by Warren Adler
I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Our interview with world renowned writer Warren Adler, author of War of the Roses, American Quartet, Sunset Gang, Trans-Siberian Express and so much more! We thank you for your time, Sir.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book, Undertow, was about politics and the lies and deceit that went with it. It was premised on the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, the young girl who was driving with Senator Ted Kennedy after a party in The Chappaquiddick section of Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod and, in particular, the way he constructed his public apology – it inspired me to expose the chicanery required to acquire power in America.
What books have most influenced your life?
The Red and the Black by Stendhal, Dutch by Edmund Morris, Ten North Frederick by John O’Hara, and The David Story By Robert Alter to name a few.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Actually I read only classics but I am sure there are many talented authors around.
What are your current projects?
I’ve got a lot of exciting things going on. To name a few: The sequel to The War of the Roses is being produced by Permut Presentations and Grey Eagle Films. Permut produced “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert” (the first theatrical live comedy concert) along with the critically acclaimed “Prayers for Bobby” (2009) starring Sigourney Weaver for Lifetime Television Network, “The Color of Rain” (2013) for Hallmark based on the New York Times Bestseller and “Match” which just premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, starring Patrick Stewart); so we’re excited about that. My Fiona Fitzgerald Mysteries are currently being optioned as a TV series. The newest addition to the Fiona Fitzgerald Mystery Series, Red Herring, is being released this year so keep an eye out for that.
If there was any one author you could meet, living or dead, who would it be?
One author: Georges Simenon
You mentor so many aspiring writers, what drives you to do this?
I believe strongly in giving back. I am the founder of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is now entering its 22nd year. I consider myself a bona fide entrepreneur and it is natural for me to find ways of guiding others through the labyrinth that writing and publishing can often be, in the process I get to experiment and keep abreast with new trends.
Was the character Fiona Fitzgerald inspired by anyone you know?
Yes, and it’s a good story. In the early eighties I wanted to try my hand at the mystery genre and at that time I was living in the metropolitan Washington area and used it as an opportunity to conduct some thorough research on the police department that covered the nation’s capital. I wanted a strong female protagonist who would represent the kind of transitioning that was taking place during the eighties in terms of gender equality, especially in the workplace; occupations like cop, firefighter, construction worker, and soldier were no longer being seen as exclusively male turf and I was lucky enough to meet Judy Roberts, a knowledgeable female who could give me some insight into the inner workings
of the department and her own psyche. She was an experienced female homicide
detective who led me deep into the entrails of the mindset and procedure of
police work as seen through the female perspective.
Where did the concept for Cult originate?
The cult phenomenon is unbelievably active in the world today. I lived through the era of the sixties and seventies when cults were media fodder and a number of my friends and relatives had lost adult children to this phenomenon. The media once feasted on such stories, although I always felt that they never delved deeply enough into the phenomenon to increase the public’s understanding of the subtle ways cynical and power-hungry people use phony spiritualism, alienation, and communes run by guru pretenders for power and profit. In Cult I wanted to explore different methods of brainwashing while also zooming in on the process of deprogramming, something which can be difficult and, in some cases, brutal.
What has been the most exciting point or points in your career?
Getting my second novel, Banquet Before Dawn, published and seeing The War of the Roses on the big screen.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book and one drink, what would they be? (And the Books & Alcohol Girls do not accept water as an answer!)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and a bottle of aged McCallen Scotch
There is so much subject detail in your writing… How much research do you do to write a novel?
Thank you for recognizing that. I always do an intense, thorough amount of research when I am writing a novel to make sure that the subject I’m writing about is as authentic and vivid as possible. If you really want to know the kinds of research I commit myself to then you should read my Publishing Perspectives article on the process of writing Trans-Siberian Express. The amount of research that went into that novel was a journey in itself.
What subject would you like to cover that you have not had the chance to yet?
I would like to cover how the rapid revolutionary changes in our modern world are affecting human behavior.
We are humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to work with Mr. Adler and his fantastic team this week. We have learned, laughed and read a lot! It has become a great start to a beautiful relationship.
Thank you Team Adler! Cheers!
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