In Depression-era Florida, a strange double murder draws members of a community into a conspiracy of silence, and the people most eager to forget the crime find themselves increasingly drawn into it.
FC: So is all of MIDNIGHT CATCH like the trailer? What's the body count?
NG: Without spilling too much of the story, I can tell you that this grim scene is what sets the story in motion, and the story is about the psychological impact of the murders on the community. So the book is driven by mystery and suspense, not casualties.
FC: What prompted you to write it?
NG: I'd already written a historical novel, SAND MANSIONS, set in northern Florida in the years 1876 to 1905, but told in flashback from 1929. That year 1929 was a time when a lot was going on, forcing "ordinary" middle-class people to do extraordinary things to make ends meet. Prohibition went into effect in 1919 and the Great Depression--for Florida--began in 1926. On top of that, there were crop failures. All of that added up to normally law-abiding people cutting some corners, making some moral decisions.
FC: So this is also a historical novel.
NG: In a loose sense. The historical background is genuine. A lot of the incidents referred to come right out of the newspaper headlines of the times, but there aren't any historical personages among the characters.
FC: Why Florida, northern Florida in particular?
NG: Well, I'm from there, lived there the first half of my life. I left it a long time ago, but it still exerts a powerful pull on my imagination.
FC: Where does the scene in the trailer fit in?
NG: It's a very close dramatization of the first chapter, right down to the white one-eyed horse. Kudos to our filmmaker, Frank G. Caruso!
FC: And the corpses in the woods?
NG: Let's just say that they were in a broad sense inspired by my own youthful experiences picking blackberries in overgrown pastures. From time to time you'd come across the remains of a cow among the bushes. It stuck in my mind as a kind of symbol for youth-encounters-death. Kind of jarring.
FC: Any humor in the book?
NG: Plenty. Even in that first chapter. Rex's mother tells him he can't have a real gun because he's too young to keep his shoes tied and, sure enough, when he's running away from the deceased, he trips over his shoelaces and down he goes.
FC: Written for the ear? Written for the page?
NG: For the ear, like all of my stuff. Read it aloud. Please.
FC: What about film?
NG: It's a natural. And set in Florida, an ideal place for filming, a place not used that much. For films shot in northern Florida you've got Cross Creek and....
FC: The Creature from the Black Lagoon?
NG: How could I forget?
Now get Midnight Catch at Amazon http://goo.gl/Euo0k
Actor: Alistair Sewell & Director Frank G. Caruso