ONE SLIPPERY SPORTS BAR EMBEZZLER
TWO DEAD DECADENT DIVORCE LAWYERS
MCCALL & COMPANY ON THE CASE
PI Kate McCall was warned to stay home, stay put, and stay out of NYPD business. But someone is killing Lowry Lowe lawyers, and Kate is sure her father’s murderer is pulling the trigger. At the same time, former Major League relief pitcher Steve “Blue” Stark wants her to catch the crook embezzling big bucks from his West Side sports bar.
Kate can’t help but get in the game.
The problem is the killer is cluing her in before murdering each lawyer and she’s falling for Blue as fast as he’s becoming her prime suspect.
Can Kate and her crackpot crew catch her father’s killer before all the lawyers are dead? And will she find real love with dreamboat Blue? Or will she have to lock him up for stealing his own money?
If she comes through the kidnappings, she might beat the odds.
I’m pleased to welcome Rich Leder, author of Emboozlement, to The Book’s the Thing today. Those of you who prefer your mystery with a little more grit than the cozies I normally review should love the latest McCall and Company novel. Rich has kindly taken the time to answer a few questions for us – for even more info, be sure to follow him on social media and check out his website.
- Do you have any particular writing rituals that you adhere to, or unique methods of overcoming writers’ block?
No writing rituals. I have three children, grown now. But when they were very young, my office door remained open while I worked to avoid the moaning and banging and begging and crying that ensued when and if the door was shut. With the door open, my kids were in and out of my office—and my lap—all day long. The result of this exercise was that I learned to write in loud, crazy, and distracting conditions. Which rendered rituals moot, as in what would the point be in creating writing rituals that would be blown to bits day after day after day? However, I do have a mantra that presses me onward, word by word. That mantra is “Write Anyway.” Your talent, Rich, meager as it might have been, has altogether evaporated? Write anyway. No one, Rich, is going to care about your book? Write anyway. How dare you, Rich, think you have something entertaining to say out loud? Write anyway. Your sales, Rich, will be horrendous, and your reviews will be worse? Write anyway. Those two words have ridden to my rescue countless times over the 30-plus years I have been a professional writer. I have them featured on the wall across from my desk. Write anyway.
As for writers’ block? I think it depends upon your definition of what that is. Most writers conceive it to mean they don’t know what to write. But that is a function of research. Don’t know what to write? Do more research. Keep doing research until the light comes on. That is what happens every time for me. For 35 years. Every time. If, to you, writers’ block means you don’t know how to write anymore, then what the heck? Nobody forgets how to write, do they? Really? You forgot how to do something you knew how to do yesterday? That, it seems to me, is deeper problem that has nothing to do with writing. But what do I know?
- Do you have a favorite book that you’ve written? (or a favorite character, setting, etc…)
My favorite book is always the one I’m writing now. Or, if I’ve just finished, the one I’m writing next. My books are like my children: I love them all the same. Although, Let There Be Linda was so much freaking fun to write; I guess I have a soft spot for that dark comic piece of insanity. I feel sort of the same way about my characters. Although, I do love Kate and Fu and Charlie and Zombie Al and Warren from the McCall & Company series. And I love all the whacked out characters in Linda. And Tango Joe in Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench. I love him too. And, and, and, and, and…
Setting is a different story. I lived large chunks of my life in New York City and Los Angeles. Those places deeply moved me. Most of my writing is set in one or the other. They are living, breathing characters for me.
- Do your real life acquaintances or experiences ever find their way into your stories?
No doubt. Often, with characters, it will be a composite of people I know or have met or have seen. As far as experiences, sometimes they find their way into words exactly as they happened and sometimes inexactly as they happened. My life appears in all my books. Lot of this stuff happened to me, with me, around me. My life has not been altogether normal.
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I’m an avid exerciser, and I love to eat, which is why I’m an avid exerciser. Movies are a passion of mine. Sports are a passion of mine. I spend a lot of time with my wife, the awesome Lulu. I have good friends here on the North Carolina coast. I have business interests other than writing. I have a full life, and I enjoy living all of it the best I can.
- Do you prefer to read mysteries as well as write them? What are you reading now?
I like mysteries no doubt. But I like all kinds of writing that engages me. I prefer fiction over non-fiction, but I like biographies and other non-fiction too. I’m drawn to writers rather than genres. Richard Ford, Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake…it’s a long, long list. I’m reading Get Shorty again. Elmore is a hero of mine.
- And of course we’d love to know if Emboozlement can be read as a standalone novel, or if it’s best to start the series at the beginning.
It’s better to start the series with the first book, Workman’s Complication, and then read the second book, Swollen Identity, but Emboozlement can be read as a standalone too.
Thank you Rich for coming by!
About the Author
Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark, feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films, and four novels for Laugh Riot Press.
He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, was grist for the mill. He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three children.
Connect with Rich Leder