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Thoughts, Praise and Literary Musings
by Peter Sexton
I actually have a very small number of favorite authors. One might say I am a bit of a snob. I don't think that's true. I am, however, very selective about what I spend my time reading. There are so many great books out there and so little time. This being said, two of my favorite authors are Michael Connelly (creator of the Harry Bosch Series) and James Patterson (creator of the Alex Cross Series). And isn't it fitting that they are both published (and have been since day one) by Little, Brown and Company Publishers?
I remember the first time I met Michael Connelly, was at one of his book signings back in 1998. I also remember he told everyone there that signings always made him nervous, because he was afaid that no one would show up. He told this to the standing-room-only crowd. This signing was for the book Blood Work, which was later made into a movie by Clint Eastwood. This was the first of his books that I read (though it was his seventh), and it made me an instant fan. I have since gone back and read a number of his books, especially those featuring police detective Harry Bosch. Bosch is, without a doubt, one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time.
I met Michael Connelly again three years later at a Mystery Writer's Conference in Corte Madera. I remember at lunch that each table of attendees also had one of the "staff," which at this conference included Michael. I went out of my way to figure out which table he would be sitting at so that I might have a chance to chat a little with him. Much to my surprise, Michael Connelly had saved a seat for a friend of his who was visiting for the day. That friend . . . another of my favorite writers (though not in the mystery genre) was Amy Tan. It was an awesome day for me to be sitting down to lunch with a couple of great writers.
Something that should have made me incredibly nearvous, but for some reason didn't, was that, while we were all sitting at lunch, one of my fellow writers asked me what my book was about. So for the next few minutes we were all talking about my book. It was quite an amazing high to be talking about a book I had written, while in the company of Michael Connelly and Amy Tan, true and amazing writers in every sense of the word.
I met James Patterson only once, in April of 2001, when he was giving a talk at the L.A.Times Festival of Books. He was talking about the writing process and his newest book (and series) 1st To Die. I had already read a few of his books, mainly from the Alex Cross Series. I knew that I loved his writing style: short, snappy chapters and lightning fast pacing. Being a slow reader, I thought this style carried a lot of merit.
Now, here I am fifteen years later taking a MasterClass taught by James Patterson. Not only is he totally down-to-earth, he is a genius! Currently the bestselling author in the world, he is surprisingly humble. In his class he talks about every aspect of writing, from raw ideas to publication. His approach is at once simple, yet incredibly amazing. He is like an olympic athlete. Watching him he makes it look so easy and simple; but having some experience writing, one fully understands just how hard it is to do what he does.
To be half as successful as James Patterson would be a dream come true. And that it the dream that I am working toward.
Coming in June:
More Than Just Skin-Deep:
What Makes a Character Come Alive?
Coming in August:
Dialogue: Talking the talk
"Everything you write should be moving your story forward."
I have said this before, but I will repeat it again anyway: Bosch is the best cop show ever! There are definitely a lot of classic shows that were a lot of fun to watch. I remember watching Barney Miller when I was a kid. Starsky & Hutch, Cagney and Lacey, The Streets of San Franciso. And then later, NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Law & Order:SVU, and one of my all-time favorites: Cold Case. One other show that I loved was Without a Trace. But Cold Case and Bosch have to be my two favorites.
Bosch, starring Titus Welliver as the title character, Harry Bosch, and Jamie Hector as his partner, Jerry Edgar, is quite simply Must See TV. An Amazon Prime Original, the first two seasons of Bosch is available for streaming. Having just finished watching the second season, I am desperately hoping that they continue the series.
For any Walking Dead fans out there, you might recognize Bosch's teenage daughter, Maddie. We first saw her as Carol's daughter . . . who subsequently becomes one of the most heartbreaking walkers of that series. Madison Lintz plays a fantastic role as Harry's daughter.
There are a few interesting guest roles in the show, including another from the cast of The Walking Dead, Scott Wilson. And, for those of us who are fans of The X Files, Titus Welliver appeard in Season 1, Episode 20 of that series as an eco-terrorist.
All in all, Bosch is well written, amazingly well-produced, excellent show. From the show's theme music, to the set design, to the scripting, to the police procedure. Believe me, this is not a show you want to miss.