Baby Shark

Baby Shark

by Robert Fate

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I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Baby Shark by Robert Fate. Writing a book is a sort of a miracle — it can take years, it’s lonely, when you’re working it looks exactly like you’re staring out the window and people resent that, it usually pays nothing and there are three quarters of unfinished novels in desk drawers all over the world. Everyone from the bus driver to the goatherd to the CEO thinks they have a book in them. I thought so too, until I wrote several hundred pages and all I was missing was a plot. Seriously, writing clever dialogue — at least I thought it was clever — about interesting characters — at least I thought they were interesting — was cake. I just couldn’t figure out how to make them do anything. But if you ever want to read about people standing around talking to each other, it’s in the bottom right drawer. It was good to get it out of my system, I think, and I’d like to apologize to those friends who had to read the endless drafts. They say a true friend is one who will help you move — and testify as a character witness of course. I say, a true friend is one who will read your novel and not mention the exciting world of the food service industry, or compliment you on your typing. “Well, it’s very well punctuated.” Trust me when I tell you I get a whole lot of books, and I have read the first few chapters of many first novels, and I have been tempted many times to ask them if they have considered a long haul trucking career. You don’t hear about every book I read here on Fiction Nation, and no thanks are necessary.

At ay rate, I am not a novelist. And it’s a rare writer who can sit down and crank out a decent read on the first try. You want to hate that person a little bit. But you can’t hate a guy like Robert Fate, even though he’s written an excellent noir crime thriller called Baby Shark, his first novel, and has the third in the series almost finished. Instead of writing your typical tough guy first person narrator — and almost all first novels are in first person, it’s like the law or something — he decided his voice would be that of a teenaged girl in Texas in the 1950s. This made me love him a little right off the bat.  His Kristin is a tough cookie with a soft heart, a trained killer on the trail of the gang who brutalized her and murdered her father, but she gets scared, she’s ambivalent, and she sometimes wants to trade in her weapon for a nice pair of high heels and just go on a date that doesn’t end in gunplay. Even so, I wouldn’t cross her. And as interesting as the twists and turns of the plot are, the best thing about this book is watching Kristin recover from her assault, gather friends together, and learn how to stand on her own feet.

Robert Fate has had a life that would make a good book in itself, having been a marine, an oilfield roughneck and a fashion model for starts. Interesting life, interesting man. And he can write.

The book is Baby Shark by Robert Fate. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Baby Shark by Robert Fate.

This is a debut novel, a hard boiled noir thriller set in Texas back in the 1950s. I give the author a round of applause for breaking away from the first person narrator who is generally a taller, cooler, tougher version of the author himself, and writing this book from the perspective of a teenaged girl. Baby Shark is Kristin’s nickname because she will beat you at pool in a hot minute, but she’s also recovering from a brutal assault and planning revenge on the bad guys. The dialogue is sharp, the characters are memorable, and Kristin herself is both a good hearted young woman and a trained killer. Robert Fate will be my guest this weekend and he’ll talk about Baby Shark. That’s at 6pm east on Saturday, and 10am east on Sunday, on Take Five, xm 155.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Baby Shark by Robert Fate.

Baby Shark is the first, and Baby Shark’s Beaumont Blues is the second in this crime thriller series, with the third on the way. Kristin is a young woman in 1950s Texas. After a terrible attack at the start of book one, she turns herself into an instrument of revenge. But when you’ve wiped out the bad guys, what to do with your skills? Become a private investigator, at a time when that wasn’t a common job for a girl. Still isn’t, I guess. Baby Shark is narrated by Kristin, and she’s a nice mixture of toughness and ambivalence about the things she does — the obvious comparison would be Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, but Kristin is a bit more soft hearted. Robert Fate is the author and he’ll be my guest this weekend to talk about writing Baby Shark. That’s at 6pm east on Saturday and 10am east on Sunday. Fiction Nation is on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Baby Shark, the debut crime thriller by Robert Fate.

Instead of the typical first person tough guy narrator, this book surprised me by being narrated by a young girl, the survivor of a vicious attack at the start of the book. She’s out for revenge in the seedy parts of 1950s Texas. Baby Shark features some interesting characters, and since the author spent some time writing for soap operas, he knows how to write dialogue. Kristin is both a super tough cookie and a frightened young woman; she’s willing to kill the bad guys without flinching but feels the pull of wanting a normal life, and maybe a date that doesn’t end in gunplay. Read more about this book on my website, www dot fiction nation online dot com.  Baby Shark is by Robert Fate. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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