About C. M. Albrecht:
So what about me? I’m me.
I’m a private eye.
I work alone.
Rain or shine I wear a fedora and a trench coat and pack an 11 mm Marley I bought at the Nero Wolfe estate sale. I know which end the slugs come out of. But 11mm slugs? hard to come by these days.
People say I’ve got attitude. Attitude they don’t like. I get that a lot.
The cops and me? We work toward the same end, but we’re like water and electricity. They think I cramp their style. Thay hate that I don’t have to play by their rules.
Dealing with the cops I always need a lawyer. I need one now. The last one I had fell off the back of an ambulance and got run over by a speeding Cooper. I’m alone and on my own. It’s a mean life. I’m used to it. When my casebook’s empty — and it’s empty a lot — I write books.
Okay, that picture’s not me at all. I’m just a mild-mannered fellow who loves mysteries. I sit at my desk and drink coffee, piddle around on the computer and daydream.
Marley? What’s a Marley? I’ve never seen one. I don’t think there ever was such a thing. I think Archie Goodwin just made the name up along with the Heron he used to drive.
I’ve never gone strapped (except for cash), and I’ve never shot anybody. Nobody’s ever shot me.
My wife got shot at once, but that’s another story. I’m happily married to the beautiful Irma. While my head’s in the clouds, she helps keep my feet on the ground. That ain’t easy.
I’m sure people in law enforcement snort sometimes at boo-boos they run across in crime fiction. They may think writers are stupid, ignorant or simply too lazy to do their research. FYI we may or may not know what we’re writing about, but in writing there’s a loophole that covers this. It’s called poetic license. it’s legal.
I hope you’ll enjoy some of my books. If you do, tell your friends. If you don’t, please keep quiet about it and try another one.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always had an urge to write, but not having the means or opportunity to go to college, I felt too lame to try. After years of hard work, including being an investigator for a detective agency, owning and operating some restaurants and dealing with marriage and kids, and dealing with “superior” college graduates, I learned a little secret: Schools and churches in general have one intention: to teach you to think as they want you to think. Thankfully one day I awoke to this realization and decided it was time for me to think for myself. Like Jonas in one of his books, I had to start thinking outside the box. I like it out here.
Tell us about your writing process.
Over the years I’ve had a number of different processes come and go. For a long time it was mostly touch and go. I’d get a sudden inspiration and rush to the computer. Unfortunately, being a very undisciplined sort of person, I never really had a schedule. These days, it has worked out to this: I don’t sleep as well as I used to, so somewhere between 4 and 6 in the morning, I usually wake up with my current project going through my head and I can’t get back to sleep. I get up and fire up the coffee and write for an hour or so before having to move onto to other duties. So that’s it.
Some of my books have been difficult. Almost from beginning to end I felt I’d never get it finished, and others have written themselves out in my head while I slept. All I had to do was sit down at the computer and let my crazy fingers fly. When I say crazy fingers, I mean, later, I have to go over all the typos word by word, but in the end, I get a satisfactory result. I don’t normally outline except in my head. My characters usually develop on their own during the writing process. I don’t try to force anything on them. Honestly, most of the time, I don’t know for sure what they’re going to say or do next.
At the moment, I’m taking a new tack: “Hail Mary” is a huge departure from my “noir” and/or “crime fiction”. This one concerns 3 little old ladies who go on a wild two-day adventure. Lots of ups and downs, but in the end everything works out happily, save for the 4 bandaged bikers in a jail cell ruing the day they ever messed with 3 little old ladies. Heh heh.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t really talk to them, but I sure hear them talking, especially I lie down and try to take a little break. Frequently I have to get right back up and head for the computer.
What advice would you give other writers?
You’ve heard it before: You’re never a loser unless you quit. Over the years I’ve read of countless rejection stories by writers who went on to become famous. Just this morning I read about a screenwriter who was literally rejected by every agent and producer in Hollywood with some of the most unkind criticisms you can imagine. But then out of nowhere a company picked up his “unsaleable” screenplay and it became the well-known film “Rounders”. Go figure.
They say Stephen King was trying to be a mystery writer and after everything he had was shot down, his only remaining “bullet” was an unpublished novel called “Carrie”. Well, you know what happened when he sent that in, simply because that was all he had left.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After many many rejections, I somehow managed to get two publishers at the same time for two different books I’d sent out. Unfortunately however, these initial successes didn’t work out too well, and eventually I found my current publisher, Cambridge Books aka http://writewordsinc.com. I was able to get out of my previous contracts and now Cambridge Books has published 13 novels. I hope to have another one, “Hail Mary” published sometime this year. I’m not suggesting you try her because you think this publisher will publish just any old thing. I got lucky. We hit it off and over the years have developed a good relationship. An interesting sidelight: I live at the Western end of Old Highway 50 in California, while she lives at the Eastern end of Old Highway 50 in Maryland where the ocean begins.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think, and hope, that books are beginning to make a comeback. Where formally we could find more brick and mortar bookstores than pizza joints and Chinese restaurants, things are pretty bleak today. I hear now that more and more readers are opting for paper rather than e-books, and if publishers are eventually able to lower prices even more, paper sales should continue to grow again and maybe we’ll see the return of locally owned bookstores.
What genres do you write?: I write mostly crime/mystery novels, but I have a couple of “noir” novels as well. Of course the word noir hints, at least to me, that crime will be involved, but usually there is no mystery. “Double Indemnity” by one of my favorite authors, James M. Cain, is an example.My latest effort, “Hair Mary” however, is less concerned with crime than with how a free-spirited old lady copes with the death of her soul mate of over forty years.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.