I’m really happy to welcome Alan Cupp today to Literary, etc! His book, Malicious Masquerade is released tomorrow. If you’ve never read a mystery or are thinking of trying a new genre, do look into Malicious Masquerade. I reviewed it here.
Q. Tell me something about Alan Cupp other than the standard bio on your website.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Heath.
Q. When writing, do you create a detailed plot outline and write from that, or do you allow the story to play out as you write?
I don’t do outlines. Typically, I get a concept for a story and usually have a rough idea of how I want it to start and how I want it to end. Then it’s a matter of connecting the two points.
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if I have one.
Q. What sort of books do you enjoy as a reader? Are those any different from the books you enjoy as an author?
I like books that don’t bog me down with extreme details unrelated to the story. Also, I prefer shorter chapters. If I read fifty pages divided up into four or five chapters as opposed to two chapters, I have a greater sense of accomplishment. Plus I’m more likely to start another chapter if I know it’s short. I guess I have a short attention span. I try to write the same way.
Q. You wrote the children’s short, Hatter’s Creek Rescue. How difficult was it to put yourself in JT’s shoes?
I didn’t find it difficult at all. Having two boys of my own and typically spending a lot of time around kids in general, I really never thought about putting myself in JT’s shoes as a challenge.
Q. What compelled you to write crime fiction in the first place?
Usually, a story idea comes to mind and I start writing. I really don’t think about the genre until after I’m well into writing it.
Q. If you could describe Malicious Masquerade in 3 words, what would they be?
Struggle for truth
Q. Carter Mays is an ex-police officer turned private investigator. Why did you choose this profession, and how did you prepare to write about it?
I needed someone qualified to help put the pieces together. As an ex-policeman, Carter had the necessary training. Yet, I wanted someone who wasn’t quite as tied to policies and procedures of law enforcement. He could bend the rules a little if needed. As far as preparing, I went by my own perceptions of private investigators formed from other books, TV shows, and movies.
Q. There’s a lot of money to be made in real estate. Without spoilers, let’s talk about Jasper’s side business. Was it inspired by a real event? Or is it completely fictional?
It was completely fictional.
Q. Darlene is probably the most miserable character in Malicious Masquerade. Is it fair to criticize her actions towards Cindy or is there more to her that we don’t know about?
I think it’s fair to criticize her. Regardless of circumstances, she makes her own choices.
Q. As I read, I found myself wondering how could Cindy be blind to Jasper’s hired “help.” Does that go hand in hand with the initial description we’re given of “dumb blonde,” or is it one of those moments where we’re blind to a person’s true character and motives?
I think it’s a combination of being self-absorbed and naïve. Her focus has mostly been on herself, and outside of that, she didn’t really care or even notice until if affected her directly.
Q. Do you have a favorite line Malicious Masquerade? If so, what is it?
That’s a tough question. I can’t narrow it down to one line and a lot of the lines I like the most might be spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet.
Q. If Malicious Masquerade were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?
Carter – Ryan Reynolds
Cindy – Maggie Grace
Jasper – Jeff Bridges
Darlene – Joan Allen
Tyler – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Tate – Joe Pantoliano
Q. What’s next for Carter? Will we see him in another book?
As of right now, I don’t have anything in mind for Carter. But I like him as a character and wouldn’t rule out another book, provided I thought it was a good story idea.
Q. What fears are you facing with the upcoming release of Malicious Masquerade?
I’m really not much of a fearful person. My biggest concern is keeping track of the promotional schedule.
Q. Did you learn anything about yourself while writing Malicious Masquerade?
During the editing process I learned that I use the word “just” too much. Had to cut a bunch of them out. Just saying. 🙂
Q. Finally, are you working on anything on new?
Yes, I am. Well, at least I should be. I’m over halfway through a story right now, but I hit a creative wall and have kind of slacked off lately. Plus, I’ve been pretty busy getting ready for Malicious Masquerade to release.
01. Superpower you wish you had?
02. E-book or print book?
03. Favorite city?
04. Favorite sport to watch?
05. Cookies or muffins?
06. Beach or Mountain?
07. Favorite TV show?
The Walking Dead