By Don Helin
In his novel, DEADLY CAMPAIGN, Alan Orloff does it again, taking the reader on a wild ride so thrilling that NEW YORK TIMES best selling author P.J. Parrish says, “DEADLY CAMPAIGN has it all—political intrigue, family warfare and, best of all, a hero. If the line between comedy and tragedy is indeed thin, then Alan Orloff is a master tightrope walker.”
In the story, comedy club owner and occasional performer, Channing Hayes, thought the comedy business was tough, but it’s a stroll in the park compared to politics. When he and his business partner, Arnie, attend a congressional campaign event for Thomas Lee’s nephew, masked thugs storm in and break up Lee’s restaurant with baseball bats. The candidate’s people insist that the police not be involved, so Lee asks Channing to investigate. As Channing searches for answers, he finds himself immersed in a corrupt world of payoffs, gangs, illicit affairs, blackmail—and murder.
Biography: Before Alan stepped off the corporate merry-go-round, he had an eclectic (some might say disjointed) career. As an engineer, he worked on nuclear submarines, supervised assembly workers in factories, facilitated technology transfer from the Star Wars program, and learned to stack washing machines three high in a warehouse with a forklift. He even started his own recycling and waste reduction newsletter business. He is the author of the Agatha-award nominated DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD, KILLER ROUTINE, and THE TASTE.
I caught up with Alan the other day and had a chance to ask him a few questions.
Is there anything special you’d like to tell us about DEADLY CAMPAIGN?
DEADLY CAMPAIGN is the second book in the Laff Mystery series featuring Channing Hayes, a stand-up comic with a tragic past. Although the plot revolves around a congressional campaign, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized the book would be released during a big election year. I guess growing up in the D.C. area has inured me to the cyclical rhythms of politics—for us, every year seems like a big election year.
Did any particular event inspire the plot?
Nothing particular, just the typical melange of payoffs, illicit affairs, double-dealings, blackmail, and poorly-kept secrets that seem to hound political campaigns.
What are you doing to promote your book?
Because the Last Laff books take place in and around a comedy club, I thought it would be fun (crazy) to put together a comedy routine and take it out for a spin at my book events. I worked up about ten minutes of “open mic quality” stuff (read: bad). It was fun, albeit a little scary. You can see one performance here.
In addition to my traditionally-published books, I’ve also published two e-book originals: THE TASTE (a horror/thriller), and FIRST TIME KILLER (a thriller). So I’ll be busy promoting these while working on the next books.
When you’re not writing what are you doing (hobbies, family, etc)?
Free time? What’s free time? Actually I have a wonderful family, and I enjoy spending time with them (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).
What didn’t I ask you that I should have?
One of the biggest joys of being a writer is meeting other writers and readers, and I’ve had a lot of opportunities at conferences, festivals, discussions, and book-related events. There’s really nothing like talking books with true book lovers.
Another Jacket Blurb: “Orloff has put together another winning routine…” Library Journal.
DEADLY CAMPAIGN looks great, Alan. I look forward to reading it.