Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Lorenzo Carcaterra

Lorenzo Carcaterra is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sleepers, A Safe Place, Apaches, Gangster, Street Boys, Paradise City, Chasers, Midnight Angels, and The Wolf. He is a former writer/producer for Law & Order and has written for National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times Magazine, Details, and Maxim.

Carcaterra's new novel is Tin Badges.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I was in Italy last month for both work and a vacation visiting with family on the island of Ischia, which allowed me to finally get around to reading Neil Simon's two brilliant memoirs--Rewrites and The Play Goes On. I had many reasons why I was so eager to read both. First, I'm a huge Simon fan and admire both his talent and the volume of work he produced. Second, I love reading about how successful writers go about their work and was impressed by his passion and devotion to his craft regardless of the bumps life often tosses in the way. He found his solace in his work, his escape from losing a wife to cancer, constantly coming up with new ideas, filling notebook after notebook with stories. And with all that work came growth as a writer. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out he lived for a while in a lake house in the same small town where I own a lake house. And that is where any comparison between me and Neil Simon begins and ends.

Since last year, I've also been on a John Grisham binge--am currently reading my 16th Grisham novel, The Broker. I finished The Testament while I was in Italy. He is a terrific storyteller and I admire the skill with which he takes a subject, say capital punishment, and builds a compelling narrative and fully-fleshed out characters around it--as he did with The Confession. You learn a bit about the law--for example, if you are sentenced to life in prison in Mississippi that only means a 10-year sentence. Information like that tends to stick with me.

I'm reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, about half-way through--for simple reasons--I heard it was a terrific book; I love dogs (recently lost my 12 year old Olde English Bulldogge, Gus) and next year am planning to write a book about Gus--in his own words, his memoir (with all due respect to Doc Simon). So, it's important to see what's out there so as not to repeat it. As great a story as Racing in the Rain is--I was relieved to see that it will not impact on the story Gus has to tell.

Next up will be Walter Isaacson's bio of Leonardo da Vinci--what better way to celebrate his upcoming 500th birthday (Da Vinci not Walter)? And Maurizio de Giovanni's next installment of his Bastards series--this one, Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone. I love reading crime novels set in Italy and Maurizio is a terrific writer and writes about Naples in a real and provocative manner. And since, my family home is in Ischia, 18 miles off the coast of Naples, it gives me a taste of what I'm missing when I'm not there. With most books, I read with a cup of coffee nearby. With Maurizio I read with a glass of wine close at hand--usually a chilled white from Casa D'Ambra of Ischia.
Visit Lorenzo Carcaterra's website.

--Marshal Zeringue