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Contemplating whether to end it all with a bullet through the back of his mouth, he receives a phone call from Kelly asking him to come and rescue her from two thugs from her past. All that matters is making those responsible pay, and he has the attitude, wheels and firearms to make sure that happens. Beautiful, Naked and Dead is a hardboiled caper novel that starts at a fair clip and keeps motoring along until its bloody climax.

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Everything about the book is hard-edged with soft undertones: the characters, the plot, the prose. His suicidal tendencies came from asking myself who was the scariest man in the room?

That and I know a lot about self annihilation and solo boxing. Not that I thought about any of this while writing it. I just started on page one and typed until it was done. Then rewrote and rewrote and rewrote… until the prose stopped sucking. Despite his many character defects—including a knack for justified brutality—McGuire is surprisingly likable. How do you strike that balance? How much of you is in him? I mean I like him, but I am fucked in the head. Moses, like me, is a cynical romantic, he knows we are all fucked in the end, but he will battle to the death to prove himself wrong.

Beautiful, Naked & Dead

I think part of his appeal is he has a strong moral code; he is loyal to his family of choice and the women he loves. He protects them brutally and regardless of the personal cost.

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As we grow older we accept that little compromises are a necessary part of life. I hate that. I chafe at bits of any kind.


My father told this story, I was six or seven and he was choking me against the kitchen wall. As are a lot of his flaws. Do you catalogue interesting locations as you discover them? I have lived there all of my adult life. When writing I walk with Moses in my head. I found myself in the San Fernando Valley looking for a place remote enough to beat a fellow without getting noticed. The north speaks to me. What kind of life do you have to lead in order to get nominated for an Anthony Award?

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What kind of life gets you nominated for a crime award? Um, a criminal one. A few more firearms than you would expect from a kid raised by hippy peace activists. An agent told me it was writing gymnastics or literary high wire walking. I think in the narrative breakneck emotional rollercoaster ride camouflages where I stretch the form and screw with writing conventions. It is as good as I know how to write a book. I have been lucky to have writers I deeply respect fall in love with it. One high school in St Paul uses the Moses books in their reading program serving inner-city kids.

May Contain Nuts: #amreading - Beautiful, Naked and Dead by Josh Stallings

Some of the students said my books were the first books they read for pleasure. Not much will top that.

All three Moses McGuire novels have been self-published. Why did you choose this path? Google him and you may find out he has won many awards for his work as a trailer editor, screenwriterr and co-creator of Ground Zero Texas , a best selling Sony video game. Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Copyright , thrillingdetective. All rights reserved.

Just like one of the hardasses in his own books. The man knows what to do with paper and ink. Read the damn thing. Hop on, kick the starter, and let him lead you on a long, painful, but entertaining ride through Moses McGuire's world. One hint: wear your helmet and your leathers.