Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Hi Mitch, Before we begin, if you'd like to interview a snazzy model speak to Mina. But be careful, Dante is the jealous type and he's armed. (THE CONFIDENTIAL). To get back to your questions. leaving the department early was a difficult decision. I had to wait 3 years for my pension to vest and I got 17/40ths instead of 20/40ths but I made more money practicing law. When I left, the NYPD was going through a major upheaval and I was right in the middle of it. I was a prosecutor in the internal disciplinary system having been admitted to the bar and promoted to lieutenant. I was recommended for a meritorious promotion to lieutenant detective squad commander but the Police Commissioner denied it on a personal whim, I decided my time would be better spent elsewhere.
Thanks John. I may have to look up Mina. Before becoming an attorney, you worked in New York City and covered some of the worst crimes. Does that have any influence on your writing?
When you were working as a cop, were you a good source for reporters? I know I didn't cover the beat in New York but would you feed me information?
When I was in the PD, I never had a good experience with reporters, but I don't want to get personal. When I practiced law they came to me for interviews and were more deferential.
Your book, THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY MADIGAN, is being published by BeWrite Books of Lancashire, England. Where can people find it and what is it like having an English publisher?
My understanding is the THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY MADIGAN is set in the 1800s. How hard was that to write about? You weren't living then, I assume?
THE BALLAD starts in Lower Manhattan, with which I am very familiar. I did tons of research to write a Civil War story, but it becomes a law enforcement/counterespionage story. Very different from the usual Civil War book. (My great-great-grandfather was killed in action during the battle of Port Hudson, LA during the WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION), as they like to call it down here in Williamsburg, VA, whence we have retired and now write.
John, a pleasure having you. You sound like a great storyteller. Where can people find other things you have written?
I spent 30 years as a criminal attorney, I have tons of anecdotes about crime and court room stuff, besides doing trial work in the PD. For example, did Wendy tell you that the tech man at our conference played an excerpt from PRINCE OF THE CITY? The protagonist was someone I worked with in uniform and later became my witness in the Trial Room when he testified against his brother officers. A character somewhat like him appears under a fictional name in THE CONFIDENTIAL. I have had some short stories published by e-zines but some require an acquired taste, shall we say, and most but not all are not cop stories. My website/blog is www.poppa10.wordpress.com. For more information on the books check my publisher's website at www.bewrite.net.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Talk about a disaster. Here’s the opening couple of paragraphs:
“HEY, MALONE. HOW can we expect to get a Pulitzer in this backwater?”
I wanted to roll my eyes. I had been nominated for the top prize in investigative journalism twice, but never won. My topic for this seminar to a sister newspaper’s staff was finding big stories and working sources. However, Biff and Bob, I think that’s what they said their names were, heckled me just for kicks.
This routine was familiar. I’d been known to do it when I was required to attend a seminar or two in the past. The rest of the afternoon was going to be painful, if I didn’t stomp on these two and fast. I didn’t do painful. I was an award-winning journalist who covered the crime beat. I was immensely qualified to lead this seminar after receiving national headlines on a story in each of the last two years.
Argued with my editor five ways to Sunday, but nothing would persuade him to not send me.
After the first session I decided to relax at the local pub. Walked right into my class reunion. I never planned to return to this God-forsaken place of my birth but then I saw Trudy, the homecoming queen. She took a second look at me and we were really hitting it off. Problem was she turned up dead the next day and I was wanted for murder.
Something was mighty fishy in my home town and I had motivation to dig deeper. Every time I thought I was getting close to the truth, it wasn’t. I couldn’t believe all the secrets I uncovered.
Check out A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES for yourself…