What is important is not what you hear said, it's what you observe.
Money. The ultimate motivation. The ultimate way of keeping score.
The criminal defense attorney is misunderstood if not despised by most of society. It doesn't matter if we believe in our adversarial system and the ideal that everyone charged with a crime is entitled to a vigorous defense. Ideals give away to reality - defense lawyers working loopholes and angles to get their clients off.
I have high hopes for Renee Ballard's literary life, and it can't start out better than the top of 'USA TODAY''s best-seller list.
I admit my reading time is limited because I can write in the situations and places where people usually read. But reading is the fuel - it's inspiring - so I try to keep the tank full. What happens most of the time is I binge read. I will put aside a day or two to do nothing but read.
I watched 'Kojak' religiously with my father. It was a great bonding time. He loved shows where the stakes were high. Life and death, justice prevailing, things like that. I think that helped set me on the path to what I do now.
I don't miss being a reporter as a job, but I do miss the everyday interaction with the front line of law enforcement. I still have a cadre of cops who keep me up to date, but I don't have the access I used to.
I used to tape over the top corner of my computer screen so I couldn't see what time it was. I like the idea that I'm just with the words and not knowing what's going on with the world, when it's lunch or dinner.
I'm one hundred percent Irish, and I'm very proud that I'm Irish American, though I don't know exactly where my ancestors came from. I just know County Cork.
My favorite is 'The Last Coyote.' I'm not saying that's the best book I've written; I hope I haven't written my best book yet, but that one was the first book I wrote as a full-time author, with my full-time focus. I have a nostalgic feeling about it.
I want people to think I'm a creative genius.
It wasn't a decision to become a writer. I wanted to become a writer of crime fiction. I was very specific.
When I was a teenager, I was a voracious reader of crime fiction, but only contemporary books. I was not interested in reading 'The Glass Key' or 'The Maltese Falcon' - stuff that was 40 or 50 years old.
This next to never happens, but if I had time to sit on a beach and read, I wouldn't read a cozy. But I've read cozies. That's how I got interested in crime fiction: because my mother was a soft-boiled reader.
I not only read Raymond Chandler but read all the crime fiction classics. I was hooked.
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.
I'm a disciple of Raymond Chandler, who said in his essays that there's a quality of redemption in anything that can be called art.
When you're working on a novel, you never think about how much it would cost to shoot one of your scenes. But that's a huge consideration in film and TV.
What is overriding that and most important is that readers generally are interested in a good character. They might be more comfortable with Harry because they think they know him, but they always seem willing to give somebody new a chance.
With age comes a greater understanding and a greater worldview.