1--What is the title of your latest release?
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
An expensive but potentially deadly watch creates cultural chaos—and attracts buyers.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
My last two novels were part of a Boston-based crime series. Wanted to get out of Boston and head to New York. Much of the action of DEATH WATCH happens in NYC and Tokyo.
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
Definitely. He’s fun. The book’s nowhere near as dark as it might sound.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Canny, impulsive, and easily fascinated.
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I learned that high-end watches have complications that make them more unique and valuable—like showing the phases of the moon or ringing on the half hour. I decided that the ultimate complication would be if the watch could, at any moment, kill its wearer. Like the Sword of Damocles on the wrist.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I edit as I go. Then edit even more when I’m done.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
Salty cracker things, particularly cheesy salty cracker things.
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I work in a former factory, in a large cement-floored loft that faces a small river and forest. And beyond that forest, there’s a prison. When the writing isn’t going well, I take a look at the prison and realize that things could be much worse.
10--Who is an author you admire?
Russell Banks, my friend and mentor (I dedicated Death Watch to him) who recently passed away.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, which I read as a kid, and made me question the line between fiction and history.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
At the Concord Free Press (www.concordfreepress.com)—the generosity-based publisher I co-founded—we decided to try something slightly more commercial. So we founded ARROW EDITIONS, and Death Watch is the first title we’ve published, leading the way for many new titles/voices to follow, ideally.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Crime, and Eastern European literature from the 1940s – 60s.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
Night of the Hunter
15--What is your favorite season?
Fall, beautiful gateway to the often-grim New England winter.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
By being thankful that I lived another year on this amazing planet.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
Triangle of Sadness, a film that takes the 1% to task in a particularly grueling way. But hilarious.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Mexican. Lucky to have friends who know how to cook.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Dark secret: I collect stamps, old ones. And Greek coins, even older ones. If there’s anything small and shiny, I probably collect it.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
Another dark but funny novel, and soon!
Coe Vessel, son of a legendary adman, has selling in his blood and lands the much-anticipated campaign of artist-provocateur Watanabe’s latest creation—a mysterious watch called Cassius Seven. The enigmatic Watanabe claims the watch can kill its wearer. Convinced it’s a high-art hoax, Coe and his team of renegade creatives work furiously to land the campaign and persuade the world that the watch (rebranded as Death Watch) is the must-have accessory for end-time capitalism.
Thanks to the team’s inventive launch, Death Watch finds eager buyers among the brazenly cocky, thoroughly disillusioned, and silently suicidal. Death Watch soon becomes a cultural phenomenon, harbinger of a new nihilism, and a target for moral outrage—exactly what Watanabe envisioned. But his hoax turns horrific when the watches start going off, killing their wearers. Appalled, Coe and his team reverse course and work feverishly to alert the public. But can they stop the juggernaut they set in motion?
Fantasy Dark [Arrow Editions, On Sale: March 7, 2023, Trade Paperback, ISBN: 9780990805953 / ]
Stona Fitch is the founder of Concord Free Press, a non-profit publisher that has been called a grand experiment in subversive altruism. His seven novels, which include Give + Take and Senseless, have been praised by critics and readers, published widely throughout the world, and produced as feature films. He lives with his family in Concord, Massachusetts.
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