JUNE 30, 2002

Evan Hunter and Ed McBain


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

Yes, STREETS OF GOLD by Evan Hunter.  It was a challenge to write the entire book
through the sensibility of a blind man.  Almost gave up on it after 100 pages, but decided
to go the course, and I'm glad I did.

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

While I was aboard a destroyer in the US Navy during World War II.  Prior to that, I wanted
to be a painter, studied art at the Art Students League and Cooper Union, both in New York
City, where I was born and raised.

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

Love it more than anything else in the world -- or forget it.

What is the name of your favorite mystery movie?


What other authors do you enjoy reading?

Too numerous to mention, and all of them friends who might be hurt if I missed including
one of them.

Do you normally do a lot of research when writing a book?

Yes.  Personally, and also with a professional researcher named Daniel Starer.  I still make
mistakes, though.  And, boy, do readers catch them!

What other types of jobs have you had?

Lobster salesman, telephone dispatcher at the Automobile Club, vocational high school
teacher, literary agent.

Do you attend conventions and signings?

Signings, yep.  Conventions, nope.

Is there anyone, in particular, who influenced you?

My work, do you mean?  Ernest Hemingway.

What led you to write mysteries?

They seemed easier than writing for the other pulps that were around at the time.  I
couldn't write Westerns because I'd never been on a horse.  I couldn't write Sci-Fi, because
to fill my college science requirement I chose Geology.  I didn't want to write Romance or
True Confession, so I picked up a .45 and jumped right in.

Do you read reviews of your books?

Yes.  To look for lines we can quote in paid ads.

How would you like to be remembered?

As the best damn writer who ever came down the pike.

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

Acceptance of THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE for publication.

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

Only writers in movies wait for inspiration.  (Eureka, I've got it, Maude!)
Real writers work on schedules, different ones for different writers, but
always structured.  Ask any writer you know.

How did you get started in writing?

I borrowed a typewriter from the radioman's shack aboard ship, sat myself
down in a chair, put my fingers on the keys, and began.  (Eureka, Maude!)

How do you come up with plots?

That's the same as asking "Where do you get your ideas?"

Did you take any classes on how to write?

Yes.  Every writing course they had to offer at Hunter College, which I
began attending after I got out of the Navy.

Do you ever get writer's block?

Not yet.

What are your hobbies and interests?


How do you spend your free time?

Eating, drinking, laughing, enjoying life with my beloved wife Dragica.

Do you have a message you would like to give to all the readers out there?

Thanks.  And keep reading.


Moment She Was Gone
The Moment She Was Gone, a shattering novel of a family confronting its collective secrets, marks the high point in a writing career spanning almost five decades.

                                ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EVAN HUNTER / ED McBAIN He was born in New York City. Married Anita Melnick, 1949 (divorced), 3 children (Ted, Mark, Richard); married Mary Vann Finley, 1973 (divorced), 1 stepdaughter (Amanda); married Dragica Dimitrijevic, 1997. During World War II he served in the US Navy, and then took a university degree, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. A few months of teaching in high school were followed by a job in a literary agency in New York. He describes himself at this time as "fiercely ambitious", doing a full day’s work in the agency and spending all his nights and weekends writing. His first success, published under the name Evan Hunter, was THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1954) — a tough novel of New York life, about an idealistic teacher in a slum high school. It was later made into a film with Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier. Since then he has written more than eighty novels, writing under several names, but most famously as Evan Hunter and Ed McBain. He has also written many screenplays, including the one for Hitchcock’s film THE BIRDS. As Ed McBain, he is the author of the 87th Precinct novels, the longest, the most varied, and possibly the most popular crime series in the world. These novels are about a team of policemen, usually including Detective Steve Carella, and are set in an "imaginary city". There are fifty-two 87th Precinct novels to date. The two most recent titles are THE LAST DANCE and MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. AWARDS: Mystery Writers of America Award, 1957, for short story THE LAST SPIN. Grand Master Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1986, for lifetime achievement. First American to receive the British Crime writer’s Association Cartier Diamond Dagger, 1998. Frankfurt Origial e-Book Award, best fiction, 2002. HIS AUDIENCE: Books by Evan Hunter/Ed McBain have been best-sellers in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.