To celebrate the release of the thriller “Two Days Gone,” I’m excited to be talking to author Randall Silvis about the story and its unique storyline, which follows both the killer and the police.
Below, Silvia talks about the story’s origins, his favorite authors and whether we’ll see Ryan DeMarco in the future.
Where did you get the inspiration for this story?
Inspiration comes to me in bits and pieces: an intriguing setting, an interesting character, an unconventional premise, and sometimes just a provocative title. For Two Days Gone, the setting came first: I crossed Lake Wilhelm three days a week while commuting to the university, and each time was beguiled by the dark water, the woods, the bogs, the menacing possibilities. The setting dictated that the book would be a murder mystery. This required an investigator. The character of Sergeant Ryan DeMarco, a lonely, gruff, haunted man dragging himself through the misery of his life each day, grew a bit more each time I envisioned him standing beside the lake. I then decided to make the prime suspect an academic, but one who, like me, saw himself on the fringe of academia. I then decided that I wanted to feature the most horrific crime I could imagine. Once all those pieces fell into place, the storyline wrote itself.
This book has a lot of literary allusions and symbols. How did you decide to incorporate that theme?
My prime suspect is a writer and literature professor. How could there not be lots of literary allusions and symbols?
One of the major themes also is about love and what that means. Why did you decide to show these deep subplots – particularly with DeMarco?
Love is all that matters. Can anyone be truly happy if he has no one to love and isn’t loved in return? The novel is, as most of my stories are, about redemption; love is the ultimate redemption, and the lack of love the ultimate failure.
Both main characters are deeply flawed in some way but find some redemption. What do you want readers to take away from their situations?
All I hope is that the reader cares enough to share the characters’ journeys, and to be emotionally connected to them, and therefore to their own emotions.
Will we be seeing Trooper DeMarco again?
At least once more. The working title for the second DeMarco mystery is The Bones’ Embrace. I will continue the series as long as readers want me to, and as long as I can find new ways for DeMarco to grow.
What is the next project you’re working on?
In addition to The Bones’ Embrace, I am also working on another stand-alone crime novel titled Dancing on Water, and a mainstream/magic realism novel called Esperando.
Who are your favorite authors?
The writers I cut my teeth on are Hemingway, Faulkner, Garcia-Marquez, and Flannery O’Connor. I also love the poetical prose of William Gay, the gritty prose of Pete Dexter, the musical prose of James Lee Burke, the lyrical prose of Karen Russell, the playful prose of Vonnegut and Barthelme, and the often comma deficient prose of Jim Harrison. And there are many others whose writing I enjoy as well, such as Katherine Vaz and Edith Pearlman and Eco and Atwood and Mailer and more. I like writers who write differently—whose prose does not sound like everybody else’s prose and whose vision of the world is a little or a lot sideways to the rest of the world’s. I abhor the conventional and any writing that never yaws from the conventions of its genre.
For more on Silvis’ work, follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/randallsilvis