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Author
CharlesArdai
Posts: 264
Registered: ‎09-05-2007
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SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

It's September, folks -- back to school days, back to work days for anyone who took time off in August (oh, why couldn't I have been one of them?), and the start of the big Fall publishing season.  There are lots of good books coming over the next couple of months, from lots of good publishers.  (I'd be curious to know which ones you're looking forward to most, but that's for another thread.)

 

One book I'm particularly excited about personally is THE MAX by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr.  It's the brand new continuation of the hilarious and monumentally un-P.C. series that began with BUST (Barry Award nominee for best paperback novel of the year) and SLIDE (currently up for an Anthony Award in the same category).  In its advance review, Booklist called THE MAX "a pleasure of the guiltiest kind, like No Country for Old Men as directed by Mel Brooks."  You really can't ask for higher praise than that.

 

And one of the two authors of THE MAX has agreed to visit this book club during the month of September, to answer any questions you've got, either about that book or about any of his other work -- such as his "lost" novel, FAKE I.D., which Hard Case Crime will finally be publishing for the first time in the U.S. next year; or the graphic novel he's written for DC Comics' "Vertigo" line; or the various movie deals he's struck for his books (including BUST); or how he keeps his hair so supple, long and lovely.

 

It's all fair game, folks -- post questions, comments, anything you'd like Jason to weigh in on. 

 

Except that stuff about his hair.  I was kidding about that.  Though it really is supple.

 

--Charles


Learn more about Songs of Innocence.
Visit www.HardCaseCrime.com.
Author
JasonStarr
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

[ Edited ]

Thanks so much, Charles! I know there will be a lot more information soon about Fake I.D. on the Hard Case website (can't wait to see the cover), but just wanted to say I'm really excited that this book will finally be in print in the United States. So far it's only been available in Europe, but I think it's the best pure crime novel I've written, and Hard Case is the perfect publisher for it. Also forthcoming for me, in December, St. Martin's Press is publishing the mass market paperback edition of my thriller, THE FOLLOWER. Then, next spring/summer, St. Martin's will publish my new thriller called PANIC ATTACK.  Would love to answer any questions about the Hard Case books and/or my other stuff; I'll be here. 

JS

Message Edited by JasonStarr on 09-01-2008 03:21 PM
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AlisonGaylin
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

It's hot oil conditioning treatments, right Jason? Seriously, I loved BUST, SLIDE -- and now THE MAX. Such a great balance of action and satire. I loved all the characters -- but Max and Angela in particular just kill me. I'm wondering how you and Ken Bruen first came up with those two. And if any real-life people inspired them.
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JasonStarr
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Thanks so much, Alison! BUST (the first novel we wrote) was loosely based on a book I had written, but had kept in the drawer so to speak. So we had the basic plot and characters, but in effect did a page-one re-write, changing some plot points and adding/changing chracters. Dillon, for example, the ex IRA Irish hit man, was Puerto Rican in the orginal version, still nicknamed "Popeye" (there is one scene we left in with the old Popeye, a guy Angela picks up in a bar). Max and Angela were in the original version, but when we started writing the book together their characters changed considerably. Angela, for example, was Greek in the original version, but we made her part Irish which changed her entire character. Ken writes a lot of The Max stuff, so Max's character changed a lot too. In the end, Max and Angela have a lot of both of us in the same, and they definitely wouldn't be the same if we didn't co-write them.  
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Michelle_Gagnon
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Alison raises a good point-is it hot oil treatments, or a different kind of conditioner?

 

I LOVE the Angela character from all three of the books. Any chance we'll see her again? And if the books were being made into films, what would your dream casting be for those two characters?

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Have any of the books been optioned for a movie, Jason? All of them would make for terrific films!

 


Michelle_Gagnon wrote:

Alison raises a good point-is it hot oil treatments, or a different kind of conditioner?

 

I LOVE the Angela character from all three of the books. Any chance we'll see her again? And if the books were being made into films, what would your dream casting be for those two characters?


 

Author
JasonStarr
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

[ Edited ]
Hey Michelle and Paul, Yes, Michelle, Alison was right...hot oil treatments...I'm actually soaking in a whole vat of it as I type this.... I love casting my books--what writer doesn't? It's something to do during the hours every day that we sit at our computers, staring into space. For BUST, Ken and I have talked about Paul Giamatti as Max...or Harvey Keitel....was thinking just today that Albert Brooks would be pretty good too. Or, okay, Jack Nicholoson....but only if he begs :smileyhappy:.... For Angela, Scarlett Johansson. For Dillon...Colin Farrell.....Yes, Paul, BUST has been optioned, and a script has been written by two very talented screenwriters. I haven't read the script yet, but it was recently accepted into the IFP Film lab so I suspect it's pretty strong.
Message Edited by JasonStarr on 09-02-2008 11:00 PM
Message Edited by JasonStarr on 09-02-2008 11:01 PM
Author
CharlesArdai
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Ah, Jason, come now -- she's got the, er, BUST for it, but Scarlet Johansson?  She comes off as much more tender and delicate and soft (and intelligent) than Angela is, I think.  I'd love to see someone brassier in it, almost a Pamela Anderson type.  Shame Anna Nicole Smith isn't around to do it -- she's someone I think of as almost a real-life Angela.

 

But Colin Farrell for Popeye/Dillon is dead-on perfect casting.  And of course you and Ken would have to drop in for cameos if they ever filmed SLIDE...

 

--Charles


Learn more about Songs of Innocence.
Visit www.HardCaseCrime.com.
Author
JasonStarr
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Oh, God, I'd ruin the entire movie. I'm the world's worst actor. I couldn't even play myself convincingly. Ken, on the other hand, would steal the movie, win a best supporting actor Oscar for a few minutes on screen...move over Judi Dench

I don't know, I think Scarl (yeah, we're on a part-name basis) could play a really good femme fatale. An out of the box idea would be Lindsay Lohan as Angela. I think despite all the tabloid stuff she's a very talented actress.

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Paul_Hochman
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Registered: ‎03-23-2007
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

What about the guy who played George Constanza on Seinfeld as Max? It could be a real breakout role for him? And I'm shooting for Elizabeth Berkley as Angela. Picture that!
Author
JasonStarr
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Hmm, not sure about Jason Alexander. Not sure he's dark enough (though he did get kind of....randy....with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, right?) Like the Berkley idea...and yes, I can picture that :smileyhappy:
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ROCKETRAY55
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎09-28-2007
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

How about Katherine Heigl for Angela?? She (how shall we say) measures up. Plus I think she can pull off the character.

 

-Ray

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haughja
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Jason - I've read several of your books including both Bust and Slide, which are both very good and funny.  I finished Twisted City a couple of weeks ago, and loved it. I usually take a fairly long time to read a book, often putting one down, starting another, then coming back to it. But I jammed through that one. (Also just read Ken Bruen's Cross, the first of his I ever read, and it was good.) I have an actual question for you, if you don't mind giving away this kind of a trade secret:

 

How do you and Ken Bruen collaborate? I've heard different things in the past about collaborative authors. I've read about some where one would write a chapter, send it to the other, and then he'd write a chapter. Do you guys email drafts back and forth, or are you talking stuff out on the phone, or do you ever sit down together in the same place to work things out? Just curious.

James H
Author
JasonStarr
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Hey, thanks so much re Bust, Slide, Twisted City! I think my co-writing method with Ken is a little unusual, but it works for us. When Ken and I see each other we sit down and talk about the basic plots and some general ideas, but we write almost entirely over the Internet. We don't switch off writing chapters (he does a lot of American stufff, I do a lot of Irish stuff, etc). We do an outline of the entire book and then work on the entire book at the same time. For example, with The Max, as I recall, we worked on the first few chapters together, sending files back and forth, and then we skipped around, working on different parts of the book. When Ken sent me his stuff for the day (usally about three or four pages) I added to what he wrote--including adding new lines, paragraphs here and there--and then worked on a different chapter. Then I worked on another chapter and he added to what I wrote before working on a completely different section. I remember we wrote the last few chapters of The Max, while we were still working on the first half of the book. It was fun/different/exciting to be able to work on an entire novel at once.
Author
CharlesArdai
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

For those of you eager to see what else Jason has coming down the pike, take a look at  the Hard Case Crime site (www.HardCaseCrime.com) for a sneak peek at FAKE I.D., his never-before-published-in-the-U.S. noir novel, with a cover by outstanding gallery painter Gregg Kreutz...

 

--Charles


Learn more about Songs of Innocence.
Visit www.HardCaseCrime.com.
Author
JasonStarr
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

I love this cover, Charles! It sort of reminds me of a Hopper painting, and the guy (Tommy) has a James Dean look to him, I think. Love it.
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ROCKETRAY55
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

[ Edited ]

Charles and Jason, I agree, great cover... So Jason care to give us a heads up on the upcoming release of Fake ID.?

 

-Ray

Message Edited by ROCKETRAY55 on 09-13-2008 07:23 AM
Author
CharlesArdai
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

What is it you'd like to know about it...?


Learn more about Songs of Innocence.
Visit www.HardCaseCrime.com.
Frequent Contributor
ROCKETRAY55
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Registered: ‎09-28-2007
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Well I am hoping this well be every bit as good as The Follower and Twisted City, I guess I was looking for an overview, A little tease about what to expect when it show up in my mail box..

 

Thanks,

Ray

Author
CharlesArdai
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Re: SEPTEMBER: Talk with Jason Starr, author of THE MAX

Each of those books is different, but I do think FAKE I.D. is as good as THE FOLLOWER and TWISTED CITY; in fact, it may be my personal favorite of the three, at least in the sense of its being the most down-and-dirty "Hard Case Crime-ish" of the three.  It's the one that you can most easily see having been published in the 1950s as a Gold Medal original.

 

You can find more info on the Hard Case Crime Web site -- there's a brief plot description at http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_bios.cgi?entry=bk56 and a sample chapter at http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_bios.cgi?entry=bk56&type=excerpt.

 

--Charles


Learn more about Songs of Innocence.
Visit www.HardCaseCrime.com.
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