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Miscellaneous Book Talk > A conversation with Michael Connelly

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message 1: by Ann (last edited Feb 21, 2010 08:28PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 13975 comments I was able to attend an event Saturday morning featuring one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly. I had a great time. There were 250-300 people there, held at a K-12 college prep school, Currey Ingram Academy. He spoke for well over an hour and answered many questions.

Michael's talk focused on inspiration. His niece is a senior at the school, and there were twenty Connelly family members there for a family reunion. MC's inspiration started with his Mother's love of reading; he always saw her with a book in her hand and his Dad with a pencil in his. His Mom told him she was more impressed with a story that wowed her with the images it put in her head rather than a pretty turn of phrase. That and his newspaper training led him to the spare focused prose of his novels.
His writing style has evolved from being heavily outlined (one hundred plus pages) to no outline at all, just an idea and knowing where the story will end. The middle evolves and may include a lot of rewrites. For those who are surprised by something in his latest, Nine Dragons, he said he didn't know he was going to do that when he started.
As a teen sneaking into the library with his friends to enjoy the air conditioning (Ft. Lauderdale), he was encouraged by the librarians to read To Kill a Mockingbird. It took him a long time to read it, but the influence was strong. His protagonists do the right thing, even when it isn't popular or easy. TKAM also piqued his interest in legal thrillers.

He doesn't regret his decision to age Harry Bosch in real time, as the aging of the city of Los Angeles is as much a character as the Homicide Detective, but admits that now that Harry turns 60 he has some choices to make. The oldest Homicide Detective today on the LAPD is 62 and retiring this year. Having Harry against the grain and fighting for what he knows is right amidst the bureaucrats is a big part of the stories.
I could have listened to him all day and based on the questions, the entire room was full of fans who had read a lot of his books and would have agreed.
One other interesting answer, something I had also noted about Harry. The Bosch books are always told from Harry's POV, we see the bad guys and the police captains and brass from Harry's perspective. In The Brass Verdict we only see Harry from Mickey Haller's eyes, and Harry comes off as somewhat of a jerk. MC said, "well, he is somewhat of a jerk, his extreme focus could certainly come across that way."
The music in the books is not only the music Michael listens to as he writes, it is the kind of music that drives the story and the characters along, music from artists who have struggled, and jazz to match Harry's lonely existence.


message 2: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3501 comments thanks for sharing, ann. ;)


message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (JaneNancy) | 161 comments Ann, that was a real treat for you to be able to hear MC in person like that. Ibet you could listen to him for hours and not get bored. Few of us have such opportunities and I'm happy for you that you got to this "conversation" with one of your favorite authors. NJ


message 4: by Maria (new)

Maria | 30 comments What a wonderful opportunity to listen to an author in that venue. I am currently reading Nine Dragons and it's interesting to hear about the age issue with Bosch. Wonder how he will handle this?



message 5: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Thanks for sharing so many details, Ann. Sounds like the morning was a great experience. I really enjoy Harry, even if he can be somewhat of a jerk ;-)


message 6: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3448 comments thanks for sharing. the only book I read of his is Bloodwork I believe it's called and enjoyed it. I have his first in the series someplace unread and also another stand alone someplace. I think I'm going to pull one of them out to read soon.




message 7: by Maria (new)

Maria | 30 comments Donnajo, see if you can read the first few in order. I really enjoyed the early books (once I found them they were already older) and it gives you a good sense of who Bosch is.

Marcy, I agree Bosch can be a jerk sometimes LOL! A lot like real life!


message 8: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3448 comments I'll have to find the book where I thought it was it turned out it wasn't there. But I'm pretty sure I have it.




message 9: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Maria wrote: "I agree Bosch can be a jerk sometimes LOL! A lot like real life!

Some writers are so good at writing real people instead of stereotypes - Connelly also made Mickey Haller very real. I always look forward to his books.




message 10: by Brakedrum (new)

Brakedrum | 1203 comments Ann wrote: "I was able to attend an event Saturday morning featuring one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly. I had a great time. There were 250-300 people there, held at a K-12 college prep school, Curre..."

Thanks for the "report" on Connelly. Yes, he's been one of our favorite authors on the M/T board for many years.
Ann, 60 is not old!! I'll be 60 this November. Maybe, Bosch can be a P.I.


message 11: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7639 comments Ann, thanks for the recap. I just saw him a few months ago and thought he'd repeat what he said here, but he seems to have covered new ground; I learned a few things. I remember we remarked on the view of Harry through Mickey's eyes, and while we knew through Harry that he came off as a jerk to others, in The Brass Verdict we really experienced it through the eyes of the jerkee.

Ann wrote: "I was able to attend an event Saturday morning featuring one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly. I had a great time. There were 250-300 people there, held at a K-12 college prep school, Curre..."


message 12: by Ann (last edited Feb 23, 2010 05:08AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 13975 comments Gail:
Sixty is definitely not old!! and Connelly seemed to think Harry as a PI whenever he retired was a possibility. The question was posed from the pov of whether he regretted aging Harry from the beginning, and he did not. He just wants to be realistic in the portrayal of a LAPD cop, with several friends on the force to inspire him regularly.
He told a story about one of his police sources, often mentioned in the 'thanks' section of his books. He named him, but I forgot his name. The sergeant took his Mom along on a ride along in his patrol car and they had to take a call for a multiple shooting. He asked his Mom to stay in the car but later discovered her holding the hand of a dying victim, This policeman learned a lesson that day that affects his humanity to this day as his Mom told him, "I just didn't want him to die alone." We all had tears in out eyes, and MC almost broke up emotionally as he told the story much better than I did.

Brakedrum wrote: "Thanks for the "report" on Connelly. Yes, he's been one of our favorite authors on the M/T board for many years.
Ann, 60 is not old!! I'll be 60 this November. Maybe, Bosch can be a P.I. "



message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 13975 comments Carol:
I think the presence of his family and the theme of the school and inspiration led to some of the conversation along with some really stellar questions! MC said he has to do more research on the legal thriller books featuring Mickey Haller, but you can tell he really likes what he can tell about crime and about Harry from Mickey's POV.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Ann, thanks for the recap. I just saw him a few months ago and thought he'd repeat what he said here, but he seems to have covered new ground; I learned a few things. I remember we remarked on th..."


message 14: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3448 comments I didn't look though the whole book listing only until I thought I found the first book. I found the one I thought was the first book when I was listing it on my bookshelf here I realized that The black Ice isn't the first book. The Black Echo is. So I'll double check the book listing again and if I don't have it I'll get it from the library because if I not mistaken Black Ice was a ubs book. I can't tell if it's a new totally new or not. It's in good condition. Oh well guess I can't start it next. It will have to wait unless I have Black Echo and it's still possible. I do know I have another one around for sure I can always read that one first. By the way Black Ice was where I thought except it was on the back row which I didn't realize until I took the front ones off but not too bad to look since it's a Container store bookcase that fold down type so only maybe 6 books front and back on each row.


Mary/Quite Contrary Phillips | 459 comments Ann...thanks so much for sharing, what a great story! MC is my favorite, love him, even if he is a Dodgers fan.


message 16: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 180 comments Ann wrote: " The middle evolves and may include a lot of rewrites. For those who are surprised by something in his latest, Nine Dragons, he said he didn't know he was going to do that when he started.
..."


Do we have a spoiler folder? I want to respond to this...grrrrr.


message 17: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 13975 comments Nine Dragons paperback release is July 13
and new! we can read an excerpt of The Reversal
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/Book_C...
Defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change sides and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, a convicted killer has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced he is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Part legal thriller and part police procedural, THE REVERSAL will be released on October 5th in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and on October 14th in the UK and Ireland.


message 18: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7639 comments Ooh, The Reversal sounds good. Harry Bosch needs somebody who has his back.


Ann wrote: "Nine Dragons paperback release is July 13
and new! we can read an excerpt of The Reversal
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/Book_C...
Defense attorne..."



message 19: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 180 comments Ann wrote: "Nine Dragons paperback release is July 13
and new! we can read an excerpt of The Reversal
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/Book_C...
Defense attorne..."


This sounds really good!!!


message 20: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 13975 comments Cathy:
I agree, I am especially excited to have Harry and Mickey in the same book again.

Cathy (Catsluvbooks) wrote: "This sounds really good!!! .... The Reversal
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/Book_C...
..."



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