Friday 21 November 2008

A Mini Interview - Seymour Shubin

SEYMOUR SHUBIN (Witness To Myself)
In 1953, Seymour Shubin published his first novel, Anyone’s My Name. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller and went on to be recognized as a classic of the field, published in numerous international editions and taught in college courses on both literature and criminology. Subsequently, Shubin wrote more than a dozen other novels, including one, The Captain, that was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and selected for the mystery reference work 100 Great Detectives.

Q1. Hard Case Crime seems to have become almost a sub-genre over the last five years. To be involved in it must feel like you’ve become part of an exclusive club. What have been some of the highlights of this membership?

The first highlight that comes to mind is my experience with Charles. His editing was always right on target. He was quick to reply to whatever questions or comments I had. I was delighted too by the general reaction to the novel. I had wondered whether my story of a man who was tortured by the memory of a murder he'd committed when he was a teenager, whether that fit under the umbrella of noir. The reactions my book got--some the highest praise any writer could hope for--quickly put that concern to rest. Noir is not a stereotype of hardboiled characters, shootings, and so on. Among so many other things, it can include the horrors that the mind under stress can inflict.

Q2. It’s all about hardboiled, noir and pulp fiction at Hard Case Crime. The golden age of paperback novels in revival. What do you think the future holds for this type of book?

I think the future of the noir novel, in all its forms, is strong and bright. For one thing, to put it simply, these novels offer sheer entertainment. For another, and far more complex, they enable the reader to enter a world of emotions and action that he/she shares with the writer in a you-are-there way.

Q3. One of the most striking things about the Hard Case novels is the beautiful cover artwork. How did you feel when you first saw the covers for your books? How did they compare to the conceptions of the characters you had in mind when you were writing your books?

I was delighted with the cover. Although it did not specifically portray a particular scene in the book, it conveyed far more--the essence of the novel itself: entrapment and pursuit. I wish I owned it.

Q4. What are some crime novels or authors, either within or outside Hard Case, that have impressed you this year?

I'm afraid I've been so busy writing my own new novel, and haven't wanted to be influenced, that I haven't read any crime novels this year.

Thank you, Seymour Shubin!


adrian mckinty said...

good get from the old school. appreciate it.

Gerard Brennan said...

Yup, I've been spoiled with these Hard Case Crime interviews. Many thanks to Charles Ardai for organising them. (You can expect two more - today and tomorrow.)



Michael A. Gonzales said...

I've never heard of this writer prior to a few days ago. I look forward to reading his last novel...

Gerard Brennan said...

Sorry, Michael. This comment got caught in a spam filter and I only discovered it today. Thanks for dropping by, and best of luck. Hope you enjoy the Shubin.