Kicking off a series of interviews to celebrate the release of the brand new All Due Respect anthology Dead-End Jobs: A Hitman Anthology, here are Paul Heatley (‘Killer’), Tom Pitts (‘Company Man’) and Rob Pierce (‘Nothing More Than Death’) discussing their respective contributions!
Firstly, how would you pitch your story to potential readers?
PH: ‘Killer’ tells the story of a down and out ex-hitman who’s given in to his demons. He’s offered a chance to reconnect with his young daughter when approached by her mother to take vengeance on a dog-fighting neo-Nazi.
TP: For those still on unemployment, a primer for an alternative to the gig economy ‘til you land that dream job.
RP: There will be readers? Oh shit. Mine is about a hitman who reluctantly takes a job killing a guy he likes.
Themed anthologies offer a unique challenge. Did your story turn out how you expected?
PH: I’d actually been working on ‘Killer’ in various drafts and guises for about seven years or so, so when [editor] Andy Rausch reached out, I knew exactly which story to send him!
TP: You have to be outside the traditional box. But not too far, like not beat poetry far. Something about the shape of the story or the point of view should be unique. So, here’s hoping.
RP: I got no expectations. That’s a song.
Who is your favourite fictional hitman, and why?
PH: Probably Blackbird from Elmore Leonard’s Killshot.
TP: Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men. He’s a sociopath to the very end.
RP: Anyone but that incompetent boob from The Godfather. Oh wait, there is one. The Jackal, from Day of the Jackal. Favorite real hitman was the one on Tom Snyder who, when Tom asked what he’d do if Tom pulled his mask off, said in a menacing growl, “I’d cut your heart out.”
If you could put together an anthology focused on a different criminal archetype, which one would you choose?
PH: If you’d asked me before this book came out, I would’ve said hitman, but it’s been done now!
TP: Hobos. Criminal hobos. The shoplifting, get off my bench, steal your cans, and stab-you-for-a-bottle-of-Popov kind.
RP: Failed gamblers. They’re always guys on the run, right? Or they stick around and get punished.