Saturday, February 6, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase @jonmoorefiction The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore


Dr. Caleb Maddox is a San Francisco toxicologist studying the chemical effects of pain. After a bruising breakup with his girlfriend, he is drinking whiskey at the speakeasy House of Shields when a hauntingly seductive woman appears by his side. Emmeline whispers to Caleb over absinthe, gets his blood on her fingers, and then brushes his ear with her lips as she says goodbye. He must find her.
As his search begins, Caleb becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation. The police are fishing men from the bay, and the postmortems are inconclusive. One man vanished from House of Shields the night Caleb met Emmeline. When questioned, Caleb can’t offer any information. But he is secretly helping the city’s medical examiner, an old friend, understand the chemical evidence on the victims’ remains. Caleb’s search for the killer soon entwines with his hunt for Emmeline, and the closer he gets to each, the more dangerous his world becomes.
The Poison Artist is a gripping literary thriller about obsession and damage, about a man unmoored by an unspeakable past and an irresistible woman who offers the ultimate escape.
JONATHAN MOORE is an attorney with the Honolulu firm of Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda. Before completing law school in New Orleans, he was an English teacher, the owner of Taiwan’s first Mexican restaurant, and an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington D.C. He is the author of two previous novels, Close Reach and Redheads, which was short-listed for the Bram Stoker Award.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A.  Mostly other writers. Ernest Hemingway, Ross MacDonald, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly, Elmore Leonard—I could go on and on. I love stories where you can either sit back and let the plot drive you toward the end, or you can lean in close and admire the craft of the writing. Writing fiction is such an elegant way to respond to the world around us, to remark on its beauty and comment on its darker places.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A.  Breakfast. I love to take myself out for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I sit at a window table in a restaurant near my house, order a cup of coffee and whatever looks good on the menu, and spend a couple of hours getting into my story. It’s a lot of fun, and the side-benefit is that I know a lot of great breakfast spots all over the country.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A.  The toughest thing is accepting that not everyone is going to like what I write. Some people will love my stories, and some people will be indifferent—and then there will always be some people (only a few, I hope) who don’t like them at all. I understand, logically, that nothing can appeal to everyone. But because I pour so much effort and care into everything I write, it’s always a pins-and-needles feeling whenever something of mine goes out into the world.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A.  Right now I’m also a lawyer. If I couldn’t be a writer or a lawyer, I’d probably wish I had gone to medical school. When people talk about whether their jobs are meaningful, doctors don’t have to work to justify the importance of what they do. That would be very satisfying. Also, I like fancy machines like MRI’s and those cranial saws that cut through bone but not soft tissue.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A.  Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy. If you have time, a wonderful thing is to read Blood Meridian and Moby-Dick side by side.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A.  Not Blood Meridian, even though it’s my favorite book! Maybe The Joy of Cooking . . .

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A.  Winter in Hawaii.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A.  I’ve just finished revising the manuscript for my next novel, The Dark Room, which Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish in January of 2017. I have another completed manuscript, The Night Market, which Houghton Mifflin will release in January of 2018. Both stories are murder mysteries set in San Francisco, and they have the same dark tone of The Poison Artist, which just came out.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Thanks for taking the time to hear about my stories! I love connecting with readers and other writers. You can find me on Facebook at; on Twitter @jonmoorefiction; and on the web at    

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