Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bruce DeSilva

Bruce DeSilva is the author of the acclaimed crime novel, Rogue Island.

From his Q & A with novelist Timothy Hallinan:

What did you bring to ROGUE ISLAND from your years in print journalism?

Hundreds of things, really, but I’ll limit my answer to this: Journalism taught me how vital reporting – especially investigative reporting – is to the health of the American democracy. Investigative reporting is time-consuming and expensive; and as newspapers continue to shrivel, no other institution (certainly not TV or news Websites) has demonstrated the will, the ethics and the financial commitment required to do it consistently, honestly, and well. The hero of ROGUE ISLAND is an investigative reporter at a dying newspaper. I hope that as readers see the dedication and skill with which he works, they will better appreciate what is being lost as great local and metropolitan newspapers pass into history. I tried to make the novel both a compelling crime story and a lyrical epitaph for the business that I love.

There’s a long and often unfortunate tradition of punning mystery titles, probably most often in cozy and comic mysteries — Murder in the Roux Morgue for a cooking mystery, for example. (I made that up, so don’t go scouring Amazon for it.) ROGUE ISLAND is a punning title, and I’d like you to explain what it means and why you made the choice to pun in the title.

One of the many quirks of Rhode Island history is that no one can say for sure where the state’s name came from. One theory is that it got the name because it resembles the Isle of Rhodes. The problem with that one is that it doesn’t. It isn’t even an island. There are several other competing theories, but my favorite is this one: “Rhode Island” is a bastardization of “Rogue Island,” an epithet the God-fearing farmers of colonial Massachusetts bestowed upon the swarm of heretics, smugglers, slavers, and pirates who first settled the shores of Narragansett Bay. Real-life rogues still swarm there, and a lot of fictional ones appear in my novel; so the title was an obvious choice. Everyone...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Bruce DeSilva's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Rogue Island.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Bruce DeSilva and Brady.

--Marshal Zeringue