Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Under the Influence by Douglas Corleone

One common question all authors are asked is: who are your influences? For the past three years I’ve been writing a series of legal thrillers featuring Kevin Corvelli, a criminal defense lawyer who moved from New York City to Honolulu following the death of an innocent client.

The character of Kevin Corvelli was influenced by many other fictional criminal defense lawyers who came before him. David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter gave me the courage to use wit and sarcasm with Kevin both in and out of the courtroom. Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller gave Kevin a shot of confidence verging on cockiness. Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani helped hone Kevin’s courtroom skills and taught him how to deal with the press. John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy gave Kevin the heart to play well with others.
Last Lawyer Standing is the third and final book in the Kevin Corvelli series. Next spring, Minotaur Books will release my first international thriller, Good as Gone, about a former US Marshal whose search for a missing young American girl takes him across the European continent. When asked about my influences, I now have entirely different answers.
While preparing to write my first international thriller, I read Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series because I wanted my main character Simon Fisk to be tough yet sensitive. I blew through Jeff Abbott’s Sam Capra novels because I wanted my main character to be smart and passionate. I devoured Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series and Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.
Ten years ago, if you asked me who my influences were, I would have told you Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson. A few years later, Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerny.
The fact is, our influences change over time. That’s why it’s so important for writers to read widely in every genre. Novelists should have range, and they shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. My first two books were written in first person present, my third in first person past. I’ve yet to write a book in third person, but I look forward to giving it a shot. I’d also like to write a novel from a female point of view. Unfortunately, I first have to learn at least something about understanding women. So, kindly look for my first female POV novel around 2038 or so.
Doug Corleone

BIO: Douglas Corleone is the author of three crime novels published by St. Martin's Minotaur. His debut novel One Man's Paradise was nominated for the 2010 Shamus Award for Best First Novel. A former New York City defense attorney, Doug now lives in the Hawaiian Islands, where he is currently at work on his next novel.  You can visit him online at www.douglascorleone.com.

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