I first heard of Shawn Cosby when he won an Anthony for his short story “The Grass Beneath My Feet,” at last year’s Bouchercon. I mean, the first line alone slayed me: “Anyone who tell you that they don’t mind going to jail is a goddamned liar.” That led me to his debut novel, My Darkest Prayer, which follows one man’s descent into a particular small-town hell. So I shouldn’t have been surprised, then, when the wild praise for his upcoming (July 2020) novel, Blacktop Wasteland, started rolling in – blurbs from Lee Child, Dennis Lehane, and so many others known for gritty fiction. On the off chance you haven’t met Shawn – aka S.A. Cosby – yet, I’m thrilled to introduce him here today.
How does a book start for you?
A book starts for me with the old “what would happen if..” refrain. Something sparks my interest and I try to guess what would happen next. What would happen if a drag racer was also a bank robber? Then I play around with the idea and see where it goes..
Who in your latest book has surprised you most – and why?
I think the character of Jenny. She is a minor side character not really a femme fatale but more like a means to an end. At least at first. But as the story went on she shows deep reservoirs of strength even I didn’t know she had.
When and/or where is your latest book set and is there a story behind that setting?
My latest book Blacktop Wasteland is set in the fictional town of Red Hill Va. Its basically my hometown of Mathews wearing a harlequin mask.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a revenge novel tentatively titled RAZORBLADE TEARS. It’s about two fathers one black one white both ex-cons who seek to avenge the murders of their sons who were in a relationship and killed in an apparent hate crime.
Which question didn’t I ask you that I should have?
Hmmm how do you find the time to write lol . The secret is …. No one knows the secret .
me neither, and yet… (thanks, Shawn).
S..A. Cosby is an Anthony award winning writer from Southeastern Virginia. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines His story “Slant-Six” was selected as a Distinguished Story in Best American MysteryStories for 2016.. His short story “The Grass Beneath My Feet” won the Anthony award for best short story in 2019
His writing has been called ” gritty and heartbreaking ” and ” dark, thrilling and tragic “. His style and tone is influenced by his varied life experiences which includes but are not limited to being a bouncer, construction worker, retail manager and for six hours a mascot for a major fast food chain inside the world’s hottest costume. When he isn’t crafting tales of murder and mayhem he assists the dedicated staff at J.K.Redmind Funeral home as a mortician’s assistant. He is also known as one hell of a chess player…
Actually its checkers, he’s good at checkers.