Friday, August 30, 2013

Q & A with Clive Rosengren

Like me, Clive Rosengren understands LA is still the perfect place to set a PI series. I had the pleasure to interview him about his character Eddie Collins, his debut novel and the genre.
Q: What makes Eddie Collins different from other hardboiled characters?
 I think the main difference about Eddie is that he's both a working actor and a licensed private investigator. As is common knowledge, many non A-list actors in Hollywood are forced to take "day" jobs, subsistence jobs to make ends meet. Rather than tend bar, sell real estate, drive a limo or a cab, Eddie operates his own investigative office. Many times he believes the PI hat he wears fits better than the actor's hat, but he attempts to exist in both world being Hollywood and the entertainment business.

Q: How did you come up with the character?
I'm not exactly sure how this character came into my head. Murder Unscripted began life as a screenplay, and I'd always been enamored of the hard-boiled PI, guys like Mike Hammer and Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe.

Q: What are your thoughts on the whole eBook revolution?
The e-book revolution is here to stay, like it or not. I still prefer having the pages in my hands, but for many authors, and for many fans of authors who are out of print, the ebook offers a means of getting to know some of the bright lights from the age of the "pulps." [Incidentally, Murder Unscripted is available as an audio book--narration by the author, of course--through Blackstone Audio and Amazon.]
Q: What's next for you and Eddie Collins ?
I've written a second Eddie Collins story, called Red Desert, and am currently looking for a home for it. Eddie is hired to find the source of threatening letters an A-List friend of his has been receiving, and in doing so, finds a long-time friendship being tested against the backdrop of Hollywood.

Q: How do you promote your work?
I have a website [], am on FB, and I did a scaled-down book tour last year. Financial resources prevent me from doing a lot of traveling to promote the book.

Q: What other genres besides crime do you like?
I must confess that my reading is predominately in the crime fiction genre. However, I do like reading autobiographies and biographies--chiefly of actors and actresses. I also read non-fiction works about Hollywood.

Q: What's your idea about the psychotic sidekick in PI novels like Hawk and Joe Pike?
Well, I wouldn't necessarily consider Hawk and Pike "psychotic." Prone to violence, yes. Clete Purcell, however [Dave Robicheaux's sidekick], might fit the description. I think guys like Hawk and Pike play a role that sometimes the PI can't do, and that is, operate a bit sub rosa, in the shadows, using methods that Spencer and Elvis can't, or won't use.

Q: In the last century we've seen new waves of PI writers, first influenced by Hammett, then Chandler, Macdonald, Parker, later Lehane. Who do you think will influence the coming generation?
There's a whole new breed of writers out there that I'm sure influence budding writers. Certainly Connelly, Crais, and James Lee Burke are influences. Steve Hamilton, William Kent Krueger, T. Jefferson Parker, Ace Atkins, are some names that come to mind.

Q: Why do you write in this genre?
I write in this genre because I like the opportunity to create a character who can influence behavior in other people and attempt to set things right, sort of crusader, in a sense. Crime fiction appeals to me because it involves the reader and delights in taking you on a journey.


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