Interview with Tall Chamber by Earl Staggs

 Tall Chambers is the main character in my new Mystery/Thriller novel titled TALL CHAMBERS: JUSTIFIED ACTION.  At the age of 38, Tall left the Army after twenty years, primarily in Special Services in the Middle East.  In addition to leading covert operations, he taught small arms, hand to hand combat, and explosives.

* * * * *

EARL  – Thanks for sitting down with me for this interview, Tall. (smiles) First off, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you get that unusual first name?

TALL  – (smiles)  I don’t mind a bit.  A lot of people ask me about that.  My real name is Tallmadge, an old family name my mother picked out. As soon as I was old enough to talk, I asked people to shorten it to Tall. Everyone did  (grins) . . .except Mom, of course.

EARL  –So it’s not just because you actually are tall.

TALL  – No. I’ve been six foot three since I turned fifteen, but I was thin as a stick. In fact, my nickname was “Splinter.”  In the Army, I learned how to exercise and work out to build myself up.  I still work out an hour a day when I can.

EARL  – Do you miss the Army?

TALL  – Yes, I do. I didn’t agree with everything they did, but I felt part of something important and thought in some small way, I could make a difference.

EARL  – I understand after you left the Army, you joined a special agency that does something pretty important.

TALL  – The agency I’ve been with for the last five years is not one of those everyone knows about like the CIA or FBI. This agency keeps a low profile and very few people even know it exists. I hope you understand I can’t say much about it.

EARL  – So, if you told me, you’d have to kill me?  (laughs)

TALL  – (shrugs – doesn’t laugh)

EARL  – (gulps)  Okay, moving right along.  Can you tell us what this agency does ?

TALL  – We track subversive and terrorist groups both here and overseas.  If we determine they’re a threat to innocent lives, we put them down.

EARL  –  Uh. . .when you say “put them down,” do you mean. . .?

TALL  –  Unfortunately, most of them choose to die for their cause rather than go to prison, so we accommodate them. If they want to meet Allah and collect their virgins, we put them in the express lane. 

EARL  – (gulps) I see. How do you feel about that?

TALL  - I don’t enjoy it, but it’s necessary. We have a motto:  kill one terrorist, save a hundred lives.  After a while, you learn to think about the lives saved, not those taken.

EARL  – How do you go about doing. . .uh. . .what you do?

TALL  – The usual. Guns, explosives, whatever it takes.

EARL  – The book is called TALL CHAMBERS: JUSTIFIED ACTION. Is it all about taking out terrorists?

TALL  – No. (hesitates, looks away) Someone very dear to me is killed. After that, my only focus is finding who’s responsible and making things right. I use the resources of the agency, but it’s completely my own personal operation.

EARL  – When you say “making things right,” do you mean. . . ?

TALL  – (shrugs – doesn’t reply)

EARL  – So are you able to find the person responsible and make them pay?

TALL  – (looks away again) Not exactly. It gets complicated. A lot of people are involved, some in high places.

EARL  – How high?

TALL  – As high as you can go in this country.  I can’t say any more than that. I hope you understand.  (looks at watch, stands up) I’m sorry, but I have to go now. I have a job to do across the street. (smiles, extends hand)

EARL  – (stands, shakes hands)  Uh. . .okay.  Across the street? When you say “a job to do,” do you mean. . . ?

TALL  – (turns and leaves)  You’ll probably hear a lot of noise. I wouldn’t go outside for a while.

EARL  – (gulps)

* * * * *

TALL CHAMBERS: JUSTIFIED ACTION will be available soon in ebook and print form. Watch for announcements on my website:

You’re invited to visit my site now where you can read Chapter One of my Mystery novel, MEMORY OF A MURDER.

You can also read a short story called “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer.” Some say it’s the funniest story I’ve ever written.

There’s another story there called “White Hats and Happy Trails,” about the day I spent with my boyhood idol, Roy Rogers.  There’s even a picture of me with Roy to prove it’s all true.

 Thanks for stopping by here today.  Please leave a comment and you may win a free book. At the end of the tour, I’ll draw two names from those who left comments.  The first name drawn will receive a signed print copy of MEMORY OF A MURDER, a mystery novel with a long list of Five Star Reviews.  The second name drawn will receive their choice of a signed print copy or an ebook of SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 tales of mystery from hardboiled to humorous.

Mystery author Earl Staggs recently received his second Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. His novel MEMORY OF A MURDER earned a long list of Five Star reviews. SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 Mystery tales, is available in print and ebook. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine and as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. He’s a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery and a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars, writers and readers groups. Email: Website:

Hi, Earl, I loved this interview! Thank you so much!



I can hardly wait to read this book, Earl.
Kevin R. Tipple said…
It is a good one.

But, in between all the gulps, couldn't have Earl asked if Tall knew Reacher?
Susan said…
Cool interview! And I agree with Kevin - wouldn't it be fun to see Tall and Reacher together? Maybe a co-write project for you?
Kaye Barley said…
is it okay if I say I was lucky enough to have read this already?

If not, well - never mind.

(stands, smles tentatively and walks away).

GREAT interview! GREAT book!
(grins real big)
Patricia Gligor said…
Great interview. I think the moral of this story is "Don't mess with Tall!"
Earl Staggs said…
Marilyn, I hope you read it and I hope even more that you like it.

Kevin, Tall taught Reacher everything he knows.

Susan, Lee Child keeps calling me. That's probably what he wants to talk about.

Kaye, I'm so glad you read it. Your feedback was very encouraging. And I love it when you grin.

Larissa, it was fun, but he made me a little nervous.

Patricia, I like "Don't mess with Tall." I may put that on the cover. Thanks.
Earl Staggs said…
Marilyn, I hope you read it and I hope even more that you like it.

Kevin, Tall taught Reacher everything he knows.

Susan, Lee Child keeps calling me. That's probably what he wants to talk about.

Kaye, I'm so glad you read it. Your feedback was very encouraging. And I love it when you grin.

Larissa, it was fun, but he made me a little nervous.

Patricia, I like "Don't mess with Tall." I may put that on the cover. Thanks.
Jan Christensen said…
Interesting interview. I was going to say "fun" but changed my mind. Tall IS scary. I also had the pleasure of doing an advance reading, and I can say, it's gripping, exciting, and Tall is awesome. Hope things are okay across the street by now, Earl. Stay safe!
Jean Henry Mead said…
From one tall person to another, all I can say is WOW! I look forward to reading the book, Earl.
Earl Staggs said…
Jan, there's no reason to be scared of Tall. . .unless you plan on blowing up innocent people. And things are quiet across the street now. Of course, there's not much left standing over there now.
Earl Staggs said…
Hi, Jean. Thanks for stopping by. You and Tall would get along just fine.
Pat Browning said…
Hi, Earl:

Look forward to meeting Tall Chambers. Any target date yet for publication?

Wishing you happy trails and humongous sales!

Pat Browning
marja said…
Can't wait for this one, Earl, and what a great interview! Thanks!
Marja McGraw

How clever to interview your main character! Tall does sound like Reacher, one of my husband's favorites. We both loved Memory of a Murder. Congrats on the new novel!
Rionna Morgan said…
Awesome!!! I am so excited for you to visit Chanting of Muses tomorrow.

See you soon.
M.M. Gornell said…
Okay, I love Tall, and Memory of a Murder is definitely on my list! Waiting for eBook--didn't see on on Amazon?(you are planning on an ebook, right?) Just thought of trying Smashwords... I think I'm really going to like it. I know you're a good writer, Earl, with this character and some of the story you've revealed--can't wait.

Collin Kelley said…
Loved this interview!
WS Gager said…
Great Interview Earl. I think you could give Mitch a run for his money. I think Tall was more forthcoming!
W.S. Gager on Writing
Earl Staggs said…
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and for the kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed my different take on an interview. It was fun to do.
radine said…
Shucks Earl, I don't even dare ask Carrie McCrite (female protagonist in my "To Die For" mystery series) her age, so I fear I haven't the courage to interview her at all. This interview with Tall was great, and, once more, I admire your skill and writing ability.

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