INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL CONNELLY

AUTHOR'S WEBSITEhttp://www.michaelconnelly.com/

        JUNE 22, 2002

From all the books you have written, do you have a favorite?

My favorite book is probably The Last Coyote because it was the first book I wrote after retiring so to speak from being a reporter. It had my full attention and it was a great time in my writing life. The book was also the fullest character study of Bosch and that is another reason why I like it.

At what point in time did you realize that writing was "the thing for you"?

When I was in college I kind of switched from enjoying books from the standpoint of a reader to enjoying them for their craft and art. That was when I started thinking about being a writer.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a writer?

If you are going to be a writer then write everyday, even if only for 15 minutes. That was the advice given to me. It worked.

What is the name of your favorite mystery movie?

Chinatown.

What other authors do you enjoy reading?

The list is too long and I would leave people out and I don't want to do that.

What other types of jobs have you had?

Since college I have only been a writer of one kind or another. Before that I did about every job you could do in a restaurant. I also worked a lot of different construction jobs.

Do you attend conventions and signings?

I usually attend a couple conventions a year.

Is there anyone, in particular, who influenced you?

Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald and Joseph Wambaugh probably had the greatest influence on me.

What led you to write mysteries?

I have always loved crime novels so it was sort of a natural path for me. I am writing the kind of stories I love to read.

Do you read reviews of your books?

A pretty good number of them I read, usually several weeks after they've been published.

How would you like to be remembered?

I haven't really thought about that. I suppose as a good storyteller.

What do you believe is the highlight of your writing career so far?

I don't know. It has all been a highlight. I hope the real highlights are still to come. But I've enjoyed the whole ride and know how very fortunate I have been.

Do you write on a fixed schedule or do you wait until thoughts come to you?

I try to keep a fixed schedule. I follow the advice of writing every day.

How did you get started in writing?

I used newspaper work to help me move into the world of fiction writing. It put me into the world of the police department and also gave me a good work ethic when it comes to needing or having to write everyday.

Did you take any classes on how to write?

In college I took journalism and creative writing classes.

Do you ever get writer's block?

I don't know if I would call it writer's block but I have had difficulty in the past getting started on a book. To me starting is the hardest part. But once I get rolling and get into a groove I am all right.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I like fishing and golfing and racketball.

How do you spend your free time?

On a boat.

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews. After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986 he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors that was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written. After three years on the crime beat, Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo , based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and later won the Edgar Award for best first novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote , before publishing The Poet , a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist, in 1996. In 1997 he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. Blood Work was inspired in part by a friend's receiving of a heart transplant and the attendant "survivor's guilt" the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly has been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. Blood Work is soon to be released as a major motion picture starring Clint Eastwood. Angels Flight was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. Void Moon , was released in 2000, and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night , united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books Of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times . Harry Bosch is back in Michael's new book, City Of Bones . Michael will be releasing a stand-alone thriller in October 2002, called Chasing The Dime. Michael was also one of the creators, writers, and consulting producers of Level 9, a TV show about a task force fighting cyber crime that ran on UPN in the Fall of 2000. Connelly's books have won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Nero, Maltese Falcon (Japan), .38 Caliber (France) and Grand Prix (France) awards. He lives with his wife and daughter.