Hi! Don here. Here’s a crime fiction author interview with my co-author of the Tom Stone stories, Lon Casler Bixby.
The trilogy got its start based on a screenplay that Lon had written; he’s a photographer with a film production background. Of course, the books changed and I never asked Lon his thoughts on moving from screen to publishing. So I grilled him hard!
What prompted you to write the screenplay Stone Cold?
I was writing a lot of different screenplays in different genres. Comedy, horror, sci-fi. One night while sleeping I had an idea for a Detective Story. I woke up, sat in front of the computer and Stone Cold appeared–so to speak.
Are detective stories — crime stories something you particularly like or are drawn to?
Yes and no. I wouldn’t just go to the bookstore and buy a book. I do like the mystery and the thriller. Not detective per se. I like the ones that have a twist like a series about a Vampire detective, but, they have to be realistic and have personality and not be stereotypical.
What made you decide to turn the screenplay into a novel?
I had written many different and optioned a couple, so instead of them gathering dust in an agent’s office, I turned them into novels. I figured that was a much easier way to get them seen by an audience. The novel gets the story in front of people. That’s the point. Give people something to read.
Were you afraid of losing control in the process?
Not at all. Partnering with you, Don, is easy — you’re somebody I trust. Instincts, judgement, not like giving it some movie studio where they’ll take it and change it. I gained so much more. I’ve let go of some of the story because you have a lot of great ideas that became the story. A lot of gaining instead of loss.
How do you feel about the trilogy being so different than the original screenplay?
I don’t know if it is so different. We took the screenplay and made it so much better. The screenplay was good, but flat and one dimensional, maybe even stereotypical. But we built on that foundation and gave it life.
What are 1 or 2 things you’d like the readers to know about the Tom Stone stories?
I’d like the readers to know it’s not just a typical detective story. We brought life to the characters by making them realistic, and relatable to the reader.
We deal with a lot of subjects including family values, child abuse, spousal abuse, organized crime, and the use of medical marijuana. We bring a lot of reality into the story along with humor — some of it might be subtle but we bring it out.
It’s not the typical straightforward detective story – it’s much fuller.
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Editor’s note (that’s Don): The 2 stories available are:
Book 2 Tom Stone Sweltering Summer Nights on Amazon.
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