How NY Times Bestselling Novelist S. A. Cosby Writes: Part One


Award-winning, neo-noir novelist and short story writer, S. A. Cosby, took time to speak with me about his pulp fiction influences, the hard work that went into his 10-year overnight success, and the cinematic timbre of his writing voice.

“Writing is like telling yourself a joke for nine months … and hoping that everybody else gets the punchline.”—S. A. Cosby

S.A. Cosby’s short story, “The Grass Beneath My Feet,” won an Anthony Award for Best Short Story, 2019, and his short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines.

His latest, Blacktop Wasteland, is a reinvention of the noir genre described as “…Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist … [the] story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.”

Already an Amazon bestseller, the book has received extraordinary trade coverage — starred reviews, a cover with ALA Booklist, an interview at Publishers Weekly — and has a bevy of early supporters including legends of the genre Walter Mosley, Dennis Lehane, and Lee Child.

“Sensationally good—new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.”—Lee Child, bestselling author

Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews. In this file S. A. Cosby and I discussed:

  • How he amassed such critical acclaim from his heroes
  • The $1 paperbacks that influenced his writing
  • How early advice helped him “go to where the people are”
  • Why he wanted to incorporate the modern, rural, Black Southern experience into his writing
  • The many films that shaped his cinematic prose
  • And how to develop a thick skin, stand up for your work, and defend your dreams!

Show Notes:


Anti-racism Resources Donate to any of the following:

Podcasts to subscribe to:

Articles to read:

Post a comment:


Type at least 1 character to search
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.