Thursday 30 June 2011

Jochem Vandersteen interview: Tough As Leather

Tough As Leather by Jochem Vandersteen

Jochem Vandersteen has been writing about Noah Milano for a couple of years now. He's the author of the full-length novel White Knight Syndrome and also the webmaster of the site that spotlights the fictional P.I. at Sons of Spade  and can be reached at

Can you sum up Tough As Leather in no more than 25 words?

This short story collection, with introductions by other authors gives us a glance at how the son of a mobster tries to make an honest living as a security specialist.

How important is a good title?

I think it’s pretty important. Next to the cover it’s the first thing the potential buyer sees. If it’s a hit he will read what the book is about if it’s a miss he won’t.

How important is a book's central character?

For me it’s probably the most important. I love a good recurring character and put a lot of time in thinking about who I wanted my main protagonist Noah Milano to be.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

My strength is to keep the action moving. I’m a big believer in Elmore Leonard’s philosophy of leaving out the parts
readers skip. My weakness is that maybe sometimes I move the story so fast I lose readers who like long descriptions of places and want everything that happens to be written down.

As a reader, how would you describe your taste in crime fiction?

I love series characters and especially the hardboiled kind.

What are you reading now?

Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder, the first Conway Sax novel. It’s a wonderful hardboiled tale with a character that fits in the shamus-mould but is truly unique.

If you had to re-read a crime novel right now, what would you choose?

Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. It’s the perfect modern PI-novel.

What are your views on eBook pricing?

I think it should be priced lower than ‘paper’ books because they cost less to make. I tried to go for a $0.99 price but with added taxes and stuff it now costs $3.44. Still a nice low price.

How do you feel about the ease with which anyone can publish?

I think it’s great that everyone can publish stuff easily. It brings great possibilities to please niche groups of readers, like for instance PI lovers. It IS hard now to get noticed between all new ebooks. I hope the endorsements by well-known PI writers help.

Tough As Leather by Jochem Vandersteen

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