Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Interview with Tom Carter, Author of 'Nashville: Music and Murder'

Author: Tom Carter

1) Please tell us about Nashville: Music and Murder, and what
compelled you to write it.

I’d collaborated with many Nashville celebrities to write their autobiographies.  After seeing their lives up front and personal, I decided I’d retained an arsenal of real events that could be adapted into compelling fiction.  Also, no significant novel had ever been set on Nashville, Tennessee’s "Music Row," a quaint neighborhood where music is written, recorded, and sent throughout the free world.  "Music Row," an internationally known community is rife with creativity and occasional crime. It seemed like a wonderful setting to birth fiction, including high drama.

2) What is your book about?

Maci Willis, the protagonist, is a beloved entertainer who was performing at a sold-out show in Nashville.  The bright lights prevented her seeing a shadowy and obsessive fan pull himself onto her stage.  He brandished a pistol, and shot her before an astonished crowd.  As Maci fell into her own blood, the assailant was apprehended by astonished policemen who injured him during the arrest.  The shooter was taken to the same hospital emergency room where Maci was taken.  A rookie policeman failed to correctly fasten the handcuffs behind the suspect's back. 

Slowly, the shooter later unfastened himself, eased off of his bed and snatched the officer's gun from its holster.  The suspect shot and missed at Maci, and was preparing his second round when he was killed by another policeman.  Everyone thought the dead villain had been deranged, and Maci could go back to her celebrated life after an isolated incident.  But everyone was wrong.  Soon, another unidentified man in another town tried to kill Maci.  And there were more fatal attempts.  Why were these attempts levied against America’s sweetheart who'd never been harmful or even controversial?  Local police and eventually the FBI tried to stop the attempted murder sprees against Maci, but to no avail.  Maci fell into a nervous breakdown followed by bipolar depression.  The reader watches her systematic undoing, and ultimate return to her safe and glorious perch in the spotlight.  But not until the solving of the mystery behind the attempted murders levied against the iconic and resilient singer.

3) What themes do you explore in Nashville: Music and Murder?

The troubled rise of the human spirit after falling from unsuspected tragedies.  The power of force persistently applied against seemingly immovable obstacles.  That people can be helped by others but only to a point where they must help themselves. That no life, no matter how secure, is immune from traumatic fate. That the constant threat of death will rob the joy from any psyche.

4) Why do you write?

I enjoy it.  And, it’s my livelihood. 

5) When do you feel the most creative?

When I’m rested.

6) How picky are you with language.

A mere quest to impart thoughts should take priority over a showy and expansive vocabulary.

7) When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you're being
manipulated from afar?

If I’m lucky - that's when I reach the "zone."

8) What is your worst time as a writer?

When I’m physically and mentally tired.

9) Your best?

When I’m rested.

10) Is there anything that would stop you from writing?


11) What's the happiest moment you've lived as an author?

A telephone call in 1992 from my former literary agent who told me my book was entering the New York Times best sellers list.  It was my first listing on the esteemed survey.

12) Is writing an obsession to you?


13) Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?

Yes, indirectly.

14) Ray Bradbury once said, "You must stay drunk on writing so
reality cannot destroy you."

I concur.

15) Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more
about you and your work?

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