About the Author
While David Carnoy lives in New York City with his wife and children, his novels take place in Silicon Valley, where he grew up and went to high school (Palo Alto). His debut novel, Knife Music (2010), was a Top-10 bestseller on the Kindle and also a bestseller on the Nook. More medical thriller than high-tech thriller, to research the novel Carnoy spent a lot of time talking with doctors, visiting trauma centers, and trailed a surgeon at a hospital in Northern California to help create the book’s protagonist, Dr. Ted Cogan.
The Big Exit (2012) isn’t a sequel to Knife Music per se. However, a few of the characters from Knife Music figure prominently in the story. His second novel has more of a high-tech slant and reflects Carnoy’s experiences as an executive editor at CNET.com, where he currently works and is trying to resolve his obsession with consumer electronics products. He went to college at Wesleyan University and has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.
Let the interview commence!
Go on, hook us: tell us about The Big Exit in one sentence.
A Sinatra impersonator with a troubled past is accused of murdering the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who married his ex-fiancée.
What kind of readers would enjoy your book?
It’s suitable for a general audience, but if you want me to get more specific, I’d say readers who are looking for an “intelligent” crime novel with a touch of humor.
Who has influenced your writing, and how?
My books are tweeners — they’re somewhere between commercial and literary. I like everyone from Truman Capote to Mario Vargas Llosa to George Orwell, Philip Roth, Milan Kundera, and Kurt Vonnegut — just to name a few. And then I read a lot of Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane, and Michael Connelly. Throw some Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock into the mix and that’s where I’m coming from.
When did you know you wanted to become an author? When did you realise it could actually become a reality?
Very early on. Maybe at 9 or 10. After I read the Phantom Tollbooth I wanted to write a book.
Can you share with us one mistake you made along the journey towards publication? If you could, how would you have done things differently?
No real mistakes other than not writing more books faster. I should have finished my first book (Knife Music) a few years earlier. Alas, I also have a pretty good journalism career that got in the way, plus four kids under the age of 10.
Plotter or pantser? Pantser. Have a beginning, something of an end and middle, but little else in between. The characters are the most important. I start with good characters, an interesting crime, and go from there.
Print book or e-book? Both.
Best writing snack? Yogurt.
Favourite holiday? New Year’s Eve.
Most dreaded household chore? I don’t mind anything too much, but if I had to name something, it’s be washing doshes. My first job at 16 was a dishwasher in a cafe in Palo Alto, CA. Not a great job. The sad part was my Dad was one of the owners of the cafe. I should have had a better job, but he liked the idea of having me start at the bottom. It very much was so.
Thank you, David! Now here’s a bit more information about The Big Exit, and how you could grab a copy:
The Big Exit
By the acclaimed author of the remarkable debut novel, Knife Music, The Big Exit is a suspenseful crime novel that keeps the surprises coming right up to the end. Richie Forman is freshly out of prison. By night, he makes a living impersonating Frank Sinatra in San Francisco’s lounges and corporate parties. But then his ex-best friend — the man who stole his fiancée while he was in prison — is found hacked to death in his garage, and Richie is the prime suspect. In a murder mystery with the twists and turns of a microchip, Carnoy weaves his characters like a master. He has written an authentic, unputdownable thriller that is sure to chill and delight.