Monday, June 19, 2017
Interview with Tom Vater, Author of The Man with the Golden Mind
Tom Vater has written non-fiction and fiction books, travel guides, documentary screenplays, and countless feature articles investigating cultural and political trends and oddities in Asia.
His stories have appeared in publications such as The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times, Marie Claire, Penthouse and The Daily Telegraph.
He co-wrote The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature documentary on the CIA’s secret war in Laos which has been broadcast in 25 countries. His bestselling book Sacred Skin (www.sacredskinthailand.com), the first English language title on Thailand’s sacred tattoos, has received more than 30 reviews.
Tom’s work has led him across the Himalayas, given him the opportunity to dive with hundreds of sharks in the Philippines, and to witness the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of people in the world. On assignments, he has joined sea gypsies and nomads, pilgrims, sex workers, serial killers, rebels and soldiers, politicians and secret agents, artists, pirates, hippies, gangsters, police men and prophets. Some of them have become close friends.
Did you like detective fiction when you were growing up?
I loved Sherlock Holmes from an early age. Growing up in Germany, I was exposed to Karl May’s novels and the 1960s movies based on his work from an early age. May wrote westerns featuring German and Native American heroes. A little later, in my teens, I read cheap pulp magazines like Jerry Cotton.
What was the first story in that genre that you wrote?
Probably my first novel, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu.
What is your favorite part of writing in this genre?
Crime fiction gives me a frame work within which I feel comfortable to spin tales that have little to do with the crime and everything to do with its background and backdrop.
What do you find most difficult about writing in this genre?
Finding a decent publisher.
Is there an author in this genre that you admire most?
What is up next for you?
The Monsoon Ghost Image, the third Detective Maier Mystery. The first two titles were published worldwide by Exhibit A Books and then republished by Crime Wave Press.
Do you have anything to add?
The world is sleazy and mediocre. Crime fiction, like no other genre, has the power to remind us of this.