VODKA O’CLOCK 1707: THOMAS PLUCK
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There’s an inexplicable clicking in the recording again. Both pieces of software updated so I’m wondering if that’s the source. I’ll keep looking into it. And apparently since the Skype upgrade, my mute button doesn’t work either.
There might be some minor spoilers in today’s chat with author Thomas Pluck while we discuss his brand new novel BAD BOY BOOGIE from Down and Out Books. We will also be talking about the challenges with writing sexual violence so consider this a content warning.
When Jay Desmarteaux steps out of from prison after serving twenty-five years for murdering a vicious school bully, he tries to follow his convict mentor’s advice: the best revenge is living well.
But questions gnaw at his gut: Where have his folks disappeared to? Why do old friends want him gone? And who wants him dead?
Teaming with his high school sweetheart turned legal Valkyrie, a hulking body shop bodybuilder, and a razor-wielding gentleman’s club house mother, Jay will unravel a tangle of deception all the way back to the bayous where he was born. With an iron-fisted police chief on his tail and a ruthless mob captain at his throat, he’ll need his wits, his fists, and his father’s trusty Vietnam war hatchet to hack his way through a toxic jungle of New Jersey corruption that makes the gator-filled swamps of home feel like the shallow end of the kiddie pool.
BAD BOY BOOGIE:
I think I tweeted that this was the noirest crime fiction book I ever read. I was blown away by how technically well-crafted this book was. My full review can be read here at AmberUnmasked.com.
When the entire town of Nutley, NJ has chosen a side in this revenge tale, readers are confronted with police corruption, bullying, male on male sexual violence, classism, and every other kind of bigotry. Pluck chose to set the book in a real town because he knows the area well. He also shares the reason for having Jay Desmarteaux from Louisiana.
Pluck explains the confidence behind the character Ramona who controls her sexuality. She has a determined personality and never seems to have any regrets on her decisions. Other sexualities are discussed in this interview because the characters of Bad Boy Boogie are diverse. The book includes the controversial placement of transwomen in the male population of the prison system with the character Raina who comes back into Jay’s life when they’re both released.
POLITICS IN BOOKS AND IRL:
Jay’s story goes back to childhood and then his teen years in the 1980s; break for 25 years in prison where we see the inside; and then modern times. In this span the real world has seen massive changes and backslides in issues of civil rights. We discussed current politics like the Religious Freedom Act, bathroom bills, and the openness of the internet which can be supportive or abusive.
WHAT’S COMING UP:
Pluck will be working on a horror project he can’t talk about yet; there’s more Jay Desmarteaux to come; he also has a cozy in the works about two guys who inherit a bar and hipsters take it over; and then there’s an anthology project with Lawrence Block based on famous works of art and Tom’s choice for theme is Truth Coming Out of Her Well by Jean-Léon Gérôme, aka La Vérité.
Megan Abbott novels and upcoming coming, Normandy Gold
Alexander Sokoloff’s blog on story structure
Comics: Bitch Planet, Peepland & other comics from Hard Case Crimes imprint at Titan Comics, Kill or Be Killed, Motor Crush
TV: Underground, Stranger Things