Jackson Bardo, an out-of-work Private Investigator, is summoned to New Mexico by his ex-girlfriend. Her life is being threatened and she needs money. But he doesn’t have enough when he arrives. And days later, she disappears.
Joining forces with his friend, Police Detective Diego Juarez, the pair set out to find her.
During their search, Juarez is given the job of locating a missing teenager. But the discovery of another girl – dead – leads them to uncover a child trafficking operation.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write early in the morning when energized by caffeine, or after dinner (but before midnight). I do half my writing and all my editing at a desk on a laptop. The other half is done in a comfortable chair with a pen on paper. Frederick Nietzsche said something about how the brain works differently when writing longhand as opposed to typing. I find new scenes to be easier to handwrite, then once I’ve done two or three pages that way, I resume work on my laptop.
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
Sometimes, when there are detailed scenes that I need to concentrate on. Most of the time, I like to hear jazz: Miles Davis and John Coltrane (among others). The songs go on and on, and they play with time, contracting and expanding it. The pulse and sound drives me on, but I don’t focus on it as I would vocal music with lyrics to distract.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Many writers are control freaks, as it’s the one area in their chaotic lives where they can exercise control. So I’m not sure I’d be the best co-writer. I could say Samuel Beckett or Denis Johnson, but they don’t need me, and for some reason don’t return my calls.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Either good or bad is fine, just don’t make me the stupid one, or the violent guy with rotten politics.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
As a former editor, I was lucky to interview writers T.C. Boyle and Aimee Bender. I got no response from Don DeLillo though, and Zadie Smith’s “people” turned down my request. I guess funny or fascinating characters. Tom Waits and P.J. Harvey, Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo. Frederico Fellini.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
Slumped on the couch or inhabiting a bench at a local park.
Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Painting, playing guitar and singing, or drinking and dining with literary friends.
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
Pride and joy. Many writers strive for some always out-of-reach subjective definition of success. It’s important to rejoice in the tangible object, the creation in physical form of what you worked so hard for. That is “success” to me.
How do you come up with a title for your book?
Some of it is intuition. The words need to work together and hint at various things within the novel. A setting, a state of mind. It can take forever to create a title, or it can be the first thing that comes to mind. My father was an editor, in book publishing for decades. He was very good at titles, so I try to convince myself that I inherited a fraction of his skill.
How do you pick a cover for your book?
I’m not sure “pick” is the right word, but what I like in a cover (of my book or any book), is an image that makes me curious and eager to find out more. I must read this book—at once!
In the case of Santa Fe Psychosis, I wanted a cover that would depict the American Southwest. The high desert and odd upthrusts (mesas, buttes, hoodoos) are unique to that area. With a crime thriller, a sense of danger, of something not being right, is also important. So if you can give the casual viewer in a book store (or online) a definite setting and the feeling of suspense on the cover, then they can fill in the rest with their imagination.
About the Author
Max DeVoe Talley is a writer and artist from New York City who lives in Southern California. He began writing in 1997 and contributed entertainment, food, and humor columns to two California weekly newspapers.
His near future thriller, Yesterday We Forget Tomorrow, was published by Damnation Books in 2014. Since then, his crime fiction has appeared in two Hardboiled anthologies from Dead Guns Press and in Dames & Doppelgangers from Borda Books, while his short stories have appeared in fifty journals, including Vol.1 Brooklyn, Atticus Review, Entropy, Bridge Eight, Santa Fe Literary Review, and Litro.
Talley’s curated surreal anthology, Delirium Corridor, debuted in December 2020.
Website : http://maxdevoetalley.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/mactalley