Please welcome Warren Hammond to the blog! Warren is the author of Kop, Ex-Kop, and, out today, Kop Killer. He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and there’s also a giveaway of Kop Killer (and it’s international!!), so be sure to check out the details at the bottom of the post.
Warren, the 3rd book of your scifi/noir series, Kop Killer, is out today! Did you always want to be a writer? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer, but caught the bug when I was in my early twenties. I wrote six chapters of a failed novel and gave up when I realized I had no clue where the story was going. I didn’t try again until my thirties when I started writing KOP. This time, I had the good sense to wait until I’d developed a story with a beginning, middle, and end before writing a single word.
I spent about a year and a half writing KOP and put in another six months trying to sell it. My agent did the heavy lifting by landing a two book deal with Tor Books that we’ve since renewed for a third. All in all, I was very lucky to make it through the publication process so smoothly.
How did you celebrate when you found out you’d sold your first book?
I took my beta readers out for dinner. They’d been kind enough to read KOP and offer their opinions, so I treated them to an Italian feast.
When you started the Kop series, did you have a certain number of books in mind for the series, or did you plan to just see where Juno took you?
I had what I thought was a brilliant plan. I’d write three novels, each told from the perspective of a different character. So KOP would be Juno’s book, and the second book would star a new protagonist with Juno being a minor character. Then I’d switch heroes again for the final book. Genius!
When I shared this with my agent, he quickly set me straight. “You can’t change detectives in a mystery series,” he said. “Your readers will want more Juno, and you better give it to them.” He didn’t call me an idiot, but that word probably wasn’t far from his lips.
Seeing the wisdom in his words, I decided to tell the entire series from Juno’s eyes. Seeing how Juno has developed in the next two books, I couldn’t be happier. He’s a complex guy who is still finding ways to surprise me. Right now, I don’t have a particular number of books in mind, but I do know how the series will end. Whether that ending will come in the next book or ten books from now, I don’t know.
The Kop novels are a wonderful mix of scifi and noir. What are some of your favorite novels or authors (in either genre)?
In science fiction, Frank Herbert’s Dune is a favorite. I also feel partial to Frederick Pohl’s Gateway. But truth be told, I actually take most of my inspiration from noir writers like James M. Cain, James Ellroy, Dashiell Hammett, Jim Thompson, and Raymond Chandler.
I love all kinds of stories, but noir sings to me like no other. It’s moody and atmospheric. Mean and nasty. The characters are dark and twisted, and the prose is lean but deadly. When I started reading the Maltese Falcon, I knew that was what I wanted to write.
What are you reading now?
Nothing at the moment. I’m too busy writing to read! But at the front of my queue is Jason Heller’s Taft 2012 and The Adjustment by Scott Phillips.
I read that you and your wife love to travel! What’s your favorite destination so far, and why?
We do love to travel, but I can’t pick a favorite destination. Everywhere I’ve been has something special to offer.
Lagarto, the world I created for the KOP novels is really an amalgam of all the places I’ve been. The canals were inspired by the waterways of Bangkok. The jungles were based on the Peruvian rainforest. Lagarto is infested with lizards because I fell in love with the iguanas of the Galapagos. The planet’s history was inspired by the collapsed rubber trade of central Africa, and much of Lagartan culture comes from what I saw in the Yucatan.
In so many ways, Lagarto is my version of a reinvented travel log.
What would be your first choice for your next destination?
Egypt and Croatia are currently leading the pack.
Other than travel, how do you like to spend your free time?
I’m a big sports fan. I enjoy watching all the major sports except golf. Sorry, too slow for me. Lately, I’ve been getting into rugby. We have a great stadium in Denver with matches most every weekend, and after watching six or seven games from the stands, I feel like I’m finally starting to understand the rules.
I’m also a music junkie addicted to blues, reggae and surf. The Doors and Junior Kimbrough are especially good for putting me in a noir mood.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
Currently, I’m working on a novel titled Tides. It’s a spy novel set on an ocean world inside a vast empire. I’ve written close to 60,000 words so far, and I have high hopes I’ll be able to finish it before the end of the year.
Keep up with Warren: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Read my review of Kop Killer
About Kop Killer:
Juno Mozambe once had a life. That was when he was a dirty cop, married to a woman who suffered such profound abuse that she murdered her vile, drug kingpin father. Juno loved his wife and did his best to help her survive her guilt, her drug habit, and her desire to end her life on the dead-end planet of Lagarto.
When she died, however, Juno’s life went downhill. And then his first partner, the corrupt chief of the Koba Office of Police, was murdered. The man responsible, Emil Mota, is using the KOP for his personal gain. Juno has been laying low, but now he’s ready to do whatever it takes to take down the bastard.
Rather than working from inside the system, he’s decided that the only way to take down the KOP is to create an independent base of power. So he gets involved with a team of dirty cops and starts working as a rent-a-thug for a whorehouse that needs protection.
Juno’s last partner knows that his risky plan has a purpose, but she’s that rarest of creatures on the hothouse planet of Lagarto: an honest cop. She can’t help him.
When Juno discovers a series of profoundly twisted murders, he faces a bleak possibility: in his desperate quest for vengeance against the man who targeted him for death, Juno may have placed himself beyond any hope of redemption….
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