Dutch author Jochem Vandersteen has been an enthusiastic apologist for PI fiction. Ten years ago, he created Noah Milano, a reformed Mafioso trying to go straight. He tracks the comings and goings of PI fiction on his blog, The Sons of Spade, and is the founder of The Hardboiled Collective.
You’re known mainly for your PI character, Noah Milano. Tell us a little about him.
I created Milano more than 10 years ago to be my ”ultimate PI”, the character I wanted to read about in those days.
He’s influenced by Spenser and Elvis Cole, infused with a more modern edge. Through the years he came to be more and more his one unique character.
The main thing that makes him unique is the fact he used to work for his mobster father and has been looking for redemption after severing his ties to his dad. The conflict between what his upbringing tells him to do conflicting with what is the right thing to do has made him popular with a lot of fans.
More and more Milano seems to have become a last resort for people in trouble than a regular PI-like character. More Equalizer than Rockford if you will. He’s been starring in his own novel (http://www.amazon.com/White-Knight-Syndrome-Milano-mystery/dp/0595274838/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_6), short story collection (http://www.amazon.com/Tough-As-Leather-Collection-ebook/dp/B0056IBUR8) and novelette (http://www.amazon.com/Alabaster-Skinned-Mule-Milano-Novelette-ebook/dp/B005T0UC3G/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4) since, earning kind comments from people like David Levien, Wayne Dundee, Jeremiah Healey and many others.
You went the independent route from the get-go. What was behind that decision?
I live in the Netherlands but like writing in English and also understand that this language makes it easier to reach a large audience. I understood many legacy publishers would think this an odd situation so I published via IUniverse and came out with White Knight Syndrome.
With the success of ebooks I decided I would be able to reach many new readers also without the handicap of being a non-US resident. I’ve decided to put out my first novel, White Knight Syndrome, in ebook-form in December 2011 by the way.
You have a new series out now. Tell us about Mike Dalmas.
Dalmas is a husband and a father, ex-Special Forces and car salesman. He’s also the guy the Bay City cops call in when they need something done the badge keeps them from doing. You see, the cops know Dalmas killed the man who molested his daughter and are prepared to keep him out of jail if he keeps doing their dirty work.
Where Milano is influenced by my favorite PI’s Dalmas is influenced by writers like Lee Child, Matt Hilton and David Baldacci.
There’s a new Dalmas story coming out every month via Trestle Press.
I’ve got a scoop for you as well, there’s a new character coming up called The Innocence Man, a college professor dedicated to get innocent people out of jail. Look for him to appear soon.
You’re working with Trestle Press (whom I’ve interviewed here, along with fellow author Paul D. Brazill.) How did that relationship come about?
Simple. I read about what Paul D. Brazill had been doing and it sounded like a great way to go with my Mike Dalmas stories.
Tell us a bit about your blog, The Sons of Spade.
On my blog I feature news, interviews and reviews about PI fiction. I started the blog to counter the idea the PI novel is dead AND as a way to promote my work. It’s been very rewarding, resulting in getting to know fantastic writers who have been very kind to me. It also allowed me to found the Hardboiled Collective (http://www.amazon.com/Hardboiled-Collective/lm/R11XQIPKS6YD96), a group of hardboiled writers promoting each other’s work.