Friday, September 14, 2012

Claude Bouchard, Vigilante

AUTHOR: Claude Bouchard
BOOK TITLE: Vigilante
PUBLISHER: Claude Bouchard

Please tell us about yourself?  
was born in Montreal at a very young age and still live there with my lovely wife, Joanne, under the close feline supervision of Midnight and Krystalle. I completed my undergrad studies at McGill University and did the corporate gig thing in human resources and finance for a number of years before taking the leap into the author arena in 2009.  Not one to partake in petty arguments, I let it slide when told I’m brilliant, funny, quick-witted, good-looking, etc. I love music, travel, pizza and cheeseburgers as well as heaps of other stuff but I never got the hang of liver. Ughh…

When and why did you begin writing? 
The idea for Vigilante, my first novel, started developing during the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995. My novel deals with nothing similar to that particular fiasco but rather with the concept of vigilantism and having criminals pay for their crimes when the system has failed. Once the story started buzzing in my head, I sat down and typed until I had my first draft eight weeks later. As to why I started writing? I had a story to tell.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
Although I wrote my first three novels in 1995-97, I can honestly say I only considered myself a writer once they were published in 2009 and people out there started buying them.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
The summarized version of the message in any of the six novels in my crime series would be, “Not only does crime not pay, it can also cost one dearly.”

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
Any events I’ve written about are products of my imagination although I must admit that art does emulate life. That said, the types of crimes and criminals I write about unfortunately do exist in our society, but I deal with them with a different twist. However, to be clear, no, none of the experiences are based on anyone I know or events in my own life.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 
Definitely, and they are all indie; Robert Bidinotto, Gary Ponzo, Luke Romyn, Helen Hanson, Russell Blake, Libby Fischer Hellman and Stephen England, to name a few.

What are your current projects? 
I’m currently working on Femme Fatale, the seventh of my Barry/McCall crime thriller series and have a stand-alone, The Last Party, simmering on the back-burner.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it? 
It’s all a question of perception but I’ve never really considered it writer’s block as much as mulling moments. I don’t plan my novels ahead of time but rather, write them as the story takes place. On occasion, it’s not clear where a particular scene is going, so I think about it until I figure it out. There’s always something else to do in the interim, such as respond to interview questions.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? 
When I’m not writing/editing, I’m usually maintaining my website, blogging, tweeting, promoting my work and that of others, playing guitar, drawing, painting, taking photos, watching television, reading, working out or thinking about it, cooking, sleeping, eating, feeding the cats, mowing the lawn, moving snow from one place to another, traveling, taking the trash out or tag-team vacuuming with Joanne. I may have forgotten something.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 
The hardest part when writing my first three novels back in 1995-97 was any research required as I strive for accuracy. Back then, reliance was on street maps, atlases and encyclopedias and I remember buying a crime novelist’s reference guide which listed a variety of weapons, felonies, drugs, etc. Today’s Internet and search engines make it possible to find almost anything rather quickly making research much easier.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 
I’ve answered this question in the past in more detail so I’ll go with a condensed version this time around. Revise, edit, polish until your work is the best it can be. You will never please everyone, but offering readers a substandard product with poor grammar, typos, spelling mistakes and lousy punctuation is a sure-fire way of hanging yourself before you have even started.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
To my readers, I extend heartfelt thanks for all your support without which no writer can survive. It’s one thing to have family and friends praise one’s work but quite another to have strangers from all over the world saying, “I LOVED IT!” Seeing sales grow from hundreds to thousands is quite pleasing as well. Thank you, ALL!

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Though I did some agent querying in the mid-late 90s, nothing really came of it, and I put my writing activities aside for several years. When I brought my first three manuscripts back to the surface in 2009, various self-publication possibilities existed, and that is the route I selected. I did have agent representation as of December 2009 but nothing materialized from that association which ended eighteen months later when the agency folded. However, my novels remained available as indie throughout that time and since with sales heading consistently north. I’m therefore quite satisfied with my current publisher.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links. Nothing could be easier!

Excerpt from Vigilante

Johnny B. was seated at a stage-side table at the Sex Cave, finishing his third Glenlivet. He liked coming here after dinner, for an hour or so, before going to do his rounds on the street. The girls looked good and occasionally, he offered one a job with his organization. They never accepted but were always polite in their refusal. After all, they knew who he was. He was Johnny B.
He looked at his Rolex and grunted when he saw the time. It was 8:25, time to go to work. He stood and the waitress automatically appeared. Slipping a folded fifty dollar bill deep into the front of her thong, he gave her bare behind a light, friendly slap.
“See ya later, doll,” he said, grinning. “Keep the change.”
Customers were forbidden to touch the girls; the club had strict rules about that. But he was an exception. He was Johnny B.
He strutted down the long narrow staircase which led to the street, preceded by Chuck, his bodyguard. Onto the sidewalk, he paused for a moment, surveying the surroundings through narrow eyes, evaluating the activity. It was a warm summer evening and a lot of people were out. Business would be good tonight.
Crossing the sidewalk to his car, which was conveniently parked in front of the club’s entrance, he climbed in behind the wheel and started the engine as Chuck squeezed his bulky form into the passenger seat. Half a block down, the traffic light was red, so there were no oncoming cars. Johnny B. revved the engine and pulled out onto the street, spinning his tires in the process as he always did. He liked getting noticed.
He turned right on Union and then left on René-Lévesque as he headed for Old Montreal. A number of his girls worked this sector in the summer, especially around Place St-Jacques, which was crowded with restaurants, bars and a slew of prospective clients. Turning right on Beaver Hall Hill, he headed south towards the river, stopping at the red light at the corner of St-Jacques. With the exception of a car which had just turned onto the street at the top of the hill behind him, his was the only vehicle in circulation. Pedestrian traffic was also non-existent.
He always found amusing how this area could be so quiet, sandwiched between the active sector he had just left and the lively one he was going to. The light turned green and Johnny B. rapidly accelerated through the empty intersection and then decelerated just as quickly to turn left on LeMoyne. As it slowed, the Mercedes exploded into a huge fireball, sending bits and pieces of plastic, metal, flesh and bone flying through the air.
Two blocks behind the explosion, a black Corvette turned left onto Notre-Dame and headed for the cinema.


  1. Wow, exciting excerpt! Nice interview, too!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. Great interviews are so easy to out together when one is blessed with excellent questions.

    2. That should have been 'put together...' :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping in, Russell. Much appreciated. :)