Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?
My new book, Cold Desert Sky, is the third in the Charlie Yates series and finds Charlie obsessed by the disappearance of two Hollywood starlets. But Charlie’s got infamous mob boss Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel on his back. Siegel’s tearing LA apart trying to find him, and Charlie’s only care is staying ahead of him long enough to find out what happened to the missing girls. His investigation leads him to the burgeoning town of Las Vegas, Nevada, where Siegel is putting the finishing touches to his Flamingo Hotel – but the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the closer it comes to getting him killed…
Like my previous two novels, the story blends fiction with historical fact, but it’s also my most personal yet. A lot of what happens is me trying to capture some of my worst parental fears on the page – those worries that keep you awake at night, thinking what the hell would I do if that happened to my kids? They’re irrational, and terrifying, but you can’t help dwelling on them from time to time, so I decided anything that could inspire such big emotions in me was something worth writing about – and something readers would relate to.
If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?
Carry On Authoring
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
A Facebook message asking me for a Quickie.
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
I mean it would have to be James Ellroy, just because he’s my favourite author. I suspect it would just be 18 months of him screaming and swearing at me, but the process would be hilarious (for me). Plus the book would be about 1200 pages long.
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).
My author photo was taken by my wife, on the balcony of my flat. It was taken on the day my first book was published and done in an extreme rush because I got an email from my publicist saying the Metro newspaper were running a feature on me the next day and needed a high-res shot in an hour’s time. In the photo you can see I’m wearing my best white shirt, but what you can’t see is the rest of the outfit – a scruffy pair of shorts, and a pair of flip flops. I hadn’t even had time for a shower. It was like those old comedy sketches about newsreaders with no trousers on under the desk. Now that photo’s been on all my books, all my social media, displays in WH Smith…
Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson – I waited five years for this book, from when Laura and I were studying for our Creative Writing MA together at City University. Laura is an exceptionally talented writer and this is historical fiction at its finest – and it’s certainly not just me saying that. It was well worth the wait.
It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal – A fresh voice, an original heroine and a great plot made this a compelling read for me. Sheena Kamal is definitely one to watch.
Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson – I was moderating a panel at CrimeFest featuring Nicola, so I read this as part of the prep and was blown away. It’s a complex plot set in 40s Britain that weaves fact and fiction into a seamless mystery. The writing is beautiful and evocative, with so much of the fear and tension brought out in a wonderfully understated way. No surprise to me that this is longlisted for the Endeavour Historical Dagger this year.
Who is Rod Reynolds? Rod Reynolds was born in London and, after a successful career in advertising, working as a media buyer, he decided to get serious about writing. He recently completed City University’s Crime Writing Masters course and his first novel, THE DARK INSIDE, was published by Faber in 2015. The sequel, BLACK NIGHT FALLING, followed in August 2016. Rod lives in London with his wife and two daughters.