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Mark Gimenez
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Q & A for Authors > Q&A with Mark Gimenez

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message 1: by Craig (last edited Aug 15, 2015 11:50AM) (new)

Craig Sisterson (kiwicraig) | 3 comments A few years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Texas lawyer and thriller writer Mark Gimenez for NZLawyer magazine, of which I was Deputy Editor. NZLawyer was the magazine for all the lawyers in New Zealand, but I liked to include some content beyond legal news and features, so I interviewed Mark about his thriller writing.

I also conducted my classic 9mm interview with Mark(more than 130 crime writers have done this interview). Here's a snippet, with the link to the full interview if you're interested.

9mm interview with Mark Gimenez

A former partner at a big Dallas firm who now fills his working life with commercial, property and tax law on a project basis (writing novels in between big legal projects), Gimenez, who has been favourably compared to John Grisham, has now written five legal thrillers. His latest, THE ACCUSED, was published earlier this year, and marks the return of the lawyer-hero from his acclaimed 2005 debut, THE COLOUR OF MONEY.

1. Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
Let’s see, my favourite… I have a lot. One of my favourite authors is Elmore Leonard, but he doesn’t have too many recurring detectives. I would guess my favourite would be Dave Robicheaux, by James Lee Burke. I really like James Lee Burke a lot, and I like his character, I like Dave Robicheaux a lot.

2. What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. My debut novel THE COLOUR OF LAW was essentially an update of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. That book inspired me since I first read it when I was 14 or 15, and I’ve probably read it a dozen times since. I think it’s a great American novel, and I just have never read anything close to that.

I just love that it’s told from the child’s point of view, I just love that. But it was Atticus, and being a single father and raising his children and trying to be a good father, a good man, a good lawyer - all of which by themselves are hard, I’m finding. But to try and do them all, and to take that case. In the book, moreso than in the movie, he did not want it, he really did not want it, so he’s a reluctant hero, and I think that’s the true hero - he was reluctant, but once he took it on, he did it right. I really, just most admirable fictional character ever… he’s who we all want to be I guess, we’re not, but we wish we were like him.

3. Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
I had written several other books. I think THE COLOUR OF LAW was the third book I’d written. I’d written another book, I’m not even sure what it was, and once it got to 1,600 pages I stopped, you know because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. And a big part of that was not outlining it first, just starting writing … from then on I’ve outlined.

Then I did a political thriller that you know I never really was happy with. And actually I was working on THE ABDUCTION, which was called SAVING GRACE at the time, and was working through that one, and again not quite - I felt like I had the story on that one, but I just couldn’t quite put it all together - and then my son came home with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and we always talk about everything at dinner. So we started talking about it, and he said ‘Could that happen today? Could an innocent person go to prison just because he’s black?’

And I remember saying, ‘well, he would if he’s poor’. It’s the same for a poor person of any colour - a black person, a brown person, a white person, a poor person will go to prison and a rich person will go home. That’s… I remember saying ‘the colour of law today is not black and white, it’s green’. And we’ve proved that in Texas, because we’ve so far released 40 people from prison with DNA testing, and we’re undergoing a complete review of all of that. And people have been in prison, 28 years I think was the longest one, completely innocent. Can you imagine that?

But anyway, when I said that, I thought ‘that’s a story’, and so I set SAVING GRACE/THE ABDUCTION aside, and I outlined and wrote THE COLOUR OF LAW is six or seven or eight months, and it all just came out, it was all just there. So all that work I’d done before, wandering around aimlessly and trying to write, it all came out on that one, and I spent six months finding an agent, and two days selling it. It was astounding how fast, you’ve got to be kidding me, we sold it within two days. Submitted it on Wed, sold it on Friday, or something like that, it was astounding.

4. Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?

If you'd like to read the full interview (ie the other two thirds of 9mm), please click here:

message 2: by Craig (new)

Craig Sisterson (kiwicraig) | 3 comments If members of this group are interested in reading some more of my features and/or 9mm interviews with a variety of legal thriller writers and lawyer-authors, including:

- Michael Connelly
- John Hart
- Michael Connelly
- Denise Mina
- Lee Child
- Jeffrey Siger

Then let me know with a comment, and I'll upload some of them to this group too. Cheers, Craig

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Burton | 2640 comments Thanks, Craig this is some great incite.

 Eldritch Reading Reindeer 2021 In Cobwebs  (readingreindeerproximacentauri) I'd love to see those with Michael Connelley and Lee Child!

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