Today’s author interview is with David Handler. David Handler is originally from California but now lives in Lyme, Connecticut. He has written three distinct different series: Hoagy & Lulu, Danny Levine and Berger & Mitry. My favorite is the Berger-Mitry series. This August he comes out with a new series; Runaway Man. His website is: www.davidhandlerbooks.com
1. You have been writing for a long time, in fact you have three very well received series. What inspired you to write?
I've been writing ever since I went to work on my high school newspaper when I was fifteen. I discovered that I love to write. And I've never lost the love.
2. Do you still work off of that inspiration, or do you now have a new inspiration that you work from?
I tend to write about what’s happening in my life, so as I've evolved and grown my work has evolved and grown with me. Or so I tell myself!
3. When did you write your first book? When was it published?
I started writing my first book, an autobiographical novel called “Kiddo,” when I was in my mid-twenties. It took me ten years and 24 rejections before it was finally published ten years later in 1987.
4. How many books do you publish per year?
Lately, I've been averaging a book a year.
5. You have a new series that will be out in August. Can you tell us a secret about it?
Absolutely not. That would be telling.
6. What is your launch date for the new series?
7. Please give us a brief synopsis of your new series. Help us fall in love with your new characters.
RUNAWAY MAN is the first novel of a new crime series about Benji Golden, a 25-year-old would-be actor, who works in his family’s struggling mom and pop business over a 24-hour diner on Broadway and W. 103rd Street in New York City. Golden Legal Services was started by Benji’s father Meyer Golden, a hero cop. The business is now run by Benji’s mother, Abby, who used to be the only Jewish pole dancer in New York City, and is staffed by Lovely Rita, an eye-popping computer wizard who’s a former lap dancer. Golden Legal Services is a private detective agency. Baby-faced Benji, who is exactly one-quarter inch shy of five feet six, weighs a buck thirty-seven and answers to the nickname of Bunny, specializes in finding missing young people. Runaways who've disappeared in the City’s seamy underbelly. When it comes to tracking down teen runaways there is no one in the City better than Benji. The kid is shrewd. The kid is feisty. The kid has been there. He was a runaway himself.
8 What was the inspiration for your new series?
When I was a young reporter in New York City I had a chance to interview Ray Bradbury and he gave me the best piece of advice I've ever gotten: “Write what you love to read.” I love to read nuanced, sharply observant crime novels that feature smart, funny, flawed characters. Characters who I’d to like to know. Recently, I was hunting around for just such a book to read and couldn't find what I was looking for. That’s because most of the writers who I've come to know and love over the years, like Donald Westlake, Ross Thomas and Stuart Kaminsky, are no longer with us, I’m sorry to say. So I simply decided to write one of my own.
9 Why a new series? Why not just write more books in your current series?
I’m still writing the Berger-Mitry series. My next book, THE COAL BLACK ASPHALT TOMB, will be out in March. One doesn't preclude the other. I can do both.
10 How does this new series stand out against your previous ones?
I’d say it’s consistent with what I've been doing all along. Probably the biggest change is that Stewart Hoag and Mitch Berger are both amateurs. Hoagy is a failed novelist. Mitch is a film critic whose lady love, Des Mitry, is a Connecticut State Trooper. RUNAWAY MAN is my first private eye novel in the traditional sense. Benji Golden is an actual licensed PI.
11 You attended Columbia Journalism School and then worked as a journalist. How did you transfer from journalism into writing novels?
It was always my dream to write novels. I made the transition to story telling by way of television and movie writing, which I began doing when I was 26 in addition to my newspaper and magazine work.
12 What awards have you won for your writing?
I’ve won an Edgar Award and an American Mystery Award. I've been a finalist for an Anthony, a Dilys and a Derringer award.
13 Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about your writing?
Be prepared to have a wicked good time.
I want to thank David Handler for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer questions today for my blog. I do appreciate your time.