24 May, 2011

CONFIDENTIAL: Interview with John Hartness (Blog Tour)

John Hartness is here answering questions and promoting his book, A Hard Day's Knight, through The Bookish Snob Promotions

Bio: John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. He’s been published or accepted online in several journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, cc&d, Deuce Coupe and Truckin’.
His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.
He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first in a planned series of at least five books. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and has enjoyed immediate success.
John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre. His next novel, Knight Moves (Black Knight Chronicles Vol. 3) is due out in the summer of 2011.
He can be found online at http://www.johnhartness.com and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.

Tell me a little about yourself and A Hard Day's Knight.
I’m a theatre geek and poet from Charlotte, NC. With 20 years in the theatre, I decided that I was getting too old to climb ladders and hang lights, so I started working on my writing. Hard Day’s Knight is my second novel, the first in The Black Knight Chronicles series. I think it’s a fun twist on the vampire story, it’s funny, non-sexy, and doesn’t take anything too seriously.

Which character in the book was the easiest to get on the page? Which one was the hardest?
Jimmy is probably the easiest to write, because he sounds so much like me. That’s why he’s the narrator! Sabrina was the toughest, because I wanted to write a hot, tough cop chick without resorting to too many clich├ęs. I watched a lot of episodes of Castle to work on her.

Was there any research that you did for A Hard Day's Knight that you found especially interesting?
Not really - my research really consisted of drinking a lot to get into the minds of my semi-alcoholic vampires.

Are you working on anything new right now? Can you tell me anything about your current project?
Book 2 of the series came out in February, and I’m working on Book 3, which I hope will hit in late June. I basically continue the evolution of the characters, getting them in more and more trouble and finding more and more ludicrous ways to get them out of it. In Book 3 I introduce a couple of new major characters, one of whom will torment the boys for several books to come.

If you were a biographer, who's life would you choose to write about? (not your own!) Why?
Probably Doc Watson. As one of the biggest stars in bluegrass for years and years, Doc has gone from fame to obscurity to tragedy and back to fame as the fickle tastes of the public have changed.

Quick, choose one:
Coffee, tea or something harder?

Beer. Or Peach moonshine if it’s dark outside.

Midnight or dawn?

Audi sedan, Toyota Prius, Honda minivan, or Ford 4x4?
Friends don’t let friends drive Fords. I drive a 2008 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab truck.

Laptop or desktop?

Tropical locale or ski resort?
Mountain cabin, but without all the skiers.

Just Five:

Five words to describe James Black from A Hard Day's Knight:

Snarky, vampire, skinny, goofy, anti-hero

And five to describe Gregory Knightwood:
Intelligent, husky, nerd, deceptive, hacker

Five songs that might be playing on Pandora at Black Knight Investigations:
Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde, You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, Bat out of Hell by Meat Loaf, Desire by U2, More Human than Human by White Zombie

Five supernatural creatures that James and Gregory wouldn't want to encounter:
All of them! The guys would much rather deal with mundane predators. But specifically, they hate dealing with zombies because of the mess, werewolves because of the shedding, banshees because of the noise, dragons because of the fire, and mermaids because the boys don’t like to swim.

Finally, five words to get my readers to pick up the book
Snarky non-sparkly vampires saving the world (I don’t count articles as words). Alternately, we could go with - This detective story doesn’t suck!

Thanks so much for answering my questions!
Thanks for having me! I’ll hang around in comments today and answer questions if folks have them!

EDIT: There was a bit of a snafu with Blogger yesterday (when isn't there, though?) when this post was supposed to go up, and because I'm at BEA, I was unable to fix the mess right away. Apologies to John, Bels and the rest of the tour for the late post. I'm not sure if John will still be available to answer questions, but leave a comment anyway! Meanwhile, check out more about A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT:

The Black Knight Chronicles Volume 1, Hard Day’s Knight introduces us to James Black and Gregory Knightwood, proprietors of Black Knight Investigations. They’re dedicated to righting wrongs, defending the helpless, bringing light into the darkest of shadows…

Ok, maybe not so much with the bringing light bit. Our boys are vampires, after all, and not so much for the bringing of light stuff. But Jimmy and Greg aren’t your typical bloodthirsty, sex-starved, viciously studly vampires. Ok, maybe they’re a little blood-starved and sex-thirsty, but they try to keep that all under control. They’re more like your dorky kid brother who just happened to get turned into a vampire and now has to stay out of the sun. Forever.

In Hard Day’s Knight they’re hired to protect a kid from a witch’s curse, but it all turns out to be more than they ever expected as they battle zombies, witches, demons, strippers and their own evil appetites to try and save the world. And maybe, just for once, get the girl.

Be sure to visit the next stop on the tour at: The Wormhole

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