Interview with Tim Applegate

Interview with Tim Applegate

What genre do you write and why?

I’m writing a trilogy of dark, gritty suspense novels with comic undertones. I chose the suspense genre because I’m fascinated by the mechanics of telling a story that holds a reader’s interest throughout.
Tell us about your latest book.

Fever Tree is the first book of a trilogy about a group of expatriates – Vietnam veterans, hippies, struggling artists – who meet in a village in the Yucatan Peninsula in the early seventies, outsiders whose lives, long after they leave Mexico, continue to intersect. In the first book, a mysterious, reticent young man named Dieter arrives in Crooked River, a small fictional town in the Florida panhandle. He rents a room in a local hotel and soon becomes involved in the lives of a number of local citizens, including a drug dealer who’s convinced that he’s a narc.

What formats is the book available in?

As a trade paperback and also in various e-versions.

Who are your favourite authors?

That would be a long list, so I’ll just name a few. Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, James M. Cain, Patricia Highsmith (particularly the Ripley books), and Thomas McGuane.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

At my new website,

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

The character that anchors Fever Tree (as well as the other books in the trilogy) is Dieter, so naturally he’s the one I relate to the most. But there’s also a character named Colt Taylor I’m very fond of. On the surface, Colt is unappealing: vain, egotistical, violent. And yet despite all the negative aspects of Colt’s personality, I was determined to make readers sympathize with him, the way Patricia Highsmith makes us sympathize with Ripley. In my personal life I’ve known dozens of Colt Taylors, guys who make awful choices and then pay for those choices again and again. And just like them, I wanted Colt to be a tragic figure, a failure with good intentions, a loser with a big, broken heart.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

Because it’s a fast, sometimes darkly humorous story that’s written in a narrative style that combines my background as a poet with the more formulaic conventions of the suspense genre. But above all I hope they identify with the characters, laugh with them when they’re happy and empathize with them when they grieve.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Two years.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

At all of the usual online outlets – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Kobo etc. – as well as their neighborhood bookstores. If it’s not on the shelves of a particular bookstore, the bookseller can always order it through the national distributor that my publisher, Amberjack Publishing, uses.
What are you currently reading?

James Sallis’s Lew Griffin novels set in New Orleans. Sallis is not only a fine novelist, he’s an accomplished poet too. 


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