Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Interview with Author Linwood Barclay

Sharon Long recently caught up with author Linwood Barclay to discuss his latest thriller, Elevator Pitch. Let's see what he had to say.

Your book jacket mentions that your thriller does for elevators what Psycho did for showers and Jaws did for the beach. What are your thoughts on this description, should we be afraid to ride in an elevator?  

No more, I suppose, than when we step into the shower or go to the beach. But what Psycho and Jaws did was take familiar places — ones we did not previously have reason to fear — and make them terrifying. I’m hoping that’s what I have accomplished with Elevator Pitch. I’m going to make you rethink something you might use every day, see its potential to scare the wits out of you. 

“Elevator Pitch” has such a unique premise. I have to know, where did your inspiration come from?

I would love to say the idea came to me when I was trapped in an elevator, but the truth is, I had heard a report on the evening news that Toronto did not have enough elevator inspectors. And the idea was just there: a serial killer who sabotages elevators throughout Manhattan.

Readers like to know how their favorite authors write.  Do you finish one book before starting another or do you have several projects going at the same time?

When I am in the thick of writing a book, that’s the only book I’m in the thick of writing. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have to switch gears to proofread another, or work on a television project that has an urgent deadline, or write a short story I’ve promised to someone. 

What is the nicest fan email/letter you have received?

I had a wonderful email a few weeks ago from a woman who said her grown son, a very successful guy, had never been a reader. I think it may have been dyslexia-related. But he read No Time for Goodbye, loved it, and now was reading all my books. That was pretty gratifying. 

I know authors are also readers, what is in your To Be Read pile?

The new Robert Crais, the new Laura Lippman, the new Richard Russo. 

Do you have a favorite mystery author?

No writer made a greater impression on me than Ross Macdonald (real name, Kenneth Millar), author of the Lew Archer novels. 

Who is the one author, past or present, you would love to have dinner with?

When I was 21, I got to have dinner with my favourite writer on the planet, the aforementioned Ross Macdonald. So, dream achieved. But I’d love to go out for wings with Stephen King.

For our readers, what are you working on next?

I thought I knew. I’ve finished a thriller that’s a bit more Michael Crichton-ish, about a test community of self-driving cars where a virus gets introduced into the system, and the vehicles become homicidal. But I just got another idea I think is so good I should do it now while it’s fresh in my head. So, I’m not sure which book will be next. I’m also working on a possible TV adaptation of my Promise Falls trilogy. Fingers crossed that happens. 

Many thanks to Linwood Barclay for taking the time to chat with us. To read a review of Elevator Pitch on Mystery Playground CLICK HERE.

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