As well as having the opportunity to review James Le Pore’s novel, “Gods and Fathers”; today I also have the pleasure of welcoming the author for a special guest post.
Being a long term reader of crime fiction I’ve often wondered where authors get their inspiration from, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask my guest the following:
“I’ve often been told that a writer should write about what they know. So how does a crime writer get to know so much stuff? Are there actually a lot of talented criminals out there with double lives?”
And here is his response. Please welcome Mr James Le Pore to my electronic scrapbook…
I began at around the age of ten or eleven to read several newspapers every day. My parents brought The New York Post, Daily News and National Enquirer home daily from their forays into the world. The crime stories in particular stirred my young and over-heated imagination. I read them even before turning to the sports pages. I then discovered—at the corner candy store—noir fiction, people like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, John D. MacDonald, and, as I grew older—in real bookstores—Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard and Walter Mosley. Later I became addicted (and still am) to docu-drama crime shows on television. Somewhere along the way, the workings of the criminal mind, from the banal to the ingenious, must have transferred into that part of my DNA that eventually led me to start writing myself.
My novels are not primarily about crime though. Though my plots are driven by bad acts and bad actors, and the building of suspense, I am equally concerned with the mysteries of the human heart, and the concept of redemption. Why do we seem to hurt the ones we love the most? Why do they forgive us? Why do we choose the paths we choose, especially the wrong ones? Why is it that only pain leads to growth?
I have come to believe that ‘write what you know’ does not mean write about flying if you are a pilot, or write about the law if you are a lawyer. It means write about the things you know in your heart, like the pain of love gone wrong, or the reasons why we like or dislike ourselves as human beings. Writers need framing devices, and authenticity is of course important, so writing about the empirical things you know is a good idea, but there is great drama buried in the heart. The best stories, I believe, center around flawed people who, caught up in dangerous situations, are forced to resolve both internal and external conflicts in order to finally align with their true destinies. This is what I try my best to accomplish.
January 30, 2012