Q: What makes Jake Lassiter different from other hardboiled characters?
Jake is a mixture. A tough-guy former linebacker with a tough bark….but a soft heart. He’s a sucker for a kid who needs help, like his nephew Kip. Or a wrongfully accused defendant. And he has a wicked sense of humor. “They don’t call us sharks for our ability to swim.”
Q: How did you come up with the character?
I wrote the first of the series, “To Speak for the Dead,” at a time in my life when I was not getting along with my then-wife, my law partners, my clients, even some judges. A troubled defense lawyer seemed to come naturally. And the fact that he might punch out a witness (or even his own client) appealed to me.
Q: What are your thoughts on the whole eBook revolution?
It’s brought many more readers into the fold. No one wants to see brick and mortar stores fade away, but change is inevitable.
Q: What's next for you and Jake ?
I take the Fifth. After all, the tagline of “State vs. Lassiter” is: “Is this the end of the linebacker-turned-lawyer?”
Q: How do you promote your work?
Social media mostly. My new updated website: http://www.paul-levine.com
My new Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulLevineAuthorPage
Q: What other genres besides crime do you like?
General fiction. Tom Wolfe. John Updike. The usual suspects.
Q: What's your idea about the psychotic sidekick in PI novels like Hawk and Joe Pike?
Well, it works for their stories. Jake Lassiter’s sidekick is a little less lethal: retired coroner Doc Charlie Riggs. Of course, as Jake points out, “Doc, you’ve never had a patient who lived.”
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?
Oh, man. Tough one. WAY too many to choose from. James Lee Burke. Harlan Coben. Laura Lippman. John Grisham and Scott Turow in my field of legal thrillers. I’m leaving out dozens.
Q: Why do you write in this genre?
I love a good murder!