We chat with author Jeffrey B. Burton about his latest novel, The gardians, which is the next installment in the Mace Reid K9 series, starring Vira, a golden retriever cadaver dog and her handler, Mason Reid.

Hi Jeffrey! Tell our readers a little about yourself!

Although born in Long Beach, California, I am truly a Minnesotan because my parents came back to the glacier when I was two years old. I was an avid ski enthusiast in my youth, but still managed to get a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota (and remained a die-hard Gopher football fan). I live in Saint-Paul with my wife, Cindy, a furious Pomeranian named Lucy, and a merry galoot of a beagle named Milo.

Quick flash tour! Tell us about the first book you remember reading, the one that made you want to be an author and that you can’t stop thinking about!

My grandfather lent me his Louis L’Amour books when I was in elementary school. He claimed to have all the Louis L’Amour books (no one has all the Louis L’Amour books), but really meant he had all of the ones that were sold on the display at the local pharmacy. Grandpa and Louis L’Amour made me a lifelong bookworm.

I can’t get books like Catch-22, a flight over a cuckoo’s nest, a confederation of dunces, and most of Ray Bradbury’s stuff out of my mind, but it was reading Stephen King as a kid that got me thinking about being an author.

I could quote a dozen mysterious writers that I am, but if you’re able to pull the rug out from under me with a twist I’ve never seen coming, it makes perfect sense, I’ll love you forever. .

When was the first time you discovered your love of writing?

I started writing short stories and realized that the ones that sold quickly were the horror genre. I found myself laughing uncontrollably every time I took something so inherently absurd and turned it into something believable and scary. Laughter wasn’t because it was funny. It was because I had succeeded.

The gardians is the second installment of your Mace Reid K-9 Mystery series and it’s out now! If you could only describe it in five words, what would they be?

Dogs against corruption in big cities.

What can readers expect?

Let me steal a quote from the Library Journal: “A quick tale of an ordinary man and his extraordinary dogs.”

Did anything in particular inspire the premise of The gardians?

The novel is set in Chicago, a city with a notoriously turbulent past.

Can you tell us about the challenges you encountered while writing and how you were able to overcome them?

Covid messed up being invited to book clubs. I love book clubs, not only because of the great exchange, but also because they offer me appetizers, desserts. . . and alcohol. Usually meetings last a long time because it takes me a while to finish that third slice of apple crisp.

Here is 2021 back to normal.

Are there any favorite moments or characters that you really enjoyed writing about or exploring?

Sue, the male German Shepherd of Mace Reid (Reid is the protagonist of my dog ​​handler), has become my favorite character. He’s the dominant male of the pack strutting in front of Reid’s trailer, his torso bulging, presenting Old Testament-style editorials about passing cars, squirrels and rabbits, postmen, the doorbell. and the sound of toast rising. Sue isn’t much of a human remains detection dog, but she scares any traders who might stop.

What’s the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever received?

I signed my first book contract with a publisher from whom I had taken the name of one of the Writers Market books. I thought the publishers listed in Writers Market had all been checked. My boy, I was wrong.

See also

The best advice was to get an agent, which is no easy task, but they open doors.

Now some advice from you! What advice would you give to aspiring mystery and thriller writers?

You better be a major bookworm in the mystery and thriller genre. Read, read, and read again.

What’s the next step for you?

Losers (3rd in Finders series) will be released in June 2022. I am currently struggling like crazy to finish editing the novel.

Finally, do you have any book recommendations for our readers?

I tripped over Steve Cavanagh’s Defense as well as that of Peter Swanson The kind worth killing. Cavanagh writes legal thrillers and Swanson writes domestic / Hitchcock-style thrillers. Since reading those novels, I have since gobbled up everything the two of them wrote.

Will you pick up The gardians? Tell us in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.