Interview with Author Danny Hogan

I recently sat down (over the internet and across a big ocean and a few time zones, but whatever) with Danny Hogan, a new-ish author flying like a bat of hell (or King’s Cross Station – which might be the same thing) onto today’s pulp-fiction literary scene. His recent novel, Jailbait Justice is out and making the rounds now. He was cool enough to shout out a few answers to my burning questions, as listed below:

Jailbait Justice is essentially a western that takes place after the fall of “civilization” rather than prior to its rise. What brought you to this artistic decision? How do you find this type of story differs from more “traditional” westerns? What new territory does this allow you to explore?

Hi Jason, as I writer the post-apocalyptic genre is so inspiring for me. The idea of the here and now coming to ahead, the aftermath of that and having to start up, afresh,  all over again. You can have elements of today’s world and yet have the simpler way of living, built on necessity like in the past.  This has been something that has fascinated me since I was a kid with things like 2000AD comics and Mad Max. With the post-apocalyptic genre you can be truly creative, and just make shit up. It’s brilliant.

You’re English, am I right? Yet, you composed this novel in very colloquial American South dialect, and speaking as someone born and raised in that tradition, you do it exceedingly well. How did you do this? What were your influences? How did you tune your ear?

Yeah I am English, London born and bred, though I now live in Brighton. Obviously we are exposed to a lot of American Culture and the Southern Accent is something that the British find very distinctive, and for some as my self, absolutely live it. There is something about the Southern Way of talking that can make even a backwood redneck sound eloquent, especially if you stand’em next to their UK counterpart. We knew that Murder by the Book in Houston, TX were doing a hell of a job supporting us and putting our books in their shop so me and my wife decided to visit. We totally fell in love with Texas particularly, Austin and spent a month there immersing ourselves in the culture and listening to how people talk. I think to be a good writer you have to be a good listener. We are going back to Texas this year, and the year after that until we have raised enough money to move Pulp Press over there.

You chose a female protagonist, and a young one at that. Tell us a little about her and why you chose this path? Do you feel you “captured” the opposite gender well?

I find female characters so much more fun to write than male ones. You can do so much more like the whole tough/vulnerable thing that you can’t really do so easy with male characters. Jezebel St. Etienne is a former bandit turned vigilante trying to bring, sense and justice to a post apocalyptic Texas. When I write female characters I want to get them right and make it so women would actually enjoy and get behind these characters. I grew up in a very large extended family where strong willed, tough and plain mad women and girls outnumbered the fellas about to six to one. I think this was a big influence on how I develop characters.  I really hope I have succeed in this and so far the reviews are backing me up on this.

This novel was very reminiscent to me of Tom Franklin’s novel Smonk. Are you aware of Franklin’s work? Was he in anyway an influence here?

I have not heard of Tom Franklin or his novel Smonk but I will check it ASAP and he may well be influential on my future works.

Tell us a little of your thoughts on the future of the novel and we small presses who still like to publish them.

The novel has a fine future. All we have to do as small presses is  make it our priority to remind people of the enjoyment of reading for entertainment.

You can check out more about Danny and Pulp Press titles here.

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