Not Quite 20 Questions with Batt Humphreys

Batt Humphreys, Dead Weight, SIBA Fiction nominee escaped ex-journalist from New York back in the South still chasing headlines, now in Fiction. He’s looking for a little ‘inspiration’.

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Favorite book as a child?  
A fond memory is my mother’s voice reading and doing the dialect from Uncle Remus.  Perhaps not politically correct but if re-examined is a true Southern Aesop.

What are you reading right now?  
Mainly research on my next novel set in WW2. But for a bedside pickup there’s always Raymond Chandler.

Share a favorite segment from your book…  
In this light she was seductive, a little worn perhaps, a bit past her prime, but still radiating a tangible heat that made you want to fall into her arms.

Why that title?  
Dead Weight is rather intricate to the story. You see, it’s a particular form of execution used at the time and used on the main character.

Why independent bookstores matter?   
Without Indy’s I would not be here, as a guest, or an author. Without Indy’s there is no hope, no prayer for an emerging author.

Favorite part of writing a book?  
After a career in journalism, fiction. Creating characters, killing characters, romancing the characters.  Being the god of a created universe.

Least favorite part of writing a book?  
Dang, sometimes it really feels like work.

Are you working on anything new?  
Yes. Exciting, based on true story, sexy spy thriller at start of WW2, begins in Charleston, moves to the South Pacific. It’s a huge true story missed by this generation.

Do you have any superstitions, lucky charms, or rituals around your writing?  
I write in my boxers and cowboy boots.

Comment on the writing life…  
Love your work, and love people, because sometimes writing is the easy part of the process. If you don’t like going out and really connecting with readers, try WalMart, or CBS.

Hardest part of the creation to publication experience?  
Ego. Put it in a box. Editors/Publishers-‘send lawyers, guns and money ‘cause the s**t will hit the fan.’

Why do you write?  
Of the things that I’ve been paid to do, it is the greatest thrill.

When do you write? 
When forced to. I don’t wake up in the morning with the joy to write, let’s face it, it’s work. My ‘sweet spot’ in the diurnal cycle, after midnight.

When did you know you were a writer?
Never thought about it, until Dan Rather turned to me one day after my bon mots made him break-up on air and said, “Humphreys, you’re a damned fine writer.”

What, or Who, will you dish on, as in gossip about? 
Some fine network correspondents, and a lot of network nit-wits, a few road stories of ignominious authors.
What would make you a scintillating dinner guest?  My boxer shorts and cowboy boots.

What is your drink of choice?  
A Chateau Lafite ’61.. please who can afford that, except Nick Sparks maybe.  Bourbon, on the rocks for me please.

What is your favorite food?  
I like to cook and prefer what I grow (or shoot) at home in the lines of the slow food movement.