I am super excited to share this blog post, as Texas Dakota was one of my favourite reads last year. It was released yesterday 12th May 2017, by Crooked Cat Books. This is one of those books you read and think ‘this would make an awesome movie’!
Texas Dakota by Lorcan Kavanagh
Brolin Walker is an ex-soldier and drug addict who smokes his days away in Texas with his dog Red. Following an incident with his drug lord boss, Brolin plans to flee Texas for good, but when his mother in law shows up at his door asking him to travel to North Dakota to pay a ransom for his estranged stepson’s body, he finds himself making the trip. But when Brolin arrives at Devils Lake to pay the ransom the body never turns up and he barely escapes the night with his life.
Determined to find out what happened to his stepson, Brolin begins a deadly journey that takes them into an underworld of drug kingpins, treacherous addicts, and violent hitmen. When someone Brolin thought he could trust leaves him for dead drowning in an icy swamp, this sets off a spasm of murder where Brolin’s enemies realize that he is a ticking time bomb of violence. This all hurtles to a deadly conclusion that is just as shocking as Brolin’s past.
Wow, where to start! This novel grips you from the first few pages and is unputdownable!
I was amazed that it is a debut novel for the writer, as it is so tightly and cleverly written. I found the style to be similar to Quentin Tarantino’s script writing or similar to the movie training day, as it just keep delivering with twists, turns and ultimately a shocking brutal ending!
The novel tells the story of Brolin Walker, one time soldier now washed up meth addict and dealer. Through the novel we learn more and more about his chaotic life & that of his wife & stepson. Brolin is a difficult character to summarize, probably best summarised with the quote ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. Where Brolin may have good intentions, it leads him down a path of encounters with the criminal dregs of society. Which makes for action packed gripping reading!
I think this novel has huge appeal to be adapted into a movie!
An outstanding debut! 5/5
*I received an ebook arc via netgalley in return for an honest review.
Q) For the readers, can you give a brief summary of yourself and you novel Texas Dakota?
A) hi readers, my name is Lorcan Kavanagh, I hail from Dublin, Ireland. I’m 33, I’ve been writing for over ten years, and Texas Dakota is my first published novel. In Texas Dakota, the main character, Brolin Walker, takes us from Texas to North Dakota to pay a ransom for his stepson’s body. When he arrives things don’t go as planned and we are thrown into a mystery that Brolin struggles to unravel.
Q) Texas Dakota has a very, Quentin Tarantino writing or Training Day the movie feeling to it. Was this intentional in your writing? Did you set out to write something so iconic
A) I think iconic is a very flattering word to use to describe my work. Thank you. It wasn’t intentional to write like Tarantino or in the style of Training Day, however, I am a Tarantino fan and I adore training day so I wouldn’t be surprised if their influence found its way into my work on a subconscious level.
Q) Brolin Walker is brilliant in the sense that he is edgy, unique and different to mainstream portrayals of ex-soldiers. What was the inspiration behind his characterisation?
A) Thank you. I worked very hard on Brolin. I didn’t want him to be a typical jarhead. I wanted him to be a normal, sensitive human being, who was damaged from war, but damaged in a subtle way. He didn’t have any exterior scars, just interior ones. The inspiration came from wanting to write a main character that was not a cliché. I wanted him to be damaged, and complex, and mean and nice and misunderstood. I wanted the reader to be intrigued by him, and feel for him, but not necessarily like him or feel like they could trust him. I hope I pulled it off 🙂
Q) I felt that the book would work perfectly for a movie adaption. Have you had any success in getting the novel adapted?
A) That’s funny you should say that, because, for a very brief time, it was a screenplay. My publisher has mentioned to me that a film producer is interested in the novel. I know the workings of the film industry well enough to not get exciting. But if a solid offer from a reputable producer came across my desk I would certainly consider it. I’m happy with the story as a book, if it was made into a movie, that would be a great bonus but I’m certainly not holding my breath.
Q) This is a debut novel, surprisingly! What was the process from idea to publication?
A) Thank you. The process I followed was: research and outline first. That took me over one year. Then I did a small amount of visual research. Then I wrote a screenplay version. Then I used that and the outline to write the first draft. After that, I think about eight edits were done on it. Then I submitted it to publishers and agents. I got two offers back and I went with the best one. It was around a three-year timeline.
Q) What’s next for Lorcan Kavanagh, are you writing a next novel? How long do us fans have to wait?
A) Next up is another novel. It’s the first in a series. I don’t want to give anything away, but what I can say is that it’s set inside the secret world of illegal organ harvesting. The release date is mid 2019.
*Thank you to Lorcan for taking part in a Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your novels release on the 12th May 2017 and your future writing career 🙂