Writer Interview: Russell Guenther

By Chris Bunton

The Yard: Crime Blog loves to support writers. Here we have an interview with Russell Guenther. He has blessed us several times with his work, and we are glad to have gotten an interview with him.

1. What led you to start writing?

“I’ve always loved to read, and been tinkering around with writing stories ever since I was a kid, as far back as I can remember. I must have left dozens upon dozens of unfinished little projects in desk drawers growing up. I picked it up here and there as an adult, and really started to take it seriously the last couple of years, focusing on actually seeing my ideas through to the finish.”  

2. Your stories here on The Yard, tend to lean toward the Police Procedural. Is there anything that draws you to this sort of story?

I’m not sure in particular what draws me to the Police Procedural. I don’t know that I necessarily planned to write the stories in that style. I guess you could say it’s just where the stories took me. I always enjoyed television shows like Dragnet, particularly how it infused humor into realistic stories, finding the absurd among the seemingly mundane details. 

3. Do you draw from events in your life?

I absolutely do draw from events in my life. I spent a good deal of time living in the areas I touched upon in the Detective Santana stories, therefore it was relatively easy for me to recreate, mostly from memory, since I have moved away. Many of the situations and characters in the stories were influenced by real events.

4. What writers do you read, or feel influenced by?

I try to keep a diverse catalog of reading material, but probably my earliest influence on crime/detective fiction was Raymond Chandler(kind of an obvious one). I admire Kurt Vonnegut’s whimsy, and Elmore Leonard’s casual grit and ease with co-mingling multiple narratives. Also, Donald Westlake and his books written as Richard Stark. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore your readers.

5. What are your writing goals?

At the moment, my biggest goal is finishing my novel. I plan to keep writing short stories as the ideas come along the way, and I have plans for more long fiction and novels in the future. 

6. How often do you write each week?

I don’t typically pin a time on my writing, but I try to pick it up for at least 15 minutes a day during the week, and an hour on the weekends. If I get on a good thread I’ll spend several hours, sometimes all day, in a sitting. Then there are the periods where I’ll get busy with work and life, or dry spells where I can’t seem to come up with any worthwhile ideas.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don’t presume to be a sage writer by any means, but I can relay what works for me. I believe there is no one good way to write, I’ve just taken the bits and pieces that apply to the way my brain is wired and not subscribe to any one piece of writing advice, or program. I feel stifled if I’m following somebody else’s regiment. One thing I will say: being self-conscious about your work gets in your way. If you worry about somebody not liking your work, it’s probably justified. There will be many people who don’t. Write anyway!

Here’s Russell’s Bio: Russell Guenther is an emerging fiction writer based in the Pacific Northwest with a collection of darkly humorous short stories. His work has been featured in The Stardust Review, Drunk Monkeys Magazine(publishing soon), and previously in The Yard Crime Blog. Currently, Russell is engaged in producing his first novel.

He has published the following stories on The Yard: Crime Blog: “Death at the DMV” and “Safe Cracked: The Peruvian Cob Caper

We would like to thank Russell for taking the time to answer our questions, and we know we will see great things from him.

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