Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Sunday, December 19, 2004
calgflames: Jan Long
dpwhite237: Dave White
g_so: Gerald So
kyoshikyoku40: Barry Eisler
calgflames: Hi, Barry!
g_so: Welcome, Barry.
kyoshikyoku40: Hi everyone, sorry for the delay.
dpwhite237: How's it goin' there?
kyoshikyoku40: Good. I think I'm logged in twice...
kyoshikyoku40: Are you all getting duplicate messages from me?
calgflames: g_so is Gerald, our group moderator/owner. dpwhite is Dave
kyoshikyoku40: Hi all.
calgflames: And the person with the name that cannot be pronounced is Barry.
g_so: Dave White, aspiring novelist and accomplished short story writer (plug, plug)
dpwhite237: Thanks, Gerald.
kyoshikyoku40: Means "rhapsody" in Japanese. Thought it would be unique, but it was already taken. So I added the 40 at the end...
dpwhite237: Wow, can't believe someone got to that one.
g_so: I see.
calgflames: All right. Someone has to ask, so it may as well be me. Why a hit man?
kyoshikyoku40: Why not? Kidding. Lots of reasons.
calgflames: Not exactly a sympathetic character on the face of it.
kyoshikyoku40: Actually, no real reasons. He just seemed to come to me. My wife thinks that doesn't bode well for revelations regarding my core personality.
kyoshikyoku40: True. I never really thought of him as sympathetic or not. He just came out the way he is.
dpwhite237: Who are you influenced by? Is Ian Fleming an influence? Because Rain Fall read like a James Bond novel to me. Just a little more grounded in reality.
kyoshikyoku40: A lot of people mention Bond. I read the books in high school, but I wouldn't say they're really influences. Anyone here read Trevanian?
kyoshikyoku40: Or Vachss?
dpwhite237: Vachss I've read.
g_so: Still have to try both.
kyoshikyoku40: Vachss is an influence. And read Trevanian! Especially Shibumi, with assassin Nicholai Hel. Great book.
calgflames: Er, well, sorry to say, but his real-life behavior has kind of put me off trying him.
kyoshikyoku40: His real life behavior? Trevanian also did "The Eiger Sanction" (made into a movie by and with Clint Eastwood) and "The Loo Sanction."
dpwhite237: The reason I mention Fleming is because Fleming was very detailed in his descritptions because he knew his plots were unbelievable. And I felt that your novel was extremely detailed, but flowed really well.
kyoshikyoku40: Right, hopefully the detail in my books enhances the believability, rather than covering up for a lack of it.
dpwhite237: Ah okay.
calgflames: Anyone here familiar with the Myers-Briggs test? Rain is definitely an SJ!
dpwhite237: Not sure about that.
calgflames: The attention to detail, particularly.
kyoshikyoku40: Familiar with MB, but I don't remember the different possibilities.
g_so: I like that Rain is an older protag. Also the book felt like the 1970s though I know it was set in present day.
calgflames: Wait a minute, Gerald, he's not THAT old. :)
kyoshikyoku40: He's about 54 now. And aging in real time.
g_so: The book had the feel of those older thrillers, like Bill Granger's November Man, for one.
kyoshikyoku40: Don't know of it. But it must have been good... ;-)
g_so: Yes, I was a big fan of Granger. I like realistic aging, something Spenser lacks.
kyoshikyoku40: Yeah, he started out as a Korean War vet, then Vietnam. But that's okay. Just a different approach.
g_so: I think only the TV Spenser was updated to Vietnam. In the books, Spenser just sort of froze.
kyoshikyoku40: But my approach means Rain won't be around for another 30 books.
dpwhite237: Now, I think you've written 3 novels, which so far is your favorite?
kyoshikyoku40: The latest is my favorite. But that's been true for each.
kyoshikyoku40: Which have you all read?
calgflames: Just this one so far.
dpwhite237: I've read Rain Fall so far, with Hard Rain on my bookshelf.
kyoshikyoku40: Well, the second is (even) better, and the third the best yet.
g_so: Rain Fall is the list feature this month.
kyoshikyoku40: Got it. Hope it made you hungry for more.
dpwhite237: It did. I plan to read it soon, depending on time.
kyoshikyoku40: No worries.
calgflames: Yep. I've got the yellow one, but it's waiting 'til I get the blue one. (Sorry, I get the titles confused, so am going by color.)
kyoshikyoku40: No worries, I go by color, too. Which makes Rain Storm "The Yellow Rain"
g_so: I've also got Hard Rain on the shelf.
calgflames: Unfortunately, a lot of our members have left for the holidays.
g_so: Some may show up.
kyoshikyoku40: I can't stay that long anyway -- deadline for the new manuscript is Jan 5, so I am swamped.
g_so: I see. If you have to leave abruptly it's no problem. Thanks for chatting in advance.
kyoshikyoku40: My pleasure! Wish I had more time. This is easier than writing, and fun, too.
dpwhite237: How much of Rain Fall's political background is taken from real life?
kyoshikyoku40: All the political background in RF is real.
dpwhite237: Okay. Wow.
kyoshikyoku40: It's all from Forbes, "Dogs and Demons" by Alex Kerr... it's all real.
calgflames: How was the book received in Japan?
dpwhite237: And you lived in Tokyo? Whoops.
kyoshikyoku40: Even the mention of the people who died mysteriously, by "natural causes". That's real, too.
kyoshikyoku40: Lived there for one year, than Osaka for two more
g_so: The atmosphere really came through.
kyoshikyoku40: Thanks for that. I love trying to capture the essence of a place. Just got back from Bangkok -- that was fun.
dpwhite237: Yeah, though I kept seeing Blade Runner. Not sure if that was intentional.
kyoshikyoku40: Not intentional. Tokyo is Blade Runner-esque.
g_so: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett is another atmospheric read.
kyoshikyoku40: I heard. Haven't read it.
calgflames: Since this stuff was real, are you at all worried that someone may want to silence *you*? Not that I'm paranoid or anything. :)
g_so: A friend lent it to me, but I couldn't finish it in time.
kyoshikyoku40: They'll kill the reporters first. They're my canaries in the coal mine. If the reporters start dying, I'll get concerned.
calgflames: Especially if it's natural causes.
kyoshikyoku40: Besides, John Rain taught me a few tricks. I'm not so easy to get to.
dpwhite237: That's a bit frightening. :-) Any ideas what you might write about when you're done with the Rain?
g_so: Good question, Dave.
kyoshikyoku40: A few. I was working on a standalone when Putnam bought Rain Fall plus a then-unwritten sequel. I'd like to get back to it some day. But for now, I'm having a lot of fun with this series.
dpwhite237: set in Japan as well? Cool.
kyoshikyoku40: Wasn't set in Japan, but involved Japan.
calgflames: Have you done any non-fiction?
kyoshikyoku40: Haven't written any non-fiction. Although the Rain books are fictional explanations for non-fictional events.
calgflames: I meant more along the lines of the seminar you gave at Bouchercon.
kyoshikyoku40: Ah. Just a couple articles. Did you catch the seminar?
calgflames: (Gerald and Dave, he did a seminar on how to be aware and foil anyone who might be trying to get you.) Yes, I did. And you made us all really paranoid.
dpwhite237: Oh, cool.
g_so: Very timely.
dpwhite237: People try to get me all the time.
kyoshikyoku40: "Knowledge without awareness is denial. Awareness without knowledge is paranoia."
g_so: Whose quote is that?
kyoshikyoku40: I pieced it together from things I've heard elsewhere.
g_so: I see.
calgflames: A bunch of us were riding up the escalator afterwards and saw a man leaning over the railing at the top. We were all panicked.
kyoshikyoku40: Actually, it's hard -- my tour schedule gets posted on my website. I'm worringly easy to predict in that regard. So people have the opportunity; hopefully not the motive.
kyoshikyoku40: Read Gavin DeBecker' Gift of Fear. Great book on this stuff.
calgflames: Oh! I went to his talk and booksigning when GIFT OF FEAR came out. He's an excellent and interesting speaker.
dpwhite237: Are you seriously worried or is it... just a slight concern?
kyoshikyoku40: No, I'm mostly kidding.
g_so: Or is he? :)
calgflames: And then there was this - the seminar did make us feel somewhat empowered, so to speak. Then I start reading RAIN FALL, and there was an incident right at the start which pretty much pointed out you're powerless against more than one person.
kyoshikyoku40: Everything I've written about is taken from the news, so it's by definition already been reported. I can't imagine anyone getting overly bent about it this late in the game.
g_so: I see.
kyoshikyoku40: Well, not powerless. And besides, you have to have a realistic understanding of the threat. Is anyone of us of sufficient interest to attract the kind of resources that were used against Rain (or by him)? Probably not.
kyoshikyoku40: It's like burglar-proofing your house. It's not Fort Knox, so you don't have to defend it to that level. Likewise, the president needs a certain level of protection because he's a high-value target. Lots of motive, so you have to really deny the opportunity. Ordinary folks are lower motive, so it's not as critical to totally deny the opportunity. Sorry for the shorthand -- trying to explain fast.
g_so: I also like Tatsu in the books, a good foil for Rain.
kyoshikyoku40: Thanks. Tatsu is one of my favorites. Wait til you meet Dox, in Rain Storm.
calgflames: Do you envision only a certain number of books in the series?
kyoshikyoku40: I can imagine where things would go in a fifth book. Beyond that, I have no idea
dpwhite237: Do you outline?
g_so: I think limited series are better these days. Leave 'em wanting more.
calgflames: That's a tough one, Gerald. Some should definitely have ended many books ago - Evanovich is a good example. On the other hand there are some series I don't want to end, ever.
kyoshikyoku40: My outlines are pretty short and high level. I need to know who the characters are, and what situation triggers the story. After that, mostly I just write it.
g_so: Dave, you don't outline, right?
dpwhite237: No, I'm not an outliner.
g_so: I'd rather series end than get stale.
calgflames: If the Alex McKnight series ends, I will NOT be able to handle it. :)
dpwhite237: Barry, what's more important to you, character or plot?
kyoshikyoku40: Character, character, character! This is true for everyone, whether you know it or not. The only way human beings can care about what is if they first care about who.
dpwhite237: Good point.
kyoshikyoku40: Think about it: you can read about a horrible earthquake on the other side of the world, but it doesn't really affect you if you didn't know any of the thousands who died in it. But if something extremely trivial happens to the person you care about most - someone is rude to you, something like that -- it bugs you for days.
dpwhite237: I always think about it in terms of people watching a TV series. They what to know what happens to TONY next week or something like that.
kyoshikyoku40: The more a book is character-driven, the more it is "literary fiction." The more it depends on plot, the more it is "genre." Of course, the best have both.
calgflames: BUT books aren't like real life. The problem I have with character-driven books is that they start turning into books I don't want to read. They start dealing too much with a protagonist's personal life and the crime fiction element falls by the wayside.
kyoshikyoku40: Sure, but like anything else, it has to be done well. If you get bored with the character, the book wasn't character driven, it was character stalled.
g_so: Company is here. On my way out. Thanks again, Barry.
calgflames: Bye, Gerald.
kyoshikyoku40: Bye Gerald. Good meeting you.
g_so: Feel free to stay as long as you like.
calgflames: This was a very different type of book for me. Most of the stuff I read has a protagonist who's trying to solve the crimes.
kyoshikyoku40: I would love to stay longer! But I have to get back to the manuscript. I still have a ton to do.
dpwhite237: Good luck, Barry.
kyoshikyoku40: And to you, too, Dave. Good meeting you all.
calgflames: Thanks for coming! Sorry there weren't more of us here.
kyoshikyoku40: No worries! We'll do it again with more people and more time.
dpwhite237: Thanks a lot. Enlightening.
kyoshikyoku40: Likewise. Thanks again, all -- stay in touch: email@example.com
calgflames: Good luck with the deadline!
kyoshikyoku40: Thanks again. Over and out.