This episode I’m interviewing Life Long Louisiana Native, prolific author and a former law enforcement col-league of mine, O’Neil De Noux. O’Neil’s works include….
- Eight Dino LaStanza novels
- Numerous novels in both the Beau and Caye series.
- At least eight other novels that I could count
- A screenplay
- Several non-Fictions (including a writing guide)
- And a list of short stories that I won’t even begin to count.
- His awards include……
- Shamus awards; Derringer awards and the POLICE BOOK OF THE YEAR for 2011
About the author
O’Neil De Noux (born in 1950 in New Orleans, LA) is a prolific American novelist and short story writer. Although most of De Noux’s fiction falls under the mystery genre, critics describe his work as character-driven crime fiction, he has published stories in many disciplines beyond the mystery, including historical fiction, children’s fiction, mainstream fiction, science-fiction, fantasy, horror, western, literary, religious, romance, humor and erotica.
His writing has garnered a number of awards including the SHAMUS AWARD from the Private Eye Writers of America given annually to recognize outstanding achievement in private eye fiction; the DERRINGER AWARD from the Short Mystery Fiction Society given annually to recognize excellence in the mystery short form; THE UNITED KINGDOM SHORT STORY PRIZE; POLICE BOOK of the YEAR from Police-Writer.com; and an ARTIST SERVICES CAREER ADVANCEMENT AWARD from the Louisiana Division of the Arts for the novel Battle Kiss.
Public Service Career
His army MOS was Photographer: Combat Still. De Noux took run-of-the-mill army pictures while expressing himself creatively with black-and-white still-life photos, winning several Best Photo Awards. De Noux earned a Bachelor’s Degree in European History from Troy University.
The next three years, De Noux served as criminal intelligence analyst for the Regional Organized Crime Information Center in suburban New Orleans.
From 1977 to 1980, De Noux was a uniformed patrol officer for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the most rewarding working experience of his life. When promoted to the Homicide Division, De Noux found his calling and finally discovered what he should write about. An exceptional career as a homicide detective followed in which De Noux solved every murder where he was lead investigator (fifteen) and assisted in over fifty other homicide investigations. In 1980 De Noux completed the Homicide Investigation curriculum at The Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville.
Earning seven commendations, De Noux was named Homicide Detective of the Year in 1981. Shortly after, he was transferred from Homicide, banished to a quiet police district when a new sheriff was elected. Offered a lucrative position as chief investigator at a private investigative firm, De Noux worked as a P.I. for the next six years. Freed from working double shifts with the sheriff’s office, De Noux sat down to pen a homicide novel in 1986.
Turning Patrolman LaStanza into a homicide detective, De Noux completed Grim Reaper, which was immediately purchased by Zebra Books. Four subsequent LaStanza novels followed, The Big Kiss, Blue Orleans, Crescent City Kills and The Big Show. Lauded for their hyper-realistic portrayal of police homicide work, the LaStanza Series received critical acclaim for its sharp dialogue and fast-pacing. In 1999, a short story collection, LaStanza: New Orleans Police Stories (Pontalba Press), received an “A” book-review rating from Entertainment Weekly magazine. De Noux adapted one of the LaStanza stories “Waiting for Alaina” into a screenplay, which was filmed in New Orleans and broadcast on local TV in 2001.
With the release of Grim Reaper, De Noux met George Alec Effinger, a talented science-fiction writer living in near obscurity in the French Quarter. Effinger’s first book in his Budayeen Series, When Gravity Fails, was just released. A strong friendship developed as Effinger encouraged, then taught De Noux how to write short stories. When Effinger introduced De Noux to his literary idol, Harlan Ellison, De Noux found his mentor.
Returning to New Orleans in 1992, De Noux began a long association with Louisiana colleges, teaching writing classes (creative writing, short story writing, mystery writing and science-fiction writing) at Tulane University (1993–1997), the University of New Orleans (1998–2005), and Delgado Community College (2004–2005). In 1993, De Noux’s non-fiction book Specific Intent, a lead title from Pinnacle Books, became a main selection of the Doubleday Book Club. This true-crime book detailed the intricate police investigation of a murder case which shocked south Louisiana. By the end of the Twentieth Century, De Noux had sold nearly two hundred short stories and had written articles for The Writer Magazine, The Times-Picayune newspaper, Gambit Weekly and Police Magazine.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, severely damaging De Noux’s home, he relocated with his wife (Debra Gray De Noux, editor of the anthology Erotic New Orleans) to Southwest Louisiana. Taken in by generous patrons of the arts, Anne and Dr. Lee J. Monlezun, De Noux taught mystery writing at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA, in 2006. Nearly a year to the day after Hurricane Katrina, De Noux resettled across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans in St. Tammany Parish. The economic crunch in which he found himself after the hurricane also necessitated his returning to law enforcement as a police investigator at a Louisiana Univ.
De Noux is also the creator of two additional recurring characters, 1890s New Orleans Police Detective Jacques Dugas and contemporary NOPD Homicide Detective John Raven Beau. These characters, along with Dino LaStanza and Lucien Caye, have appeared in dozens of magazines and anthologies, including top mystery magazines such as Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock and Crimewave (UK). Beau, half-Cajun and half-Sioux, is prominently mentioned on several Native-American Detective web sites.
Recognizing the future of publishing, De Noux made a move to eBooks and print-on-demand books in 2010. The long-awaited erotic-thriller, Mafia Aphrodite (sold to Orion in 2006 but abandoned when the NEON line of books was canceled) was published by British publisher Xcite Books. A sexy caper novel, Slick Time, was published by Big Kiss Productions, followed by New Orleans Mysteries, New Orleans Nocturnal, the novel John Raven Beau and the second edition of New Orleans Confidential (includes the two award-winning private-eye stories, “The Heart Has Reasons” and “Too Wise”). Taking control of his career, De Noux and wife Debra (now his business manager) lay out the books, create the covers and control the pricing of the books. Additionally, De Noux began selling previously published and unpublished short stories on Amazon KINDLE directly to the public as eBooks via his web site – http://oneildenoux.net
O’Neil De Noux’s prolific output continued through 2011 and into 2013 with the release of a collection of historical mysteries, New Orleans Prime Evil, followed by the publication of his first private eye novel, Enamored starring Lucien Caye. De Noux followed with a crime-suspense novel Bourbon Street, a superhero novel Mistik and a collection of science fiction stories, Backwash of the Milky Way. January 2013 saw the release of the long-awaited new LaStanza novel New Orleans Homicide and the re-issue of the entire series backlist of LaStanza novels, followed by the publication of the second John Raven Beau novel, City of Secrets (an after-Katrina novel). In December 2013, the seventh LaStanza novel was released. The Blue Nude moves LaStanza from homicide detective to private eye.
“There is one book I was meant to write,” O’Neil De Noux says. It is the historical epic set during the Battle of New Orleans. Haunted by the battlefield in Chalmette since childhood (he lived in nearby Arabi for ten years), De Noux penned the 320,000-word novel Battle Kiss in 2011, and followed it in 2013 with USS Relentless, a 230,000-word historical saga of the US Navy during the age of sail and set during the Barbary War of 1803 through the War of 1812.
About the books
Awards and Recognitions
Vice-President of the PRIVATE EYE WRITERS of AMERICA (2012-2013)
2015 Literary Artist of the Year – St.Tammany Parish Art’s Council, St. Tammany Parish, LA
2016 Shamus Award Nominee for BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL PRIVATE EYE NOVEL The Long Cold
2014 Derringer Award Nominee for BEST NOVELETTE “For Love’s Sake”
2013 Shamus Award Nominee for BEST INDIE P.I. NOVEL Enamored
2011 POLICE BOOK OF THE YEAR. On May 23, 2012 (San Dimas, CA), Police-Writers.com professional writers organization named the novel John Raven Beau by O’Neil De Noux as the police book of the year. The selection process considered all fiction and non-fiction books authored by police writers in 2011. Current, retired and former law enforcement officers are included in the organization of over eleven hundred published writers who have published over 2,300 books.
2009-2010 Artist Services Career Advancement Award from the Louisiana Division of the Arts
2009 Derringer Award Winner The Short Mystery Fiction Society awarded their 2009 Derringer Awards for best short mystery fiction on May 1, 2009. “Too Wise” by O’Neil De Noux (from the November 2008 Issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine) won BEST NOVELETTE (stories between 8,001 and 17,500 words). “Too Wise” is a Lucien Caye private eye mystery. The Derringer Awards are given annually to recognize excellence in the short mystery fiction form. Another De Noux story, The Bonnie and Clyde Caper featuring John Raven Beau was nominated in the Derringer Best Long Story category.
2007 Shamus Award Winner for BEST SHORT STORY was awarded to “The Heart Has Reasons” by O’Neil De Noux (the cover story of the September 2006 Issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine). The prestigious Shamus Award is given annually to recognize outstanding achievement in private eye fiction. Both Enamored and “The Heart Has Reasons” feature De Noux’s private eye Lucien Caye.
Best American Mystery Stories Collection. Stories included in 2013 and 2003 editions.
2007 United Kingdom Short Story Prize – Short Story Challenge Winner
2005 Artist Mini-Grant Award for Literature from the Louisiana Division of the Arts
Short Story Collections
- LaStanza: New Orleans Police Stories
- New Orleans Confidential
- New Orleans Prime Evil
- New Orleans Nocturnal
- New Orleans Mysteries
- New Orleans Irresistible
- Hollow Point & The Mystery of Rochelle
- Marais Backwash of the Milky Way
- Battle Kiss
- Slick Time
- USS Relentless
- The French Detective
- Death Angels
- Mafia Aphrodite
- Bourbon Street
LaStanza Series Novels
- Grim Reaper
- The Big Kiss
- Blue Orleans
- Crescent City Kills
- The Big Show
- New Orleans Homicide
- The Blue Nude
- The Long Cold
Beau Series Novels
- John Raven Beau
- City of Secrets
- Nude in Red
Caye Series Novels
- New Orleans Rapacious
- Hold Me, Babe
Waiting for Alaina
A Short Guide to Writing and Selling Fiction Specific Intent
This episode was brought to you by Xiphos Books & Training. Xiphos Books is responsible for books such as ‘Welcome to New Orleans… How many shots did you hear? Volume 1 and 2 as well as the fiction novel A Salty Life & A Traitor’s Death. Be sure to stop by their website and look at their books, training and public speaking dates.
Remember that next week we will be interviewing Detective and author Bernard Schaffer from the Philadelphia area. Another author with works in many genre…… It’s a don’t miss event!
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Guest O’Neil De Noux