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 Mike McCrary, author of Remo Went Rogue and Genuinely Dangerous.
Name: Mike McCrary
Story Title: Here Comes A Regular
Firstly, what drew you to this anthology?
When I first heard about the project I just thought it sounded cool and a lot of fun. I was also a fan of the Springsteen anthology that Gutter put out awhile back. Then you layer in the fact that I had met Jay Stringer at Bouchercon the year before, Gutter published one of my books (Remo Went Rogue,) and, oh yeah, I like The Replacements.
So I put all that together, swished it around and I thought that maybe, just maybe, I should try and get involved.
I’m a logic genius.
Then I hit up Jay and begged him to let me in. He took pity on me and was kind enough to let me pick HERE COMES A REGULAR. Then, boom, as they say.
How did you first get into the band, and what was the first Replacements album you owned?
I hate to admit it. It a little embarrassing, but I kinda backed into it. I liked Paul Westerberg’s solo stuff first and I didn’t really know anything about The Replacements. It started with a Cameron Crowe movie (SINGLES) that had a couple of Paul’s songs on the soundtrack. One day I driving around with a girl I was dating and had the soundtrack playing. She pretty much informed me that I was a fucking idiot (as most girls do) and that I should remove my head from my ass and check out The Replacements.
She let me borrow TIM and LET IT BE. She lent me the CDs (one didn’t have a case if memory serves) and I never gave them back. We broke up and I kept the CD’s out of spite and also, I really dug the music. You can judge me all you want to. The cold hard truth is that the girl could go if she wanted to, but I didn’t want to lose the tunes.
How would you pitch your story to potential readers?
You can listen to HERE COMES A REGULAR probably a hundred times and never come up with the story that saw in my head. That’s not to say the story I did isn’t true to the song. I think it is. It’s more that when I went back and listened to the song I heard crime, pulpy tale with unrealized hopes and dreams, violence, and plenty of profanity. I think it’s a lot of fun and hope people dig reading it.
This story aside, does music have an important influence on your fiction?
Huge influence. With everything I write I spend a fair amount of time putting together a playlist or multiple playlists to listen to while pulling words out from my head. I’ll put one playlist together for action scenes and another for lower key stuff or a separate one with just instrumental pieces. I’m all over the board with the type of music too.
I’ll do everything from Mozart to Thelonious Monk to Judas Priest to Taylor Swift to The National to Men Without Hats and everything else you can think of that falls between those cracks.
Apart from your own one – do you have any favourite stories in Waiting To Be Forgotten?
I haven’t gone through them all yet, but I’ve read most of them. It’s a great list of writers, very cool mix of stories too, but I’m sure I’m not alone in picking Johnny Shaw’s GARY’S GOT A BONER. Aside from that bit literary genius, Eric Beetner is always a blast, Josh Stallings = the Goods, and Jen Conley simply nails short stories better than most.
I’m sure I’ll add to that list as I rip through the rest of these. I’m really very proud to be a part of this thing of ours.
Do you have any additional publishing plans for the rest of 2016 and 2017?
I just published a new novel a few weeks ago called GENUINELY DANGEROUS that’s out now. I’m also wrapping up the first draft of a new book that I hope to throw around soon.
Also, I sold the French rights to REMO WENT ROGUE and GETTING UGLY, and those are supposed to hit France some time in 2017.
Finally, if you had the opportunity to put together a music-themed anthology, which band or artist would you choose?
I’d like to do something big, fun and not too deep like say AC/DC or GUNS N’ ROSES or maybe one that’s a little more trippy like PINK FLOYD or RUSH maybe.
Actually WILLIE NELSON would be pretty badass. Yeah, any of those I’d be down with.