Please welcome Steve Hamilton, author of Misery Bay, his latest
thrilling offering featuring Alex McKnight!
Review of Misery
Ray Palen- You took a
break from the Alex McKnight series to write two terrific stand-alone novels.
What did you learn from that journey and how did this change your approach when
returning to Alex McKnight?
Steve Hamilton- It was really just a matter of
giving Alex a break (strange to say about a fictional character, I know, but it
really felt that way) and also going out and doing something totally different
myself. And ideally, getting better as a writer in every way before going back
to the series. I didnít plan on being away for so long, though. It was great to
finally be back.
Ray Palen- MISERY BAY has a darker tone than the
predecessors in the series. Is this a statement on our changing society or is
the series going in a different direction from the usual P.I. genre?
Steve Hamilton- Part of coming back to the series a
better writer was just trying to make it a bigger story. I wasnít conscious of
making it darker, per se. It wasnít officially part of any plan. But on some
deep level, yeah, maybe there was a reason! Iíd probably have to go lay on an
analystís couch to really get at it.
Ray Palen- Alex has been through a lot over 8
novels. What do you see next for him? Is there anything he still has to do to
fulfill himself or is he content where he is?
Steve Hamilton- Now that Iím back, I really want to
stick with him for at least two more books. Iím working on the next one now, and
itís sort of back to being a ďVinnie LeBlancĒ book. (He didnít have much to do
in Misery Bay, after all.) Thereíll be a lot about why Vinnie is the way he is.
And then in the book after that, I think itíll be time to go back into Alexís
past a little more. Go back to Detroit and pick up on a thread from his days on
the police force.
Ray Palen- What inspired you to base the series in
Northern Michigan? St. Sault Marie is definitely a unique landscape to house
this series --- does this area draw any comparisons to other parts of the world
Steve Hamilton- Well, thereís nowhere else in the
world quite like the UP. Thatís the first thing. Itís just a different world up
there. Even Minnesota fells different to me. Thereís just something about the
place and the people who live there. And of course the lake. To me, it feels
like it can be the loneliest place on earth, if you want it to be that way.
Going back to that very first book, after what Alex had gone through, itís the
one place where he would go to get away from absolutely everything. (Of course,
even in Paradise, Michigan, the trouble can still find you!)
Ray Palen- My favorite character in all the
McKnight novels (next to Alex, of course) is his ex-teammate, Randy Wilkins from
THE HUNTING WIND. Any thoughts of ever bringing him back? Also, have you ever
actually mixed a Slinky??
Steve Hamilton- I think Randy has probably done his
thing, but who knows? I never actually know where any book is going to go when I
start it, so I guess I can never say never. (And yes, I did try making a Slinky,
which is vodka and root beer. I would not recommend it!)
Steve Hamilton was born and raised in the Detroit area,
and attended the University of Michigan, where he received the prestigious
Hopwood Award. He currently lives in New Yorkís Hudson Valley with his wife and
Steve Hamiltonís titles:
A Cold Day in Paradise, 1998
Winter of the Wolf Moon, 2000
The Hunting Wind, 2001
North of Nowhere, 2002
Blood is the Sky, 2003
Ice Run, 2004
A Stolen Season, 2006
Night Work, 2007
The Lock Artist, 2010
Misery Bay, June 2011
For more information on
Steve, please visit his website: