Interview with R. E. Conary

Why do you write Mysteries?
There's a problem or puzzle (i.e. crime) to solve that invites reader participation. That's the major draw. I also like the private detective format. The main characters are mostly mavericks who won't be pigeonholed. The stories are usually first-person POV. What you see is what you get. And Rachel Cord plays fair. The readers see the same clues she does letting them solve the mystery as quickly -- often more quickly -- as she does.
How did you develop your main character?
Private investigator Rachel Cord was created by a desire for a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac willing to stride through Raymond Chandler's mean streets -- with attitude and panache -- taking on any odds, yet humanly flawed and tender within. Sort of a James Rockford in drag.
What makes Rachel Cord different?
More than anything, it's her openness. The extent to which she exposes her innermost thoughts, desires, accomplishments and mistakes to the reader. She holds nothing back.
Why doesn’t Rachel have a psychotic sidekick like Hawk or Joe Pike?
Characters like Hawk, Pike, Lisbeth Salander, Mouse from the Easy Rallins series are there to do the heavy lifting -- do what needs to be done now -- without the soul searching that makes the main character hesitate or guiltily regret doing. Actions have consequences. Spillane's Mike Hammer. Sam Millar's Karl Kane. Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor. Richard Stark's Parker. Lee Child's Jack Reacher. Rachel Cord. They don't need no psycho sidekicks.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing a story that I'd like to read. By far, I'm a reader first.
What do you think of the eBook revolution?
Robert Heinlein had five simple rules for writing. The most important to me was that you must put your work in the marketplace and keep it there until it sells. For Heinlein and others of his time that meant submitting it endlessly through editors and publishers until someone said "okay, I'll buy it and publish it." Maybe it would reach the public, maybe not.

The eBook revolution lets the author jump directly into the toughest marketplace of all: the readers. It's both exciting and scary.
Has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Definitely. Smashwords gives writers access to multiple markets that would be more difficult to get into on one's own. I'll always publish with Smashwords.
Who are your favorite authors?
In mysteries, J. A. Jance, John D. MacDonald and Lawrence Block because they’ve probably had the most influence on my writing. But I have to include Libby Fischer Hellmann, Sam Millar, Ken Bruen, Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Roslund & Hellsträm, Katherine V. Forrest, Val McDermid and Sara Paretsky. For reading in general, the list is limitless.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read mysteries, which is why I like the genre, but I also read science fiction, fantasy, myths, and non-fiction as well. Basically, I'm a compulsive reader; if it's there in front of me, I'll read it.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually from suggestions from other readers and authors. Often just browsing and seeing what catches my eye.
Published 2015-08-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Eyes of Gaal
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,220. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Can you steal from a god? A witch and a thief tempt fate when they seek a god's power.
Queen Of Tarts
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,160. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Is it possible to go home again? Rachel Cord must decide if she can face old demons, old prejudices, or lose Wendy Devlin, the love of her life, to an ultimatum: "I’ll marry you anywhere, but I’m meeting your family first. That’s my deal. Remember, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It's that killing part that worries me, Rachel thought. “She’s been shot. Someone shot her.”
Bad Bitch Blues
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,390. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Life’s never easy. It’s rarely fair. In fact, Life’s a crapshoot. We don’t know the result until we roll the dice. But what happens when the dice roll says someone wants you dead?
Hangman's Oak
Price: Free! Words: 5,800. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
On Oct. 1, 1947, Paul Jasper Monroe was lynched at Hangman’s Oak. He was a decorated WWII veteran. He was Black. He was also Gay. Despite rumors, no one was ever arrested. Sixty-eight years later on the anniversary of Monroe’s murder, George Armstrong Cutter, often suspected as one of the killers, was found hanging from Hangman’s Oak. Revenge or Justice?
Still a Bitch
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,950. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
"Life isn't all hearts and flowers. It's pain and suffering too. It's dirty little secrets buried deep in the muck and mire where the grubs and worms feed. Secrets I unbury." Private detective Rachel Cord chases multiple threads through a labyrinth of missing persons, buried bodies, sex, new love, and an ex-lover who may be a serial killer. Book Two (Second Edition)
Life's A Bitch. So Am I.
Series: Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,790. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Hard-boiled, private detective Rachel Cord pursues multiple threads seeking a runaway teen and why gay performers are being beaten at Miss Kitty's Kathouse Kabaret. Threads that twist and bind Rachel within a tight cord of lost love, child pornography, rape, murder and near insanity. Leaving her to question her personal credo that "Life's a Bitch. So am I." Book one (Second Edition)
Paradise Ladies & Others
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 23,350. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
Thirteen Quiet Tales of Witches, NightMares, DayStuds & Thieves