Tuesday, August 24, 2010

7 Questions: Keith Rawson

Interview by David Cranmer

I don’t see as many Rawson original stories out there these days. Is the editor gig slowing down the author?

I'll answer the last part first because I'm asked it quite a bit. The answer's no. I'm pretty lucky in the fact that I have two partners who are just as passionate about Crimefactory as I am, so the weight of the magazine is far from entirely on my shoulders. Working on CF does take up time, but not as much as the author interviews and reviews I do for BSCreview and Spinetingler does (which I've had to back off on lately because of stress at the day job, family and other writing/editing projects) But I have a lot of fun working on Crimefactory.

The other reason you're not seeing a lot of stories from me these days is because just like every other writer out there, I'm working on longer projects. The first is a novel and it's been taking up the bulk of my writing time, the second is an original short story collection that I've been chipping away at since the beginning of the year. (by the way, neither project can be clearly defined as crime fiction) So, I've been doing plenty of writing just not all that much that I've been sending out. I have completed a few new short stories lately so those will be making the rounds and I've been thinking about sending a few of the stories from the collection out to the online zines and college journals.

Why did you choose a print anthology over an e-book.

To be honest with you, we really had no intention of publishing CF as anything other than a PDF to begin with. It was Dave Zeltserman who suggested that we offer the zine in Kindle format (yeah, I owe Dave a keg of beer for all the advice he's dispensed to me over the past few years) in an attempt to monetize. I ran the idea past Cam and we decided what the hell and posted issue 1 to Amazon.

With the anthology, it'll most likely be offered in e-format along with a print edition. But when I came up with the idea of putting together an all original stories anthology under the CF banner, I wanted it to go through a publisher who could distribute it to the indie bookstores and brick and mortar chains (although selling through stores like Barnes and Noble is a pretty shitty deal if you're a small publisher. You're basically giving your product away with all the discounts they expect.) as opposed to putting it out myself. Don't get me wrong, I would have had no problem going the lulu/createspace route if no publisher would touch the anthology. But luckily enough Jon Bassoff over at New Pulp Press was into the idea.

What's the line-up for the anthology?

Since this is for you and Gutter Books, David, I might as well drop the entire line up.

Here we go: Ken Bruen, Adrain Mckinty, Craig Mcdonald, Charlie Stella, Dennis Tafoya, Dave Zeltserman, Roger Smith, Scott Wolven, Patti Abbott, Hilary Davidson, Frank Bill, Dave White, Steve Weddle, Jonathan Woods, Nate Flexer, Kieran Shea, Greg Bardsley, Jedidiah Ayres, Chris F. Holm, Chad Eagleton, Leigh Redhead, Anonymous-9, Jimmy Callaway, Josh Converse, Cameron Ashley and me with a foreword by original Crimefactory founder David Honeybone.

What does David Honeybone think of the new Crimefactory? And is he involved with the zine in any manner?

He's supportive of what we're doing. David has actually had several pieces in the new magazine, including a phenomenal interview with Peter Temple. Originally Cam and I wanted to have David apart of the running of the magazine, but when we started to move forward, David backed off and decide to only participate as a contributor. It was devastating to Cam and it nearly brought the whole project to a screeching halt. Luckily Cam changed his mind and we charged into it full bore and haven't slowed down since.

What is a Rawson guilty pleasure?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit of a Facebook junkie. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the guy who's constantly taking and creating quizzes about his friends or playing Farmville or Mafia wars. But I'll post links to stories and articles that I've run across through out the day (usually the links are crime fiction related) in hopes of creating a dialogue. I like the interaction. The biggest downside of writing is that most of the time you feel like you're living in a black hole and you're completely alone with your thoughts and the words on the page. Sure I have other writers and fans I write back and forth with quite a bit, but sometimes I want a broader range of opinions. The only problem is that social networking is like crack (I swear there are some folks who spend all day doing nothing but post to Facebook and Twitter and I wonder how they get anything done?) and if I don't watch myself I'll spend hours and hours on it and not even notice. So I've been limiting myself to it an hour or so after I get off work and ten or fifteen minutes before I go to bed.

What current writer inspires you and why?

That's a tough question because quite a few writers, both friends or otherwise, inspire me for different reasons. There's folks like Frank Bill, Hilary Davidson, and John Rector who for me are proof if you bust your ass and believe in what you're doing that eventually you'll see a positive end result from all your hard work, I can say the same of Dave Zeltserman, who's been at it for years and is just now starting to get the recognition he deserves. Folks like Kieran Shea, Patti Abbot, Jedidiah Ayres, Steve Weddle, Christopher Grant, and Jimmy Callaway inspire me because they have no issue at being my sounding boards and making me take a look at things from a different angle. Then there are writers like Ken Bruen, Daniel Woodrell, Al Guthrie, and Charlie Stella, whose books make me want to write and be a writer when I read them.

I'm sure there are a dozen other writers I could name who get me revved up, but, damn who has the time?

What can piss you off faster than anything?

Everything pisses me off. Hell, even as I sit here writing this I'm pissed that you asked me about what pisses me off.


I'm actually a pretty laid back guy and it takes a lot to get me really steamed up. Now, I'll be the first to admit that 2010 has been an angry little year for me for a number of reasons, but I don't think there's any one thing in particular that sets me off more than others.


  1. Great interview guys. Very insightful. You guys put a lot of man hours and effort into both you e-zines. Respect to that and good luck to Keith with his 'longer' projects.


  2. Splendid interview.
    It's about two years since I staggered into Keith over at My Space (Whatever Happened To ...)

    He pointed me toward a whole new world and is one of the people responsable for me writing after about 30 years of procrastination. He's a diamond geezer, as they say in the Guy ritchie films.Talented bastard too!

  3. Sounds like a bang up collection of authors. I"m only just beginning to become familiar with some of them

  4. somewhere, somebody's buffing up a fine looking karmic halo for KR.

  5. Good interview. Great info and props for all the work on Crime Factory.

  6. Bravo Keith and David for a great interview!

  7. Good to get a better glimpse at the Crimefactory foreman. Thanks for the banter, both of you.

    I still want to know what makes Rawson Hulk out, though.

  8. Great interview. That anthology sounds fantastic.

    And I really appreciate all the effort both of you put into your respective publications. It shows in the final product.

  9. Keith is that blessing when you need it most, a great supporter and a writer to be admired and followed. Awesome interview David!

  10. Well done all around. Add me to the chorus of folks who're mighty appreciative of the both of you.

  11. I'm glad everyone enjoyed the interview and the kind words are much appreciated.

    But it always comes down to the answers. So, a big thanks to Mr. Rawson.

  12. Both of you are just so darn likable. Isn't the Internet a crazy thing? It's like going to your other home.

  13. Thanks, everyone for the comments and David thanks for making me sound far more interesting than I actually am

  14. Keith Your amazing and an inspiration to us all.

  15. Rawson, you're a class act, I'll tell ya.

  16. Ooh, Callaway had his fingers crossed! But it's true what he said anyway.

  17. hey keith, fun to get a peek inside your head and to see you on the other side of the questions! nice job

  18. Rawson is an overstuffed blowhard and a royal pain in the ass. Well...that is not true: I just always felt like saying that about someone. The truth is Keith is a tireless champion of new writing and a joy to talk to. If anyone deserves to make some big bucks from the revolution in how we get out stories it should surely be him. and beside, anyone who can produce a child as lovely as his daughter deserves grande kudos.