Talking Thrillers with Don Bruns: Back in Black

Don Bruns is an ad executive and a USA Today bestselling author. As a former road musician, he performed with Ricky Nelson, the Four Seasons, Ray Charles, and others. Bruns has authored seventeen published novels and his New Orleans trilogy has been optioned for a television series. He makes his home in Southern Florida. 

Bruns' most recent release, Back in Blackis the third in his Music and Murder Mystery series, a series of expertly curated anthologies. We caught up with Bruns recently and had an opportunity to chat about this new collection, one that Kirkus is calling “A crisp and clever marriage of music and mystery.”

TFx: What was the motivation for your new book, Back In Black?

Bruns: For Blackstone’s third in the Music and Murder series, (Hotel California and Thriller) we decided to do an anthology based on AC/DC’s album Back in Black. The album is one of the top five bestselling albums of all time. Lead singer Brian Johnson lives one mile from me and I’ve seen him perform several times. There’s an excitement about that band and that album that will send tingles down your spine. We used the titles on that album as inspiration for the stories because they are ripe for murder and mystery. Andrew Child wrote a Jack Reacher story with the title You Shook Me All Night Long. Like the album, these stories will send tingles down your spine!

TFx: Besides Andrew Child with a brand new Jack Reacher story, who else is writing stories in the anthology?

BrunsBack In Black includes Edgar Award nominee Heather Graham, who wrote the story Hells Bells (she is terrifying), NYT bestselling author Reed Farrell Coleman writing the frightening Shoot To Thrill, international bestselling author Charles Todd who contributed Have A Drink On Me,  as well as a host of other bestselling authors. Every one a thriller…a winner.

TFx: What is the attraction, as a reader, to an anthology?

Bruns: Wow! Ten tightly written stories that explode with energy. A chance to find new life in song titles like Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise PollutionWhat Do You Do For Money, Honey. We’ve loaded this anthology, as we have with Hotel California and Thriller, with major mystery/thriller writers and with one book, you get ten fabulous stories and authors. There is the attraction. Ten thrilling stories for the price of one book. And, excuse me for over emphasizing this, you get the latest Jack Reacher story. Pretty cool.

TFx: So what drew you to rock albums and music mysteries?

BrunsI was a road musician. I played clubs, concerts, worked with acts like Ray Charles, The Four Seasons, Ricky Nelson (younger readers are going…”who?”) and as a mystery writer of twenty two published novels, I thought song titles were a great launching pad for short stories. So I picked out bestselling albums and asked bestselling authors to write stories based on the song titles. So far, it’s been a huge success. Next year we are doing Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell. Guess what? The Bat Out Of Hell will be…Jack Reacher. No surprise.

Get  Don Bruns’ latest release,Back in Black, out now on Amazon

"You know that when you combine AC/DC song titles with stellar contemporary mystery writers that something special is likely to happen. It does in Back in Black." - C. J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three-Inch Teeth

Inspired by songs from AC/DC‘s bestselling album, Back in Black, this anthology contains ten murder mysteries from ten bestselling writers—including a new Jack Reacher original by Andrew Child.

The third in the collection of the Music and Murder Mystery Series, Back in Black features one story for each song from the seminal hard rock album of the same name. This book showcases ten brilliant mystery writers at the top of their game, including: Reed Farrel Coleman, Heather Graham, Tori Eldrige, Ward Larsen, and Andrew Child, among others.

Chilling and unexpected, Back in Black has a mystery for everyone.

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