Friday, April 13, 2012

Author Boo Walker Discusses Writing, LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH

It’s my pleasure to welcome debut author Boo Walker here today to answers some questions and talk about his latest release, LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH, which offers thriller/suspense/mystery readers a real treat.6

LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH is a mystery thriller where the hero, a DEA agent who recently experienced tragedy (an accidental killing of a friend) and a broken heart (wife left him), goes back to his hometown, Charleston, to regroup. There, finds himself in the middle of a complicated drug trafficking scheme that threatens the lives of the people he knows.
What’s unique about the story is that yes, it has all the things that mystery and thriller readers love—fast-moving, expertly crafted plot, intelligent twists, plenty of action/surprises etc.—but it also gives us a fully rendered character, with a personal story that's just as engaging (and surprising) as the action. The setting and the way it's written, adds to both his personal struggles and the action. The result is a really fun read. 
The hero, TA Reddick, is tough as nails—a real guy’s guy—but has a believable weakness for women (they twist him every which way, and his broken heart may as well be a bullet wound). And he comes across real, like the kind of guy you’d love to hang out with (and be saved by.

Boo is here to answer some questions for me about his book and his writing.

Mason - The age old question - What inspired you to write this book?

BOO - Oddly enough, I wanted to write a love story. My kind of love story, not romantic fiction but a love story wrapped up in a thriller cloak. T.A. Reddick is one of those guys that just can't get a break with the women in his life, and I had a ball watching him get kicked while he was down. Of course, I knew he could handle it. As far as location, I've loved Charleston since I was a boy, and I had so much I wanted to share with the world about the Holy City, so it only made sense to set Reddick loose there. And as far as the DEA thing, as a boy and even so now, I love Miami Vice. So this is my version of Miami Vice, a lowcountry version.
Mason - How do you go about doing research for your writing? Is it a process you enjoy or just find it necessary?

BOO - In researching LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH, I called the local DEA office in Charleston. Two weeks later, I walked into their office and was led to a board room with four or five agents in there. I was terrified at first, almost like I had done something wrong but after they interrogated me for a while, it started to get fun. They must have spent an hour with me answering questions and tossing out ideas. I think they enjoyed it too. I kept in touch with one of the agents and we started having lunch together about once a week. Though he asked that I not mention his name, I owe him a great deal. Other than that, I did a ton of reading. I must have read just about every book out there written by or about DEA agents. I even found a copy of the official DEA manual on Ebay. Needless to say, I had a blast doing the research and above all else, it's where many of my best ideas came from. 

Mason - What was the best/worst thing about writing?

BOO - The worst is always the depression.... that feeling that you're no good. That little voice that asks you why the heck you're spending all that time locked up in a room trying to write a story worth reading. I think all writers go through that. But it's those that get past it and are able to shut that voice out that finish their books and find the light at the end. The best part is easy... there's not much more satisfying in this world than typing the last lines of a book. You know you've bested those voices that were desperate in talking you out of it and that you've really accomplished something worth being proud of.  

Mason - Is there a message you’d like readers to take away from your book?
BOO - First off, I hope they fall in love with Charleston, just like I did. Not enough to move here but enough to come visit. I want to keep the population right where it is! Secondly, I hope everyone closes the book with a little different perspective on love. We all need reminders that there is nothing more important in this world than those we love. I hope this book does that in an odd, thriller-like way.
Mason - What can readers expect next from you?
BOO - I am a couple chapters away from finishing my next one, TURN OR BURN. It's a story about Harper Knox, a war vet and military contractor who has left the battlefield and returned to his home on Red Mountain in Eastern WA State to plant a vineyard on his family's land, hoping that a more relaxed lifestyle might help him heal from PTSD. But as most everyone who starts a vineyard experiences, he is running out of money. So he agrees to take a bodyguard gig in Seattle protecting a doctor on the cusp of some very advanced discoveries regarding the connection between man and machine. Harper will soon discover PTSD is the last of his worries. And of course, there's a woman right in the middle of it, and just like my wife, she has thick Italian blood running right through her!     

Boo, thanks for guest blogging and answering these questions for me. It’s fun knowing Miami Vice had an influence on your writing (fun show). Your next book sounds intriguing too.

Now for a little background on Boo. He spent his College of Charleston years and a few after in Nashville as a banjoist and songwriter for the avant-garde punchgrass band, The Biscuit Boys. Some hand problems knocked him out of the game, and he stumbled into a position with Automated Trading Desk, a short term equity trading firm based out of Mt. Pleasant, SC. To feed his ravenous muse, he began writing his first novel, LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH. Around that time, what started as a passion in wine became a neurosis.

After six years of the Wall Street thing, Boo decided it was time to end his sedentary, computer-driven lifestyle. He grew out a handlebar mustache and moved clear across the country into a double-wide trailer situated on 5 acres of Malbec vines just down the road from Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in Washington State. The Hedges family took him in and taught him the art of farming and the old world philosophies of wine. He now travels North America peddling the family's vintage, and chances are you can find him in an airport somewhere working on his next novel. 

For more on Boo and his writing, visit his website at

Here is what some readers had to say about LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH:
“His characters were so enthralling and believable- that I felt as if I was sharing their moments concurrently with them. I can't wait for his next book...I hope TA/Travis returns!! Bravo!” -- Teacher Traveler 
“This was a great book, full of laughter and intrigue, then finally a can't-put-it-down finish that had me reading late into the night! It's a fast-paced mystery with a tough-as-nails, gritty hero, TA Reddick. He's quick to anger and eager to fight, yet openly adores his family, his loves, wine and jazz, with great references to musical artists and banjo.” -- Elizabeth  

“I was impressed with Walker's ability to craft his first novel with the color and eloquence of a longtime novelist. His first person narration transported me to the Lowcountry in a way that authors such as Conroy and Benton Frank haven't been able to do for me. Any transplant to the area can more easily imagine themselves in the Charleston Walker paints over the romanticized versions depicted by the more well known authors.” -- Mermaid 
“I had a hard time putting Boo Walker's LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH down! To complete a book in a couple of days between working and caring for two kids under ate 2 says a lot. Good job, Boo- cant wait for the next one!” -- RJRobbins
Here’s a recap of the synposis:
After one of the worst nights of his life, DEA Agent T.A. Reddick leaves Miami for Charleston, South Carolina, hoping a return to his roots will heal a wounded heart and relieve the guilt of killing a friend. The sleepy and sultry city of Charleston is filled with echoes of the Old South: Genteel playboys, society debutantes, and quiet cobblestone streets. But as Reddick will soon discover, there's very real danger lurking beneath her charming veneer. 
When a movie star's death shines a national spotlight on Charleston's underground cocaine trade, Reddick must go undercover to find the main supplier and shut him down. As a hurricane bears down on the port city and the DEA gets ready to spring its trap, Reddick must contend with more than he’s ever been able to handle.

As an action story, LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH promises plenty of thrills, but goes a step further. Walker has achieved a kind of hero that can draw you in on his personality alone. Written in an easy-to-read, breezy style, LOWCOUNTRY PUNCH transports you into the sumptuous world of the Old South, as it straps you in for an action packed thrill ride. 

Do you enjoy books that transport you to a different place or time? Does the setting matter in a story? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a great (and lucky) Friday the 13th.


  1. Boo, thanks again for guest blogging and answering my questions. It's fun to learn more about how an author writes. Wishing you continued success with your writing.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Boo.

    Boo - I give you a lot of credit for using your research the way you have to make your book authentic. Lots of people don't take the trouble to do that, but an authentic sense of story and place are essential. I wish you much success with your novels.

  3. Great interview and how fortunate that the author was able to meet with people who were willing to answer questions.

  4. Sometimes the depression is the worst thing about writing. I like your story idea and the setting intrigues me. I hope your book sells well.

  5. Great interview!

    And though drugs is not exactly my favourite plot, the cover is very tempting indeed.

  6. Great interview!

    And though drugs is not exactly my favourite plot, the cover is very tempting indeed.

  7. Mason! Thanks so much for having me. And thanks to all of you for the comments and well wishes. I hope we meet again in cyberspace.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.