Jonathan Santlofer and Joyce Carol Oates in conversation at the San Francisco Public Library celebrating the new anthology “It Occurs to Me That I Am America,” featuring the work of 35 celebrated authors, is published in support of the American Civil Liberties Union on the one year anniversary of the inauguration of President Trump and the Women’s March on Washington.
Back by popular demand (I think) is the story I performed for The Moth almost 10 years ago. Time flies and flutters like moths. If you don’t know The Moth it’s an amazing not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling that has been in existence since 1997. They recruited me to tell my story, a true one, part of a theme, “Blue in the Face: Stories About Smoke.” Though the Moth works with you and rehearses you, I was still incredibly nervous though I hope it doesn’t show in this video.
Check this out! It’s a combination of computer generated animation and my art. I made the drawings that were used in this sequence for the television show Celebrity Crime Files on TV One network. If you watch the sequence all the way through you will see my drawing of an unfortunate fellow who caught the business end of the bullet trajectory at the very end.
The Scottish writer, Val McDermid is a dream interview, fast, funny, and filled with great stories. Frankly, I could listen to her beautiful lilting accent for hours and her advice about writing is just as beautiful. Like all of the terrific writers who come to Crime Fiction Academy this interview was only the 1st half of a great evening. The 2nd half continued upstairs with the CFA students only and was even more inspiring and more personal.
Johnny Temple, publisher of Akashic Books and who runs the Brooklyn Book Festival, asked me to put together a panel of crime fiction writers. I thought this diverse group would be fun and they were: Lawrence Block (multi-award winning writer of “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” just one of his 40 or so great novels), Susan Isaacs (her hilarious 1st novel, “Compromising Positions,” has become a classic), Peter Blauner (author, reporter and often Law & Order contributor) and Persia Walker (“Black Orchid Blues,” one of those crime novels so steeped in time and place –Harlem in the 1920s—one feels as if they have lived there). The combo of Susan, Larry, Persia and Peter was a great mix of super-smart people, light and dark humor and great commentary on crime writing. Have a look and listen.
Mary Higgins Clark is smart, funny, down to earth and earthy. When I asked her to speak at Crime Fiction Academy she didn’t hesitate. She contributed a chapter to the serial novel I put together for Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, “Inherit the Dead” and was never a diva, though she could have been. As you will see in this video, Mary is always Mary.
Linda Fairstein is one of those people who is so accomplished and so smart she could be intimidating if she were not so damn nice. Her life as a NYC prosecutor informs her novels with a kind of veritas we all wish we had. When she met with the CFA students afterwards, she divulged all sorts of details about her real life cases, her personal life and her writing, much of which is still resonating with me.