Interview with thriller author Craig A. Hart

Thriller author Craig A. Hart is chatting with me today
about his novel, Serenity. It’s the
first in a new series.
Craig A. Hart is the stay-at-home father of twin boys, a writer, and
editor. He served as editor-in-chief for The
Rusty Nail
literary magazine and as manager for Sweatshoppe Media. He also
served as director for Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, an outreach
that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired.
Besides the Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, Craig is the author of Becoming Moon, The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual,
The Busy Writer,
and The Girl Who
Read Hemingway.
Craig lives in Iowa City, Iowa with his wife, sons,
and two cats.
Welcome, Craig. Please tell us about your current
the first book in the Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, stars an aging ex-boxer
and retired fixer whose activities flirt with the wrong side of the law. Shelby
moved to Serenity, his boyhood hometown, looking for a slower pace of life. But
trouble follows men like Shelby, and he finds himself embroiled in an
underworld of drugs and violence that may prove to be his undoing.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always loved
fast-paced action books, but I also have a literary background. I wanted to
write a series that married the thrills of an action series with some of the
things I love about literary fiction: characterization, strong relationships,
Additionally, I grew up in
Michigan, and love the state. Although I don’t live there currently, it always
surprises me how many of my writings are set there. So I when I began making
plans to launch this new series of thrillers, naturally I wanted them to be set
in my home state.
What exciting story are you working on next?
It’s full speed ahead with
the series! Book two, Serenity Stalked,
launches in February 2017, and book three is scheduled for April 2017. In Serenity Stalked, a killer with a trail
of dead bodies has come to Serenity seeking to slake his thirst for death. As
the first unspeakable murder shocks the sleepy Michigan town and the local
media demands answers, the sheriff targets Shelby Alexander, whose only crime
is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now Shelby must move quickly to
clear his name, even as the killer closes in on his next victim…and this time
it might hit Shelby a little closer to home.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been writing since I
was fourteen or fifteen, but I don’t think I assumed the identity of “writer” until
I was twenty. That was when I began to try and make it professionally.
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
I don’t write full-time.
My full-time job is stay-at-home dad to two-year-old twins, so my work day is
full of diapers, spilled milk, and all the other fun stuff that goes with
toddlers. I try to write during naps and after they go to bed, or when I can
get a babysitter to come in for a few hours. Prior to kids, I was full-time in
the writing and publishing business, so having the vast majority of my time
suddenly disappear was shocking. It took some adjusting, but I figured out
strategies to help me continue production. I talk about this process in my
book, The
Busy Writer: Finding the Time and Inspiration to Write
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm…I wish I had
something fascinating and weird, like “I always write with one hand tied behind
my back,” but that would be a silly lie. One thing I do sometimes is write on a
manual typewriter, especially if I’m feeling blocked. Something about the
nostalgia of the machine will often provide a surge of creativity and get me
over the hump.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At a really young age, I
went through the normal stuff: detective, soldier, fireman. At a slightly older
age I wanted to become a pianist. And I did, for a while, until I had to
undergo carpal tunnel surgery. That put an end to those dreams. From then on,
it was writing all the way.
Anything additional you want to share with the
Thanks for being readers!
I don’t think a lot of readers truly understand how much they mean to writers.
I, for one, love readers and hope they know that—I guess now they do!
Thanks, Craig. Happy writing!

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