Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Interview with Tom Vater, Author of The Monsoon Ghost Image
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.
Books: The Devil's Road to Kathmandu, The Cambodian Book of the Dead, The Man with the Golden Mind, The Monsoon Ghost Image
Did you like crime fiction when you were growing up?
Yes, I read crime novels from a young age, starting with the classics like Arthur Conan Doyle and pulps like Edgar Wallace.
What was the first story in that genre that you wrote?
The first story I wrote in the crime fiction novel was my first novel, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu, published in 2005 and still in print with Crime Wave Press and in a Spanish translation.
What is your favorite part of writing in this genre?
I guess crime fiction, especially Noir fiction, lends itself to explore the darker side of ourselves.
What do you find most difficult about writing in this genre?
Finding an idea good and durable enough to invest six months into.
Is there an author in this genre that you admire most?
Countless authors – David Goodis, Jim Thompson, Ross McDonald are amongst my faves.
What is up next for you?
I have just published my fourth novel, The Monsoon Ghost Image, with Crime Wave Press. One of my short stories, "To Kill an Arab", will be out in an American published anthology soon.
Do you have anything to add?
The crime fiction market is flooded with cozies and Lee Child-type adventures. I’d like to see more mysteries anchored in the real world, warts and all.
Thanks for the interview.