Blog Tour: Last Call at the Nightshade by Paul Krueger + Interview

Welcome to the first stop on Last Call at the Nightshade tour for Paul Krueger. This tour is hosted by Quirk Books. Make sure to read the interview below and check the other stops on the Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge blog craw!

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel
Author: Paul Krueger
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Released: June 7th 2016
Review Source: Quirk Books

A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

Q&A with Paul Krueger

What made you think you had to write this story? Was it inspired from experience as most of us go through the post-graduation confusion?
Yes, but it was very specifically inspired by my post-grad confusion. After college, I spent two and a half years in Manhattan, slinging lattes to the one percent. It wasn’t where I’d seen my life going, and for a while I was angry and even ashamed about how I earned my living, but I learned to take pride in my work and see the value in what I did. It’s changed a lot from draft to draft, but Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge has always been about how the world would fall apart if the women and men of the service industry weren’t around to look after the rest of us.
I also thought I had to write this story because no one else had written a book about booze superpowers yet, and my lifelong love of punk rock taught me when in doubt, DIY.

Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?
Not exactly. I worked a lot of shifts behind the counter, hung out in a great many bars until well after last call, listened to my bartender friends explain the difference between rye and bourbon, and did a lot of thinking and feeling along the way. By the time I sat down to write the first draft, I didn’t even need to research. I’d already lived it . . . minus the bits about demons and secret magical governments, anyway.

What was the hardest scene for you to write in Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge and why?
I had a lot of false starts with the first time Bailey and Mona talk one-on-one. My original ideas for Mona shifted as I was writing her, and each time I got to a scene with her was like meeting her again for the first time. She was probably the character that took the longest to come together, and that particular conversation was the scene where it happened.

What is your favorite cocktail to make?
I love the classics, because they’re delicious, but also incredibly easy to mix. Almost all the greats have only three ingredients. Before dinner, there’s the martini (gin, vermouth, olive juice); after dinner, there’s the White Russian (vodka, Kahlua, heavy cream). But in my opinion, any time of day’s a good time to enjoy an old fashioned (rye, bitters, sugar). And by “any time of day,” I of course mean “after ten in the morning.”

What are you currently working on?
I’m shopping my second book around now, writing my third, and thinking about what my fourth might look like someday. I also used to do other kinds of writing—short stories, TV pilots, comics—and I’m excited to slip back into that, too.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
First, don’t be afraid to chase your imagination, no matter what weird rabbit holes it leads you down. If you end up with something you worry sounds stupid, you should probably write about it; that instinct to recoil means that you probably care about it a lot.

And my second bit of advice is to just sit down and write. Maybe unplug your Wi-Fi while you’re at it. I wish I had cooler wisdom to share, but that’s honestly the whole trade secret right there. Do the thing, and don’t stop until the thing is done.

Paul Krueger is a fantasy writer and cocktail connoisseur whose work has appeared in the Sword & Laser anthology. He lives in Los Angeles.

Follow the TOUR
Fantasy Book Critic on June 9th
Girl Who Reads on June 10th
Crossroad Reviews on June 11th
Civilian Reader on June 13th
Teen Librarian on June 14th
Feeling Fictional on June 15th
Andrew Knighton on June 16th

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