Michael Pool

Michael Pool’s Debt Crusher is due to be released by All Due Respect Books January 1, 2016.


Cam Reynolds has a problem. When Cam’s longtime boss Tom Colcetti dies and leaves control of his criminal organization to his predatory son Tommy, Cam may finally get the chance to run a crew of his own. But Tommy has his eyes on new business horizons, and Cam just made a mistake that could destroy Tommy’s heavy-hitting new partnership. NOW Cam must struggle against violent forces of  betrayal, lust and greed as he attempts to either salvage his career, or get out of the game with his life still intact.

Sounds pretty good right? Well, it’s even better in person. And we usually don’t like freaking mob stories here.

“I wanted to write something that felt like a throwback crime story,” Pool told us, “something ‘run and gun’ with action, double crosses, organized crime, that kind of stuff. To be honest, Debt Crusher started as practice, and I assumed it would maybe become a short story, at most. But as I got to know my protagonist, Cam, something about him began to speak to me. I’m a really outgoing person, but when I started Debt Crusher my wife and I were living in Seattle for the summer while she interned for a tech job. I’d never been to Seattle before, and I didn’t know anyone. Up until that point I was interacting with my jiu-jitsu students all day back in Colorado, and with my writing cohort in graduate school at night. I was accustomed to lots of social contact, support, that kind of stuff. In Seattle I had none of those social outlets or support systems.  My wife was gone all day with her job, and I didn’t really have anything to do but wander and write.


“So I spent a lot of time wandering around the city, and Seattle is an incredible place for that. But I also developed a lonely vibe after a while. I think that lonely vibe seeped into Cam unintentionally, and before long I realized he had more of a story than short fiction could accommodate.

“I started to like Cam, too, and to identify with him. I saw that his life could have been different if he’d had people who cared around him. I wanted to tell his story in a way that would help the reader to see the possibility for redemption in him, to feel compassion for him in spite of his flaws.  At the end of the summer I took him back to Colorado with me to finish up my MFA, and with the help  and advice of a few classmates his story expanded into a novelette, and eventually this novella.”

Michael Pool was born and raised in Tyler, Texas (where ADR co-publisher Mike Monson once spent about a year working on the local newspaper before crashing and burning, but we’re pretty sure Pool wasn’t even born at that point) and currently lives in Seattle, Washington. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as All Due Respect (his story Tote the Note nominated for a Derringer Award), Thuglit, Out of the Gutter, Heater Magazine, and Urban Graffiti.  When not writing, Michael can usually be found teaching or training in his other passion, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Find him online at

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