Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Three Questions with Douglas Corleone

After reading NIGHT ON FIRE, I asked Douglas Corleone if he'd be willing to answer a few questions about himself, his book, his protagonist, and what's next for him on the literary horizon. He graciously agreed. So here you go, ladies and gentlemen -- three fastballs right over the plate for Mr. Corleone.

1. I've read in other interviews that Kevin Corvelli shares some personality traits with you, only on a more out-sized level. Care to elaborate?

When I set out to write my debut novel ONE MAN'S PARADISE, I wanted a lawyer-protagonist who was not only flawed, but very aware of his flaws -- and honest about them in his interactions with other characters and with readers.  Suffice it to say, I didn't have to look very far for a criminal defense attorney with flaws -- I saw one in the mirror every morning.  So my own insecurities, phobias, vices, and yes, arrogance, became Kevin's, the only difference being that heroes (and anti-heroes) need to be larger than life, so I exacerbated my own flaws for the sake of the story.  (Some people might suggest that I played them down, but I would disagree).  I also provided Kevin with what I think are my strengths - a quick wit, a touch of charm, and a deep-seated desire to do what's right.  Kevin's every bit as conflicted as I am, but like me, he has a desire to sort through his psyche and improve what needs improving.  That should take us through the next 30 or 40 books.    
2. If you could sit down with yourself when you first started writing this series and offer as-yet-unpublished you some words of wisdom, what would you share?

I'd tell him to put down the pen and run back to the courtroom as quickly as possible.  I'm kidding (somewhat), of course.  But I would definitely fill him in on the realities of today's publishing industry.  I'd make sure he knew that the lion's share of promotion would fall squarely on his shoulders, and that anemic book sales could end his career before it started.  I'd prepare him for critics and remind him about the demographics of today's fiction readers.  I'd teach him about branding, and emphasize the difficulty he might face switching genres.  If he asked whether all the hard work, all the waiting and rejection, would be worth it...I'd tell him, yes. I'd tell him that patience and persistence are key.  And that hearing good things from readers about his work will melt his heart and ultimately make the whole damn process worthwhile.       

3. Any other writing projects in the works? Any tantalizing clues for your readers about what's next for Corvelli and company?

Next April, the third Kevin Corvelli novel, tentatively titled CHOICE OF EVILS, will be published by St. Martin's Minotaur.  In CHOICE OF EVILS, Kevin is retained by the governor of Hawaii when the FBI suspects the governor of hiring an international assassin known as The Pharmacist to murder his pregnant mistress.  Kevin and his crew have to conduct their own investigation while ensuring that the FBI's suspicions don't interfere with the governor's bid for reelection.  Meanwhile, Kevin's most loyal client, Turi Ahina, is accused of gunning down an off-duty cop on a dark street in Pearl City days after Turi agrees to provide the DEA information on the ruthless drug kingpin Orlando Masonet. Did Turi actually shoot and kill the cop in self-defense?  To find out, Kevin must plumb the depths of police corruption and ultimately unearth some of the city's deepest, darkest, and dirtiest secrets.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *
DOUGLAS CORLEONE is the author of the Kevin Corvelli crime series published by St. Martin's Minotaur.  His debut novel ONE MAN'S PARADISE won the 2009 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award.  A former New York City criminal defense attorney, Douglas Corleone now resides in the Hawaiian Islands with his wife and son.  NIGHT ON FIRE is his second novel.

You can find NIGHT ON FIRE at your local bookstore or through Amazon.com (find a buying link here). You can read more about Douglas Corleone and this award-winning crime series at http://www.douglascorleone.com.

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