Name Rex Carpenter

Age  Early 40’s

Where are you from

Pacific Northwest

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc

Pretty standard. Family of four. Parents both worked. Finished high school, went to university, spent too long trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Racked up massive debt. Became an international assassin to pay down my student loan bills. Met an amazing woman who had the poor judgement to say “yes” when I asked her to marry me. Okay, not the assassin one, but the rest is true.   


Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Currently finishing up an origin story for one of the characters in my first serial The Fixer, Season 1. The book should be live in April. Another origin story coming after that in May. Then Season 2 starts up in June.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

November 2013 is when I started writing The Fixer. Of course I did other things here and there before this, but this is the first work of fiction I have let loose in the wild.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Honestly, from the day I first set forth on this journey. I’ve written other things that would qualify as being a writer but I never really felt like a writer until I started this project.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I think this is a two part question. First part seems to be asking what made you begin to write your first book. The answer to that is a chance meeting of a successful author on an internet hobbyist forum. One guy mentioned in passing that he was a writer. I started asking him questions. All the answers he gave me made me want to give it a shot. So I did.

As to what made me write the story I wrote? I’ve always been fascinated with the outlaws in books, television and movies. The guys who go against social or moral codes to adhere to their own code. Gangsters, crooks, basic bad guys. The assassin or hitman held the greatest fascination to me because here is the guy who does the unthinkable – takes a human life because it benefits his organization or he is ordered to by his boss. But to me, the story of some psychopath killing people he is told to kill is somewhat boring. The guy who has done bad things but is trying to be better is more interesting. Like Jules (Samuel Jackson) from Pulp Fiction or Mike Sullivan (Tom Hank’s character) in Road to Perdition. Or even Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) from The Shield. It is a common enough character, but to me, that is the most interesting person – the person who is trying to get their life back on the righteous path but is either forced to deviate from it because of circumstances they are in or the things they’ve done in the past.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Wordy? I naturally tend towards verbosity, but do my level best to try and cut things down. Make sentences shorter. Try not to get lost in the longer passages because I don’t think it helps keep things moving.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Not sure. I think it goes back to the concept of a hitman trying to be more than just that. Fixing people’s problems but trying to do it without killing. Doesn’t always work. But he’s trying. That’s why in the story my main character, JC Bannister, refers to himself as a solutionist more than once because that’s what he wants to be thought of. The people who need his help, though, usually just want him to fix whatever problem they have.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Not so much. If there is, it’s what I mentioned before – the person who is trying to be better than they are now. I think it is a journey most people are on in their own life so it’s something very relatable to the populace at large. Or at least I hope it is.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Well, I try for realism, but at the same time it is a story about a group of hired killers. I don’t imagine they actually exist, at least not in the numbers in which they occur in fiction. But all the other details I try and get as realistic as I can. Make sure the places I discuss are, for the most part, close to real life. Try and get street names and building locations correct. Try and get the physics of a situation realistic. For example, there was one scene where a character (Theo) had outfitted a car with backyard bulletproofing. I did a bit of research to see what it would need. Turns out Mythbusters did a show on the same topic, so I used their research to tweak some of the details of my story. Things like that.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No, I do not know any hired killers. But I do know people who’ve screwed up their lives, gone down dark paths, and have tried to set themselves on the right way. Some of the places in my books I’ve actually been to, some are not. Some of the things are things I’ve seen or heard about first hand, some are not. But I’m not going to say which. Ha!

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

Books? Honestly On the Road hit me pretty hard as teenager growing up in the Pacific Northwest. Just needing to get out and explore and live life beyond what you were brought up around. I’ve had a few mentors, a few people who I really looked up to. I’d say three. But those stories take too long to tell.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’ve been kind of immersing myself in books about the craft and business of being a writer. Not too much time for fiction, although I’ve tried to keep up with independent writers like LT Ryan, Mark Dawson, Russell Blake, Simon Jenner, and a few others.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Again, right now I’m pretty much head-down, trying to get myself caught up with my production schedule. So other than the ones mentioned above, not really.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

I think I already said this before, but I’ll take the time to say it again – Origin story of a major character in The Fixer, Season 1 due out in April. Another Origin story due out in May. The Fixer, Season 2 starts in June. If you want to keep updated, then join my mailing list.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

A couple friends really went the extra mile. Not naming names. But beyond family it was my friends.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

(crossing fingers) Yes, I do. I know people who are making good money at it and I’m hoping I can follow in their footsteps.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not really. It took me over a year to finish the final compilation of Episodes 1-5 that comprise Season 1, so over that time I do see how my writing changed. I think it might be nice to go back and rewrite some of the earlier stuff. I may do so down the road, but now I’m really trying to focus on what’s coming down the pike instead of trying to perfect what’s already out there.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Just as a kid, spending hours each day in the library after school while my mom and dad worked. Reading dozens of books sparked an interest that, thirty years later, is finally able to be borne out.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Nope. Not gonna. It’s too much in flux at this point. What I will say is I’ve been going back to classic 1970’s thriller movies for a bit of inspiration. Just a slower pace, more character building. Watching those older movies kind of made me enjoy something a little slower paced than the current action movies and books.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Focusing. Always the big thing for me. Some tibit of data I’m not sure of (what cities in the Middle East have rivers flowing through them, for example) pops into my head and before I know it I’ve spent thirty minutes on something relatively useless.

Other than that, what I call logjams. Just getting stuck in a certain scene and not being able to move past it. I don’t think it’s really writer’s block. It’s more about finding yourself backed into a corner and not knowing where things fit and how to get them unstuck. What works best for me when I’m well and truly stuck is to call a good friend or email them. Within minutes or hours of the conversation I’ve got the solution in my head.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I honestly don’t have a favorite. I just read a Michael Connelly book for the first time a few weeks ago (I know, I know) and I really enjoyed it. Not just for the story but for how he wove the story together.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, although I will use places I’ve travelled to in stories if I think it will fit.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The Fixer, Season 1 was a premade done by GoOnWrite.com (which, for the longest time I thought was “GoonWrite.com”). James was very accommodating. The next story will likely have a custom cover done as I’ve got some specific ideas I want incorporated into it that a premade won’t have. I’m still trying to choose who will do the work for me.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Finding the time. With work and family obligations it’s never easy. But that’s something most writers deal with in the beginning. Luckily for me my body doesn’t like to sleep for more than six hours, so I usually have a little extra time at night to do things related to writing. And using commuting time as wisely as possible.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

That focusing is always a problem for me. If I keep harping on it is only because it is true. I’ve recently tried using the Pomodoro technique and seen some good results with it. Hopefully I can keep it up.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learn how to do as much as you can by yourself. Buy your own domain, self-host it. If I can figure out how to do that, anybody can. Formatting is hard, but can be figured out. Self-editing is a great skill that can save you time and money by getting your work as shaped up as possible before your editor sees it. Learn the craft of writing. Take advice from people you trust, but at the same time trust yourself. Research your genre to make sure what you are doing is a good match for it. If you have enough skill to design your own covers, then combined with good writing, a decent editor and your own formatting, you’ll be a little book producing machine.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Sorry I took so long getting Episode 5 out (seven months, or was it eight) but I’m trying to rectify that by kicking as much butt as I can this year

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Honestly, I don’t. But I do remember the first series I got hooked on – The Hardy Boys. One of the books I read that made a strong impression was Deathwatch by Robb White. Not really sure why, but it just really stuck in my memory for a long time.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laugh? Funny things. Stupid things. Football to the groin type stuff. Cry? Football to the groin type stuff.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?

Other than the writers I mentioned above? This sounds odd, but the watchmaker Bill Yao. He makes some amazing watches (MKII Watches). He built the business up from scratch over a period of several years, is still pushing forward trying to make greater and greater watches, yet at the same time seems to be a personable and relatable guy. Just a guy I’d like to have a meal with. Pick his brain. And fawn over his watches. Try to convince him to re-release my favorite watch that he stopped making.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

“Told You I Was Sick”? “I Ain’t Dead Yet, You Motherfu-”? Joking aside, if my headstone read “A loving husband and a dedicated father” or something like that, I’d be pleased. “Thank God He’s Gone” – not so much.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

A bunch of stuff I don’t have time for – mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, camping.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

TV Shows? Too many. Justified, Walking Dead, Community, Suits, Hannibal. Castle. Other stuff I can’t remember. Reruns of Seinfeld and Friends. And two shows I so wish were still on – The Unit and The Shield.

Movies – action, suspense, thrillers. Rewatched Three Days of the Condor the other day. My nephew talked me into rewatching Magnificent Seven last week so now we’re going on an “old movie spree” – Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Guns of Navarone, Force 10 from Navarone, The Wild Bunch, Godfather, Jaws. All kinds of things are on tap. Plus I’m stoked about Mission Impossible 5, Avengers 2 and Fast and Furious 7. And going to watch Cinderella tomorrow with my daughter. She’s so excited, which makes me excited.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Foods – Thai, Mexican, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. And chili shrimp from Jumbo’s in Singapore.

Colors – grey, blue, green, beige, brown, deep reds. Real boring stuff.

Music – no favorites. Jazz, folk, bluegrass, rock, gangster rap, gothic Americana (sounds goofy but is awesome), Indonesian gamelan, Korean samulnori, Japanese taiko drumming. All kinds.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

I am a teacher, which was pretty much what I wanted to be when I was a kid. So other than that? Gardner, or to be specific, Landscape Architect.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

http://rex-carpenter.com/  is the place. I post infrequently but usually give updates when something is worth updating.

Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Rex-Carpenter/e/B00I33MX2E/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

I have a 5-part series 
called The Fixer. The first episode is free. The link to that is -

The Season 1 compilation link is here: