Interview with mystery author Brett Wallach February 19, 2023 by museitupeditor I’d like to welcome to The Writing Jungle, multi-published mystery author Brett Wallach. At what point in your life did you realize the writing bug had grabbed ahold of you? And which writers influenced you? I did not start to write novels until I was around forty, and candidly, I read a lot of books in the mystery genre that I thought that I could outdo. Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, and John Steinbeck were the novelists that most influenced me when I began. Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? I love sports, music, movies, the outdoors, and mostly being a father to two amazing young women. What types of films and music do you enjoy? My music tastes run the gamut, but my go-to’s are classic rock, oldies, and soul music. Similarly, I like a many genres of movies, with a special bent towards classic noir. Do you have a specific writing ritual (like listening to music) and/or schedule you stick with? I should. But I do not. What inspired you to write The Last Shot? I wrote The Last Shot (to be published on 4/19/23) after being inspired by the Martin Scorsese movie The King of Comedy. In the film, a wannabe comedian (played by Rober DeNiro) kidnaps a famous talk show host (portrayed by Jerry Lewis) to get his shot at the big time. In my frustration to hit the big time as a novelist, I took that basic premise to have my protagonist kidnap a major publishing executive. Yes, it is completely fictional. Unless…(kidding) I’m glad to see no kidnapping was involved in real life. LOL! From all the characters you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why? I like my protagonist’s sidekick Dan Lee because it plays with racial stereotypes in what I hope is a funny and inoffensive fashion. Do you allow your characters to dictate their paths or do you plot out everything? My life has no plan or outline, and that’s how I write. For better and for worse. Because I have no idea where my mystery novels are going to go or even “whodunit”, I think that adds to the suspense. Like you, I’m a pantser, allowing my characters to take me wherever they want, to a point. Does research play a big part in your writing schedule? Not really. I pretty much wing it with what I already know (which is limited lol). Are there any other works in progress that you’d like to hint about? I’ve begun to write a BDSM comedic mystery novel involving my protagonist. I’m as vanilla as can be, and I think that adds to the humor and suspense. If your favorite author (past or present) invited you for dinner to discuss writing, who would that be and what one question would you ask him/her? Other than having dinner with one of the Hollywood starlets who has written an autobiography, I would choose John Steinbeck, but I’d probably be way too intimidated to ask much if anything. I suppose that I’d timdly ask him about his process after asking for his autograph. What wise words of wisdom would you give up-and-coming new writers? I talk to a lot of people who say, “Oh, I could write a book.” In 99% of those cases, they absolutely could not. So I suppose that I would tell others to stop trying so as to clear the marketplace for me lol. Thank you for your time, Brett.The Last Shot is now available to pre-order right here. “It is the beginning of the fourth quarter for me, actuarially. Time is running out, I’m way behind, and I’ve got to score. Now.”Middle-aged Philadelphia Private Investigator Phil Allman is writing a detective novel. And he is determined to have it published by a major house. No matter what it takes.Rachel Arison is Senior Vice President of Fiction at Bryce Douglas. And was a high school classmate of Phil’s. When he compels her to publish his book by taking her hostage, she acquiesces in part because she has an agenda of her own. Their uneasy arrangement takes several surprising turns along the way.The Last Shot is a suspenseful and often funny elegy about the challenges of getting older while trying to make a dream come true before it is too late. It is also a book within a book; Phil’s novel is a chronicle of his abduction of Rachel and its aftermath.The Last Shot is the ninth in the series of Phil Allman mysteries; unlike the protagonists of many mystery novels, Phil is certainly no hero, but you can’t help but root for him.