Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I studied film-making and screenwriting at the University of Miami in the 80's; was involved in the Boston Poetry Scene in the 90's; and have focused on fiction since 2007. My first two books of contemporary crime fiction are currently out of print. I currently have two books of historical crime fiction as part of a series, The Ark City Confidential Chronicles.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Secrets of the Righteous is Book Two in The Ark City Confidential Chronicles. Set in a rural Kansas town in the 1930's, the main series character is a facially scarred World War I veteran who has a rather mysterious background which is identified in the first book of the city, Ark City Confidential.
The original was inspired by countless stories told to me by my wife's uncle who lives in Arkansas City, Kansas, colloquially known as Ark City. References to "Little Chicago" and underground tunnels fascinated me enough to craft the series.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I'm sorry to admit I do not have any unusual writing habits. I don't write early or late as a matter of course. I don't listen to music while I'm writing. I have become a hybrid pantser/plotter. However, the plot usually transforms itself as the writing takes place.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The old school Black Mask writers, especially Hammett and Chandler, are like godfathers to me. I thoroughly enjoy the pulp novels of Jim Thompson and the skewed psychology of his characters. James Ellroy's scatological style highly appeals to me as well. The darkness of Cornell Woolrich has a tendency to sneak into my writing.
What are you working on now?
Book Three in the series is currently the next project. We move forward into World War II. I've already made two road trips for research, including the remnants of a German POW camp in Concordia, Kansas.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am trying everything, hoping that something sticks. I can be found on many social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr) as well as my blog (tikiman1962.wordpress.com) and my website (www.hbberlow.com). And, naturally, sites like this.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read anything and everything. Don't worry about "copying" someone's style. You WILL find your own voice. Meet and mingle with other writers. Go to conferences, support groups, critique groups. Know that you are not alone. And, NEVER GIVE UP.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It was a cliche from a screenwriting professor in college but it's true: Don't write like everyone in Hollywood; they've already got everyone.
What are you reading now?
Fiction: A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane
Non-fiction: Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a total of five books planned for this series. There is also a transgressive novel and an experimental novel that I want to develop further.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I'll pick two, if that's okay, because of the impact each had.
The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham because I read it when I was at a crossroads in my life.
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson because it is classic pulp fiction.
Author Websites and Profiles
H.B. Berlow Website