Jim Musgrave Interview


The Eternal Curse Series Blog Presents an interview with author: Jim Musgrave.

image provided by author

So tell me, who is Jim Musgrave?

I am a retired college English professor living in San Diego with my wife, Ellen.  We have two Siamese cats and a son, Ari, living with us.  My wife is my editor and my son is my illustrator.  I write all kinds of fiction and non-fiction, and I’ve been doing it for over 20 years in one form or another.  I have been a finalist in a variety of fiction contests, including the Bram Stoker Awards for Horror.  I currently enjoy writing a steampunk mystery and fantasy series called the Detective Pat O’Malley series.

I’m glad to have a chance to speak with you. I don’t know much about steampunk, but I do find it quite fascinating. I can’t wait to see what you have to share today.

So whacha got for me today?

In Forevermore, a Medal of Honor winner living in Poe’s Cottage in the Bronx following the Civil War, reads a strange note hidden on the bedframe and decides to prove that his former employer before the war, Edgar Allan Poe, was murdered in Baltimore, 1849, and while solving this mystery, this new sleuth must confront the most dangerous serial killer in 1865 New York City, and the detective must also learn why he can’t be intimate with women.

Here’s a review from the Portland Book Review of my first mystery in the O’Malley series, Forevermore.

It sounds to me like this new sleuth has his hands full of work and social problems. I hope he’s able to come out on top…I must say I am very interested in this story already.

So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of Forevermore?

Patrick O’Malley: Irish born detective and decorated Civil War vet who is living in his late friend Edgar Allan Poe’s Bronx cottage in 1860s New York.

Madame Rebecca Charming, a beautiful, Vassar educated daughter of a United States congressman. Charming owns a reputable brothel with high standards both in business and the working conditions.

You’ll recognize a few other names in the story, such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Fennimore Cooper, Jane (Haskins) The Grabber.

This is sounds like a lovely blend of real and fictional characters. More and more I am intrigued by what’s going on in this story.


Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

I write on a computer, and I use the Internet extensively to recreate the authentic setting and language use of 1860s New York City.  I listen to either Classical or Zen meditation music.  I am now working on a completely fantastic volume 4 in the series.  It’s called Steam City Pirates. Click here to read the first three chapters here.

Wow, you really do your homework don’t you? You are studying the settings and langue use of 1860s New York to be incorporated into your work; I’m impressed.

What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

James Patterson has influenced my style because of his technique of writing short chapters. Here’s an article I wrote last Memorial Day on that topic.

I too like the way he writes. I tried to the short chapter thing, but it just doesn’t work for me consistently.

Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

Jerome David Salinger.  I like his attitude about keeping your ego out of your writing.  The recent documentary “Salinger” about him is probably making him spin in his grave (although as a Vedantist, he has probably already been reborn on some cosmic plane or other).

Everyone has and opinion or an ideal set in their minds about J.D. Salinger, but I guess that’s what makes him so successful, in a way. People are always talking about him dead or alive…Wouldn’t it be cool to have that kind of legacy?

Who is so you and why?

from Goodreads book 1

Believe it or not, when I was a practicing alcoholic, my fiction was compared to the late author Charles Bukowski (“Buk as in puke”).  I now relate to Detective Matthew Scudder in the Lawrence Block Mysteries.  I think my character Patrick O’Malley can be compared to Matt Scudder in a few ways.

So you used to be a practicing alcoholic. Well, I guess a congratulations is in order for dropping or reducing the practice…I’m unfamiliar with the series you’ve mentioned, but this seems like a good opportunity to learn more about them.

What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

from Goodreads

I am now reading Eric Schlosser’s excellent non-fiction expose, Command and Control.  If you thought junk food was scary, you should read this book!  The numbers of times we came within a hair’s length of nuking ourselves into the Stone Age are covered with a thriller’s intensity in this book.  I read it on my tablet under the covers with my lovely wife at my side.

I’m a die-hard fiction lover, but I must admit that there is nothing scarier than reality. There are some works of non-fiction that make me wish they were fiction.

What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

I really enjoyed reading Mark Twain as a kid. I was on the great show “Chatting with Sherri,” and you can hear me talk about these early influences (among other things).

I have found recently that people either love Twain or hate him, but I think this is a generational thing. I don’t think his work is taught in schools as much as it used to be so younger generations aren’t as familiar with him…

There is more fun and insights to this interview, visit the Eternal Curse Series Blog for the full experience.  For more information about this author, Jim Musgrave, please visit the links below.

Website: The Detective Pat O’Malley Historical Steampunk

Blog: Let There Be Blog

GoodReads: Jim Musgrave

Facebook: Jim Musgrave

Twitter: @OMalley_Mystery

LinkedIn: Jim Musgrave

Purchase links for Forevermore: Amazon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.