Thursday, November 6, 2014

Author Interview: Charles L. Mahoney author of The Gray Hound

Charles L. Mahoney, author of the book The Gray Hound, stopped by for an interview.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I didn't read a whole lot of books, but one book that I picked up after college was - The Way of The Peaceful Warrior. Years later it was made into a pretty good movie with Nick Nolte. It is the kind of book that will change your life,probably why it's been around for so long. I really liked what it was all about.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I was inspired - as I always am - by real life heroes. In Phoenix, 1976 (the same time setting as my novel) there was a reporter killed in a bomb blast of his car. This reporter had a knack for writing about corruption, and ultimately he paid the price for the truth with his own life. In my novel, I have a reporter with this kind of heart. My favorite chapter comes later on when the FBI visits him at his paper. He turns the tables on them in a scene with a lawyer that I really love. The chapter after that is fun too because he gets back at the FBI even more, stands his ground. There's a lot I like about all the chapters but those two are my favorite.

How did you come up with the title?

The Gray Hound is taken from the Greyhound male ‘dog’ - or female ‘bitch’. The investigative reporter is looking into what he thinks is the killing of greyhounds for their meat - to be put in the hotdogs buns after they run a race. His publisher attempts to dissuade him from further investigating the racetrack by telling him that they only print in black and white – “nothing ever in gray.” Later, the investigative reporter is called a hound simply because he won’t give up in his search for the truth.

Who designed your cover?

I had an artist do an original portrait that now hangs on my wall. In the background is the Arizona state flag in gray scale, and inside the star is ‘Ditat Deus’ – which is a motto on the state seal that means, in latin – God Enriches.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am a visual writer. I see the scenes and hear the dialogue. It’s challenging to transfer it from my head to paper, which is why I try to rewrite a whole lot. This is so with the info I have learned, I can apply it after I start over, trying to improve my work.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. The theme is corruption. Specifically: the protagonist thinks he knows what corruption is, but he really doesn’t know until the FBI lays it out for him. Under the prose, in certain areas, I speak of repentance.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Aside from the actual day to day work, my challenge is myself. I don’t think that I’m talented enough of a writer to look at what the market wants, what the masses are reading - and give them the right book that will be a best seller. I can only write what I think really happened, and sometimes that doesn’t equate to the market. The Gray Hound as well as my first novel, Story of The Ghost, are about as original in storylines as books can get – but that doesn’t necessarily mean the market will love them.

The Crime & Reports section of The Arizona Standard newspaper is frustratingly normal – and a little “too soft” for one dogged investigative reporter. With the population in Phoenix pushing one million and the crime rate in steep decline, the time feels right to take a stance on corruption; hard evidence in hand or not. The year is 1976 and the celebration of the Bicentennial is in full swing. All crime is regulated on the western front. That is, until the day arrives for the much anticipated Bicentennial Edition of The Standard, the last issue before a major change is to take place. For what he believes to be his “last hurrah,” Lech Paulowski takes over the front page in order to publish names and faces and crime histories for a select few members of the Mob, linking them all to a greyhound racetrack, and ultimately to a wealthy member of old Arizonan society – a man who prefers  to remain untouched inside the barb wire of his isolated desert compound. Corruption is the theme of the second novel by Charles L. Mahoney, author of the literary debut: Story of The Ghost. But is corruption really what it’s all about? Will Lech learn the FBI’s definition and take it to heart? Will he go the proverbial ‘extra-mile’  when pushed to the brink? In true Thiller fashion, The Gray Hound is designed to keep readers guessing from page to page. Nothing is as it seems, even up until the last chapter, the final word.

About the author:

Charles L. Mahoney is the author of the literary novel, Story of The Ghost. His second novel, an FBI/Mob Thriller called The Gray Hound will be released on 12/15/14. Look for Story of The Ghost to hit theaters in late 2016, complete with an alternate football game ending and one incredible music score.

The former collegiate football player turned novelist lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife Elizabeth, one 'cool kid' and two completely spoiled dogs.


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