Monday, March 5, 2012

Fast Five Interview with Author Erik Hanberg

Today's guest is Erik Hanberg, author of The Marinara Murders. He is the Executive Director of a civic non-profit and sits on the distribution committee for a foundation that gives away more than $200,000 a year. Erik lives in Tacoma Washington with his wife Mary, where in addition to writing novels, he is a Park Commissioner.

Good Morning, Erik. Welcome and thank you for visiting today. Rather than an “elevator pitch” of 140 characters, can you share with us a more detailed account of this novel?

ERIK HANBERG: The Marinara Murders is about a mother and son detective team. Arthur Beautyman is a detective who was fired from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for a case gone terribly wrong. He’s taken up in his mom’s basement, and she’s trying to get him out of it and employed again.

Her solution: that her son should take a case for her close friend, whose grandson has disappeared. Eventually, they team up to solve the case, as they go deeper and deeper into a world of blackmail, murder, and extortion.


FAST FIVE: Is “the job” the most important part of your protagonist’s life?

ERIK HANBERG: Ruth Beautyman and her son Arthur each have lives outside of “the job.” For Ruth, she’s active in church, plays bridge, and is working on her memoirs. Arthur is a computer hacker—just don’t tell his mom that—and he’s starting to realize that maybe he needs a little more in life. Part of his journey in the book is coming to understand that he’s been hiding in mom’s basement for too long and that he needs to get a life. His bigger journey in the book is discovering that his mom is a full person with her own life.


FAST FIVE: The Mystery/Suspense genre is the focus of Fast Five interviews, but what unique twist makes your novel stand out?

ERIK HANBERG: As a mother/son detective team, Ruth and Arthur Beautyman are a unique pair. His hacking skills sometimes help him find clues, but he has to keep the true source of the information hidden from his mom. Ruth meanwhile brings to the case an extensive network of friends, all of whom are able to shed some light on the case. Eventually, they start to differ on the true nature of the crime, and begin their own separate, competing investigations.


FAST FIVE: How does your main character’s profession draw her into suspenseful situations, (murder, for instance?)

ERIK HANBERG: With Ruth’s son a former detective and a computer hacker, she’s able to learn details of the case—even if she doesn’t always know where he got the information.


FAST FIVE: Ruth and Arthur Beautyman make up an effective detective team that could head some interesting investigations. Is this book part of a series, and are you working on a sequel?

ERIK HANBERG: The Marinara Murders is the first book in a series about Beautyman & Beautyman Investigations. It has a prequel on the Kindle called The Saints Go Dying, that details the case that got Arthur thrown off the force. Currently, I am working on a short story that follows this book, as well as another full-length sequel.


FAST FIVE: I am looking forward to reading more about the investigations of Beautyman and Beautyman. This last is not a Fast Five question, more an “if/then” scenario: If Paris is not an option, then where would you most like to spend your time writing and why.

ERIK HANBERG: Venice! Always Venice.


Learn more about author Erik Hanberg and his novels through the following links:

Twitter: @erikhanberg

Erik Hanberg novels:

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