I stepped into Bukowski's Basement for a quiet drink and ended up getting worked over by tough guy, Anthony Venutolo...
THIS FORMER LAPD LIE CATCHER
PRIMED TO CONQUER KINDLE’S CRIME CHARTS
Paul, you've been kicking around the writing biz for quite some time. You've written a bunch of novels, short stories, screenplays and were the co-creator of a new pulp line (Fight Card), what makes Lie Catchers different from your previous work?
Lie Catchers is my most intimate book on two levels. First, it really delves into my personal experiences as an interrogator. This was something I’ve been wanting to do for several years now. Interrogation is an intimate dance between the interrogator and a subject all in pursuit of an elusive concept of truth. We all have our personal space, which can vary depending on the situation we are in – public, social, intimate. The intimate zone (0’–1.5’) is reserved for those individuals to whom we are closest, who we trust. A great interrogator lives in the intimate zone.
When I am in an interrogation, I have no barriers between myself and the suspect. We are knee to knee, and sometimes closer. I sit on the edge of my chair alert to anything the suspect does I can interpret as a sign of deception. If a suspect’s behavior changes when I ask anxiety raising questions from what it was when I was asking non-anxiety questions (usually personal history stuff so I can get a behavioral base line) then I know I caused that deceptive behavior to happen. Often my first clue is when the suspect’s carotid artery begins to pulse in their neck. This is visible, but you have to be in the suspect’s intimate zone to see it.
As a sex crimes detective, think about what I am asking of a suspect. I’m asking them to tell me their deepest, darkest secrets – secrets that will get them sent to prison for long stretches of time. The only way to do that effectively is to developed an intimate relationship between the interrogator and the suspect. Using my personality, my empathy, and a complete lack of judgment, I have to draw a suspect into a world where there is nothing outside of our mental engagement. I know this works because I’ve done it time and time again. And like Ray Pagan in Lie Catchers, I’ve been able to pass that skill on to others.
The book is also intimate because it is told in the first person voice of Calamity Jane Randall – an experienced detective who is about to have her world turned inside out by Ray Pagan. My connection to Jane and her personality felt very real to me. As I wrote, it was as if she was right there, in my intimate zone, whispering in my ear.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW CLICK HERE
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER: By day, Anthony Venutolo (proprietor of Bukowski's Basement) works on the Digital Operations Team in the newsroom of NJ Advance Media, home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Star-Ledger newspaper and its web site NJ.com. When he’s not in HTML, social media or SEO Hell, he also dabbles in writing fiction and a small bit of poetry. He has freelanced for such magazines as Bikini, Details, Chance, Men's Health and Playboy Online, while also writing columns for the gambling magazines Casino Player and Strictly Slots. His pulp novella FRONT PAGE PALOOKA was released September 2013. A follow-up collection of short stories, BOURBON & BLONDES is also available.