John T. Cullen interviewed City of Dreams author William Martin for ITW. A sample of their exchange:
Lest anyone think that a historical thriller writer may be 'stuffy,' I begin by citing one of your first endeavors, which is now a film classic. Early in your writing career, you wrote the screenplay for Humanoids from the Deep, a 1980 horror movie produced by Academy Award winner Roger Corman. Is it fair to say that fun is part of your repertoire, along with the requisite suspense, pacing, and other factors that thriller readers expect in their strong brew?The Page 69 Test: City of Dreams.
I have a sign in my office that says, "This is supposed to be fun. Not for you... for them." For the readers. Never lose sight of that. And the requisite suspense and pacing, the sudden plot twists, the nasty surprises, the good guys and bad guys, the smart, sexy women and the tough-talking babes, the big scenes that build to big climaxes... all of it is part of the fun. But it is also part of the craft of storytelling that all the greats from Shakespeare to Dickens to Stephen King have understood and paid homage to. You might have all kinds of higher motivations. You should if you're writing a book. But first, tell a good story.
Oh... and that was a lifetime achievement award they gave Corman. He deserved it for giving so many people a chance at big-time filmmaking. He didn't get it for Humanoids.
City of Dreams comes with this premise: Hidden somewhere in New York City is a box of 1780 bonds with a face value of twenty thousand dollars. The Supreme Court is about to decide if these bonds still have value, and if so, compound interest over 230 years will be worth a fortune.
Peter Fallon and his girlfriend, travel reporter Evangeline Carrington, must find the box--fast! And...[read on]