Today’s Guest: Monte Schulz, novelist, Naughty, This Side of Jordan
The first time I read fiction by Monte Schulz, I think I could be forgiven for wondering if this was going to be the case of the son of a legendary American artist and writer trying to make a career on the old man’s reputation.
You know… Schulz.
But reading This Side of Jordan made it clear Monte had a voice and style that was uniquely his own. It wasn’t perfect, but it would have found it’s way to print and to an audience whether dad’s name was Charles or not.
MONTE SCHULZ podcast excerpt: “Once I knew more about Iva Kroeger, I was able to make my Ida Krueger the same person. All her verbal ticks, her background, her divorce depositions, letters and poems she wrote… A love poem that Ida gives Joe, that’s something Iva wrote. Joe is an invented character I made up. His World War II experiences I got from my writing friend, Sid Stebel. All the WWII stories in ‘Naughty’ came from Sid; the Army Air Corps in New Guinea stories are all true.”
In Naughty, his fifth book since 1990, I think Monte Schulz has truly hit his stride. This crime noir novel, set in the 1950s, was inspired by the real life story of Iva Kroeger and her husband, indicted for the murders of Mildred and Jay Arneson in 1962. It grabs you by the jaw from the beginning and doesn’t ease up until the very last page.
If you’ve read anything from the Hard Case Crime imprint – which publishes everything from James M. Cain and Stephen King to Max Allan Collins – I think you’ll agree that Naughty would be a perfect fit. Instead it comes from Fantagraphics, best known for its graphic novels and cartoonist biographies. The Seattle publisher continues its foray into selective fiction with its fourth Schulz work and it’s a doozy.
Oh, and here’s a bonus you don’t get with most author interviews: Monte Schulz is going to sing an original song a little later in today’s show!