Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Thomas H. Carry Interview - Blood Will Have Blood

Photo Credit: Jamey Welch

Thomas H. Carry holds a doctorate in literature and has worked as a professional actor, dancer, business consultant, bouncer, and pet whisperer. A recovering academic, Carry has also held positions at various colleges and universities. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife.

Greatest thing you learned at school.
Never trust a lumberjack with smooth hands.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. It’s a perfect story—not a wasted word, rich with imperfect people striving to make sense of a crazy world. Outside of my genre, my favorite author is Iain M. Banks, the Scottish Science Fiction writer. His Culture series is speculative fiction at its peak.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Warm weather that beckoned me outdoor to stroll around. Thank goodness for clouds and rain.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
As a child, The Hobbit awakened me to the power of story in a manner no other book had at that point. I was pretty literate as a young child, but this one really impacted me—the way it revealed how entire worlds could be created that seemed to feel so relevant to our own.

To be human is to tell stories. Narrative is how we make sense of the world and our lives in it.

Can you tell us when you started BLOOD WILL HAVE BLOOD, how that came about?
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?

After completing my debut novel, Privilege, which was set at an elite university, I wanted to explore a very different setting. Blood Will Have Blood was born out of early anecdotes from my theater days—very humorous stories I’ve recalled to friends about some of the truly awful productions I was in. In revisiting them, I also became quite nostalgic about the wonderfully eccentric characters I encountered, and the gritty, anarchic times during that period of NYC. I was surprised by how deeply I missed New York as it was back then. While the 1980s was a tough decade for New York, it was also a time of abundant creativity. Shoestring theater companies were everywhere (sure, many were terrible, but that’s beside the point!).

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from BLOOD WILL HAVE BLOOD
One favorite scene: Scott, the actor protagonist, performing in a hilariously absurd production of Macbeth.

Another: Scott’s first glimpse of the mystery that is Sean Clare, the idiot-savant enforcer with a penchant for efficient violence and Shakespearean verse.

A favorite quote from Aidan Murphy, the charismatic but psychopathic Irish mobster: “Sharp objects always make a point.”

  • 1. I was in a production of Macbeth that rivals the one in the novel for its level of badness.
  • 2. It was written in public, mostly.
  • 3. It was never intended as the first in a series, but….
  • 4. The restaurant episode in the novel is taken from “actual events.”
  • 5. The Landmark Tavern is still with us!
  • 6. The theater billboards on Grand Street in Soho were exactly as described.
  • 7. The original title was A Tale Told by an Idiot.
  • 8. The references to Baltimore were originally to Philadelphia.
  • 9. It originally started in present day, not in the 1980s.
  • 10. Ralph Macchio was actually pretty good on stage in Cuba and his Teddy Bear.
Meet the Characters
Scott Russo: A disillusioned, slacker actor with a pot habit and a propensity to get in sticky situations. He apparently looks like a strung-out, somewhat older Ralph Macchio.

Aidan Murphy: An Irish mob figure who creates mayhem wherever he goes. He is tall, pale, wolfish, always on the move, and charismatically crazy.

Sean Clare: Aidan’s sidekick and enforcer. He rarely speaks, and when he does, it’s often to recite verse. He has a gift for acting and slaughter. He looks like a bipedal rottweiler with the head of an infant and walks like a baby elephant.

Grace Epstein: A hard-driven prosecutor navigating a male-dominated office, she is sharp, predatory and morally clear. She looks a bit like Joan Jett.

Your Journey to Publication
I partnered with Gatekeeper’s Press on this one, keeping my own imprint: Bad Alley Books. Gatekeeper’s were wonderful partners and did a cool cover design. I recommend them highly to any and all indie authors.

Writing Behind the Scenes
I write visually, perhaps cinematically. I generally don’t know what happens next in the plot until I’ve completed a chapter. I try to let the story carry me along.

What is the first job you have had?

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
Where am I?

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Several trips to Hong Kong with my wife. I am a martial arts enthusiast who grew up on Hong Kong kung fu movies. The place is magical—odd, unique, and stimulating.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Frequently, and it usually gets me in trouble.

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
Being chased by demonic children.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?
A prominently displayed photograph of a pair of dentures.

A darkly humorous and edgy crime novel set in New York City in the late ‘80s, Blood Will Have Blood will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard, the Coen Brothers, and Lawrence Block.

Seven years in New York, and that big break has yet to materialize for struggling actor and inveterate pothead Scott Russo. Performing in terrible, barely attended Off-Off Broadway productions, hopping from one soul-crushing job to the next, Scott slacks away in a pot-fueled haze and contemplates throwing in the towel on his anemic career. The only thing that keeps him going is the humiliation of returning home to Baltimore. That and his current theatrical gig: an idiotically bad production of Macbeth.

Broke and out of a job, Scott jumps at his friend’s offer to work for a pot delivery service, only to get caught in a web of brutal Irish gangsters, a charismatic psychopath, ruthless prosecutors, and clueless actors. As his theatrical and criminal worlds collide in mayhem, murder, and betrayal, Scott finds himself morphing into a bumbling and blood-stained Macbeth, on stage and off.

If he can just make it to opening night…

You can purchase Blood Will Have Blood at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you THOMAS H. CARRY for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of Blood Will Have Blood by Thomas H. Carry.