Monday, April 29, 2024

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: THE LITTER by Kevin R. Doyle @GoddessFish


Kevin R. Doyle

GENRE: Horror


They kept to the shadows so no one would know they existed, and preyed on the nameless who no one would miss. Where did they come from, and who was protecting them? In a city that had seen every kind of savagery, they were something new, something more than murderous. And one woman who had thought she had lost everything there was to lose in life would soon find that nothing could possibly prepare her for what would come when she entered their world.

Purchase THE LITTER @ Books in Motion, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Chirp, storytel, OverDrive, and booktopia

Interview with Kevin R. Doyle

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    Hmm. Not really sure how to answer this one. Probably the main one that comes to mind is several years ago when I read “Small Town” by Lawrence Block. Up till then, I’d considered Block pretty much a mystery writer, which of course he is. And “Small Town” is pretty much a mystery. But it’s a lot, lot more than that, and as I did my first reading I saw how he was taking an essential mystery plot and turning it into a more expansive, mainstream novel, something you don’t often come across.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    For the most part, I go seat of the pants when it comes to names. I don’t have any special formula or anything like that, and I usually don’t go in for any sort of symbolism or hidden meaning. Once I’ve visualized a character, I just go with a name that pops into my head. However, working now on my twelfth book, I’m having to be a little more careful because I’ve found I have a tendency to use the same first names over and over. These days, once I come up with a name I like, I go through the notes on my previous works to make sure I’m not inadvertently copying myself.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    In general, no. The one exception to this would be my series about private investigator Sam Quinton. His stomping grounds of Providence, Missouri, is pretty obviously Columbia, where I’ve lived the last couple of decades. In those books, when I’m describing settings, streets, businesses, etc. I do my best to base them on actual locations, and where possible I make it a little tricky, though not too tough, for locals to figure them out.

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    For The Litter, I’m going to be a little vague when describing the hardest scene, simply because I don’t want to spoil too much. There is a scene in the second part that’s overall fairly minor, and only takes up about a page or so. It has to do with a small discovery that Karen makes. The discovery doesn’t change her mind on anything or really reveal anything important to the overall plot, but it’s of devastating importance to her. When I came up with it, I think I wrote that couple of pages three or four times before I got it just how I wanted. Time well spent because some readers have mentioned in the years since that it was one of the scenes that really jolted them.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    A couple of different bodies actually. The Quinton books, of course, were intended from the get go to be a series. The Group was originally intended to be a standalone, but then a few years after writing it I conceived of a sequel, and halfway through writing that I conceived of a sequel to the sequel. I have a couple of ideas for other stories based on that trilogy but have not gotten around to working on them. For now, The Anchor is a standalone, though I’m toying with the idea of a story set in the same basic setting though several decades before the events of that story. Not a prequel because I don’t care much for those. A completely separate story with a few threads connecting it to the other. At the moment, The Litter is a standalone, but every now and then someone asks me about a sequel, and I’ve gotten as far as what I feel is a really cool title for a new work somewhere down the line.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    When I began writing The Litter, I’d spent several years writing short horror stories for small press magazines. A few years before this one, I crafted a horror novel that had enough of a premise to interest a couple of agents, but they were really disappointed by the final result. Right before Litter, I’d written The Group, which was my first mystery novel to be released, so I basically wanted to see if I could pull off the same thing in the horror genre.

    What inspired you to write The Litter?

    This is going to sound corny and cliched as all get out, but it’s the absolute truth. One night I had a really intense nightmare, like beyond intense. It actually woke me up in the middle of the night gasping and panting. The nightmare revolved around a single scene, one little event, that spooked me more than anything had in quite a while. This was when I was working as a rural high-school teacher, and I had a really long commute to and from work each day. The morning after, I dwelled on this nightmare for the entire commute, and by the time I’d arrived at work, I decided to see if I could build and story with that nightmare scene in the middle. I began working on it that night when I got home.

    Can you tell us a little bit about what you have planned for the future?

    Right now, I’m going over the final proofs for Private License, the fifth Sam Quinton book. I’ve completed a first draft for the next one, tentatively titled The Booker. Beyond that, I’ve had an idea for a couple of decades about a long, expansive novel that would examine a particular stretch of time in my home town’s past. I’ve gotten as far as an initial outline, about twenty pages of notes, and the first ten thousand words on that one. The last thing I’ve got on my plate, something I’ve wanted to do for a while, is take another shot at that unpublished horror novel. Now that I’ve got about a decade’s worth of publishing experience under my belt, I’m interested in seeing if I can take the premise that was so cool and actually develop a final product from it.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Litter?

    Most of them have fairly mundane jobs: a social worker, a TV reporter, a couple of cops, and a medical examiner. Other than the Chief of Detectives, none of them, especially the social worker, are noteworthy or newsworthy in any way. But all of them just happen to get sucked into this really Tilt-A-Whirl world that’s lurking right below the surface of the inner city.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    The several gruesome, creepy scenes that were so fun to write.   

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A retired high-school teacher and former college instructor, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of four novels in the Sam Quinton mystery series, all published by Camel Press. He’s also written four crime thrillers, including And the Devil Walks Away and The Anchor, and one horror novel, The Litter, along with numerous short horror stories published in small magazines over the years. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel. A lifelong Midwesterner, Doyle currently resides in Missouri and has loosely based the city of Providence in the Quinton books on Columbia.

Connect with Kevin R. Doyle

Website ~ Facebook


$10 Amazon/BN GC 

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Marcy Meyer said...

I enjoyed the interview. The books sounds really good.

Kevin R. Doyle said...

Good morning. As always, I appreciate you helping out with this tour. I'll be checking in off and on throughout the day.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Sherry said...

Looks like a interesting book and I love the cover.

traciem said...

How do you approach creating authentic and diverse characters?

Kevin R. Doyle said...

Tracie M,
As far as I know, there's no real science to it. I start with a basic premise for the character, then proceed to write up a short (couple of hundred words) biography of them. I always make sure I have at least a basic idea of their background even if they play a minor role in the story. For the main characters, of course, there has to be a conflict worked in that they have to overcome, including an understanding of why it's a conflict and how something in the character's makeup allows them to overcome it.

Edgar Gerik said...

Great interview

Nancy P said...

Looks so fascinating

bn100 said...


Nina Lewis said...

Sounds so interesting. Thank you for the interview! :)

Michael Law said...

Great interview. This looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Daniel M said...

looks like a fun one