FEATURED AUTHOR: HARLEY MAZUK
ABOUT THE BOOKDuring the Spanish Civil War Frank Swiver and his college pal, Max Rabinowitz, both fall in love with Amanda Zingaro, but she and her father are shot by a local fascist strongman. Eleven years later in San Francisco in 1949, Frank, traumatized by the violence in Spain, has become a pacifist and makes a marginal living as a private eye. He is called into a murder case that the cops hope to write off as suicide. Max, who lost an eye in Spain but owes his life to Frank, becomes a public defender and asks Frank to help him build a defense for a Mexican accused of knifing a naked man in a hotel room. Max has also met a woman in the case who is a dead ringer for Amanda, the woman they thought they'd lost years ago in Spain. What’s going on?
Author’s name: Harley Mazuk
Book title: Last Puffs
Publisher: New Pulp Press, Jan. 2018
Page count: 293
Touring with: Pump Up Your Book!
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH HARLEY MAZUK
A few of your favorite things: My wine collection, my books.
Things you need to throw out: Old clothes that I haven’t worn in years .
Things you need in order to write: Revisions are such a big part of my writing, that I really need my computer and word processing software in order to write.
Things that hamper your writing: Noise, such as TV programs playing in another room, chores—dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, taxes (I’m retired, so those are my jobs) .
Things you love about where you live: I live in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. I enjoy the safety and peace of the suburbs. I love the liberal politics of my county and of a majority of the state, and the quality of life. I was born in Ohio, but Maryland is now my home.
Things that make you want to move: The stifling heat and humidity of the summer, and the length of the hot season—it’s more than just a three-month summer. The unbelievable traffic congestion emanating from D.C. The high cost of living.
Favorite foods: French Fries and bacon.
Things that make you want to throw up: Eggnog.
Favorite music or song: I like most everything by the Beatles, Eric Clapton, or Pink Floyd. I’m also very fond of the Blues, especially old-fashioned Delta Blues, like by Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson.
Music that make your ears bleed: Music that blares out of cars next to you at the light with all their windows rolled down.
Favorite smell: The smell of old roses .
Something that makes you hold your nose: Milk past its date, freshly soiled diapers.
Something you’re really good at: Copy editing. Distance running—I have been a jogger since 1978. I’ve finished a couple marathons, and often did quite well in 10k races, though I don’t race anymore. Something you’re really bad at: Basketball. I have a vertical leap of about four inches, and I’ve never been much of a ball handler either.
Something you like to do: Go out on a cool sunny morning and run three miles .
Something you wish you’d never done: Hit the wall with that rental car in Napoli.
Things you always put in your books: “Hammettisms”—elements generally found in the books and stories of Dashiell Hammett. They include vivid, larger-than-life characters, flavorful dialogue, detective-style descriptions of people, working class main character, a fat man, a Russian, drinking, slang, treacherous women.
Things you never put in your books: Profanity.
Things to say to an author: I left a review of your book on Amazon.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I only gave your book one star.
Favorite places you’ve been: Rome, Italy, Cusco, Peru.
Places you never want to go to again: New Haven, Connecticut. I got arrested there for hitchhiking.
Favorite genre: Mystery, especially detective/private eye stories.
Books you would ban: See I almost didn’t answer that one because I’m not the sort who believes in banning books. But I could ban books by Harley Mazuk. Then perhaps they’d become underground best sellers.
Things that make you happy: I like running, drinking wine, reading, writing. They all make me happy.
Things that drive you crazy: Bad drivers. It’s dangerous out there!
The last thing you did for the first time: I just had my first cup of yogurt at the age of 69. Low-fat, vanilla.
Something you’ll never do again: Eat yogurt. Ha, ha. No, it was fine. I will never run another marathon.
ABOUT THE AUTHORHarley Mazuk was born in Cleveland, the last year that the Indians won the World Series. He majored in English literature at Hiram College in Ohio, and Elphinstone College, Bombay, India. Harley worked as a record salesman (vinyl) and later served the U.S. Government in Information Technology and in communications, where he honed his writing style as an editor and content provider for official web sites.
Retired now, he likes to write pulp fiction, mostly private eye stories, several of which have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. His first full length novel, White with Fish, Red with Murder, was released in 2017, and his newest, Last Puffs, just came out in January 2018.
Harley’s other passions are his wife Anastasia, their two children, reading, running, Italian cars, California wine and peace.
Connect with Harley:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo