Interview with The Twenty-Year Death Author Ariel S. Winter

winter20yeardeathbookNext week on August 7th 2012, Titan Books will be releasing Ariel S. Winter’s debut crime noir novel “The Twenty-Year Death.”  Our Retrenders staff had a chance to interview Mr. Winter and talk a little about the book, his influences, and more:


RTNDR:  How did you come up with the idea to start The Twenty-Year Death? What inspired you to write not just one story but three complete novels written in the style of three different iconic mystery writers?

Ariel: I originally set out to write a different book. It was going to have a frame narrative, and within that frame would have been full novels of various genres. So it was in that context that I wrote Malniveau Prison in the style of Georges Simenon. When I decided to jettison the original idea but keep Malniveau Prison and expand it into what became The Twenty-Year Death, it only made sense to continue with other pastiche/homages. The character that I was going to follow from book to book was an American writer living in France in the 1930s, and so many of the writers who did that in real life, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, ended up writing for Hollywood at some point. And Hollywood led naturally to Raymond Chandler in the 1940s. So with ten years between the first two books I figured there should be another ten years between book two and book three, and the list of choices of master crime writers from the 1950s was basically Jim Thompson and Patricia Highsmith. At the time, I’d read more Thompson and his style fit better for the subject of the book.

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