Saturday, May 19, 2012

Decades ago Raymond Chandler taught me the only French word I know . . . ‘noir.’
Ever since, I’ve been jonesing for dark, hard-boiled, pulp style, crime fiction. From the genre’s original innovators: Chandler, Hammett , Cain . . . to today’s neo-noir stalwarts: J. L. Burke, Connelly, Pelecanos, Leonard, Teran, Lehane, et al.
Call me voracious. I devoured their work. Inhaled the dark smoke permeated ambiance where it all played out.
I read, and continue to read, them all.
It was while reading the newcomers, the young turks, that I decided . . . reading  was no longer enough. I had my own tales to tell. Characters that kept nagging at me, urging me, beseeching me, demanding that I bring them to the page. Those who have met them through my work know . . . these are not gentle folk. Their petitions aren’t meant to be taken lightly. So, in an attempt to appease those raucous demons, I sat down in 2000 and began my first novel . . .  “Freeway Pigeons.” It was completed in 2001.
That was the opening of a mysterious and magical door. Just what was behind that door? Lady, or tiger? Funny, I’m still not certain. Still, I wouldn’t change things. I’d cross that threshold again in a heartbeat . . . undaunted. And why not, I’ve been blessed with a cornucopia of encouragement. 
Who encouraged me?
Every writer, genius or plodder . . . visionary or hack, who ever made me laugh or cry, rage or sigh, become more aware or escape the doldrums. Every scribe, word-weaver or poet who had my heart trying to bang its way out of my chest or sing with the angels.
All of them. Man or woman, fresh or ancient, who moved me emotionally. Entertained and educated me. Kept long and sometimes lonely vigils with me. Gave me the unmitigated joy of a good read. THEY encouraged me . . . every last one.
I owe them.
I believe the best way I can repay that debt is through you, you the readers.
If I can deliver the joy, the escape, the spiritual catharsis of the coveted ‘good read’ to you, then at least a part of my debt has been paid.
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Standard bio stuff: Started life on the cold coast (N.Y.C.) wended my way west to the land of sunshine, surf, and strange (L.A.).
Interests: Books. Books! Books!! Books!!!  BOOKS !!!!!
Other interests: Music (as played / sung by others). Movies. Physical activities (running, free-weights, hiking). BIKES! (Harleys & old-Triumphs).
Bottom line:  Family. (what it’s all about)

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