Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Michael Koryta

From a Q & A with Michael Koryta, author of Envy the Night:

Who are your favorite authors? What authors have influenced your book?

Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet hooked me on the genre, and then I moved on to modern writers like Lehane, Crais, Pelecanos, James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, Robert B. Parker and Elmore Leonard. Lehane's books have been particularly inspiring to me as a writer, and Leonard's essay on fiction writing, with his Ten Rules, was influential. Stephen King's book On Writing came out while I was still in high school and it made a dramatic difference in my appreciation for the craft of writing and my approach to the task. I believe it is the finest book on writing that I've ever read, and cannot recommend it highly enough.

If you could choose any famous person you'd love to read your books, who would it be?

Ah, marketing books to the dead. If it can be done, James Patterson would have figured it out already, so I imagine it doesn't look possible. I'm not really sure about this one. The people I'd most like to read my books, and the opinions I'd most like to hear, are those of the writers I respect and admire. Obviously, it would be interesting to hear what the early writers of this genre—Chandler, Hammett, etc.—would think not just of my novels but of all the writing that owes a great debt to their own work. I suppose of contemporary celebrities I'd have to take a comedian like Jerry Seinfeld or Jon Stewart, because even if they hate the book, the criticism will be entertaining.
Read the complete Q & A.

The Page 69 Test: Envy the Night.

--Marshal Zeringue