In Sunlight or In Shadow

Edward Hopper, that most American of artists: girlie shows, movie theaters, gas stations at night, that famous diner, strangers glimpsed in windows, the lonely streets, landscapes filled with yearning. Despite the isolation, or because of it, Hopper strikes a chord, touches us, draws us in. His subjects inhabit a world constructed entirely by the artist: lost in thought, still yet searching, his couples sit, stand, recline, sometimes side by side but never quite connected, the artist a master of isolation. I felt compelled to make drawings, this one of the artist and a few of his paintings. At first they were going to be two-minute sketches, but Hopper took hold of me and my pencil just kept going. I even added a touch of color. Of course Hopper is always about light and shadow, which brings me to the book, “In Sunlight or In Shadow, Stories Inspired By the Paintings of Edward Hopper,” brainchild of the legendary crime fiction writer, Lawrence Block, … Read more

Talkin’ ’bout TV

Let’s talk television, which just may be the new novel. Something that frightens me, being a writer and all. It’s so hard to compete with all of those great shows, even some of the not so great ones. Binge-watching is just so… addictive. I know reading is more relaxing and helps me get to sleep, but watching the tube appears to be more so—you’re just lying there, right?—when it’s not: it’s stimulating. Just one more episode, just one more. But let’s put that negative, sleep-depriving addictive quality aside, for the moment, and savor some of television’s serial pleasures. House of Cards – Season 4 I am a diehard fan and have been since the first episode. Kevin Spacey has found the role of his lifetime and he is brilliant, the perfect blend of snaky charm, humor and evil, he wears it on his face, in the pockets of flesh beneath his eyes, the smile that goes … Read more

Draw With Me in Italy

Imagine… Drawing in and around the hills of Assisi… Looking at nature, architecture, the figure, all the while soaking up Italian culture. Looking and learning from Giotto’s amazing & beautiful frescoes just a few steps away in the cathedral. All of this, and more. Like I’ve been saying: Come draw with me (sung to the tune of Come Fly With me). I can, and have taught anyone how to draw. Drawing will change your artwork, your writing, even (dare I say it) the way you view the world. So come. In the afternoons we’ll loll about, talking about art and writing and beauty or nothing in particular. In the evenings we’ll eat & drink and talk some more. For even more specifics, go to the website.    

Summer Workshop at CFA

Dear Friends, I will be teaching a 4-day intensive short story crime fiction workshop July 13-16 at the Center For Fiction. My intention is to bring students from story inception all the way to a polished ready-for-submission piece of work. If you know anyone who has a crime story up their sleeve, wants to write it and get it published please send them my way. This is going to fun! Check details below and on the Center For Fiction website. Thanks. Jonathan Summer 2015 at The Crime Fiction Academy For the first time, The Center will offer a four-day summer writing intensive workshop at our Crime Fiction Academy. Join Jonathan Santlofer for this unique opportunity to polish your work for submission, from first draft to finished story. In addition to a daily workshop session, students will attend an evening panel with publishers and editors from prestigious print and online magazines to learn best practices for … Read more

Saul Bellow Centennial Celebration

A great night of Bellow readings to a SRO crowd at Housing Works NYC. Beena Kamlani, Saul Bellow’s last editor, who put the event together, introduced the evening with a few personal stories about working with the author later in his life. The poet and literary critic, Adam Kirsch, read an evocative passage from Henderson the Rain King. Romanian writer, Norman Manea, read from an interview he conducted with Bellow. The New Yorker fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, talked about editing Bellow and also read, proving she reads as beautifully as she edits; the terrific writer A.M. Homes read a beautiful short story; and the Irish writer Colum McCann was a knock out reading Bellow in his beautiful Irish brogue. Then it was my turn. I didn’t think it was quite fair to make me follow McCann, sort of like following Bono, which I actually said. Here’s the rest of what I said and read— My father was … Read more

NY Press – Twenty Writers’ Worth of Crime in New York City

Thanks to NY Press for this great interview about Inherit the Dead. “It is said that the generosity of crime fiction writers exists because the authors get their frustrations out on their twisted pages. There is no better tribute to their kindness than when they use their words to benefit charity. The book Inherit the Dead was born because 20 bestselling writers in the crime fiction world took time out from other projects to contribute a chapter each to this collaboration. Editor Jonathan Santlofer saw this gracious spirit first-hand after prolific writers like Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, and Charlaine Harris signed on immediately. To begin what would seem like a daunting task to most, Santlofer skillfully created the story’s outline and worked with all the writers by preserving their unique styles, while creating a cohesive thriller. The royalties from the sale of the novel, which is already a bestseller after only being released on … Read more

A Conversation with Omnimystery News

Omnimystery News: Tell us a little more about your novels and anthologies. Jonathan Santlofer: I have written two series, one with ex-cop Kate McKinnon, the second with police forensic sketch artist Nate Rodriguez. I love the idea of a recurring character and I intend to write more books in each of these series though I am currently writing a stand-alone because I wanted to stretch. I don’t see any reason why an author can’t do both. The challenge in a series is to keep it fresh but I always want my character to develop and grow. I love seeing them change, which is necessary if the character’s life changes. I have also edited several anthologies, The Dark End of the Street, LA Noire, the Collected Stories, The Marijuana Chronicles, and the current serial novel Inherit the Dead for Touchstone/Simon& Schuster, which was a complex though totally rewarding experience, getting 20 writers, including Charlaine Harris, James … Read more

Guest Blogging with the BookBitch – Inherit the Dead

The wonderful Stacy Alessi, AKA the “Book Bitch” (and anyone who knows Stacy knows she is anything but a bitch), asked me to write a guest blog about the creation/editing of the serial novel “Inherit the Dead,” which I did for Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. It turned out to be great project for a good cause, and a dream team to work with. Here’s an excerpt:   “Take 20 great writers. Ask them to each write a chapter in a continuing story. Give them both direction and a free hand. Donate the proceeds to charity. Mix it all together. Stir. Simmer. Bring to a boil. Voila! One great novel written in 20 voices. To continue the recipe metaphor you could say that putting a serial novel together is a bit like making an omelet or better yet, a soufflé. You get all the ingredients together, whip up the eggs, put it in the oven and hope … Read more

Safe Horizon – Inherit the Dead Benefit – October 9th, 2013

Editor Jonathan Santlofer has arranged to donate any royalties in excess of editor and contributor compensation to Safe Horizon, the leading victim assistance agency in the country. Safe Horizon envisions a society free of family and community violence and leads the way by empowering victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence, Each year, Safe Horizon supports and advocates for more than 250,000 children, youth, and adults affected by violence and abuse. As the nation’s leading provider of services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking, rape and sexual assault, homeless youth and other victims, we offer the practical and emotional support and tools that victims need to heal and rebuild their lives. All of Safe Horizon’s programs offer intensive and crucial assistance for survivors. These services are made possible only by the generous gifts that we receive from our loyal supporters.  To … Read more