Michael Connelly Bio & Ace InterviewAce: First off, please forgive me for being late. I was on an all night surveilance keeping tabs on a wayward spouse. You were born in Massachusetts and raised in Washington, D.C. Right?
Connelly: I was born in Philadelphia, but I grew up in Florida. My family moved to Fort Lauderdale when I was eleven, and I didn't leave until I was thirty.
Ace: Whatever... And you were an only child. Right?
Connelly: I have two brothers and three sisters.
Ace: No kidding! All writers, eh?
Connelly: All are in creative endeavours, but I am the only professional writer.
Ace: I never liked school, thought it was a waste of time, and wound up getting kicked out in the 9th grade. Is that, more or less, how it was for you?
Connelly: I did not enjoy school but at least knew the value of it.
Ace: Oh, don't get me wrong, I valued those school days too. I remember one day getting Tina Da Rosa to come into the cloakroom with me...
Connelly: My best and most vivid memory is being told that I would be allowed to graduate despite my poor work.
Ace: Bet that was a relief. So, you decide you want to be a writer and enroll in Princeton.
Connelly: University of Florida...
Ace: If you say so...
Connelly: I went to the university to learn building construction. Two years in, I discovered the work of Raymond Chandler and decided to be a writer.
Ace: How 'bout comic books?
Connelly: What was different about Chandler and what really touched me was that his writing is so evocative. LA is a character in its own right. It turned my head.
Ace: So, you get out of school and start writing...
Connelly: I went into journalism to learn the craft of writing and to get close to the world I wanted to write about -- police and criminals, the criminal justice system.
Ace: Journalism... that's like newspapers, right?
Connelly: I wrote my first real murder story as a journalist for the Daytona Beach News Journal in 1980. It was about a body found in the woods. Later, the murder was linked to a serial killer who was later caught and executed for his crimes.
Ace: So, you get fired from the Daytona News and start writing books... right?
Connelly: I was one of three reporters who spent about a year working on a story that was basically a year-later look at a major airliner crash in Dallas. That story was one of the three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize on feature writing the following year, and it drew attention to me from a lot of newspapers. I got a call from the managing editor from the Los Angeles Times and I went out there, which was also part of my secret plan or secret hope, because the most influential writers of crime novels, to me at least, all wrote about Los Angeles or Southern California. It was like a dream come true to be able to get a chance to go out to the place they wrote about.
Ace: So, you go to LA write a book and Boom! you're a big hotshot writer.
Connelly: I wrote two books as learning experiences before I wrote the book that was the first published. From the time I decided to try to write a novel until the day I held a published novel in my hands was about six years.
Connelly: ...I don't think it was a frustrating or arduous time. I had fun writing. If you are not enjoying it, you shouldn't be doing it.
Ace: Speaking of books, I really like that City of Bones. I've been reading it for about a year and a half, during stake outs, ya know. And Harry Bosch - I like the idea that you named him after a spark plug. When I finish, I'm thinking about reading another book. Any suggestions?
Connelly: I would say The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, The Black Marble by Joseph Wambaugh and The Underground Man by Ross MacDonald...
Connelly: The Little Sister by Chandler, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Ask the Dust by John Fante, Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald...
Connelly: Flyboys by James Bradley and in fiction, Night Fall by Nelson DeMille.
Ace: Whoa, Bro, I should live so long. Now, enough about books already - what about when you're not writing. What do you do for kicks?
Connelly: Everything I want people to know about me is in my books.
(The above are Michael Connelly's actual responses to different questions and questioners. For a serious approach, visit http://www.michaelconnelly.com/Biography/biography.html)
Michael Connelly has been hard at work on his Harry Bosch Novels, turning out one per year. His most recent offerings are The Scarecrow (May 2009), The Brass Verdict (2008), The Overlook (2007), Echo Park (2006), and The Lincoln Lawyer (2005). Other Michael Connelly novels of note are The Closers, Lost Light, The Poet, The Black Ice, The Black Echo, The Narrows, Trunk Music, The Last Coyote, A Darkness More Than Night, Angels Flight and City of Bones. Fans may also be interested in these 3 in 1 volumes: The Harry Bosch Novels: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Harry Bosch Novels Volume 2.
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