Next up in my series of interviews to celebrate the launch of the new Gutter Books anthology ‘Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by The Replacements’ is Eric Beetner, author of Rumrunners and Leadfoot.
Name: Eric Beetner
Story Title: Left Of The Dial
Firstly, what drew you to this anthology?
Jay asked if I was a Replacements fan and my response was, “Well, I play guitar and I’m not an idiot. What do you think?” They were a consistently great band whose music has really held up to time. I wanted to be involved if only to celebrate a great band.
How did you first get into the band, and what was the first Replacements album you owned?
I played in bands and was a hardcore punk kid. I also listened to a lot of guitar driven power pop of the 80s as I was learning to play guitar. Stuff like The Beat, The Romantics, The Smithereens. The Replacements were just one of those bands within that “college rock” scene at the time that were so highly regarded. Tim was the first album I owned but I got Let It Be and Pleased To Meet Me soon after.
How would you pitch your story to potential readers?
A sad rumination of the consequences of violence. Sounds depressing, but I hope it’s not. But the violent actions have real consequences for the guys in the story.
This story aside, does music have an important influence on your fiction?
Not really on my fiction, but in my life for sure. Making music was something I did every day for years and years. I’m still passionate about music and discovering new music as well as unearthing older stuff I hadn’t know about before. I have thousands of songs, still own CDs and vinyl, still own a room full of guitars. Music is never background noise to me. I can’t write with music on because I get distracted.
Do you have any additional publishing plans for the rest of 2016 and 2017?
My most recent novel, Leadfoot came out November 1st. It is a prequel to my novel, Rumrunners. Next May will see the final book in my Lars and Shaine trilogy called The Devil At Your Door. I’ve very proud of all three books in that series and it’s been great fun to write. Later in 2017 will be my third western novella for The Lawyer series, but I still need to actually write that one.
Finally, if you had the opportunity to put together a music-themed anthology, which band or artist would you choose?
I’d probably go back to my hardcore roots. There are quite a few aging punk rockers and hardcore kids who write now. It might be interesting to see what people wrote about. I went to a lot of shows and clubs when I was a teen that were genuinely dangerous. I could see crime stories being set there easily.