What is a blog hop?  It’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them.  I hope you’ll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy.  On this stop on the blog hop, I’m interviewed about ERASED and Other Stories, a new collection coming this spring from Antenna Books.  You’ll also find links to other authors you may enjoy reading.

My gratitude to fellow author E.A. Aymar for inviting me to participate.  You can click the following link to learn more about E.A. and his work:

In this blog hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered questions about our book or work-in–progress (giving you a sneak peek).  We’ve also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write–the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: How do you come up with the title of a book? 

Titles are tricky.  At first I wanted to call my new work “Standard Oil of New Jersey,” but found out that’s already in use. So the title is “ERASED and Other Stories.” As you might guess, it’s a collection of short stories of mystery and suspense.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to write a short story about my private eye, Willis Gidney, who graciously consented to appear in DRINK THE TEA, which won the PWA Competition for Best First Novel, and STEAL THE SHOW.  I enjoyed writing the Gidney short story, and continued with more.

3. What genre does your book come under?

While Willis is part of the private eye genre, ERASED covers a wider territory.  All the stories combine mystery and suspense, but I try to make the people in the stories a bit unusual, and their jobs even more so.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s a question I get asked a lot. There is an actor in Hollywood who would be terrific as Willis Gidney. I mean, he’d be absolutely perfect.  But I’m not going to tell you his name.  In the Gidney novels DRINK THE TEA and STEAL THE SHOW, I give the reader clues as to what Gidney looks like, but the readers have to create their own mental image of the guy.  If I were to name an actor, then the readers will think of Gidney looking a particular way.

By the way, I think I would make a terrific Gidney.  In fact, if I were younger, better looking, and had faster reflexes, we could be twins.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

ERASED is a collection of stories about twisted people doing twisted things.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My agent, Doug Grad, created Antenna Books as an epublishing venture.  So ERASED is the first time I’ve written a book specifically for that market.   Doug sent me a contract, 15 pages long. I’ll need to look it over with my agent before I sign.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of these stories?

Is that a trick question?  I wrote most of these stories over four months, but went back and revised each one a few times.  But I’m not counting the time that goes into thinking about and planning each story.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

“Where’s Waldo?” comes to mind.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I work as a cinematographer and shoot a lot of documentaries.  The lead story, ERASED, came from my experiences interviewing survivors of Nazi concentration camps.  One of these survivors told me about a certain day: the Nazis rounded up all the adult Jews of a small Polish town, put them in trucks, and drove them miles away to work in the fields. When they returned, exhausted, they found that the Nazis had taken all of their children away, never to be seen again.  My daughter had just been born and this story affected me like no other.

Also, as a novelist, I sometimes have ideas for stories that don’t quite justify a novel’s length. So rather than try to inflate a story to novel size, I let each story dictate its own length. You know, once upon a time the short story market was huge in the US. I wonder if epublishing will help bring the short story back?

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think readers will find that the stories in ERASED cover a lot of ground – mystery, suspense, humor, tragedy.  I’m writing the kind of stories I like to read, and hope others will like them too.

11: Why are you so much better-looking in person than in your photo?

It’s the team of make-up and hair people who follow me around all day. I’m not sure what happens to them at night.

Who’s next on the NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP?

So glad you asked!

Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases:

Keith Gilman’s blog:

John Dedakis’s blog:

Carolyn Mumford’s blog:


Published by Thomas Kaufman

Thomas Kaufman is the author of STEAL THE SHOW and DRINK THE TEA, which won the PWA/St Martin's Press Best First PI Novel Competition. He is also an Emmy award- winning motion picture director/cameraman. Since graduating from the University of Southern California with an MFA in Film Production, he has worked as a Director of Photography on documentary, commercial, and fiction films. In addition to working as director/cameraman for National Geographic and Discovery Channels, Mr Kaufman has also shot documentaries for British Broadcasting Corporation, WGBH, WNET, and Academy Award-winners Mark Jonathan Harris, Charles Guggenheim, and Barbara Koppel.

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