Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Larsen

Into the FirePDB: What’s going on now?

My novel INTO THE FIRE is being released by Crime Wave Press later this month. It’s about a screenwriter who uses a real life incident to introduce his latest femme fatale. Bad idea it turns out. Right now I’m working on a baby boom memoir. I started BOOM a few years back as an exercise in memory and at 1500 pages I find my memory is pretty good. Getting it published might prove problematic. Getting it read, for that matter.

PDB: How did you research this book?

I lived in the Pennsport section of South Philadelphia for ten years, then Lambertvile NJ for fifteen. Both figure prominently in INTO THE FIRE. My characters are based on people I know in both places. At 25 years I think I have it covered.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

In 2004 my short story “Lids” was featured in Best American Mystery Stories between a Stephen King and a Joyce Carol Oates. But I’m most proud of my novels. FLAWED – a fake kidnapping/art theft romp and INTO THE FIRE – payback is a bitch (named Karen Finley).

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

I love this question. My favorite movie is Member of the Wedding. Julie Harris just kills me. Favorite book? Where to begin? City of Thieves by David Benoitt has to rank. Anything by Richard Price or Alice Munro. My favorite tune is Blues In by Art Pepper. And, of course, The Wire was the best thing that ever happened to television.


PDB: Is location important to your writing?

It’s huge. I grew up in the suburbs so living in South Philadelphia was a revelation. I’d never experienced the feeling of community that comes with a row house neighborhood. Mine, at least. I couldn’t help but write about it. We moved away 20 years ago but all our neighbors are still on the block. I live in Delaware now but we’re moving back to Pennsport as soon as we sell the house.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

I didn’t know you could.

PDB: What’s Next?

Next is trying to get all 80 of my short stories published. I’m halfway there.