C J Evans
'I was born on a Monday, sometime in the late afternoon...'
It's a lot harder to write about yourself than people make out. To a certain extent, writing creatively is much easier than writing autobiographically as you're less emotionally involved in the story than if it were of your own life. I know some authors like to adapt their own lives and allow characters to relive their experiences. I'm the opposite. I like to live out things I would like to do through my characters. My characters often represent my wishes.
That's not to say there aren't bits and pieces of my own life in my books. I have stood in bowl of coleslaw at a BBQ, I did want to be Superman when I grew up and I did go to a private school when I was growing up. But that's where the similarities end. I create characters, and even though I often have a friend or a colleague, or even former enemies in mind when I write the story, the characters are all unique.
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Smashwords book reviews by C J Evans
- Injury Inn
on Dec. 19, 2011
Call it hard-boiled. Call it pulp fiction; just don't call it noir. That's what Mike Whitacre said to me when I accepted the free copy of Injury Inn to review. That was about two months ago. Two months of sleepless nights and sitting up until late nursing a half bottle of Jack with a filter tip glued to my lip. That's what Injury Inn and the two other short stories (Hellish Hype and Delicious Date) in this collection can do to a man.
Injury Inn is a faithful representation of the genre. Almost from the minute I started reading I went to a stock black and white image of a dusty office with the name Jameson Clyde stenciled on the door. I saw a world weary gumshoe with a craggy face and the scars of another night poking his nose into places it wasn't wanted. Whitacre does an excellent job of setting up the atmosphere and the first person narration is in the style of Chandler and Hamnett. You could easily imagine Philip Marlowe and Jameson Clyde sitting down and chewing the fat over a bottle of Scotch (that is if they didn't start fighting each other first).
Most of the other staples are there too. The good-looking 'broad', the brutish henchmen and the weak, yet intelligent villains. For the most part the dialogue crackles with sarcastic wit and the prose generally is punchy and pacey. Sometimes too pacey. There are opportunities for Whitacre to expand on the characters through using dialogue - particularly the scene when Jameson and Matilda Silver are discussing likes and dislikes). I would also have like to see Matilda as being a little less perfect. I imagined that even though Jameson Cylde would be a ladies man, that there would be a frost between the two that needed to thaw. Although, the attraction between the two does prove to be a catalyst for some of Jameson's actions.
I don't want to give too much of the plot of each of these stories away, I like to leave that up to the reader. If you want to read something sharp, short and stylish, Injury Inn is a good starting point. You may also want to check out Mike Whitacre's other works Utility Union and Lady Buzz.