Friday, October 2, 2009

Michael Connelly and Reed Farrel Coleman interview each other!

We got this compliments of Murder by the Book

Mystery Author Interviews

Michael Connelly and Reed Farrel Coleman interview each other!

Reed Farrel Coleman: For years I’ve quoted you at almost every event I’ve ever done. You’ve been reported to have said that, “It’s not how the detective works on the case, but how the case works on the detective.” Did you say it? And if you did, was this something you thought of before you began writing mystery fiction or did you always have it in mind?

Michael Connelly: Well, I guess you can now start quoting Joseph Wambaugh. (Who will be at the PP on Dec 2 at 7 pm) I do say that quite a bit but try to always credit Joe. I heard that this was the edict handed down from on high to all writers working on the old Wambaugh TV show Police Story. I think it really succinctly states what writing in this genre is all about.

RFC: Can you walk me through the evolution of Harry Bosch? Did you know Harry before you started writing him or did he evolve as you wrote the first novel?

MC: I had previously written two books that went nowhere beyond the bottom drawer of my desk. My take on them was that the protagonist in each was not fully realized and therefore would be unable to connect in any meaningful way to the reader. So it was two years before I tried a third time. In that time i did a lot of collecting of character nuances. So when I started writing Harry Bosch in that third effort I had a pretty good sense of the character and what I wanted to say about him. Of course, I got lucky and got to write more books about him so he has continued to evolve.

RFC: How do you keep your writing fresh after so many years at the top of the game?

MC: That is nice of you to say on two different counts. The answer is, I don't know. What do any of us know? My guess is that you can never have the character go static, you can never have him feeling fulfilled, and you must always keep him searching for answers on many levels. I think if you do all of that you give the character momentum. Velocity always wins the day.

RFC: There are obvious ways in which your background as a journalist have been a great benefit to your work, but are there any subtle ways your background helps that a reader or a non-journalist like myself might miss?

MC: I think the entry into the world I write about is the obvious thing. But on a less obvious but very important level, my journalism experience taught me a lot about writing and about the velocity I mentioned above. I write short sentences that generate momentum in reading. I use dialogue that contains information that moves the story forward. These are all tricks of the journalism trade. And lastly, I spent a number of years working at a paper that put out several editions a day. I sometimes had to write the same story four times a day, using the the same facts but telling the story differently so it would look like each edition had something new to say. (Another trick of the trade.) This taught me to embrace and value rewriting. I think the key to whatever success my books have is in the rewriting. I believe nothing I write is sacred. It can always be torn apart and made better. I start everyday by tearing apart what I wrote the day before.

RFC: Do you ever think about your legacy as one of the most enduring and popular mystery writers of the last twenty years?

MC: I don't because I really don't think it's true. I think the world has changed so much and it moves so fast that nothing is permanent. I am not sure there are going to be enduring classics from this era. We live in disposable times. I write very contemporary stories that I hope hit in the time they are published and then can disappear in ten years because they won't be relevant, let alone fifty. Case in point is my book The Poet. Published in 1997, it is already obsolete. In the book they track a bad guy because he uses a rare photographic device—a digital camera. That was cutting edge for about five minutes.

For More Click Here

Michael Connelly is the #1-selling author of the Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy, and Mickey Haller novels. Reed Farrel Coleman is the two-time Edgar Award-nominated author of the Moe Prager mysteries. They will sign their latest books at The Poisoned Pen, Tuesday, October 13, 12 p.m. For more on their new books and the signing event, please go here.

No comments:

Post a Comment