Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lawrence Block- Matthew Scudder (Part One)

I first met Lawrence Block in March, 1984 in Indianapolis, where he was doing a seminar titled "Write For Your Life". I have been a fan ever since.He is the author of the Matthew Scudder series, one of the finest mystery series ever written. His Matthew Scudder novel, ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING, was published on March 1, 2005 by William Morrow.
   Mr. Block is the writer of the popular Bernie Rhodenbarr 'Burglar' series. He also writes a series featuring Keller, a hit-man for hire. Other series characters include Evan Tanner and Chip Harrison.
Larry has written several books on the craft of writing; two of my favorites being TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT and SPIDER, SPIN ME A WEB. Both of these books are still in print.
Mr. Block's newest Scudder novel is A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF, published by the Mulholland Books imprint of Little, Brown. More about it next week.
   Mr. Block has won the prestigious Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America. In May, 2004 he was awarded the Life Achievement Award by the Crime Writers Association in London.
This interview took place in December 2004 at The Trump Plaza in Manhattan. It originally aired on January 5, 2005. Enjoy!


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Sunday, May 22, 2011

David Baldacci- Part Four THE WHOLE TRUTH

David Baldacci makes his fourth appearance on the show this week. His new novel, THE WHOLE TRUTH, published by Grand Central, debuted at #1 on The New York Times best seller list in 2008. THE
WHOLE TRUTH is a return to the traditions political thriller; of which Mr. Baldacci is a master.

THE WHOLE TRUTH is a fascinating look at today's world. In 2007, while discussing STONE COLD, Mr. Baldacci talked about the re-emergence of the Soviet union as a threat to our nation's security. This theme is one of the key plot lines of THE WHOLE TRUTH.
David Baldacci is one of the most gracious authors I have had the pleasure of interviewing. Please visit his website to learn more about the amazing philanthropic programs that he and his wife are developing. They are heavily involved in helping distribute books to those in need.


Click here to listen to the interview:                                                       

Sunday, May 15, 2011

David Baldacci- Part Three STONE COLD (and a rant)

This week I continue my series of interviews with David Baldacci. We discuss STONE COLD, the third novel in the Camel Club series. It was during this interview that I began developing a rapport with Mr. Baldacci. The first time that I interview an author they expect the standard "Who is your favorite author?" type question, followed by "Why did you write this book?"

When I began my website seven years ago I promised to never go through the motions with an interview. I have recorded several interviews that I did not use because the author was 'going through the motions'. It works both ways. The time demands on an author are tremendous; they often teach to supplement their income. Once their books sell in numbers that alllow them the freedom to write full-time they are barraged by people like me asking for their time.It is a vicious cycle.

The near disappearance of independent bookstores and the problems at Borders have made the path to publication even more difficult than it was before for aspiring writers. I read an interesting article last week that showed some much needed creativity on the part of publishers. Here is the link:

Perhaps desperation will make publishers come up with ideas to make the marketing of books more successful. My background is in business, I started my website to help authors reach a larger audience after Oprah changed the format of her book club (thanks to Jonathan Franzen). I have been less than impressed with the way that most publishers market their books and their authors. I'm delighted to see ideas like the one mentioned above take root. The future of the bookstore depends upon it.

I'm all in favor of ebooks- I've stopped fighting that battle. What concerns me is how will readers be able to discern a good book from a bad book? There are differences; ask any editor or agent the difference. The number of books being written is increasing, at times it seems that more people want to write books than read them. What will serve as a filter if readers depend upon an ipad to select their books? Editors, agents, and reviewers perform a critical task. I have come to fully apprecaite their roles over the past seven years.
I have a few editors that call me from time to time and tell me they're sending me a book that they think I will like. Often times I do.

Enough of my ranting (for now).

There is one publishing company that has consistently provided me with excellent service. That company is Hachette and their subsidiaries. Little, Brown (and Grand Central) provided me access to Michael Connelly and David Baldacci when their careers were taking off. Miriam Parker (now with the Mulholland division of Hachette) put a copy of THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER, written by Luis Albert Urrea, in my hands seven years ago and said, "You have to read this." I interviewed Mr. Urrea when THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER (you must read it if you haven't already) was published six years ago, and again in 2006 when THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY was published. I cannot wait to read the sequel to THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER this fall. All of this because of a publicist that knew my taste in literature.

Back to Mr. Baldacci. He has always been generous with his time. That is one of the reasons he is succcessful. He is also a genuinely nice guy. He always takes the time to chat for a few minutes after our interviews to talk about my website. He is interested in seeing books and their publication continue.

So here is my third interview with him. Enjoy!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

David Baldacci- Part Two THE COLLECTORS

THE COLLECTORS is the second book in The Camel Club series. Here is what I wrote in October 2006.

Mr. Baldacci and I discuss THE COLLECTORS, published by Little, Brown. THE COLLECTORS is a sequel to THE CAMEL CLUB, last year’s best selling book that introduced readers to a fascinating group of characters that live in and around Washington DC
   THE COLLECTORS is a fast-paced read that offers readers the chance to learn more about Oliver Stone, one of the members of the Camel Club. The plot is an ingenious way of figuring out ways to pass along information in today’s world of high technology and increased security. 
   Readers are also treated to a rare look at the inner-workings of The Library of Congress. This is Mr. Baldacci’s second appearance on the show and I think you’ll find some of the things we talk about to be of great interest.


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Sunday, May 1, 2011

David Baldacci- Part One THE CAMEL CLUB

David Badacci hit #1 on the NYTBR bestseller list this week with THE SIXTH MAN, published by Grand Central. I interviewed Mr. Baldacci for the first time in November 2005 when he published THE CAMEL CLUB, the first entry in that popular series featuring oliver Stone and his cronies. He had no idea at the time that the series would become a hit.

I was impressed with Mr. Baldacci. He is a thoughtful writer; his success is well deserved. I continue to be impressed with his committment to our nation's food banks and the foundation he runs to promote literacy. You can learn out about his philanthropic missions on his website,, and

I hope you enjoy this interview- there will more interviews with Mr. Baldacci to follow in the coming weeks.


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