I’m excited to welcome James Queally to the team. I knew I wanted to offer on his books from the second chapter in. His writing reminds me of many of my favorite mystery/thriller writers– in which you keep turning the pages until you accidentally finish the book in one sitting and have to go all the way back to the bookstore for another. Welcome aboard, James!
What genres do you write? Read?
A criminal justice reporter who writes and reads a lot of true crime and detective fiction? Big surprise, I know. Primarily it’s detective fiction/noir leaking out of my brain, though I occasionally dabble in science fiction (the first piece of writing I ever published was a theological superhero story, and I’m playing with something now that I guess you could generously call a tech thriller.)
My bookshelf is heavy on the crime fiction, but it’s also littered with graphic novels and some literary fiction. Mostly, I just want to read something with a voice that demands I pay attention. The last few books I read were: Rob Hart’s POTTER’S FIELD, Kellye Garrett’s HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE, the entire run of Ed Brubaker’s SLEEPER and Jonathan Lethem’s YOU DON’T LOVE ME YET.
Plotter or pantster?
It depends? I’ve published about a dozen short stories in my life, and almost all of them were written on the fly. My favorite, a short titled “Prowl” that I snuck into the final issue of THUGLIT in 2016, stemmed from an opening scene I thumbed into my iPhone’s notes app while slightly intoxicated in West Hollywood. I do outline for longer works, but even those are more like guard rails than maps, just to keep the story trudging along through certain beats.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
So, I have a writing playlist … but I rarely listen to it? For some reason, I struggle to write fiction with music on in the background. But I often need music to hit a journalism deadline. There are character-specific playlists, normally made up of what I might have a character listening to in a specific scene, but I won’t listen to that while writing the scene? Make sense? No? Cool, it doesn’t to me either. As for the bands that might produce some Page One copy for the Los Angeles Times: At The Drive-In, Arcade Fire, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Talib Kweli, Thursday, Touche Amore, Hot Water Music, Cloud Nothings, TV On The Radio.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Writing: Coffee. Not Writing: Beer (often a Stout which tastes like Coffee)
Twitter or Instagram? Or Facebook? Where can we find you?
If you want to stay up to the minute on criminal justice news, especially in Southern California, you can find me on Twitter at @JamesQueallyLAT. If you want pictures of me going to entirely too many concerts or hiking or being a clown with my better half, I’m on Instagram as jayquizzical (which was not an attempt to be clever, but actually an in-joke relating to my debut emcee name, and you’ll have to come back for Meet The Author Part II if you want to know what that means).