The Next Big Thing: I’m writing a second crime novel called The Devil on Eighty-five.


Terry Ambrose (he wrote Photo Finish) tagged me for The Next Big Thing game, where authors talk about what’s coming next. Before I start talking about The Devil on Eighty-five I want to show you Terry’s blog page.  It’s     

The Next Big Thing format runs in a Q&A. Here’s the Q & A for The Devil on Eighty-five…

Title:  The Devil on Eighty-five.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I read Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway and got interested in Arizona’s forbidding western deserts. I learned about Ajo, Arizona, and Rocky Point, Mexico, and about Arizona State Route 85.  By day it’s a tourists’ highway.  By night, it’s a smuggling corridor.

What genre does your book fall under?

Crime fiction.  Subgenre: Border noir.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

You got me there. My detective hero, Manny Aguilar, is a big guy in his forties who is not “cute.”  Handsome, maybe, but not boyish–and he’s got that slightly crooked nose–and, when you look at him, you get that sense that somebody broke it and Manny just coming until the other guy was, like, destroyed.  As for Reina, my heroine, find some tall, slim beauty in her forties with red hair and green eyes who is loving, extremely bright, funny as hell, and a pagan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When a woman is murdered on Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation and her husband is charged with the crime Manny Aguilar and the Goldman Law Firm step in to defend the accused, finding themselves in a parallel world where the scales of justice are balanced with guns and drugs.

Will you book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ll self-publish The Devil on Eighty-five. My first Manny and Reina novel, Devil’s Kitchen, was published by Oak Tree Press and is available on Amazon and various other venues.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

My answer:  It takes what it takes. I think I can answer that better when I write my third border noir Manny and Reina novel.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Jake Page’s The Deadly Canyon; Don Winslow’s Savages, or T. Jefferson Parker’s The Border Lords.  However, truth that’s stranger than fiction drives my novels and bold Mexican journalists like Ana Lilia Perez write that truth, along with Americans like Chuck Bowden and Europeans like Ioan Grillo and Ed Vulliamy.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired by stories about Arizona’s western deserts and by the realities of border life both inside and outside the Tohono o’dham Nation.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Readers who like to identify with three-dimensional characters who’re in situations where they’ll cry if they don’t laugh will like this book. Readers who admired Bogart and Bacall will like the interplay between Manny and Reina. Readers who know about the so-called Drug Wars might find The Devil on Eighty-five interesting.

Check out these writers I’ve tagged to participate in The Next Big Thing blog chain. They’re scheduled to post the week of December 3rd, 2012.

MAR PRESTON, SoCal author of No Dice and other smart mysteries, blogs at

ANA MANWARING, award winning NorCal author, blogs at

J. MICHAEL ORENDUFF, author of the very praiseworthy New Mexico mysteries called the Pot Thief series, blogs at  –don’t forget, like I did, it’s thepotthiefDOTblogspotDOTcom.

And again, check out author TERRY AMBROSE at

For more “tagger stories” check out:

Please visit my Facebook page at Devil’s Kitchen by Clark Lohr.  I currently post there more than I post here at


One comment

  1. I’m a reader who likes to identify with three-dimensional characters who’re in situations where they’ll cry if they don’t laugh. I’m a reader who admired Bogart and Bacall. I’m a reader who likes Clark Lohr’s writing, so I already know I like the interplay between Manny and Reina. Guess I’m qualified for The Devil on Eighty-five. Can’t wait to read it.

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