Wednesday, December 5, 2012

THE NEXT BIG THING: BROKEN WINDOWS (P.I. Duke Rogers Series – Book 2)

I was tagged last Wednesday by my friend and fellow mystery-thriller-suspense author, Dave Zeltserman for this.

What is the working title of your next book?

Broken Windows. It's the second installment in the Duke Rogers series that started with White Heat.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My then-agent wanted me to do a sequel to White Heat. At that time it wasn't a series, I wanted to do something else. But she talked me into it.  As the first book, White Heat, was set in 1992 during the time of the Rodney King riots, I needed to set it around that time.  So it's set a couple years later when Proposition 187, which dealt with illegal immigration, was a big thing in California.  It seemed like a logical progression, as White Heat dealt with racial issues stemming from the Rodney King riots. That said, both novels are noir-thrillers, with some topical overtones.

What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery-thriller. Noir.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If Nick Nolte were twenty years younger he'd be perfect for Jack.  For Marisol, Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek.  And for Duke Jeremy Renner.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Investigating the murder of an undocumented Mexican worker, P.I. Duke Rogers finds himself sucked into the political turmoil of 1990s Los Angeles.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I don't like to outline, so my "outlines" are generally screenplays – I write the early draft/s in screenplay format for a variety of reasons, but one is that I can work faster that way.  I'd say the first drafts of the ms to work out the plot and characters took about two months and then I moved onto the prose drafts.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Some readers or critics have compared White Heat to Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block and Michael Connelly. Chandler and Hammett.  So I guess you could do that for Broken Windows too since it's in the same vein and continues Duke's and Jack's story.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

In the form of a mystery-thriller, White Heat, the first Duke Rogers book, explores racial tensions after the Rodney King trial verdict came in in 1992. I wanted the sequel to deal with another topical subject that could also stand in for today.  California's 1994 Proposition 187 and the "illegal alien" controversy seemed to fit the bill for another thriller that worked on more than simply that level and is certainly a hot topic now.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I like to deal with various issues in my writing.  In White Heat it was racial tensions, which are still evident today.  But sometimes it helps to look at things in the past to get perspective.  In Broken Windows it's the immigration issue.  And I hope, in both, that I tackle it from all sides.  Different characters have varying opinions on the various issues – meanwhile the roller coaster of the plot keeps moving forward.

And now the hand off to Elizabeth Barone, author of Sade on the Wall, Outlaw Love Story and others:

Look for her post next week and consider trying...her Next Big Thing!