I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Video Killed the Radio Star today and I’m joined by author Duncan MacMaster who will be shedding some light on his main character!
First, here’s the blurb …
Fahrenheit Press (30 July 2018)
Money in the bank and his dream girl on his arm – life was looking pretty sweet for Kirby Baxter.
Of course it couldn’t last. Where would the fun be in that? This is a sequel after all.
After solving the murder of a movie starlet the previous year, Kirby is doing his best to live down his burgeoning reputation as part-time Interpol agent and amateur sleuth.
Then reality TV comes knocking next door.
Million Dollar Madhouse is a reality TV show where a bunch of washed up celebrities are thrown together in a dilapidated mansion while their attempts to renovate the building are broadcast 24/7 for the viewers delight.
Kirby’s quiet town is thrown into chaos by the arrival of camera crews, remote control video drones and a cast of characters including disgraced actress Victoria Gorham, political shock-jock Bert Wayne and reality TV royalty Kassandra Kassabian.
When one of the cast members turns up dead the local police turn to the only celebrity detective in town for help and draft an unwilling Kirby into their investigation.
The first body is only the beginning of another rip-roaring adventure for Kirby Baxter and with Gustav his loyal driver/valet/bodyguard/gardener//chef/ass-kicker at his side, our hero plunges into the fray with his usual stunning displays of deductive reasoning and sheer bloody luck.
Now I have Duncan with me today to talk about Kirby …
Please introduce the character in terms of job, relationships, family etc. …
My lead character is Kirby Baxter, a comic book artist and writer whose life changed drastically when he won a record-breaking lottery prize. Ever since he won that prize his attempts at getting back to his simple life as a cartoonist has been foiled by getting constantly embroiled in murder and mayhem. Thankfully he just happens to be a brilliant amateur detective whose talents earned him a special status as a consultant with police all over the world.
He’s helped in his work by Gustav, a hulking ex-soldier/ex-cop from the Czech Republic who swore loyalty to Baxter because Baxter solved the murder of his adopted sister. Gustav’s not big on conversation, but he’s a good man to have when there’s danger.
Baxter’s also helped by his girlfriend Molly Garrett, a respected comics writer/editor, with a spitfire temper and a cool head under pressure.
When did you create him?
Baxter was first created a little over ten years ago. I had very roughly outlined a crime story set at a comic book convention that was very different from Baxter’s eventual debut in A Mint Condition Corpse. It was pure farce. It was about a comic book artist dealing with forgeries, thieves, assassins, and that his elderly mentor, a legendary artist, was offending everyone with his cranky attitude.
The plot was just going in circles, and I threw it out completely. However, the idea of a comic book geek being the hero of a mystery thriller set at a comic convention stuck with me. A year or two later I started outlining what would become Baxter’s debut along more classic whodunnit lines with the lead character being more of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes/Hercules Poirot. I named him Kirby after legendary comics artist Jack Kirby, and Baxter after the Baxter Building that the Fantastic Four uses as their home base.
After I wrote A Mint Condition Corpse, Baxter and his crew kept haunting the back of my mind, asking to be written again. When it was published by Fahrenheit Press, the publisher asked if I had a sequel in mind, so I immediately went to work on Baxter’s second adventure Video Killed the Radio Star.
Did you write the book to accommodate Kirby or Kirby to accommodate the book?
I definitely didn’t accommodate Baxter in Video Killed the Radio Star, which was sort of designed to discomfit him. His debut took place at a Comic Convention, which is basically his home turf, and the murder and mayhem was an unwelcome invader. In VKTRS Baxter and his posse have to invade the world of reality TV and celebrity, and the pitfalls that come with it. This is a world that’s very alien to them, and very uncomfortable.
What do you like most about him?
Baxter’s moral centre and hunger for justice.
Molly’s energy, drive, and sharp tongue.
Gustav’s stoicism and usefulness when there’s trouble.
What do you like least about him?
Baxter can stumble into self-pity when things don’t work right, but he does fight through it to get to the end. Molly’s temper does get the better of her a little too often, but she’s got a good heart. Gustav is way too talkative sometimes.
Did your early readers/editorial team him them to start with or did you have to change him in any way?
The editors and readers did fall for the characters very early on, so there really wasn’t any demand to change them.
Does he have any similarities with anyone real?
I tried to avoid modelling lead characters after anyone real, at least not too closely. I did base Molly’s physical appearance on an actual person, though her personality is all Molly’s own. When I was writing A Mint Condition Corpse I was struggling to figure out what Baxter’s girlfriend would look like, and I saw this female comedian singing in a web video, and I thought: “EUREKA! That’s what Molly looks like!” So I basically just described her.
Now some of the supporting characters might have real-world analogues, but I will never tell, because some of those possible analogues have reputations for being litigious.
What are your plans for him?
To put them in as many adventures as the readers will take.
Would you be friends with him in real life?
I’d like to think so, but they might be too cool to be friends with me.
It sounds like he’s been on a wonderful journey!
Huge thanks to Emma over at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour, make sure to keep up with the rest of it:
If you’d like to know more, you can get your copy over at:
About the author …
Duncan MacMaster is a writer, pop-culture blogger, and film school survivor from the untamed wilds of Eastern Canada.
When he’s not concocting plots for Kirby Baxter to unravel he’s posting rants and rages about the business behind pop-culture on his blog.
Fahrenheit Press: http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_video_killed_the_radio_star.html
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Video-Killed-Radio-Kirby-Baxter-ebook/dp/B07FYNWDPH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538297014&sr=8-1&keywords=video+killed+the+radio+star+duncan&dpID=518oxIAk-5L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch