Interview with mystery author Shelly Frome

Happy Monday,
Readers. Today’s guest is mystery author Shelly Frome to tell us a little about his newest novel, Twilight of the Drifter.
Bio:
Shelly Frome
is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts
emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer
of mysteries, books on theater and film, and articles on the performing arts
appearing in a number of periodicals in the U.S. and the U.K. He is also a film
critic and a contributor to writers’ blogs. 

His fiction includes Lilac Moon, Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Tinseltown Riff and the trans-Atlantic
cozy The Twinning Murders

Among his
works of non-fiction are the acclaimed The
Actors Studio
and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing
for the stage. 

Twilight of the Drifter, his latest novel, is a southern
gothic crime-and-blues odyssey.
Please tell us about your current
release.
Josh, a
thirty-something drifter, finds himself down-and-out in a homeless shelter in
Paducah, Kentucky when he comes across a troubled 13-year-old girl shivering in
an abandoned box car. In effect, this moment signifies one last chance to make
amends for a squandered life and sets him on a collision course with a
backwoods tracker and, by extension, the governor-elect of Mississippi
involving deep dark secrets dating back to the Civil Rights Movement.
What inspired you to write this book?
It all
started when a friend of ours invited us down to the hill country of
Mississippi. As it happens, he’d inherited a backwoods cabin and was in the
process of fixing it up. At one point, he suggested that he and I take an
exploratory walk. Following a narrow overgrown path, soon we became entangled
in briars, edged past some barbed wire as the terrain sloped down and
eventually came across waterlogged limbs sticking out like menacing pitchforks.
At that moment, I turned to him and said, “Bob, do you have any idea where we
are?”
He gave me a
half-wary half-mischievous look and said, “Shelly, I believe this here is Wolf
Creek.”
Then and
there something began to percolate. A feeling there were buried secrets here
that would never see the light of day.
When we did
manage to make it back, something about the cabin in the deep woods evoked a
vague image of a Confederate outpost, and then a retreat during the civil
rights movement, and then an equally vague notion of a caretaker for whom time
was telescoped. That is, for him almost simultaneously it was the memory of
skirmishes with Yankee troops, Federal marshals at Ole Miss during the 1960s,
and an anxiety over Washington inflicting more mandates threatening his way of
life. By this point, I simply had to explore where in the world all of this was
leading.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
My Hollywood
story centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something hack screenwriter who, on a
Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious
last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a
Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a
showdown on an abandoned Western movie set.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
When the
kids in study hall back in Shenandoah Junior High in Miami kept asking me for
the next installment of an adventure story I was writing off the top of my
head.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
This
question always reminds me of the answer a famous playwright once gave me.
People kept asking him when it would be completed. After a number of months he
would finally tell them, “It’s finished. Now all I have to do is write it
down.” So, in a sense, I guess I’m always writing.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
An antic
disposition which makes sure that every moment and every character comes alive
on the page.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
Anything
that would allow me to be creative and never have to go to work at a regular
job.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
The poet
Rilke once wrote that all art is the result of being in danger, going as far as
one can possibly go and beyond. From all accounts, the Drifter seems to live up to that guideline.

You can connect with me on Twitter, @shellyfrome.

Thanks, Shelly!

One thought on “Interview with mystery author Shelly Frome

  1. Marja says:

    Shelly, After reading your post I knew I have to read your book. You hooked me without me ever picking up the book.
    Marja McGraw

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