INTERVIEW: Author Kenneth Deville

Originally published 2015-10-20: BBQ and Pretty Blondes | Interview with Kenneth Deville, Author of All the Colors (Copper, Texas #2)


“Modern Day Gothic Western” is not necessarily on my favorite genres list, but I have to say, I really enjoyed both of Kenneth Deville’s Copper, Texas books. The eponymous first book, Copper, Texas, was a fun, fast-paced read. The second, All the Colors, pulled the story and the characters up by their bootstraps and made them really dance.

You can check out my review of All the Colors here.

The series starts with a strange, but not uncommon, mystery:

Twenty-six year-old Ernie just wants to start over. All he needs is some cash to take him and his 67 Ford Mustang out of the dirty Texas town he calls home, leaving the past behind in a trail of dust. But all he gets is trouble when a mysterious stranger shows up with a briefcase offering big reward for little risk. The kind of trouble that leads to blood in the streets, and something Ernie could have never imagined in his wildest nightmares.

I recently had the chance to get the low-down on the author, Kenneth Deville, after a carefully-passed message made its way to him. Here’s what he had to say about his books, his inspirations, and what he has in store for readers in the coming year.

photo of gothic Western noir author Kenneth Deville

Who are you?

[My writing] combines my love of music, movies and noir and food into storytelling. Elmore Leonard and Shakespeare and Stephen King are the shit. Without them, I’d probably never raise a pen, although I do have a Hunter Thompson attitude. Question the answers. Party like it’s 1999 and live under a rock. I like a good plate of BBQ and a pretty blonde.

Who do you write for?

It’s hard to say. The original story of Copper stayed with me for 15 years before I ever did anything with it. I basically went to sleep every night for all those years wondering if I would ever do anything with it. I’m not kidding. Every night I thought about it. Finally I did it for myself.

Along the way, I found many supporters that were interested in the series. As action packed as it is, I have more female fans into the series than male. There are a lot of male fans, but they are really outnumbered when it comes to Copper and All The Colors. I never went into writing for a target audience, I just did it and picked up people along the way.

How many books do you plan for the Copper, Texas series?

Well, for the original story of Copper, I planned on just the one. The more I thought about it, I started to see a trilogy. Those three books will tell the whole tale of Ernie and Abigail. Once it is done, it’s done. Their story is complete.

However, I have had an idea to do a couple of spinoffs. One would be the story of Bianca Derosier LaFavilier. It will be just one book and how she became who she is.

The other is a new and fresh series of Everett’s Texas Ranger friend Claude Ackerman. It won’t have anything to do with the supernatural (outside of the first book), but will be more along the lines of a Texas Ranger solving crimes set in Copper, Texas. So far, I have three books in that series roughly written. I am really excited about it!

What kind of research did you do for All the Colors?

I’m not sure. I took my personal experience of traveling and combined it with my love of old western classics, b-movies and their cuisine and mixed them altogether. You can find simple things and make them the center of attention or at least conversation pieces. That’s what I tried to do with things like the beef jerky or better yet, the concert t-shirts. Those things were like prized possessions when I was a kid. They still have meaning to me.

The gang spends most of their time in Mexico in this book. Have you ever been?

Oh yes, I’ve been to Mexico, but it has been several years ago. I’m not talking just across the border either. I mean, deep inside. We were in Mexico City with our neighbors and spent time in the home of one of the big officials back then. Also spent time in the city of Aquisone. And actually walked the trail up a mountain believe it or not. It was quite an experience and one I remember well. In addition, the last time I was in Mexico was in Matamores for spring break years ago. Seeing what the nightlife was like there was kind of an inspiration for Abigail’s bar.

Are you working on anything now?

In addition to All The Colors, I have released another book. A romantic comedy stand alone called Real Love. It combines my humor and sarcasm and blends it with reality TV, food, Green Bay Packers football, and a guy finding love and dealing with it. It was truly my version of Apocalypse Now trying to finish it, but I wouldn’t let anything stop me. It has my heart in it totally.

My next release is a tale of stalking and what people post on the internet that causes that called Nocturnal Submission. Turns out stalking is the least threatening situation for the heroine.

Also, I am finishing up on the third and final story of the Copper, Texas trilogy which will be entitled Along The Blacktop Road. Both of those will be out next year (2016).

Texas musician Johnny Falstaff features in each of your books. Does music inspire you to write?

Oh yes. Music influences a bunch of my writing. I used to write music reviews for several magazines years ago. I’ve actually made playlist soundtracks of the songs that influence me in my writing. I can hear certain songs in my head of different genres as I write. Honky tonk, metal, punk and old school jazz—the Miles Davis stuff– it doesn’t matter. It fits what I write. Listening to them as I write, it’s like I have a movie in my mind as I type away. Other times, I have it blasting away in my ears when I go walking in the park. That helps really think deep about what I’m writing.

Johnny Falstaff is a helluva guy and a helluva musician. His style of music fits perfectly with the way I write. He is one of a few that really fit with my writing. I concentrated on him because he is a really interesting person and played a very entertaining caricature of himself in the movie Honky-Tonk Blood. He’s a great guy, hated to paint him as a sinister bastard, but it fit.

What fuels your writing?

Passion for telling a good story. To provide a tale that will take the reader out of this world and on a journey. If you ask my editor, he’ll tell you food, lol! I have a habit of bringing in food to all my stories as well! All different kinds! I can’t help it.

In each of my books, there has been something I heard about or came up with an idea that I just went crazy with. For example, the whole Mexico journey. For a teenager that has never been too far away from home, that was quite the journey. I used it. My love for rockabilly music really fueled the story of Copper. All my dating experience fueled Real Love, but I have never dated a reality show person. It was just a good format.

Tell us about your writing hideout.

That’s like asking Superman to tell you about the Fortress of Solitude. Can’t really do that. That’s where the secrets are. I will say it is surrounded by countless CDs, scraps of paper, notebooks and a computer. It’s nothing lavish like The Man of Steel has, but it will suffice for now! Also, walking at the park gives me tremendous amounts of time to develop my stories.

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