then at least one life lesson based on that detective. I’m working on the sequel All I Needed to Know I Learned from Dragnet
which will be a bit longer. It will feature life lessons from eight great fictional detectives and police officers. I hope to have it out later on this year.
While the Dragnet chapter is going to be the heart of the book, I am excited to finally have a chapter on Poirot. His not being in the first book has been something readers have expressed concerns about, so I’m glad to rectify that.
What's next for you?
Ultimate Midlife Crisis and All I Needed to Know I Learned from Dragnet are the big projects right now. The next fiction project I’ll start on will be the fifth Powerhouse book, “Speed Trap.” I probably won’t start another mystery novel until I complete the sixth and final Powerhouse book, but I have ideas for short mysteries featuring the main cast of Slime Incorporated and the detectives from the Powerhouse books. I may publish those in the next year or so, if I make good progress on the Powerhouse books.
Where can my readers find you on the web?
Thank you for being on "Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light" Adam. All the best on your many ventures.
Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.