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Posts Tagged ‘James Ellroy’

Amazon Chooses ’100 Books to Read in a Lifetime: Mystery & Thriller’

gone girlGone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy and The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet are among Amazon’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime – the Mystery & Thriller Edition.

The list was put together by Amazon Books’ editorial team. Follow this link to explore their recommendations. You can also check out Amazon’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list here.

“There are many different kinds of books that fall under the mystery/thriller umbrella – from police procedurals to murder mysteries to spy thrillers,” explained Sara Nelson, editorial director of Amazon.com in a statement.  ”When we were compiling our list of 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime, we wanted to be sure to include books from all of those sub-categories. The team had plenty of lively arguments, several passionate filibusters, and a number of voting sessions before we came up with the final list.”

 

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James Ellroy Wakes Up in the Middle of the Night to Write

jamesellroyEvery good writer has their own way of setting aside time to write. For James Ellroy, this means waking up in the middle of the night.

In a new interview with ShortList Magazine, the author of The Black Dahlia revealed that he goes to bed at 8pm, wakes up sometime between 1:45-2:30am and works for a couple of hours before going back to sleep again. He also writes again in the afternoon.

“I know how to exploit what’s been given to me: early parental dysfunction, my mother’s murder, all my crazy sh*t,” he explained of his writing in the interview. “The most startling moment I’ve had as an artist was in New York in 1985 while writing The Black Dahlia, and in a heartbeat the structural entirety of LA Confidential came to me. I then realised that whatever I could conceive, I could execute. So I’ve executed ever more grandly throughout my career.” Read more

James Ellroy Publishes with Byliner Fiction

Novelist James Ellroy has published a $1.99 Byliner Fiction story about Fred Otash, a famous private detective and writer who made his reputation in Hollywood.

Follow this link to read an excerpt from “Shakedown,” Ellroy’s new story at Byliner Fiction. In the video embedded above, we interviewed Ellroy about his early writing career.

You can read the real-life Otash’s obituary at The Los Angeles Times: “Otash’s clients included entertainers Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Edward G. Robinson, Judy Garland, Lana Turner and Bette Davis, well-known lawyers such as F. Lee Bailey, Jerry Geisler and Melvin Belli, and both major political parties. Otash prowled Hollywood by night in a chauffeured Cadillac full of women he called ‘little sweeties,’ and much like a fictional private eye conjured up by Raymond Chandler, drank a quart of Scotch and smoked four packs of cigarettes a day.”

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James Ellroy Beethoven Playlist on Spotify

James Ellroy has a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven mounted above his bed. Inspired by the crime novelist’s love of the great composer, we’ve created a three-hour Spotify playlist collecting James Ellroy’s favorite Beethoven music.

Read more about Ellroy’s favorite classical music here. In an interview, Ellroy once explained: “Classical music brings back the awe of life to me and the essence of drama, and I grew up digging big, thunderous, important (music). And wanting to create it in my own way. Which could only be the word.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Haruki Murakami Spotify playlist, our Patti Smith Spotify playlist, our Geoff Dyer Spotify playlist and our new James Ellroy Spotify playlist.

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James Ellroy to Star in Investigation Discovery TV Series

Today novelist James Ellroy stopped by our offices for a Media Beat interview with TVNewser co-editor Alex Weprin. Both are pictured in the photo embedded above.

Ellroy discussed his memoir, The Hillicker Curse, and outlined his upcoming television series. James Ellroy’s LA: City of Demons premieres on Wednesday,  January 19th at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery, so you’ll have to wait until next month to watch the interview.

Here’s more about the show: “This new six-part series shamelessly showcases Ellroy’s larger-than-life personality and his vivid verbal style as he exhumes, explores and exposes the delicious dirt that cascades behind the silver screen.  Ellroy has insidiously instigated himself with law enforcement sources – and he steroid-stamps these stories as only he can.  You’ll get in-depth interviews with witless witnesses, preening prosecutors, insipid investigators and jaded jurors.  Each episode guides viewers through the crevices of crime that demonically define the City of Angels.  Fiercely forcing his way into every episode is the animated, proudly profane bull terrier, Barko.  This gruff K-9 cop corrupts the corruption-prone Ellroy and gives the audience a putrid peek into his own lurid life, dealing dope and peddling payoffs.”

Washington Post Book World Podcast Needs Subscribers

washington-post-book-world1.jpgIn an email interview with Washington City Paper, Washington Post Book World fiction editor Ron Charles worried about the subscriber rate for the site’s podcast series.

Here’s more from the post: “There’s no concrete deadline for adding more subscribers, Charles says, or even a goal for how many it needs, just ‘a general mandate to make sure we’re concentrating our efforts on projects that are actually attracting an audience.’” Update: On Twitter, Charles says the podcast needs “about 100K additional subscribers.”

Featuring ten minute interviews with writers like Francine Prose, James Ellroy and Margaret Atwood, the show deserves some iTunes love. After Maria Arana retired, Charles assumed podcasting duties at the review.

Recession Writing Survival Tips

amandambd.jpgAs novelist James Ellroy reminded us yesterday, the job outlook for writers these days is positively Darwinian.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was FishbowlNY editor Amanda Ernst, talking about her recent trip to The Today Show. With the help of financial reporter Jean Chatzky, she received advice about surviving as a freelancer in these rough times for writers–good intelligence for all literary types during these gloomy days.

Here’s an excerpt from this morning’s show: “I’m a freelancer, and going from being unemployed to being a freelancer, I’ve been totally afraid to look at my bank statements. I needed someone to help me deal with it, because I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Darwinian Writing Advice

What will happen to writers as the publishing recession continues? One novelist thinks the economic collapse is a test for writers: “It’s survival of the fittest,” explained the famous “Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction” in this GalleyCat video interview. “How bad do you want it? Will you write, even if you are poorly paid?”

Last week, we published a video essay and interview with novelist James Ellroy–exploring the secret histories behind his new novel, “Blood’s A Rover.” The crime novelist had so much to say about publishing and writing that we had to run a second video collecting outtakes from this interview.

Here’s more from the first installment of the interview: “The book begins in 1968 in Los Angeles, as a cast of crooked LAPD cops and obsessive FBI spooks infiltrate two fictional militant activist groups, the Black Tribe Alliance and the Mau Mau Liberation Front. While researching the interview, GalleyCat uncovered some vintage footage of a real raid on Black Panther headquarters in 1969 that turned LA into a war zone. This video essay mixes real footage with Ellroy’s interview.”

James Ellroy’s Secret History

As James Ellroy tours the country to support his new novel, “Blood’s A Rover,” GalleyCat caught up with the hardboiled writer to find more about the sprawling conclusion to his “Underworld USA Trilogy.”

The book begins in 1968 in Los Angeles, as a cast of crooked LAPD cops and obsessive FBI spooks infiltrate two fictional militant activist groups, the Black Tribe Alliance and the Mau Mau Liberation Front. While researching the interview, GalleyCat uncovered some vintage footage of a real raid on Black Panther headquarters in 1969 that turned LA into a war zone. This video essay mixes real footage with Ellroy’s interview.

Here’s more about the book, from the publisher: “Summer, 1968. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are dead. The assassination conspiracies have begun to unravel. A dirty-tricks squad is getting ready to deploy at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Black militants are warring in southside L.A. The Feds are concocting draconian countermeasures. And fate has placed three men at the vortex of History.”

James Ellroy Book Club

bloodrover.jpgWould you let hardboiled novelist James “Mad Dog” Ellroy join your book club? His violent, sprawling, and obsessive novels would make for some crazy tea-time conversation.

Tune in next week for a GalleyCat interview with the author, but until then, The Daily Beast gave James Ellroy his own digital book club–collecting five customized book recommendations from the author of the upcoming novel, “Blood’s A Rover.” His choices included some hardboiled classics by Don DeLillo and Dashiell Hammett, but also included forgotten novels like Meyer Levin‘s “Compulsion” and John Gregory Dunne‘s “True Confessions.”

Here’s Ellroy dishing about “Compulsion” in the article: “You’ve got psychoanalysis reaching back three decades, to the Roaring ’20s. Two rich kids kill a 14-year-old boy for kicks. Clarence Darrow defends them and saves their lives. Compulsion is a brilliant one-two punch of history meets pathology. Chicago ’24 lives, incendiary.” (Via Sarah Weinman)

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