Was crime reporter, so could turn into crime novelist: Michael Connelly (IANS Interview)

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) For Michael Connelly, the author of bestselling crime fiction “Harry Bosch” novels for the past 25 years, the love to pen the genre was why he chose to first be a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times before he became a successful novelist.

“I always wanted to be a writer of crime novels, that was why I became a journalist. I wanted to get close to police, detectives and court rooms,” Connelly, who was in India recently, told IANS in an interview.

He equally enjoyed being a crime reporter, Connelly added, noting that the main difference between reporting a crime story and writing one “is the character.”

“While reporting on the story, I don’t get to look inside the detective’s head or any character’s head on how they see the world. Shifting to novel writing from newspaper writing was the biggest freedom that I got,” Connelly said, speaking about the transition from a journalist to a writer.

The shift gave him more freedom to write about real-life characters, he said.

Connelly now has his “Harry Bosch” book series made into a TV show.

Having sold over 50 millions of copies of his Harry Bosch book series, he said he had no plans to make his books into films or TV shows earlier, as he thought the character was too deep.

“One reason why I decided to go into television is because I would get more hours of the show, and the more hours I have, the more I can help turn Harry Bosch into a believable, fully realized character from the book,” Connelly said.

His books being tied up legally was also another reason, he said.

“In the US, the trend is to take realistic stories to a television show, while films are all about adapting comic books, and superheroes,” Connelly said, comparing the ways in India, where a bestselling book has all chances to be made into a movie.

Over 95 percent of the times when a book is adapted into a film, “much is lost in translation,” he added.

Connelly said he was lucky since he could write scripts for the TV show, helped form the series and even suggested the actor.

The show, which will soon air on FX in India is being presented in India because “Harry Bosch” has a universal connect.

“The reason this TV show is going to be presented in India is because this character, though very much a product of Los Angeles, has a universal connect. Harry Bosch is relentless and hooks everybody to him,” Connelly said.

The very same universal aspect has made the character last in his books for a quarter of a century.

Still, every time he writes a book, the process is mysterious, the author said.

“It’s kind of mysterious, how the story comes to me. It is nothing that I schedule, I wait till a story really hits me and sparks my imagination,” the novelist said, adding that he would always prefer to remain a book writer although he finds television writing fascinating.

But with over 25 years of successful journey as a crime novelist, he would stick to writing on crime, he said.

“I can explore other genres too, but I think I will stick to crime fiction writing. Writing a story on a detective, one can cross all the social levels and explore — as detective has that right,” Connelly explained.

Currently writing scripts for the second season of the “Bosch” TV series, Connelly finds himself busy, with another book in the series, “The Crossing”, to be launched soon.

Also on his cards are plans to turn his novel “The Poet”, which is based on the life of a journalist, into a TV show.

(Bhavana Akella can be contacted at bhavana.a@ians.in)

Related Posts

Leave a Reply