Hello there everyone, so good to see you all again.
Let’s kick off the start of the week with another fantastic Author Interview with a very knowledgeable man, who has a varied career as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair!
May I introduce you all to author Dwayne Clayden, as he takes us on a thrilling journey into the adventures of his books and he kindly shares some of his own writing life too.
Thanks for reading and have a lot of fun learning more about him as well, friends 🙂
Hi there Dwayne, a sincere pleasure to have you here today to discuss your crime thriller releases, along with your own passions, influences, and writing experiences.
Let’s start first with your crime thriller books themselves “The Brad Coulter Series”, which includes your debut novel “Crisis Point” and its sequel “Outlaw MC” which are already published and the third book in the series “Wolfman is Back”, which was just released on November 7th, 2019. Tell us more about the plot and themes of this series, along with giving us some background information on what is at stake for your protagonists and antagonists in each book.
Crisis Point introduces the main character, Brad Coulter. He is a young cop who has been on the street for four years. He is keen and enthusiastic, but he is up against police management that is stuck in the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality.
When his partner is killed during an armed robbery, Brad Coulter is left grappling with the loss, along with a sudden burst of criminal activity in his quiet city. His new partner is a bitter veteran who challenges Coulter as he lands a spot on the newly developed Tactical Support Unit.
Between a violent shootout with a lone gunman high on glue, and a confrontation with a deadbeat father and abusive husband, Coulter and the TSU become experienced in managing extreme cases. But nothing can prepare them for the real crisis point that will forever change the face of a city and the cops that patrol its streets.
Two years later, Brad Coulter is now the Sergeant of the Tactical Support Unit. Coulter and his partner, Sam Steele, are first on the scene of a double homicide which turns out to be an outlaw motorcycle gang assignation.
As an explosive war between rival motorcycle gangs takes hold of the city, Sergeant Brad Coulter and his partner struggle to maintain law and order.
The war spins out of control in the streets. At stake is the domination of the city’s profitable drug and prostitution trade. No one is safe – not children, not judges, and definitely not cops. Coulter is about to find that out the hard way.
The violence is destroying the city, but the solution to stopping the war may bring an even greater threat. With everything to lose, Coulter and his team take the fight to the streets and face devastating consequences.
Wolfman is Back
Jeter Wolfe is a biker from OutlawMC who is severely injured at the end of the novel. He is later found guilty of rape and murder and sent to prison for fifteen years.
When Jeter Wolfe escapes maximum security prison, he embarks on an elaborate revenge fantasy against everyone who put him behind bars.
Detective Brad Coulter discovers the Wolfman’s primary target: Crown Prosecutor Jenny Blighe. But when Wolfe’s plans are interrupted, this predator can’t contain his violence for long, and the city soon sees the shocking results.
Coulter and his taskforce track the former enforcer of the Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Gang with everything they have as he stalks his prey, but how do you hunt a hunter? As Coulter closes in on Wolfe, everything he loves is on the line.
If you could invite any one of your characters to dinner, which one would it be and what would you cook for them?
I’d invite my main character, Brad Coulter, and his two best friends, Sam Steele and Charlie Zerr (also cops) for beers and steak. We’d sit on the back deck and tell wild stories and mock each other.
Without any specific spoilers, after Wolfman is Back (novel three), Brad will need to lean on them a lot. Of course, he will fight that, but being the good friends they are, they will figure out how to help Brad.
If any of your novels were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
While I am writing, I cast most of the characters. I’m very visual as I write, so it helps to have an image of the character in mind.
Brad Coulter would be Bradley Cooper (because a young Clint Eastwood is not available!)
If I could, I’d bottle up a few gallons of Bruce Willis’s sarcasm to add in.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
Hadn’t thought of this before, but I’d go with a Wolfe. My writing is about the predator (sometimes the protagonist, sometimes the antagonist). It’s about being fearless despite the threats or odds, never quitting, but coming out scarred in the end.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing?
I hope my writing comes across as genuine. I try to have my characters, particularly the police, act and react in the way they would in real life. The banter between partners and the cops, in general, is sarcastic, always looking for the right buttons to push. But when the sh*t hits the fan, they bond together and have each other’s backs.
The novels are fast-paced and make it hard for readers to put down. The readers get very emotionally involved in the characters and have very visceral reactions when life is tough for the protagonist.
Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
The most common theme in my writing is based on a writing premise, that if your protagonist has something, take it away. If he needs something, don’t let him have it. I make life very tough for my protagonists. Through the series readers will see the toll that the job has on police officers and paramedics – in work, personal lives, emotionally, physically and mentally.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Hardest – Keeping the writing momentum going is a challenge. Some days it is just not there. As well, there are so many other things involved in writing that take away from writing – social media and social media presence, marketing, everything involved with printing the novel, and they all become distractions to what I want to do – which is write.
Easiest – I have so many potential novels in my head, so many plots, so many stories or new series that I may never get to them all.
Do you listen to music when you are writing and if so, then what type of music do you listen to?
I like to have some noise while I am writing.
For music, it is Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Elton John, Billy Joel or Meatloaf, with the occasional Bob Seger. If I need to amp up the action in the novel, it will be Meatloaf.
What I am writing or where I am in the story has an impact on what I listen to. While I was writing OutlawMC, which is about outlaw motorcycle clubs, I had the TV Sons of Anarchy playing on the TV. When I heard some good dialogue or an interesting plot thread, I’d stop writing and see what I could glean from it.
When I’m in an emotional section of the novel, I’ll listen to rain and thunderstorms.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
A lot of what I write is by applying first-hand knowledge. I take an idea, reshape it into my own version of events, and then insert what I know. I have some great police and paramedic friends who answer questions on procedure when I get stuck. Google is great for finding details about weapons and police tactics. I’m a bit surprised that my browsing history hasn’t put up any red flags. Or has it?
For OutlawMC, I read a dozen books on outlaw motorcycle gangs and talked to some former guns and gang detectives.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I love to read and always have. I also like to tell jokes and tell stories. From my 40-year career in emergency services, I have lots of stories and have heard twice as many from other cops and paramedics. In my teens I wrote a couple of short stories and created a set of characters for a “The Saint” type novel series. I’ve co-authored four paramedic textbooks, but in 2010 I needed a hobby and decided to try writing. Now it’s my full-time passion.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
After almost forty rejections from publishers for Crisis Point, I was ready to quit writing. Crisis Point was a 2015 finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Awards. But I still didn’t land a publisher. It was either quit or publish myself and keep writing. I am so glad I kept going because I am obsessed with writing.
Now I get emails and texts from readers who love the novels and want to know when the next book is out. I have to keep writing for them. I’ve even had people message me on Facebooks saying, “I see you are on Facebook, why aren’t you writing. I’m waiting for your next novel!”
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start writing sooner! In high school, I loved to write spoofs with sarcasm – like Saturday Night Live skits and MAD magazine spoofs. I wish I’d kept that going. I really wish I could find that edge I had then. I think the sarcasm is still in play!
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I still love to read and finish a novel a week. Sometimes writing gets in the way, and I won’t read for a week or two, but I catch up quite quickly.
I coach High School football in the fall. I lead the Calgary Crime Writers group. We have monthly meetings and share our experiences writing and have some awesome guest speakers. On October 30, we are going on a Ghost Tour in Calgary, Alberta.
I love warm weather vacations with Valerie and spending time with our Golden retriever, Boone.
What are your views on audiobooks and would you consider having your novels made into audiobooks?
I’d love to have my novels as audiobooks. Now that I have three novels published, it is time to revisit that.
If so, then who would you get to narrate them?
I’m told that I have a good voice and that when I do a reading, all the characters come to life, and readers clearly see them in their minds. I think that would be fun, but I don’t know I could stay in the all the character’s voices for 360 pages!
I have listened to audiobooks with Joe Mantegna (David Rosso on Criminal Minds) narrating, and I think he’d be great for my novels. I have a very good friend, Don Sharpe, who also has a perfect voice for audio.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
The Brad Coulter series will continue for 10-20 novels – as long as readers still like them. The original idea was what could my police career have looked like if I’d stayed a police officer and not become a paramedic. The possibilities are endless. Initially, I planned a ten-novel series, but now I have ideas for twenty or more.
I just completed a fourth novel called Speargrass – Opioid. This is a new series based in Montana and deals with the opioid crisis in Great Falls and a nearby fictional First Nation, Speargrass. Right now, I see that as a four-novel series. But who knows!
I have several short stories in the works, one, Heritage, NWT, involves time travel to the early 1900s. ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ was my first short story about a down on his luck hard-boiled detective in what I hope to be a series. The second short, is titled, “The Laughing Dog’, which is a valuable painting that is stolen, and the PI is hired to get it back.
I have several other ideas for police procedurals that may end up being scripts, rather than novels.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Follow your dream – write! Follow your gut and write what you want to write. Then write, write, write.
Don’t stop writing. On those days you don’t want to write, write anyway. When you do your edit, you aren’t likely to remember or see what days were your bad days. It’s more important to keep writing that first draft then to stop trying to find the perfect word, sentence, paragraph, or chapter.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for spending time with us Dwayne, we look forward to getting stuck into your all your thrilling novels soon!
Dwayne Clayden combines his knowledge and experience as a police officer and paramedic to write crime thrillers. His first novel, Crisis Point, was a finalist for the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award.
Dwayne’s vast experience in emergency services spans over 40 years, and includes work as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair.
He is a popular speaker at conferences and to writing groups presenting on realistic police, medical and paramedic procedures.
The co-author of four paramedic textbooks, he has spoken internationally at EMS conferences for the past three decades.
You can connect with him via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Dwayne Clayden – Author (FB)
Facebook Author Page:- Dwayne Clayden – FB Author Page
Instagram:- @dwayneclaydenauthor (Instagram)
LinkedIn:- Dwayne Clayden – Author (LinkedIn)
Twitter:- @DwayneClayden (Twitter)
You can buy his books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.