From the CT News Blog by Joe Meyer: The new Touchstone book “Inherit the Dead” isn’t the first book written by a group of popular writers — it’s a tradition that goes all the way back to the Newsday-created “Naked Came the Stranger” in 1969 — but this novel-by-committee has to be one of the best examples of this eccentric genre. Overseen by the New York City artist and crime writer Jonathan Santlofer, the book tells a taut and very suspenseful tale of a rich girl who goes missing just as she is about to come into her huge family fortune. The novel grabs you in the first section and keeps building despite the fact that 20 writers contributed chapters. There is a lot of charm in the way the style and approach changes ever so slightly slightly as we start each new section with a new writer guiding us along. But, the storytelling pace … Read more
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
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
Here’s a preview and link for an interview I did with Seattle Post Intelligencer for Inherit the Dead: “Jonathan Santlofer is the editor of Inherit the Dead, a book similar to No Rest For the Dead, which I did an interview for here in 2011. In both cases the books are written by at least 20 well known mystery writers. They are doing that old thing where one person starts a story and hands it off to another author who continues the story. The result is a fascinating thriller. This kind of project can have hilarious results as was the case when Lisa Lutz co-wrote a novel, Heads You Lose, with her ex-boyfriend, David Heyward. In that case the book contained the communications between them as they’d complain about each other’s writings. They also dispatched with each other’s favorite characters just to be irksome. I found it delightful, but I think Lutz and Heyward were less … Read more
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
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, www.safehorizon.org. 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
With an Introduction by Lee Child and a special note to the reader by Linda Fairstein. Inherit the Dead is a serial novel with each author contributing a chapter. I think readers will be amazed at how well the plot holds together while each writer’s voice remains personal and strong. As the editor, I arranged to donate all royalties in excess of editor and contributor compensation to Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading provider of services to victims of violence and abuse, making this a worthy – and winning – accomplishment that showcases today’s finest writers at their very best.