Michael Connelly: getting it on the page
Excerpts from the interview by Chris Aldrich in the October/November 2005 issue of Mystery News
In September 1995, nearly four years after his first book was published, I wrote in an on-line discussion of The Concrete Blond that I had "just started reading [Michael] Connelly in June. I'd heard a little buzz about him but resisted him for a while I thought it was just hype. Not at all!"
Ten years and thirteen novels later, I can say that Connelly's work is better than ever. There is something very appealing about his books - a combination of skilled storytelling, engaging yet flawed characters, controlled pacing, exciting plots and a sense of authenticity that consistently ties all of these elements into a very satisfying read
The Lincoln of the title is a Town Car that is the mobile office of Mickey Haller, one of the defense attorneys who move among the 30 or so courtrooms in LA to work "on the lower strata of the justice system they really scramble to make a living and it's very fast moving. The bottom line is that they're defending criminals and trying to make the best deal for them and trying to get their clients out of jail." Haller is a guy who "does his best work for criminals, people he knows are guilty and the readers know are guilty". Mickey's always on the make, looking for a case that will make him some real money - a franchise case. After all, it's expensive to maintain that half-page in the Yellow Pages and the ads on the 36 bus benches scattered throughout the high-crime areas in LA County. Not to mention the mortgage and the child support
The screen rights for The Lincoln Lawyer were sold way before the book was published. On the question whether the movie would be made, Connelly said "You're asking the wrong person (he laughs) unless you're JK Rowling your only power in Hollywood is in choosing who you sell your stuff to. That's where the due diligence really has to take place and you hope for the best. The people who are doing this, Lakeshore Productions - their last movie was Million Dollar Baby and they had the script nailed down and no stars attached, and then they started getting stars attached who liked the script and the script never changed. And I like that idea "
The first-century Roman philosopher Seneca said: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Michael Connelly might have caught some luck, but it's clear that he knows where luck comes from. He gets it on the page. And that's what really matters.
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
Published by: Little Brown & Co.
Read the complete interview in the October/November 2005 issue of Mystery News