Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lee Martin- Part Two (Break the Skin)

I'm delighted to bring you the BREAK THE SKIN interview with Lee Martin. The novel is getting rave reviews, including this one from The New York Times:

Our interview took place live at VoiceCorp in Columbbus, Ohio. Chuck Adkins, as always did the editing. I always enjoy interviewing Mr. Martin because he answers my questions thoughtfully and honestly. I am thrilled that BREAK THE SKIN is receiving the recgnition it deserves. Lee writes about the people we drive by in our cars and barely notice. He tells us about their lives.



Click here to listen to the interview:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lee Martin- Part One (The Bright Forever interview)

One of the joys of writing this blog is the ability it offers me to give readers a look back (and forward) at the most enjoyable and interesting interviews I have done over the past seven years. This interview with Lee Martin fits perfectly into this category. This interview took place in the kitchen of my house in Columbus, Ohio in May 2006.

Mr. Martin lived two or three miles away so we decided to do the interview 'live'. THE BRIGHT FOREVER had just been published, so this interview was done months before the novel was announced as a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. I urge you to listen to this interview- it is rare to hear an author discuss his craft in such an understandable way. If you are a writer you will benefit from his wisdom; if you're a reader you'll be fascinated by his thought process while writing the novel. This is one of my favorite interviews.

In 2008 Mr. Martin and I did an event at the Barnes & Noble Easton bookstore. The store was packed and we sold a lot of books. The event was done in a different fashion from a 'traditional' book signing. I interviewed Lee and we discussed the book for 20-25 minutes before opening the discussion for questions. The questions were insightful and the evening was a great success. 

We must not throw in the towel on the 'hopelessness' of book promotion. It can be done. There is a market for it. I've been doing it for seven years and will not stop doing it. I'm meeting with the editor-in-chief of a new venture, I mentioned the website in my rant during my David Baldacci rant. I will be visiting their office in New York in July to learn more about what they are doing. You can already subscribe to their website (just go to and enter your email address). Please subscribe, it will help them build the demographic base they will need to be successful (as always I'm not being paid to promote them). This will be an independent site for readers to visit to learn about new books. It is backed by publishers, but will operate independently.

I will be interviewing Lee Martin this Wednesday. We will discuss his new novel BREAK THE SKIN, published by Crown. It is a wonderful novel filled with interesting characters. It's a winner. It deserves a wide audience. I will post the interview next Sunday (the book will be released on June 15th). 

So sit back, relax, get a cup of coffee and listen to one of the best writing professors in the country discuss his craft. 


Click here to listen to the interview:

                                                          May 2006

Lee Martin is my guest this week. We discuss THE BRIGHT FOREVER, his new novel which has recently been published by Shaye Arehart Books. 

I discovered Mr. Martin's work in 2000 when I read his memoir FROM OUR HOUSE. I was, and continue to be, impressed with his prose. He is a natural storyteller who sets his stories in small town America. His characters are people you know and grew up with. 

THE BRIGHT FOREVER is a different type of book for Lee. It is a thriller, but not strictly a who-dunnit. The novel explores 'why they dunnit'. This, I think, is what separates the novel from its competitors. 
I read the book in two sittings, then read it again a couple of weeks later. The first time through I just wanted to find out what happened. The second time through I read it with an eye on the structure Lee used. 
It is told from differing points of view, along with third person narrative. The novel's structure leads to its suspense. It is a novel that you should read. Lee is an English professor at The Ohio State University, so the interview took place at my house. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lawrence Block- Keller the HIt Man (Part Two)

This week features a return visit from Lawrence Block . We discuss his new novel HIT PARADE,, published by Morrow. HIT PARADE features John Keller, Block’s lovable hit man. This interview took place in 2006.

It is an entertaining read and Block fans will love it. We also discuss the screenplay Mr. Block is writing titled BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. The film will star Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Rachel Weisz.

Update: The film we discuss BLUEBERRY NIGHTS was released in 2008 and is avaiable on DVD. It is a fine movie and well worth watching.

Mr. Block hit the best seller list with A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF this week. For long-time fans of the series it has everything you want in a Matthew Scudder novel. The regular cast of characters are in the book and it feels like a trip to a family reunion. The novel focuses on Scudder's first year of sobriety, and as he always does, Block portrays the perils of sobriety accurately. If you've not read the Matthew Scudder series you owe it to yourself to read EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE (but please don't watch the movie). Then move on to WHEN THE SACRED GINMIILL CLOSES.  

Above all, novels like HIT PARADE and A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF are great mysteries. Mr. Block is a master- he makes it look easy. Enjoy!


Click here to listen to the interview: