Seamus Heffernan is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this series. This Canadian author’s debut novel, NAPALM HEARTS, launches April 24.
The novel’s main character is a successful American P.I. who is bored out of his mind spying on cheating spouses in his adopted city of London. Let’s just say his next case will shake things up for him.
Here’s one thing Seamus says about writing: “Fiction is the natural extension of our need to share stories.” I like that.
Here are his responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)
Who is Seamus Heffernan?
Well, I’ve been a lot of things in a lot of different places—high school teacher, policy wonk, freelance journalist, marketing/communications mercenary, speechwriter— but right now I work in politics and live in British Columbia, Canada, where I split my time between Abbotsford, Mission and Vancouver.
What does he write?
Crime fiction. My debut novel, NAPALM HEARTS, is a detective story about a successful but lonely American PI working in London, England. He works infidelity cases and while he’s making a good living, he’s bored as hell. He accepts a case from a wealthy client who wants him to find his much-younger and missing trophy wife. It’s set to be the first in an ongoing series.
When did he begin writing?
When I was a kid, my dad used to bring me to this used bookshop in my hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I became an obsessive reader of comic books and cheap paperbacks. That got me writing a lot, both in school and on my own, but so much of it was just dreck. In the back of my head, though, even as I got older, I always knew that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to write cool stories and create characters people cared about. I wanted my book to someday be on that book shop’s shelf. Life kept getting in the way, like it always does if you let it, but the last couple of years I just dug in, stopped wasting time, and committed to it.
How does he write?
It’s like the gym: I carve out time and force myself to do it. I have a theory that a lot of writers actually hate the process. I’m lucky in that I like the writing part, especially when you get going and it all starts to click. But the whole getting started part… well, that’s always a lot trickier.
When I’m working, I will often have music on or play movies in the background, if only for the company and occasional distraction. Silence has always been off-putting to me, which comes as exactly zero surprise to any of my friends.
Where does he write?
In my living room or one specific corner of a local coffee shop. The baristas there have become very supportive of my alleged creative efforts, which I appreciate.
Why does he write?
This should be where I say something like “Oh, I write because I must” or “I simply have no choice, I’m an artist” but none of that’s true. I love the craft of writing, I love the world-building it demands, and I love the satisfaction of creating a story that just hums along while it draws people in. But I never really feel like I have to do this. I’m envious of those who have that kind of discipline and devotion, frankly.
It’s probably the most human thing about us, to share stories. We all do it, all the time. Oh man, my boss reamed me out today. Hey, did I ever tell you I was in a band in college? Listen, I’m doing this cleanse and I’m literally gonna die if I don’t get a burger. Watch anybody at a party, mingling. We swap tales to get to know each other.
Fiction is the natural extension of our need to share stories. That’s why I write. This thing where we make up stories and throw them out into the world is just this wonderful, precious thing we get to do. I’ve personally decided to use that gift to write trashy detective novels, but what the hell. We don’t all get to win a Nobel for Literature.
ABOUT NAPALM HEARTS:
Find the girl. Find the truth.
Thaddeus Grayle is a successful but bored American private investigator who has grown weary of snooping after the cheating spouses of his adopted city of London, England. Recently divorced and even more recently sober, he fills what little free time he has with movies, baseball and his own torrid affairs. He wants a change, and it finally arrives thanks to a wealthy businessman desperate to find his hard-partying wife—a young woman who might be in the biggest trouble of her life.
NAPALM HEARTS may be ordered here.
SEAMUS HEFFERNAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Thanks for having me, Joan!