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JonathanKellerman
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Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Thought reading my novels should be a prerequisite of American citizenship, Debbie, it isn't.  Yet.  LOL.  Faye and Jesse are terrific and I applaud your taste.

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JonathanKellerman
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Susan, thanks for all the kind words.

Re: Milo:  I was motivated to create a tough, gay homicide detective because back in 1981, when I began to write WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, it seemed like a fascinating notion.  Also, I was aware of gay cops in LAPD back when the department denied they existed.  I'd always thought we pay far too much attention to what people do in bed and I thought the idea of "gay but so what" would be interesting.  Second, I'd been failing at breaking in as a novelist for many years and felt that I needed to avoid cliches and stereotypes.  And what could be less stereotypic than a multifaceted human being who sidestepped all attempts at pigeonholing? The same thought process applied when I "created" Alex and Robin.  The guy deals with human emotions and the gal works with power tools.

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

[ Edited ]

Hi Jonathan - so glad you were able to sign in.

 

I've been reading your books since around the time the first one came out - I'm a major fan!

 

When you wrote WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, I'm assuming you planned it to be the first in a series. I'm assuming you didn't realize Alex and Milo would still be working together 20-odd years later. Did you have a certain number of books in mind when you plotted Book One?

 

I just spotted this on Jonathan's website, which I missed earlier:

 

 

 

When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware Series #1) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the Bough Breaks

Release Date: 1985-01-01
ISBN: 345466608


Alex Delaware’s debut. Having written novels for 13 years without any success, this book was my (alleged) final attempt to publish full-length fiction before having to face up to monumental inadequacy. I say alleged because it’s unwise to underestimate the power of the obsessive-compulsive personality, so who knows what it would’ve taken to get me to finally knock it off? 

I quit my job as a medical school professor to write BOUGH, and struggled to remedy what I felt were my two main deficiencies as a writer: cowardice about exploring my own life experiences, and inadequate plot.

 

I finished the book in 1981, whereupon it was promptly rejected by several agents, one of whom opined, “You’d be a good non-fiction writer.” Another said, “I kind of like it, but my secretary doesn’t.” The book sat in a drawer for two years until I connected with the gentleman and scholar who’s remained my agent and close friend for twenty years, Barney Karpfinger. He sold it quickly.

 

Finally, I was a writer, not a delusion-wracked loser. My advance payment was so small that I could’ve flipped burgers at McDonalds and done better. The publisher held the book until 1985, not really sure how to classify it and fully intending to relegate it to instant obscurity.

 

The reading public felt differently and it became a word-of-mouth best-seller. No one was more surprised than I. Except, perhaps, my publisher.

 

 

 

 

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mary_kennedy
Posts: 304
Registered: ‎08-14-2009
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

So glad you are here today, Jonathan! I'm a clinical psychologist and a huge fan of your work. Very exciting to think that DECEPTION is #25 in the Alex Delaware series. I know you spoke at the APA convention several years ago, do you have any plans to speak to psychologists again? Love the story about how you broke into the business, the power of persistence!  

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,279
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Good Morning Jonathan..Well,well surprise,surprise.I never even had him on my radar..I fell asleep ,after the sisters interview..So I will be finishing "Compulsion' tonight..Now I am wondering"Is Robins secret admirer one in the same.?"..I was on twitter yesterday and came across a Picture of you and Jesse at BarnesandNoble in Westwood,Ca,it was taken by a photographer Greg H...Jesse's first book "SunStroke" was excellent,it was like reading a play for me ..I was prompted by Paul Hochman of BarnesandNoble.com to continue on and read Jesse as well..If you visit "Mystery Blog" and also "Ransom Notes" Pauls Thread on The Mystery Board where you are now.Its fun to see what other"s are talking about..Especially now that you are here.Very exciting!!...You must gather so much material from all that occurs in "The Criminal"world..I just always liked your spin on it...Your visual of Bel Air was great...BTW,There was a Deli on Fairfax..Is it still there?I hope you don't mind answering non book related questions..More about Milo later..Best  Susan Vtc...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

I think it's interesting that, totally unplanned, the two authors we are featuring this month - Jonathan Kellerman and Michael Palmer - both have medical backgrounds and both have sons who write. (key Twilight Zone theme . . .)

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Do any of you have questions for Jonathan? I know we have a lot of people viewing who either are unable to post comments for technical reasons or who just prefer to follow anonymously. I'll try to come up with some questions you might be interested in.

 

1) Jonathan, do you have a favorite of the books you've written?

 

2) Do you and Faye act as critique partners for each other? 

 

3) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

 

4) Do you have a routine you go through before you start writing? I'm thinking of things like turning on music (or turning it off), having coffee ready to go, your desk clear - anything that makes you feel you're ready to write.

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

 

 

Deception (Alex Delaware Series #25) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished reading DECEPTION last night and it occurred to me that while it helps if you know the backstory , this would be good even if you picked it up without having read any of the other books in the series. So while I still recommend reading them all, don't let it stop you if you don't have time to read all 25.

 

While I come back to this series book after book for the mysteries and because I really like Alex and Milo (would it be wrong to say Milo is my favorite?), I'm especially fond of Jonathan Kellerman's mastery of the language. Although I'm a word geek, I admit I often skim descriptions, but not in his books.

 

I marked some of my favorites as I was reading, and I'll list a couple that won't give anything away:

 

One character had "the kind of pale, waxy skin that shaves well and connotes long nights of scholarly study," for example. When this same character smiled, his "thin lips turned up. What resulted was the initial knife-slice for a jack-o'-lantern mouth."

 

See what I mean? Descriptive phrases like that give me chills.

 

Then there was the character who had "all the emotional depth of a sheet of vinyl." And the "testosterone time share" was another perfectly turned phrase.

 

Here's another classic: "Frequent tic-like eyeblinks turned gorgeous cornflower eyes into sputtering gas-flames."

 

Last one (I could go on and on): "The freeway at one a.m. was slick black tape."

 

This is why so many of us come back for 25 books . . . and counting.

 

 

 

 

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mary_kennedy
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Becke, I love the "compelling details," the character tags, the bits of description you found in Jonathan's latest novel. I feel exactly the same way. Those are the words and phrases that keep me coming back again and again for yet another Alex Delaware novel.  Amazing how one phrase can sum up a whole scene.  As you know, I send mysteries (and home-made goodies) to our soldiers in Iraq--the 389th Renegades. One of the items they request is single serving, styrofoam cups of soup or noodles. It is hot as Hades out there, and one of the soldiers told me he fills the cup with water, and leaves it on the hood of the Jeep to cook in the broiling sun. After a very short time, it's ready to eat.  Something about that image just "set the scene" for me.  (and was heart-tugging).  Really enjoying the discussiob with Jonathan Kellerman and would love to hear more about Jesse--love the idea of a whole family of writers! 

Author
JonathanKellerman
Posts: 71
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Hi, Becke.  Sorry for the delay getting back to everyone.  Had a relative in the hospital undergoing some serious surgery, so it's been a bit hectic.

 

Actually, Inever thought I'd get published, let alone write a series.  So WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS was simply written as my best effort.  During the process of writing, I came to emjoy spending time with Alex and Milo.  When the book did well, I thought, "Hmm.  They let me in the door, so maybe I'll try another one."  And another one.  And so on.  It's been a quarter century.  Who knew?

Author
JonathanKellerman
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Hi, Mary.  Despite all those books, I still think of myself as a psychologist.  I enjoyed speaking at the American Psychlogical Assn convention.  If you were there, you might recall my opening remark:  "I stand here before you as living testimony to the value of the obsessive compulsive personality."

 

I don't do much public speaking; too busy writing books and dealing with family.   But one never knows.

Author
JonathanKellerman
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Hi, Susan.  You're probably referring to Canter's Deli.  Still going strong.

Author
JonathanKellerman
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

1.  I always favor the book I'm writing.  Once I'm finished, I send them out into the world and begin another one.

 

2.  Faye and I used to critique each other more frequently - back in the days when we were starting out.  Now, we read each other's books when they come out.  Like any other readers.  Much more fun.

 

3.  If you mean do I outline, I do.  Because I'm not smart enough to keep all those plot elements in my head.  Once I complete the outline, however, I rarely consult it.

 

4. I try to be in as good shape as possible before I sit down to write.  That means A. Waking up - no mean fet B. Having coffee and chatting with Faye  C.  Exercising in the gym - usually, again, with Faye.  D. Showering, shaving and getting dressed as if I had a "real" job.  Once I'm in the office, though, I get right to it.

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

 

JonathanKellerman wrote:

Hi, Becke.  Sorry for the delay getting back to everyone.  Had a relative in the hospital undergoing some serious surgery, so it's been a bit hectic.

 

Actually, Inever thought I'd get published, let alone write a series.  So WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS was simply written as my best effort.  During the process of writing, I came to emjoy spending time with Alex and Milo.  When the book did well, I thought, "Hmm.  They let me in the door, so maybe I'll try another one."  And another one.  And so on.  It's been a quarter century.  Who knew?

 

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your relative, Jonathan. We're flexible here - if it's more convenient for you to visit only on certain days, just say the word. I'd hate for this to put added pressure on you.

 

Your success story is the kind struggling writers dream of - I was in Chicago visiting my dad yesterday, and he was very excited to hear about your visit to B&N. I keep trying to get my dad to stop by, since he's a longtime mystery fan, but it hasn't happened yet.

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

JonathanKellerman wrote:

1.  I always favor the book I'm writing.  Once I'm finished, I send them out into the world and begin another one.

 

2.  Faye and I used to critique each other more frequently - back in the days when we were starting out.  Now, we read each other's books when they come out.  Like any other readers.  Much more fun.

 

3.  If you mean do I outline, I do.  Because I'm not smart enough to keep all those plot elements in my head.  Once I complete the outline, however, I rarely consult it.

 

4. I try to be in as good shape as possible before I sit down to write.  That means A. Waking up - no mean fet B. Having coffee and chatting with Faye  C.  Exercising in the gym - usually, again, with Faye.  D. Showering, shaving and getting dressed as if I had a "real" job.  Once I'm in the office, though, I get right to it.

 


I'm intrigued by #4. My husband works from home when he's not traveling on business, and we each have our own routine. It was tricky at first, but now we work around each other pretty well.


Do you and Faye both have your offices in the house, or do you go somewhere else to write? If you are working at home, can you shut the door on your work space, or do you have to make some kind of signal to each other when you aren't to be interrupted?

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
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Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Thank you Jonathan..I remember ..It was quite a place..and the food was amazing..Living in Vt,Its all about Fresh,Organic..So as our lifestyles change,My zest for your books have not......I was sad at the end of "Compulsion",envisioning  Dave Simmons. so grateful and amazed at Robins work...Throughout "Compulsion"I was on "The Imaginary RollerCoaster" that you ,for me,are famous for..The edge of my seat..Heubel.Getting away with so many crimes,kind of under the Radar..I must ask,unless I missed it,I don't think so,if I did then I was sleepy,"What happened to the Safrans?How closely do you work with the LAPD,and have you ever seen"Southland".. Thank you..Susan...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

[ Edited ]
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

 

The Butcher's Theater

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

Jonathan - Which do you prefer writing, you Alex Delaware novels or the non-Delaware books? I know some authors who say (quietly) that they'd like to be writing something else but they dare not give up on a popular series in this market.

 

Also, I'm always intrigued by books that are co-authored. What made you and Faye decide to write books together? What were the good and bad things about collaborating?

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome JONATHAN KELLERMAN!

[ Edited ]

For those of you who are hard core Kellerman fans, you may want to check out his past visits to B&N at Center Stage

 

Faye Kellerman also visited Center Stage a few years ago.