Angus Vieira is an author I met by way of mutual friend, screenwriter/poet Wally Lane. We read each other’s books and connected on Facebook. To say that he is an ‘interesting’ man would not do him justice. He is a unique blend of sexy and sassy, raunchy and sagely, and someone who does not mince words.
See what I mean by reading more about the one and only, Angus Vieira.
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Welcome Angus! Tell my readers how your best friend would describe you.
An iconoclastic, smutty mouthed ethical slut with a lot of energy and a facile wit who is loyal and trustworthy to his friends.
Nice description. Are you a full time writer?
I am a retired Merchant Marine so writing is now my primary occupation and it’s a very good thing I have a small pension because I love the job, but the pay and benefits suck so far.
Ha, tell me about it! What is your greatest extravagance?
Well I spend money to keep my 68 Skylark convertible in good shape, but if I had more discretionary income, say if my books start to sell better I would like to get back to giving 10% to the arts, including Strippers, brothels and the occasional casino.
I’m positive no one has ever quite said it like that before. 😉 Is there one thing you want to do before you die?
Be part of having one of my books made into a movie.
I think that is many a writer’s dream. Have any favorite curse words?
Well I am trying to break the stereotypical use of the names of Christian deities like Jesus etc. and substitute more pagan Gods and Goddesses like Boanne and Dagda (who were the parents of the mythical Angus) without making it an affectation but generally I stick to the old standbys, fuck, shit and asshole or douche nozzle if you arouse my ire.
I love them all, and they all have their place. Do you have a motto you live by?
It is what it is.
What makes you laugh, and I mean, REALLY laugh?
Many things, especially when I’m a little stoned, but a good fart joke is right up there.
No matter how old we get, fart jokes are always good. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
For my mystery-noir novels I have a muse. The lady who I modeled the primary female character around, a lady named Kate.
I love the name Kate. it has a role in my upcoming book too. What motivates you to write?
The Puget Sound Indian tribes believed, as do many aboriginal peoples who have few or no written records that saying the dead person’s name kept their spirit alive. The thought of people repeating his name made Chief Seattle angry but I kind of like it, and giving people a little different way of looking at the world and the people in it is appeals to me. Since I love books so much, not writing some now that I have the opportunity would be kind of ungrateful.
What a wonderful response, Angus, so eloquently put. Do you have favorite authors and books?
Well I could talk favorite authors for several days, so let me just name some authors of my favorite mystery thriller genre with repeating characters through several books. Dashiell Hammet, James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blasé, John D. McDonald’s Travis McGee, Sir Author Conan Doyle, Sax Roehmer’s Fu Manchu, Chandler, Spillane and on and on to Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow and Leslie Charteris’ The Saint.
Wow, fabulous list and reminds me I need to pick up more books! How would you define your style of writing?
I never thought about that, but I will go with ‘functional realism.’
Ride along with Seattle detective Angus Vieira as he follows a trail of blood and bodies from the Emerald City through the strip joints and brothels of northern Nevada as he tracks a ruthless killer down. (the premiere offering in a new mystery series)
Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?
This reminds me of a favorite quote of my manager, editor, friend Wally Lane, you can make an outline or just wait and your first draft will be your outline, so yes I do but it’s a loose one and subject to changes as the book progresses.
Are you working on a book now?
I am starting to get down to the short strokes of the third book in my ‘Murder’ series that starts with Murder on a Two Lane Road, then Murder on a Small Island, and now Murder and Witches. I would never want to write the same book twice, by which I mean within the structure of a thriller novel I want each perilous situation to be very unique, but to paraphrase a popular movie, there will be blood, and sexual situations frankly described, and likely some shit jokes.
Here is a blurb for Murder on a Small Island which is available on Amazon.
PI Angus Vieira and ex-stripper Kate Hickok, now strip club owner, go after a sleazy mayoral candidate, who is campaigning against local Seattle strip clubs—and threatening Kate’s and her girls’ livelihoods. Angus, with the help of Kate’s girl Friday, Tanya, set up a honey-trap to catch the philandering wannabe-mayor and expose him as the phony he is. But things go monumentally wrong and all Hell breaks loose.
What is your best advice for new authors?
Read as many books as you can find and when you are writing take as much time as you need to get it right. Do not get discouraged because some days will go much better than others when you are starting out, and as long as you write in my case anyway.
Wise words, Angus. What is the genre of your book?
Like my attitude about life, my book is a little hard to fit into a category, but I would call it a Mystery-noir, others have called it an erotic thriller because there is quite a bit of sexual content, but it’s a vital part of the story, if it tends to titillate some readers well that’s all to the good.
Why should people read your book?
Well as hard as it is for me to imagine a life without them in it, a lot of people do not have any friends who have worked in the erotic entertainment industry, or been to a strip club or a brothel and probably have a very distorted idea about the people who make up that part of America. It might make them want to explore that form of entertainment, that is the key word; I hope they find it entertaining.
Absolutely, I learned a lot from reading Murder on a Two Lane Road. How long did it take for you to write it?
The book Murder on a Two Lane Road started out as a travel book I was going to call ‘Lust on a Two Lane Road, a field guide to the brothels of Nevada,’ and to research it I drove a circuit of Nevada visiting and talking to the Owners, when they would talk to me, and the Hookers who worked in all 24 functioning and open Brothels in the state. When I found that the industry had little enthusiasm for a book about itself, I had a flash of inspiration and turned it into a murder mystery. About three years altogether. The second book in the series Murder on a Small Island went a little quicker, say almost two years and I am about a year into writing the third book in the series.
What inspired you to write this book?
Being a bent Judge for a friend who wanted to win an amateur strip contest, the contest ended up in the book fairly accurately described, however with quite a different end to the evening.
Intriguing 😉 Tell us about your road to publication.
I do not know for sure if I would have published any books at all in my life so far without the enthusiastic help, computer expertise and editing of Wally Lane. We met in Pioneer Square at the Central Saloon where the old sea dog owner Ken (Jomo) Ward, a longtime friend of his and he put together a series of poetry slams. I considered the place my alternative living room in those days between sea voyages and evening driving cab and Jomo introduced us because he knew I wrote some poetry and I ended up liking it, and all three of us have been friends ever since.
About a year after that he published my book of poetry, The Snake Swallower of Cochin and other Odd Occupations in 1995. He went on to concentrate more on Screen writing and directed, wrote and filmed the short film ‘Winos and Pigeons’, and I continues my career as a Marine Engineer, but when the murder mystery idea hit me in a motel parking lot in Elko Nevada I called him right then and he said it sounded great and if I wrote it he would help me publish it. He had to learn how to translate a book from/into two different kinds of ‘E’ book also. One reason I would like my books to achieve some financial success is so he gets a share of the compensation. Basically we just started a publishing company from scratch. The lady who created my web site traded the work for the little trailer I lived in out at a nudist camp in Washington State, thank you for a great job Robin Sizemore. And then Julia Lacquement came up with a perfect cover evocative of the best of pulp fiction magazines.
The Snake Swallower of Cochin and other Odd Occupations is described as Poems written at home and abroad by a seafaring man and available via Amazon.
What has the reception been to your books?
The response from the small number of people who have read them having heard about them through mutual friends, word of mouth or my web site have been very positive, one lady down in Arkansas whose sister in law is an old friend of mine liked the first one so much that she ended up editing the second one, thank you Georgiaberry Mobley, but from the major book sellers or the literary community, nary a single word.
What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?
Telling their friends of course, if they like it they might write a review for the Amazon book site or tell me about it on Facebook. But even more important than anything that happens to my books, they should support all women’s right to health care and reproductive rights and the repeal of the draconian laws of America criminalizing sex between consenting adults. It should be legal everywhere, regulated, and supported by health care and worker’s rights. I love hookers but I’m not too crazy about pimps. A brothel owner is not a pimp. There is a big difference there, or should be.
Thank you, Angus for your openness and sharing your views. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round – Go!
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My biggest and best piece of wood sculpture is an eight foot tall cedar log I carved into a totem I call Baphomet, Ganesh and the winged Monkey. I’d risk some singed clothes for it.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Some rainy days I have to fight off the urge to go live in Thailand.
Name a food you can eat everyday. Good cowboy roots, I am a beefeater.
Cat/dog/other pet? Up until I met and lived with my friend Kate and her rabbit I would have said cat, now I think she has turned me into a rabbit guy.
Favorite style of music? The blues.
Ha! Me too. I knew there was a reason I liked you!
The best gift you’ve ever received? My friend Kate convincing me to take acting and screenwriting classes at Shoreline Community College.
Your most guilty pleasure. Spending an afternoon watching Matlock reruns on the Lifetime Channel.
Favorite season. High summer.
Name something you cannot go a day without. The Buddhist chant I do every night before going to sleep.
It’s been a pleasure learning more about you, lovely man. I have no doubt you will continue to pave your own path.
Readers, feel free to say ‘hi’ to Angus and be sure to pick up one of his books!
Connect to Angus
Angus Vieira mystery writer: I grew up in the suburbs around Seattle, Washington. In those dear dead days, before those wooded hills were full of Dot.com millionaires and the tallest building in Bellevue was the four stories dubbed Fredrick and Nelson’s, I spent my youth running in the woods, watching a red tailed hawk raise its young, and living in the exotic romantic foreign lands of my imagination. The latter, fueled by my love of books… the usual suspects, from Kipling and London, through Burroughs and Doyle, Chandler. And then I discovered that girls did indeed smell funny but I liked it, and after that, Henry Miller and D. H. Lawrence led me to love Shakespeare and Dickens, in spite of a concerted effort by the school system to convince me they were boring old requirements by omitting all the sex and violence.
As a teen, I was too busy being a clueless rebel without a cause, to bother watching the movie, but I sure did love Robert Mitchum in Thunder Road. So it isn’t too surprising that getting busted for liking beer and girls and speeding around the back roads of the cascade foot hills late at night led the exasperated local law enforcement community to offer me the choice of six months in the county jail or four years in the Marine Corp. I chose, hugging an M-60 and looking out the window of Med-Evac choppers in Vietnam. At first it was enjoyable, but as I slowly grew a political consciousness, the waste of lives and landscape convinced me that I did not belong in a uniform. I am proud of the one I wore and the men I wore it with; I just don’t march well with others.
Out of uniform, with no readily available civilian jobs for helicopter machine gunners that did not involve wearing a uniform, and still trying to figure out how I felt about the entire south east Asia clusterfuck — something I am still trying to do a little — I discovered that a wonderful vitamin named LSD. And that it made things a little more understandable when ingested with several thousand of my closest friends to the music of Dylan, Hendricks and the like.
I finally lucked into a job with a bunch of other colorful scalawags on a far sailing scientific research vessel during that storied golden age of humanity, when there were no STDs that could not be cured by a trip to a long-suffering union Doctor. Long sea voyages of sobriety and sweaty engine room work punctuated by visits to third world ports, where my monthly wage was more than their citizen’s annual median wage. I behaved with all the sober probity of a roared brothel ballad and do not regret a moment or a farthing.
I bought a small apartment house in Seattle, naming it Palamabron, after the horned pagan god of William Blake’s mythology, and tried my hand, with some success, as poet, sculpture, photographer, and Taxi owner/driver in between long sea voyages, as a Marine engineer. The latter were by far the most lucrative parts of my life, although, as I see it now, inevitably resulted in disastrous effects on my love life.
Poetry was my foremost artistic love, then and now. So, when a friend, and bar owner named Jomo, told me that an old friend of his named Wally was hosting a poetry slam at the Central Saloon once a week and he, Jomo, would pay my admission if I wanted to bring down and read some of the stuff I had been scribbling away at on those voyages. I decided to give it a try.
I had read a few times at my friend Robert Otto Borsodi’s coffee house before he up and moved to NoLa (New Orleans) and once at the local wankers stage at Lolapalooza between acts of Rock and Roll wrestlers MC’d by a fugley Tranny mistress of ceremonies, but that was about it. I found that reading my own poetry before people made me more nervous than dancing around naked in front of them, but was also more exhilarating.
That night I met the slam’s host Wally Lane, who was also publishing some books of local poetry and we kind of hit it off. He published a book of my poetry in 1995. The Snake Swallower of Cochin and other odd occupations and we remain friends and collaborators still.
When steel deck plates and ladders eventually took their toll on my knees and ankles and
I — amazed as I was — realized that, against some fairly long odds, I had lived long enough and slowed down enough, to return to my first love of writing books… Wally was the one I called from the parking lot of a motel in Elko Nevada with the idea for a murder mystery, set in the west’s strip clubs and brothels and staring a fictional version of myself, and another good friend of mine. Wally said, “Sounds like it could be interesting, now all you gotta do is write it.” – I’m just finishing up book three as I write this.
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