The Tug Wyler series by Andy Siegel is great fun, and I loved the first book, Suzy’s Case (if you like your suspense with a bit of twisted humor-and lots of heart-you’ll love these.) I got a chance to ask Andy a few questions about his new book, Cookie’s Case, so please welcome him back to the blog!
Also, I’ve got a copy of Cookie’s Case up for grabs, so fill out the widget at the end of the post to enter to win (US only.)
Congrats on your new book, Cookies Case! What can we expect from Tug this time around?
What can you expect? I’m glad you asked, Kristin. More of the same twists and turns that made Suzy’s Case such a wild ride, minus one courageous child, little Suzy Williams. Here — with Cookie’s Case — I wanted to give the reader a fun, entertaining and quick read in the absence of catastrophic tragedy. For as we all know by now, all of Tug Wyler’s adventures (like mine as an injury lawyer) begin with an “Unfortunate Event.” And the rollicking journey Tug finds himself embroiled in during his legal representation of Cookie rests on the cusp of reasonably believable and just barely viable. I reached deep into my imagination while creating this story.
Did you do any particular research for this book, or did you just draw on your own experience as a lawyer?
Research is not an option for me. I’m a courtroom lawyer, so my loathing days of back office “research and writing” (a mandatory law school course), are well behind me. Sure, I authenticate to some degree the medical and scientific circumstances and situations I write about, but I wouldn’t call Google surfing “research.” And yes, everything that I put on the page is inspired by my daily dealing as a lawyer. You wouldn’t believe some of the ridiculous stuff that comes out of the mouths of my adversaries, judges, experts, and yes, even my own clients.
Why suspense? What do you enjoy most about writing, and reading, in the genre?
Suspense is it. I spend my days putting the pieces together on behalf of my injury clients, many of whom are traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims with post-traumatic amnesia who can’t recall much of the event that found them in my office sitting across from me. I have always found the exercise of reconstructing what happened from bits and pieces of evidence challenging, fascinating and attention grabbing while arriving at my own conclusions. So, when I sit down to write, what I want to do is give the reader morsels of significant information — strategically placed — in an effort to draw in and stimulate my audience to want to “solve” the case. If you read any of my books twice (and I’m not suggesting that you do), what you’ll find is that they’re littered with hints and foreshadow not otherwise obvious until the second go at it.
It’s been a while since we’ve caught up. Have you read any good books lately? Is there anything that you’re looking forward to this year?
I recently finished Nelson Demille’s, The Gold Coast. I loved it! Straight laced Wall Street lawyer John Sutter with hot wife collides with Mafia don, Frank Bellarosa, who seizes the large nugget of land next door. This book has it all — humor, sexual role-play passion, violence, suspense, infidelity, etc. — all wrapped up into a perfectly paced package that you can’t put down. As far as what’s next on my bookshelf, I’ve been from trial to trial lately and haven’t had a moment to think about that so I’m open for suggestion. Yes, I’m crapping out on you on this one. At least I admit it.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you’d known back when you first got published? Any advice you’d give to aspiring authors?
I basically know now what I knew when I was first published, which is not much. The publishing industry seems to be changing everyday and I don’t have the time or inclination to figure out where it is or where it’s going. My focus is creating a story worthy of reading. What I can say to aspiring authors is write for the reader — know your audience! From an approach point of view, when you sit down to construct a novel have a solid idea of where you want to end, then write backwards. In my humble opinion how a book concludes should be the best part of the journey, so start with an epic finale in crescendo form. Oh, and, have a good editor whose judgment and instincts you trust. When they tell you something sucks, don’t take it personal — just accept that the creative genius of your sentence, paragraph, page, chapter or manuscript that you spent so much time and effort penning needs to be tossed.
What’s next for you (and Tug)?
Let’s finish this interview just the way we started. What’s next for Tug and I? I’m glad you asked, Kristin. If Tug Wyler can successfully resolve Cookie’s Case — to the entertainment satisfaction of his readers — then I imagine Tug will have other wild and crazy cases to solve and causes to fight for . . .
About Cookie’s Case:
Cookie, an angel in stiletto heels, is by far the most popular performer at Jingles Dance Bonanza. To her devoted audience, she’s a friend, therapist, and shoulder to cry on, all rolled into one. While meeting an old pal at the club, Tug doesn’t expect to pick up a new client but quickly realizes the gallant Cookie—dancing in a neck brace, each leg kick potentially her last—is in need of a committed champion.
Righting wrongs is never a simple task for Tug, a sharp-witted and unorthodox trial lawyer who repeatedly finds himself in the middle of unusual cases and causes. But that doesn’t stop him from trying. Believing that Cookie is the victim of a spine surgeon with a sloppy touch, Tug takes her case. But as he seeks both medical remedy and a fair shake for Cookie, he realizes—a tad too late—that sinister sights are now trained on him. In Cookie’s Case, this offbeat attorney will go farther for justice than he ever has before.