7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Joshua Moehling and Where The Dead Sleep

Hello!

Today, Once Upon a Crime Books presents 7 Minutes in Book Heaven, the podcast where we interview LGBTQ authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and cuddle up with.

Once Upon a Crime Mystery Books Logo with address: 604 W. 26th Street Minneapolis, MN 55405

Visit them online: onceuponacrimebooks.com

Once Upon a Crime Books is an independent bookstore specializing in mystery fiction. Located in Uptown Minneapolis, you can shop in their store Monday through Saturday 11am – 5:30pm. Or, visit their website! There, you can browse all of their books, from new releases to classic mysteries.

In this new episode, Once Upon a Crime Books introduces us to Joshua Moehling and his new novel: Where The Dead Sleep which is available to buy in paperback in-store, or on their website, and it is also available as a digital audio book.

Joshua Moehling (he/him) is the author of the Ben Packard series. The first book, And There He Kept Her, was a Barnes & Noble monthly Mystery/Thriller pick and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ+ Mystery. His second novel, Where the Dead Sleep, was described as “a well-paced whodunit” and “devastating” by The New York Times. Joshua lives in Minneapolis and works in the medical device industry.

Buy Where The Dead Sleep

Visit Once Upon a Crime Books in-person or buy online: https://onceuponacrimebooks.indielite.org/book/9781728247922

Buy the first book in the series And There He Kept Her: https://onceuponacrimebooks.indielite.org/book/9781728275772

Also, in this episode, we talked about Five Decembers by James Kestrel, which is also available at Once Upon a Crime Books: https://onceuponacrimebooks.indielite.org/book/9781789098679

Connect with Joshua Moehling

Website: joshuamoehling.com
Instagram: @jmoehling
Twitter: @JoshuaMoehling
Facebook: facebook.com/jmoehling

Credits

Presented by: Once Upon a Crime Books
Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Theme music: Summer Mood by lesfm

Transcript

[theme music]

J.P. Der Boghossian
Welcome to 7 Minutes in Book Heaven, the podcast where we interview LGBTQ authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and cuddle up with. I’m your host J.P. Der Boghossian.

Today’s episode is presented to you by Once Upon a Crime Books. Once Upon a Crime Books is an independent bookstore specializing in mystery fiction. Located in Uptown Minneapolis, you can shop in their store Monday through Saturday 11am – 5:30pm.

Or, visit their website! There, you can browse all of their books, from new releases to classic mysteries. What I love most however about their website is their Recommendations tab. If you’re in the mood for Espionage, or Psychological Thrillers, or Action Thrillers, or want to read books by Writers of Color or Queer authors, you can get full recommendations for each of those categories and more in their Recommendations.

Their website is: onceuponacrimebooks.com

On today’s episode, Once Upon a Crime Books introduces us to Joshua Moehling and his new novel: Where The Dead Sleep which is available to buy in paperback in-store, or on their website, and it is also available as a digital audio book.

Hello Joshua!

Joshua Moehling
Hi J.P., thanks for having me.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Absolutely, thank you for being here! So how our podcast works, I have seven questions for Joshua and we’re going to spend approximately the next seven minutes in this virtual studio talking about where the dead sleep. So Joshua, are you ready?

Joshua Moehling
I’m ready.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Ok, I will set the timer and here we go. Question number one, please describe Where The Dead Sleep as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush and telling us who that special person is.

Joshua Moehling
So my first reaction to this was I don’t have a celebrity crush, but then just like two days ago my friend texted me and she said that she went to this event in Washington DC And Clinton Kelly and Stacey London were there and I said, “Oh my god! Clinton Kelly is my celebrity crush.” Those are my exact words. So I do have a celebrity crush and I remembered just in time. If you don’t remember Clinton Kelly and Stacey London had a TV show in the early s called What Not to Wear. Clinton is tall and good looking and urbane and dresses like a million bucks, basically the opposite of me in every way imaginable. So, Clinton is my celebrity crush. He’s also an author. He’s written a really funny book, a book of essays.

So I would tell Clinton that I am writing a series and Where the Dead Sleep is the second book in the series and the main character in the series is a Sheriff’s deputy and a gay man living in a small town in northern Minnesota who is solving murders and trying to get his life together. Where the Dead Sleep starts with, the main character’s name is Ben Packard, and so it starts with Packard getting called to a home invasion where a man has been shot in his bed. And there’s a long list of suspects, including his wife and his ex-wife, who is his current wife’s sister, the business partner that he stole money from, the rich guys that he gambles with. So Packard’s gotta figure out who killed Bill Sanderson.

And then at the same time, he’s been working as the acting sheriff. The sheriff has been ill, and the sheriff dies early on in this book, and Packard has to decide is he going to run in an election for the full-time job. He absolutely has no interest in subjecting himself to the scrutiny of an election, but when he does see who’s going to run he might have to rethink his position.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Intrigue all around!

Joshua Moehling
Yeah, I hope so. And it’s the second book in the series. If you haven’t read the first book, you can absolutely start with this one. And maybe it’ll make you want to read the first one.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Absolutely! Okay, well, question number two. What is a sentence from a novel or essay or poem or any other book that every time you read it, it gives you all the feels?

Joshua Moehling
So I loved this question because it reminded me of this poem that I had hanging in my cube early on, when I was working in a corporate job, and I wasn’t writing very much at all at the time. And I had this poem by Pablo Neruda called Poetry. And it’s about when he discovered writing and discovered writing poetry and how he didn’t actually discover it, it sought him out. Like it was this force in the universe that he was compelled to do and I absolutely loved it and it was a good reminder to me that this is what I’m passionate about and this is what’s waiting for me. If I will make the time to do it. So I can just read the very first stanza if you want? It’s pretty short.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Yeah, go for it!

Joshua Moehling
So this is Poetry by Pablo Neruda. “And it was at that age poetry arrived in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river. I don’t know how or when. No, they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence. But from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night, abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone. There I was without a face, and it touched me.”

J.P. Der Boghossian
Mm. Mm-mm-mm.

Joshua Moehling
It’s a beautiful poem. It goes on for a couple more fantastic stanzas, but I just love this idea that writing sought him out. And then when he opened himself up to it, it just introduced him to all the beauty and the mysteries of the universe.

J.P. Der Boghossian .
That’s amazing. I love Neruda. I remember learning about Neruda like in your, you know, your English lit classes and I was sort of like, meh, about poetry. And then they made us read Neruda and I was like, “Oh, wait, what? This is poetry?!” So he has a very special place in my heart. Well, speaking of sentences, question number three, what do you feel is the best sentence you wrote in Where The Dead Sleep?

Joshua Moehling
Okay, so this was a hard one because I think a lot of my sentences are pretty workman-like in this book. They have a job to do and picking one out from the rest is, you know, hopefully they add up to great scenes and funny scenes, but just picking one out was a little bit difficult. But I found one here and this is a woman describing or thinking about her father.

It says, “Carrie had regarded her father like the furniture. He took up space and was easy to ignore, but was there to collapse into when she wanted something.”

J.P. Der Boghossian
Whoa. Oh, I love that. And then like the way you just like flipped your book over like mic drop, like that was yes, that was very evocative. I saw that right away. Exactly. Well done!

Joshua Moehling .
Hahahaha. Thank you.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Okay. Well, question number four, what is the best scene in a mystery or crime book that you’ve ever read?

Joshua Moehling
So I’m gonna cheat here a little bit and I’m gonna recommend a whole book. I’m holding it up, people can’t see it, but it’s called Five Decembers by James Kestrel. This book is set in Hawaii. It’s on the eve of Pearl Harbor and it’s got a police detective who gets called to investigate a murder and you as the reader know what’s coming at this moment in history. The characters of course don’t. It’s called Five Decembers for a reason because it takes five years to solve this murder. It starts investigating it and then the war blows up and it gets caught up in the war machine and ends up prisoner of war for some time. It’s just an amazingly beautifully written historical noir and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I absolutely loved every word of it.

J.P. Der Boghossian
That’s amazing. Thank you for that recommendation. We will definitely link to it on our show notes and on our website. Okay, I love this question. Number five, what are your favorite smells to write about?

Joshua Moehling
So I like to write about food in my books. I think food, it can be very grounding for a reader and you get kind of a double whammy, right? You get the taste, you get the smell, you get a visual too. So if I say something about a lime, you know exactly what, you can see it, you can taste it, you can smell it. So I love to write about food in my books, yeah.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Any particular foods?

Joshua Moehling
Well, I think in addition to writing about food, I like to write about cooking. So just the act of people cooking or making a meal together or sharing a meal. And it could be anything. It could be a roast chicken. It could be a ham sandwich, you know. So yeah, it’s not one particular kind of food. It’s maybe also about the act of cooking and eating together.

J.P. Der Boghossian .
I love that. I love that. Thank you. Okay, also a favorite question of mine. When it comes to writing mystery, what is the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

Joshua Moehling .
I don’t know if this is the worst advice, but I so I’m in a writing group and a writing group is an amazing thing for a writer. I recommend it to everybody. I mean, feedback on your writing from other writers or from readers who know what you’re doing is invaluable. In my first book, what the one of my friends in my writing group kept saying, “you need chapters from the point of view of the girl who’s locked in the basement by the killer.”

And I was just adamant that I didn’t need those. I was like, here’s her point of view. It’s cold, it’s dark, she’s scared. The end.

I’m not adding that. It’s not going to bring anything to the story.

And of course, there were a hundred other ways that she gave me other advice that where she was 100% right and my book was better for it. But this was one where I kind of stuck to my guns. And I was like, no, I’m not doing that.

And I think that’s the thing about advice is you’ve got to develop your own sense of kind of your own radar and your own sense of what’s going to work for you and your book and be able to take the advice that is meaningful and will help you and be able to dismiss the stuff that in this particular case doesn’t.

J.P. Der Boghossian
I love that. Also good recommendations to our writers who are listeners. All right, well, final question. Promote yourself. How do we connect with you and how do we follow you on social?

Joshua Moehling
So joshuamoehling.com is my website. You can sign up for my very sporadic and irregular newsletter. And on social media, I’m most active on Instagram, @jmoehling is my handle there. I’m on Facebook. I’m on Twitter. I’m on Threads. I think it’s @jmoehling on just about all of them.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Perfect. Well, thank you so much, Joshua. This has been lovely.

Joshua Moehling
Thank you, J.P.. I enjoyed it.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Well, this has been an episode of 7 Minutes in Book Heaven, presented to you by Once Upon a Crime Books. To purchase your next mystery or thriller and to purchase Joshua’s Where the Dead Sleep, visit Once Upon a Crime Books in Uptown Minneapolis or online at onceuponacrimebooks.com.

My name is J.P. Der Boghossian. This podcast was produced by This Queer Book Productions, LLC. Check us out at thisqueerbook.com for our other podcasts, including This Queer Book Saved My Life. Until then, see you Queers and Allies in the bookstores!