Monday, April 14, 2014

Interview with Todd Robinson

Hello again, friends. Hope you had a great weekend. We are back today with an interview with Mr. Todd Robinson AKA Big Daddy Thug, chief editor of Thuglit, crime fiction writer, and all-around awesome guy. In the short time that I have known him, Todd's shown himself to be a human being of the highest order. I definitely do not have to say good things about him for fear of Todd taking any number of my internal organs and leaving me to bleed out in a bathtub. His intellect knows no bounds, every woman that encounters him experiences great pleasure by proxy, every man is made stronger, smarter, and faster through his presence.

With that established, let's turn it over to the man himself.

Todd Robinson saw a group of people in trouble. He read from his own novel and the the words were so wonderful that it made everything all better.
Thuglit is one of the greatest publications around. Certainly it has been instrumental in bringing notice to many great writers like Frank Bill and Stuart Neville so anyone can see how Thuglit has left its mark and even changed the crime fiction community. How do you think the crime fiction community has effected or changed Thuglit over time? 

It hasn't. Like David Byrne said, "Same as it ever was."

You have a nutpunch of a novel in the form of The Hard Bounce. How did the novel-writing experience differ from the short story for you?

The process is the same in my head. The novel-writing experience—for me—is just writing a series of short stories, connected through theme or time-frame. Not that every chapter can (or should) necessarily stand alone as a short story, but in my mind, that's what I'm writing. One piece at a time.

If you could be God of the Crime Fic community (kind of like what you are now, but with actual superpowers), what is the one thing you would change or give to it that it currently lacks? 

I…I'm not even sure how to respond to that title. Thanks? Jeez… (That's just what God of the Crime Fic community WOULD say -- Craig)

If I had the powers, I'd make spastic adjustments to confidence dials. Some writers are so damned good, but don't believe in themselves, in their voices. I'd crank them up a notch. Then there are those that get a taste (if not a full meal) of success and then stop writing with the same fervor and passion that they once did. I'd crank them down a bit. Just because you haven’t reached what you consider success doesn't diminish your talent. And if you have reached a certain level, that doesn't now mean that your shit don't stink.

What writers were most influential on you in your early years? 

Stephen King. Elmore Leonard. Garth Ennis. Andrew Vachss. John D. MacDonald. Robert Parker. Dennis Lehane.

What influences you now?

The names above still apply, but add Harry Crews and Brian K. Vaughn. Josh Bazell's BEAT THE REAPER really did a job on me. Made me rethink my own game severely. Gonzo and ballsy. Matthew McBride's upcoming novel A SWOLLEN RED SUN did the same. I finished my review copy and just stopped dead, thinking, "Damn…I gotta do better work."

Have you felt a strong kinship with the crime fiction community?

Absolutely. As far as the community is concerned, there's so much support amongst the writers. We're all reaching for the same goal—to tell the best stories we're capable of.

How do you think it has ever helped or hurt you as a writer?

It helps in the sense of having a support system. Having people to celebrate your victories with and to hold your head up when the inevitable (and multiple) metaphorical dick-punches comes your way. Nobody understands your pain more than those in that selfsame community.

What's next for Todd Robinson? 

I'm currently working on the follow-up to THE HARD BOUNCE. After that, I'm deciding on which of the three non-Boo-and-Junior novels to work on that I've already begun. By the way, since I'm going to assume that nobody seeing this has read THB—and my publisher has the numbers to back that up—Boo and Junior are the series characters. (If that's true, and I sincerely hope it isn't, then we should bump those numbers way up. Here's the link to buy The Hard Bounce on Amazon. Do it! You won't regret it. Let's show Mr. Robinson how much we care. Here's to you, Mr. Robinson...)

Any chance of Big Daddy Thug tackling another genre?

Two of those three other novels are horror. The third, while crime, is straight up comedy. Think in the vein of Donald Westlake's heist novels, but with a shitload more anatomical humor. I love genres. I'm a genre writer, period. I've got concepts drawn out for sci-fi, superhero stories, comedy, western… But I'm getting ahead of myself. I can't really talk shit about all the novels I'm going to be writing until I put my money where my mouth is and finish what will only be my second. 

Time is the enemy, brothers and sisters.  Put your words down while you can.

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