Interview with AR Shaw, Author of The Coffee Killer

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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Coffee Killer (Motel at the End of the World Book 1)?

I write in the post-apocalyptic genre and The China Pandemic was my debut novel in 2013 but after the last couple of years, I think most readers are ready for something a little lighter in the genre. I’m inspired by humor even in dark times and thought there should be a subgenre titled Cozy Apocalypse. A warm and fuzzy take on the end of the world as we know it.

I came up with a scenario for how the world might go on if you had to run a motel and instead of money, you checked in with toiletries and scarce food supply in a world where no plant ever grew again. Coffee would certainly be a hot commodity. It seemed like a fun project, and I was right.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Coffee Killer (Motel at the End of the World Book 1), what would they be?

It’s hard to imagine anything better than Bad Moon Rising for this storyline. It’s apocalyptic but with an upbeat, if that makes sense.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I don’t traditionally read in post-apocalyptic genre. But I do love some of the newer titles by Adrian Walker, like: End of the World Running Club and The Last Dog on Earth was hilarious. Though I’ll read anything by Anthony Doerr or C. A. Fletcher.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

At the moment, I’m reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Amazing author.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

As you can imagine, I seldom get to write humor but there are a few scenes between the motel manager and his housekeeper that were a lot of fun to write. They have a great aunt/nephew kind of relationship, and he’s just not sure about her character most of the time. She keeps him guessing…

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I have a space heater under my desk and will run it, not because it’s cold, but because of the noise it generates – even in a heatwave. It just makes me lose time in a scene. I’m convinced it’s some kind of portal.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

As a writer, I always tell others you have to be there, in the scene. Or it will never work. (Bring your space heater)

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

3 words: This is fiction. (Trust me… it’s been a problem.)


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