Kate and Dan Interview Sean Chercover

On July 31th, novelist Sean Chercover returns from a three year hiatus with THE TRINITY GAME, a thriller featuring Daniel Byrne is an investigator for the Vatican’s secretive Office of the Devil’s Advocate—the department that scrutinizes miracle claims. Kate and Dan spent some time talking to Sean about his new book and life in general.

Below is a condensed version of a longer interview that will run in issue 48 of Crimespree.

Kate and Dan: Sean, it’s clear this has been an incredibly busy time for you. New book, new publisher. Tell us about them.

Sean: The new book is THE TRINITY GAME.  It imagines what would happen if one of those sleazy televangelists started actually predicting the future, and all the mayhem that would ensue.  Daniel Byrne is an investigator who tests (and debunks) miracle-claims for a secretive department within the Vatican. His latest case is his estranged uncle, Reverend Tim Trinity, a television evangelist who raised Daniel on the tent revival circuit between New Orleans to Atlanta. Daniel knows Trinity is a con-man, but Trinity has started predicting the future and his predictions are frighteningly accurate. Then powerful bad guys take notice and stuff blows up. It’s a thriller. You’ll like it, I promise.

The new publisher is Thomas & Mercer. They’ve been fabulous to work with, and they’re really getting behind this book.

Kate and Dan: The new book, THE TRINITY GAME, focuses on the subject of faith. Is this an issue you feel strongly about?

Sean: Issues of faith and reason fascinate me. I was raised Anglican/Episcopalian, but my mom sent my sister and me to Sunday School in a Presbyterian church. And she told us we could ignore the parts about predestination because Anglicans don’t believe in it. Of course this led me to question the parts not about predestination as well, and I became that kid asking uncomfortable questions, which made smoke pour from the ears of my Sunday School teachers. So I guess you can blame my mom for THE TRINITY GAME.

Kate and Dan: The mystery community appears to be very tight knit group. How has social media helped to connect with other authors and fans on a personal and professional level?

Sean: The crime fiction community is my tribe. We all share the same demented love of bad behavior and books about bad behavior.  I love the conferences – Bouchercon, Thrillerfest, Edgar Week, LCC, Printer’s Row, Muskego, Love Is Murder…and so on. You hang out with readers (and we’re all readers first and foremost), you catch up and trade war stories with writers, booksellers, librarians, editors, agents, publicists, reviewers…everybody. You forge some intense friendships in a very short time…and then everybody goes home and doesn’t see each other again until the next one.

Which is why I dig social media. That conversation in the bar at Bouchercon? It continues on Twitter. No, it’s not the same, but it allows us to keep in contact (and sometimes get to know each other even better) between events.

And often, you meet new friends in the community online before you ever meet in real life.  Before anybody called it “social media” I hung out on a USENET group called rec.arts.mystery. RAM is still around, for those of you still on USENET, although I now interact through their Facebook group.  These days I mostly hang out on Twitter (@SeanChercover) and I’m also on Facebook and I have a Tumblr.

Any way you approach it, in person or online, the crime fiction community rocks. If you’re reading this and you aren’t yet part of the community, come join us. We’re a friendly bunch of folks inordinately interested in murder.
As for the “professional” value of social media, I have no idea. It probably helps some, but I’m skeptical that it sells a lot of books. I do it ’cause it’s fun.

Kate and Dan: Also, for those who find themselves on Twitter in the evenings, they’ll find you are one heck of an Internet DJ. You, sir, love your music. Just how much music do you own?

Sean:  Can I plead the 5th? I own altogether too many CDs and I haven’t even gotten close to the halfway mark, importing them into iTunes. I also own an embarrassing number of LPs and even cassettes. I’m a bit obsessive about music; I write to music, I make playlists for whatever I’m writing. My iTunes playlist for THE TRINITY GAME fills six 80-minute CDs.

Perhaps I should seek help.

Kate and Dan: If you had to pick, what would be your “Can’t live without it album?”

Sean: I hate you guys. I just confessed my music obsession, and now you want me to narrow it down to ONE ALBUM?? You suck.

Exile On Main Street, London Calling, Blood On The Tracks, Rastaman Vibration, Cumbolo, Marcus Garvey, Funky Kinston, Legalize It, Blackheart Man, Music From Big Pink, In The Right Place, Crawfish Fiesta, Rejuvenation, The Wild Tchoupitoulas, Songs In The Key of Life, Rain Dogs, Brilliant Corners, Lady In Satin, Ellington At Newport, Sketches Of Spain, Soulville, A Love Supeme, Saxophone Colossus, In The Wee Small Hours, Natural Boogie…how do you pick just one?

By the way, if ANY of the above-named albums are missing from your collection, remedy that. You’ll thank me later.

Editor’s note: You can learn more about Sean on his website and can find him on Twitter and Facebook.