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Thanks for stopping by It's Raining Books. What group did you hang out with in high school?
It’s probably fair to say that I was associated with the intellectual clique, particularly the subset that was angry and fighting against the system (this was the Sixties, remember, so fighting the system was chic).
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m passionate about women, family, Bourbon, sushi, politics, writing, caviar, travel, punctuality, telling the truth, wine and dogs (in no particular order).
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
I’d try to be more responsible in terms of personal habits. I had a very long and tough road to publication, and I’m sure most of my obstacles were self-inflicted. Had I been more focused, I think I would have been published sooner.
Ebook or print? And why?
Along with my other books, Friend of the Devil will be released simultaneously in both print and electronic form. I don’t have a preference as far as reading goes, unless I’m traveling---in which case a Kindle saves space and weight. I’ve notice recently that the trend toward ebooks seems to be reversing, so maybe readers are becoming more traditional.
What is your favorite scene in this book?
That’s a tough question to answer, because they’re all in there for a reason. I think the flashbacks to Mississippi in 1947 are probably among my favorites, which is interesting because I resisted including that line of narrative. Toward the end of the book, I like the verbal chess matches between David and the chef. I also like the ending, although I won’t give it away.
Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.
Enjoy an excerpt:
The two young men emerged from the woods onto Highway 49. There were no street lamps, and Joseph was grateful for the moonlight. Slowly and deliberately, they walked toward the intersection of Highway 61. When they got to the Crossroads, the site was unremarkable: a small general store, a gas station, and miles of desolate blackness stretching in every direction.
“Here you go, baby.” Willy stopped a few hundred yards from the intersection and turned to face Joseph. “You on your own. Can’t take you closer than this.”
“Where are you headed?”
“As far away as I can git,” he laughed, “as fast as I can git there.”
“Thank you. I appreciate your help.”
“Well, this wasn’t no charity. You know that.”
“You got some questions?”
“What do I do? Just walk up there and wait?”
“You won’t be waitin’ long,” said Willy. “The man’ll be along shortly. You don’t need no business card, neither. Trust me on that.”
“You’ll be fine.” Willy studied him carefully. “Shoot, you look like you don’t got a care in the world.”
“I wouldn’t go that far. But I’m here for a reason, of my own free will.”
“I understand.” He patted Joseph on the arm. “You look me up when you open your restaurant, hear?”
“I will.” He watched Willy head back for the woods. “I definitely will.”
“I’ll be here,” Willy called over his shoulder.
About the Author:
Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Spivak/e/B007QASMAC
Barnes and Noble Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/mark+spivak?_requestid=552756
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