Susi Qs – Week 46 – Rod Reynolds

Today’s guest is my good pal Rod Reynolds! Rod is the author of five novels, including the Charlie Yates series, the standalone Blood Red City and his latest release, Black Reed Bay. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’ A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books published his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City, which was longlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. In 2021, he returned to the US, this time to present-day Long Island, with Black Reed Bay. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in Novel Writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and children and spends most of his time trying to keep up with them.

So, Rod…

When did you last sleepwalk?

I’ve never sleepwalked to my knowledge. My kids, on the other hand, do it constantly and freak me out.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?

When I moved into halls at uni, in the first week, the window next to my bed smashed in the middle of the night, waking me up and showering me with glass. My roommate, who I barely knew, was standing over me, bleeding, and said someone had thrown a brick through it from outside. I didn’t sleep again that night. Of course, it turned out the next day he was pissed and had got up, disoriented, and tripped and fallen into it.

What’s the last book you read?

The Woman In The Woods by Lisa Hall. Extremely creepy.

Sum yourself up in one word


Who was the best Beatle?

Never been interested in the Beatles.

What are you having for lunch tomorrow?

Tacos, if I have anything to do with it.

Are you any good at potato sculptures?

Wtf? What kind of nutter actually does that?

Is there life on other planets?

If the universe is effectively infinite, then there almost has to be, right? Doubt we’ll ever encounter them though.

Would you rather give up washing, smiling or reading?

Smiling. Makes my cheeks hurt anyway.

What were you in a previous life?

A roguish speedboat captain with a heart of gold making drug runs in the Caribbean. It was bloody awesome and I’m hoping to go back to it in my next life. Got some unfinished business off the Turks & Caicos islands.

* * *

* * *

If you want to know more about Rod, you can find him on twitter @Rod_WR. His books can be found HERE.


Harrogate Happenings

Yesterday afternoon, I returned from my annual trip to Harrogate for the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival, the event where 100s of crime writers, bloggers, authors, industry professionals and many, many readers converge at The Old Swan hotel (of Agatha Christie disappearance fame…) for a weekend of talks, parties, drinks, books, scandals and hangovers. As usual, the festival was excellent fun – and even the rain didn’t stop play 🙂

Great things…

  • The Pimms-in-A-Tin tent… genius
  • Promoting my new book The Deaths of December at the Hodder drinks party, which included pulling crackers and saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to a lot of bemused faces (and keeping my reindeer antlers on all night afterwards)
  • Reading my short story ‘The Chair’ while my fellow Slice Girls A.K. Benedict and Steph Broadribb duct taped author Neil White to a chair at The Blues Bar (thanks to Zoe Sharp for the torch!)
  • The Slice Girls performance afterwards (as part of fringe event Noir At The Bar)
  • The Dark Side panel on Friday, featuring Clare Donoghue, Elly Griffiths (this year’s fab festival chair), Simon Toyne, Lesley Thomson & James Oswald – chatting about supernatural elements in crime and why we should all read it
  • Chocolate cake and Prosecco at the Bonnier drinks party
  • Hanging out with lots of really cool people and laughing very much at lots of unrepeatable and ridiculous thing (…laughing at Katerina Diamond telling me to stop laughing so much)
  • Ed’s highanus
  • Danny not being dead

Annoying things…

  • Not getting a burger because it started to piss down with rain and they had to close it down before everything blew away
  • Not spending enough time with some people (and not seeing others at all…)
  • My agent not being there
  • Rain
  • Forgetting to buy Farrah’s fudge
  • Rod Reynolds*

Sad things…

  • Thinking about the beautiful Helen Cadbury, who had planned to be there and will always be missed 💔

Some pics below, mostly stolen from others. Thanks to the organisers for a fantastic event, my publishers for spoiling me with a lovely meal and showering me with praise, the cleaner at The Cairn for giving me extra biscuits, and all the lovely people who kept me entertained. Roll on 2018!!

*Not really 🙂