Never Been This Close to Crazy
Release date: June 1, 2019 – Daley House Publishing
Cover Artist: Logan Hardwick. Artwork by Lauren Trahan
“Watch out for the crazy ones,” they said. But dating after 40 means you gotta sort through all that, right? Sure, Alex Hill had baggage, but he wasn’t crazy—it was just everything around him, like his ex-wife. And maybe his kids. Ok, and his job. A guitar-playing cop on a top-secret FBI task force who borrows his parent’s station wagon while struggling to raise 5 kids on his own wasn’t really what the straight-forward human resources professional Nikki Myers was looking for, but Alex sure was cute…and a good, intelligent man, which was more than she’d found so far. Nikki didn’t want to change him—Alex didn’t need it. But she did want to change his world—he deserved it.
Worlds collide in the seaside town of Edmonds, Washington when Nikki discovers how far she is willing to go to protect Alex and his family from the unpredictable fallout of mental illness. Readers of Gillian Flynn, Maria Semple, and Garth Stein will be quickly drawn in and hooked for the ride into the deep-end of someone else’s crazy, leaving you with laughs, love, and an overcooked sense of guilty pleasure when Nikki’s own secrets are revealed.
Hello Alan! Welcome to the Spotlight! What is the first book that made you cry?
Where the Red Fern Grows
Mine too! I still have the visualization of the boy and the axe and the red bubble! What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Less think. More do.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes. Howard Holt
Great name! If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Mechanics: just use Word to barf it out. Editing: hire someone else.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
$500 on a trailer.
What does literary success look like to you?
Publish a book and an article every year.
That’s a fantastic goal! What’s the best way to market your books?
The answer is found in utopia, but I find in-person events to be pretty awesome.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I spent 40+ years and draw from that experience, along with a little spot-checking along the way during the writing.
How do you select the names of your characters?
It has to sound right, rhythmically.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes. I usually look at the bad ones and look at that person’s other reviews. It usually brings peace.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The first one.
Amen! What is your favorite childhood book?
George and the Purple Crayon.
What made you want to become a writer?
Realizing the power of the story I had inside. Plus the stories I experience every day in police work.
What is your favorite part of the book?
Birthday season. It’s just funny.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
My first ending was some sort of cruel joke.
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
It’s truly unique. It connects with anyone who has had to live with someone who is a little off or is bound to become that way.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Nikki Myers. She’s bad-ass.
What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
How my writing brought freedom or some sort of peace to readers.
Have you considered writing in another genre?
Yes, nonfiction. I have an incredible adoption story.
(answer in ONE or TWO words)
Would you prefer living in the city or country?
What color best describes your personality?
Blue. Midnight Blue.
What do you consider your best attribute?
What’s your favorite beverage?
Single malt scotch
What song best sums you up?
You may be right.
What does your desk look like right now? Clean or messy?
Are you a night owl or an early bird?
What book are you reading at the moment?
Seattle Prohibition by Brad Holden and Missing Person by Matt Horton
What would you take with you to a desert island?
Encyclopedia, Guitar, Dog
If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be?
What would be your ideal holiday destination?
A full kitchen table.
What time in history would you have liked to be born in?
If not now, born in 1898. That way I could spend my 20’s in the 1920’s.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
DIY or call an expert?
DIY. Until it breaks.
What is your favorite fruit?
What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time?
Electronic music composition
What is your favorite time of day?
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Panster with a plotter’s conscience.
Music or silence?
Music. Hands down.
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Alan Hardwick studied music theory, composition, and education at Washington State University before embarking on his career in law enforcement. As an officer in Boise, Idaho, he became a detective investigating everything from juvenile matters to organized crime. In 2001, Alan founded the Boise Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit before moving with his family to Edmonds, Washington, where he currently serves as a sergeant with the Edmonds Police Department.
Alan is a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, a Liaison with the Washington State Fusion Center, a member of the Washington Homicide Investigator’s Association, a leader of the Snohomish County Integrated Child Abduction Response Team, and a founding member of the North Sound Counterterrorism Working Group. Alan also serves as a trainer for law enforcement leaders at the Washington state police academy.
His love of creating music was rekindled in 2014 when Kristen gave Alan a new saxophone for Christmas. With her love and support, Alan re-entered the northwest music scene where he and two friends formed the band One Love Bridge. They currently perform across western Washington. Alan joined the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association in 2018 to help achieve his lifelong dream of becoming an author and to transition his career of technical and legal writing into something more palatable to the public domain. Alan and Kristen currently live in Edmonds with their four-legged furry boys, Arthur, Walter, and Sherman.