I strongly believe that in order to be a truly superb storyteller one must live a full life. Russell Little is one such author. One feels at ease in his presence, but the fact that he takes his experiences throughout his life and fuses it into his writing makes him a rare gem.
An affair gone wrong is not an uncommon theme, but Russell Little takes you on a ride that has more twists then someone lost in downtown Houston. His characters, especially Marylin, are infamous, and unforgettable.
Start the new year with ‘Murder for Me’ by Russell Little which will pump some adrenaline into 2017. If my words aren’t enough then read his answers to my 20 Questions which will give you insight into the mind of a vivid author.
20 Questions with Russell Little
Question 1: Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer. What’s yours?
Answer: The first book that influenced me and made me want to write was Little Pony – I read this book for the first time in the second grade. The book was filled with pictures of black and white ponies. I liked the book, and all the pictures, so much that I began to draw my own ponies, and then I wrote a pony story.
That was when I first felt a desire to write. I had a lot of reading and writing disabilities, but they did not stop my desire to write.
At the beginning of each school year, the teacher sat with each student to read. Since my abilities decreased over the summer while not in school, I was always placed in the lowest group. By the end of the year I would work my way up and be moved from the lowest group to the first.
I didn’t like the look on the faces of the kids who did not move up, who stayed in the lower groups. It was a horrible way to separate children.
In the 7th grade I wrote another story on horses. The teacher stopped the class to read my story. Very exciting. That was the beginning of my journey to become a published author.
Question 2: How old where you when you started writing?
Answer: I was in the second grade when I started writing. I was also in the second grade when I began to speak and be understood. I spoke before that and only my mother and first grade teacher understood what I was saying.
Question 3: Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.
Answer: Franz Kofka – The Metamorphosis
Aldous Huxley – Brave New World – His vision of future may be more accurate than some of the others.
Leo Tolstoy – The younger Tolstoy when he wrote as a young writer.
Chekov – He later became mean and demented.
Question 4: What would you eat?
Answer: Chicken Parfait on raisin toast with champagne
Question 5: How do you plot out your work?
Answer: Once I get a story in my head I graph it out and outline, then outline by chapters, then re-graph with characters. It is a long arduous task, but that is the way I begin each new book.
Question 6: Do you write in the morning or evening?
Answer: In the evening. I practice divorce law all day.
Question 7: Is there music on?
Answer: Yes. I love to work while listening to Italian opera; sometimes Russian opera, and sometimes classic Indian music.
Question 8: What inspired your last story?
Answer: I am currently working on The Artist, a serial book about a serial murderer who is being chased by OC Sims, the detective from Murder for Me. I was inspired because I wanted to write a chapter from the viewpoint of a woman serial murderer one Sunday afternoon when I was bored. The serial novel is coming out over the next two years. That will teach me to be bored.
Question 9: Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.
Answer: Every Man – Philip Roth
Ana Karenina – Tolstoy (second half) made you see and feel what the characters see and feel.
Sun Also Rises – first half. The first part of the book talks about their Paris café life.
Question 10: What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?
Answer: Modern family because it makes me laugh. When I watch television I am looking to laugh.
I also love Sherlock BBC series – well written
Question 11: Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?
Answer: I am not going to talk about protagonist or antagonist, but in my book, Murder for Me, Leonardo de Caprio would be great for one of the characters in the book. When I saw him in the movie Departed, I knew he could play two characters at once.
Question 12: Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?
Answer: All of my pieces are hard to write. I have to write them so many times to get it right. Writing is a burden I choose to inflict upon myself. Its hard, but I don’t do it because it’s easy.
Question 13: Which was the easiest?
Answer: I write nothing easy. I have to graph and rewrite because nothing I write is easy. I wouldn’t do it if it was easy. I would go on to something else.
Question 14: Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it?
Answer: In Murder for Me, I have a character named Marilyn. I have had a few readers send me emails or talk to me about what they thought about Marilyn and who they thought she was. I find it humbling that readers put so much thought into one character in my book.
Question 15: What are you working on now?
Answer: Killing Thoughts – It is the sequel to Murder for Me. It begins about 6 months after the end of Murder for Me. Some of the characters that survived are back. Killing Thoughts is different from Murder for Me because it is written in a wider universe with many new characters. It begins in Tel Aviv and Paris. I am very excited because I get to include places around the world that I have traveled.
Question 16: What story do you have to write before you die?
Answer: I don’t have a story that I have to write before I die. Writing stories is a lifestyle that I will do until I die.
Question 17: What’s your best fan story?
Answer: My favorite is my most recent fan story. I was traveling to Philadelphia and got stuck in an airport for 4 hours. They allowed a few passengers to leave the plane because we refused to stay on it. I stayed in a bar where I met a group of Pop artist and started a conversation with them. They left with a copy of Marilyn and we have a picture of them with Marilyn. That is a good fan story.
Question 18: What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?
Answer: “Just because I’m not real, what makes you think I am not going to kill you.”
Question 19: Have you ever based characters off of real people?
Answer: I base a lot of my characters on blending groups of real people. I base important characters on unique individuals that have inspired me to write about those characters.
Question 20: Who’s your favorite character?
Answer: My favorite character is Marilyn. She is my favorite because she is the one I hear most about from my readers. My readers have the most diverse opinions about Marilyn. She has provoked the most emotion out of my readers and become very visible in the book promotions.
You can find out more about the author on his blog Russell Little’s Author Blog and purchase his work from here-don’t forget to leave an honest review after you’re done.