Interview with author Bruce De Silva


Welcome, readers, to my interview with author, journalist, and investigative reporter Bruce DeSilva. I am honored to have the opportunity to interview Bruce and discuss his many careers and his new crime novel Rogue Island. Please feel free to join in the discussion and ask Bruce questions too. I am honored to interview Bruce and hope that everyone will join in the discussion. Please post your questions and comments on Reviewers Roundup and I will copy and paste them on the other sites for other readers. Fran

Interview with author Bruce DeSilva

Fran Lewis

 

Mondays Questions

1.   Fran: As a journalist for 40 years what kind of training did you provide for the wire service’s reporters to enhance their reporting and writing skills?

Bruce:

For the first 20 years, I was a reporter. I learned my trade by covering small-town news, but before long I was specializing in investigative stories and magazine-length narratives, first at The Providence Journal and then at The Hartford Courant. For the last 20 years, I was a senior editor and writing coach, first at The Courant and then at The Associated Press. In those roles, I was often asked to work with writers who “needed help.” I always declined. In journalism, you see, most editors spend the most of their time with the worst writers, struggling to make bad copy good enough to publish. That leaves editors with little time for the best people—the ones who, with sufficient attention, will write the stories that distinguish a news organization. I chose to spend my time with the most talented writers. I encouraged them to abandon the stiff, overly formal language most news stories are written in and to discover their natural, conversational voices as writers. I taught them to forsake the old-fashioned inverted-pyramid structure they learned in journalism schools and to become storytellers instead. I taught them to gather the details that turn stick figures into real characters and turn place names into settings for their stories. I taught them to use fewer quotes (the words news sources say to reporters) and to use more dialogue (the words people say to one another.) Over the years, stories I edited won virtually every major journalism prize including The Polk Award (twice), The Livingston (twice), the ASNE, and the Batten Medal. I also edited two Pulitzer finalists and helped edit a Pulitzer winner.

2. Fran: What were some of the stories that you covered as an investigative reporter? Was it difficult to present a fair and objective account of the events?

Bruce: Journalists should always be fair, of course; but they are not—and should not be—objective about everything. Journalists are against political corruption, organized crime, the victimization of the helpless, and the looting of the public treasury. The best journalists don’t just write about those things. They crusade against them. The dozens of investigative stories I wrote over the years exposed, among other things, massive voter fraud in a mayoralty election in Providence; the looting of Medicaid by nursing home owners; corruption in the Section-8 low income housing construction program; physical and sexual abuse in a state-run institution for homeless kids; and horrible conditions—including needless deaths—in a state institution for the retarded. My many investigations also led to the indictment or firing of exactly 100 people (I once added it up).

3. Fran:  What difficulties do you encounter when editing articles of other reporters? The most important part of any script, book or article is the editing which many authors have difficulty doing themselves. Many publishing companies offer these services; and even with their top-notch editors, books often have both grammar and spelling errors. How can a new author or seasoned one avoid this pitfall?

Bruce: As an editor, I was always more interested in bigger questions: Do we have the whole story or only part of it? Is the story organized properly? Can we tell a story instead of write a tedious report? Is the piece written tightly and in a voice that talks conversationally to readers? Is it well focused, and does everything in it pertain to its central point? Does it begin and end in the right places? And so on. That’s what real editing is all about. What you are asking about is copy editing, which requires a completely different set of skills. I was never very good at it. Every time I try to copy edit a story, I find myself caught up in the larger questions and start missing misspellings and typos. The only way I can find such small (but important) mistakes is to read a story backwards. I am also a firm believer in spell-check.

4. Fran: Which authors’ books have you reviewed? As a reviewer I give an honest and fair review to every author whose book I am asked to review. I even give them the courtesy of reading the review before posting it. The one thing that I really find unprofessional is when an author rewrites a paragraph or insists on a shorter review. My reviews are detailed and thorough and I never give anything away. You can tell that I read the book and sometimes more than once. Has an author ever changed your review? Do you send the author the review beforehand? I am thinking of stopping that practice and just posting the reviews. What is your opinion?

Bruce: I’ve written hundreds of reviews for the AP and a few for The New York Times book review section. Usually I review crime novels, most recently the latest book by Walter Mosley. Only occasionally do I review other fiction, most recently the latest mainstream novel by Howard Frank Mosher. I rarely write negative reviews. There are two reasons for this. First, if I’m not enjoying a book after a few chapters, I toss it aside and read something else. I wouldn’t feel right reviewing a book that I haven’t finished. Second, I’m not much interested in telling people what they shouldn’t read. I’d rather advise them on what they should read. I have never shown a review to an author in advance. Doing so would be a violation of policy at the AP, but I wouldn’t do it anyway. Authors should let the work speak for itself.

5. Fran: Besides writing Rogue Island what other projects you are working on?

Bruce: I recently finished a draft of the sequel, tentatively titled “Cliff Walk,” and I am now working through my agent’s suggestions for revisions. I’ve also sketched plans for the third and fourth books in the series, which features an investigative reporter at a dying newspaper in Providence, R.I., a claustrophobic little city with a rich history of corruption. I’m also editing the next collection by my wife, Patricia Smith, an award-winning poet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Questions

1. Fran: Why and how did you choose the subject and title of your book?

Bruce: One of the many quirks of Rhode Island history is that no one knows how the state got its name—although historians have come up with several half-baked theories. One of them, for example, is that the name was chosen because the state resembles the Isle of Rhodes. The problem with that theory is that it doesn’t. My favorite theory is that “Rhode Island” is a bastardization of “Rogue Island,” a name the God-fearing farmers of colonial Massachusetts bestowed upon the nest of pirates, smugglers, and heretics who first settled the banks of Narragansett Bay. My first job was covering Rhode Island for The Providence Journal; and right from the start, I loved being a reporter. Today, newspapers are dying. I wanted to write a book that would be both an entertaining crime novel and a lyrical elegy to the business I worked in for most of my life. That’s why I chose to make the main character of my crime story an investigative reporter instead of a cop or a private detective.

 

 

2. Fran: Where did you get the ideas, and was this subject your first choice or did you ponder others first?

Bruce: You can’t be a journalist for as long as I have without meeting a lot of fascinating people and accumulating a lot of interesting stories, many of which you never get around to writing about. So, when I decided to write crime novels, I had a wealth of experience to draw on. I began with a list of a dozen possible plots and just picked the one that seemed like it would be the most fun to write.

3.     Fran: What genre did you pick for your book or books and why?

Bruce: I became enthralled with crime fiction in junior high when I read a paperback copy of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. Over the decades, I’ve read thousands of crime novels, and I finally decided I knew how to write one.

4. Fran:  What is your target audience?

Bruce: Anyone who likes a suspenseful, well-written story.

5.    Fran: What inspired you to write your first book?

Bruce: For most of my journalism career, the idea of writing a novel never occurred to me; but a seed was planted one day in 1994 when I got a note from a reader. It praised a “nice little story” I’d written and went on to say: “It could serve as the outline for a novel. Have you considered this?”  The note was signed by Evan Hunter, who wrote fine mainstream novels under his own name as well as the brilliant 87th Precinct police procedurals under the pen name Ed McBain. I sealed the note in plastic, taped it to my home computer, and started writing. But then life—in the form of a new marriage, fatherhood, and a demanding new editing job—intervened. For years, I found no time for novel writing. Every time I bought a new home computer, I peeled that note from Hunter off the old one and taped it to the side of the new one, promising myself I would get back to the story someday. Finally, a couple of years ago, I did.

6. Fran: Were you always an author? If not what was your first career and what made you decide to write?

Bruce:  Way back in 1968, as I trotted off to college to major in geology, my favorite high school teacher made a prediction:  I would soon find myself writing from compulsion. He was right. I soon abandoned science for the humanities, and I went to work for The Providence Journal as soon as I finished college.

7.   Fran: How much of what you write is realistic?

Bruce: The plot and the characters in Rogue Island are entirely made up. However, my depiction of the state’s history and geography are as true as I can make them, and a few of the minor incidents in the book are based on fact.  For example, years ago some highway department workers in Providence really did steal lots of manhole covers and sell them for scrap for a few dollars apiece.

8. Fran: How do you promote your books? What can you tell other authors about promotion?

Bruce:  The first thing I did was collect blurbs for the book cover. Dennis Lehane, a friend of mine long before he became famous, quickly agreed. Then I sent e-mails to 14 other big-time crime novelists whom I’d met at writers’ conferences over the years, hoping one or two would say yes. To my astonishment, 13 of them including Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Ken Bruen and Alafair Burke agreed. A couple of them, James W. Hall and Joseph Finder, even favorably compared Rogue Island to Lehane’s great first novel, A Drink Before the War. Each time a new blurb came in, I splashed the news on all of the places I hang out online. And then I did the same with every review that appeared in the press. I’ve made myself a daily presence on social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Linkedin. I’m guest blogging on lots of sites including this one. I created a website for the book (http://brucedesilva.com) and a blog that I update regularly, sometimes several times a day (http://brucedesilva.wordpress.com). I had a book release party at Otto Penzler’s famous Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan and, with the help of my publicist at Tor, I arranged appearances at several chain bookstores and at independent mystery bookstores in Houston; Decatur, Ga.; and Scottsdale, Az. I arranged radio and TV interviews in Providence, where the book is set.  I was selected as a panelist at Bouchercon, the big crime-writing conference held in San Francisco this fall.  Everywhere I appear, I take photos and post them online. I got 23 famous crime writers and several famous journalists to pose reading my book, and I’ve been posting the photos online one at a time. And that’s just for starters. Nobody told me how hard a first-time novelist has to work to promote his book. I’m working harder now than I was when I had a job.

9. Fran: How did you get a traditional publisher?

Bruce: A couple of years ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Otto Penzler, the proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop and the dean of America’s crime fiction editors. Otto and I quickly discovered that we admired the same writers, had friends in common, and even looked a lot alike. We hit it off.  One evening over dinner, I happened to mention that long-ago note from Hunter. “Evan Hunter was a good friend of mine,” Otto said. “In all the years I knew him, I never heard him say a single good thing about anything anyone else wrote.” So, Otto added, he wanted to read the book once I finished it. Six months later, I handed him the manuscript; and he loved it. He asked if I had an agent. I told him I didn’t even know any. Otto said he’d take care of it. The next thing I knew, I was represented by Susanna Einstein of LJK Literary Management, one of the top agents in the country. A few months later, she sold the book to Tor, a division of Macmillan.

10. Fran: What was your biggest obstacle in writing your books?

Bruce: Writing a novel requires discipline. You have to turn off the Red Sox or Celtics or Patriots game (I’m a big fan of Boston sports teams), stop playing with the dog that’s begging for attention, set that half-read Michael Connelly novel aside, put your butt in the chair, and pound the keys. If you can do that, finishing a book is not as difficult as you might think. Write just 800 words a day and you’ve got a book in 100 days. I aimed for 1,000 words a day, but sometimes life intervened. Some days the lawn needed mowing or the leaves needed raking or I wanted to go to our 15-year-old’s softball game. But mostly I stuck to my schedule, and the book–and the sequel–got written. For me, writers block was never a problem. I was a journalist, after all. Journalists write every day, whether they are in the mood or not. We journalists don’t believe in writer’s block. We think writer’s block is for sissies.

 

 

11.    Fran: What message do you want to convey to your readers in your writing?

Bruce:  Few of us are all good or all bad. People do good things for bad reasons and bad things for good reasons. Sometimes you have to fight evil with evil. Places aren’t all good or all bad, either. According to Newsweek magazine, Rhode Island, the setting for my novels, is the most corrupt state, per capita, in the country. It has always been so, going all the way back to the time when one of the first colonial governors dined with Captain Kidd. This thread of corruption runs all the way through the history of the state—but so does a thread of decency and integrity that began with the state’s godly founder, Roger Williams. The world we live in is not rendered in black and white. But I also want readers to appreciate the importance that newspapers, like the fictional one my main character works for, have played in preserving our democracy—and how much we all stand to lose as they pass into history.

 

 

Wednesday

1.  Fran: How did you develop the character of Liam Mulligan? Liam is a hard-core, hard-nosed, old-school reporter who knows where to look to get a story: How much of you is in this book?

Bruce: Mulligan is me—except that he’s 24 years younger, six inches taller, and quicker with a quip. He’s an investigative reporter; I used to be. He doesn’t do well with authority; I do worse. He’s got a smart mouth; I get a lot of complaints about the same thing. He and I both have a fierce but shifting sense of justice that tempts us to cut corners and work with bad people to bring worse people down.

2.   Fran: How much of you is Mason when first starting out?

Bruce: In the novel, Edward Anthony Mason IV is the publisher’s son. He comes from old money, the scion of six inbred Yankee families that ran the Rhode Island for more than two hundred years until the Irish and Italians showed up and took it away from them. He just graduated from an Ivy League journalism school; and as the Rogue Island begins, he’s being groomed to succeed his daddy. He is nothing whatsoever like I was when I was starting out.

3. Fran: Why did you decide to use arson as your theme in this novel?

Bruce: Serial arson is a terrible crime. It destroys property, displaces and kills people, and spreads terror. When it is confined to a single working class neighborhood, as it is in this book, it even threatens to extinguish a way of life. But the biggest appeal is that, aside from a series of books by Earl Emerson, there aren’t all that many crime novels about serial arson.

4.  Fran:  What type of research did you do before writing this book? What steps do firefighters take when investigating a fire?

Bruce: Journalists inevitably pick up a lot of arcane knowledge. I covered a lot of bad fires in my day, so I knew a lot about arson investigations by the time I started writing the novel. I did need to look up a few details, such as the name of the test investigators use to determine what accelerant is used to start a fire. For those things, the internet comes in handy.

5.  Fran: Why did the police arrest Mulligan and name him as a person of interest in the fires?  And why did Lomax, the city editor, not support Mulligan when he was arrested?

Bruce: Ernie Polecki, the head of the arson squad in Providence, detests Mulligan for writing a lot of negative things about him over the years. So Polecki jumped at the chance to try to pin the crime on Mulligan. When Mulligan was arrested, it put his boss in a difficult position. He couldn’t let a man named as a suspect continue to investigate the arsons for the newspaper. To protect the newspaper’s credibility, he had to suspend Mulligan until he was cleared of suspicion.

 

Thursday

6.  Fran: Why did you include the story about the dog in this novel?

Bruce: Mulligan wants to spend all of his time investigating the fires, but investigative reporting takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money. Like most newspapers, the one Mulligan works for is shrinking. It can’t afford full-time investigative reporters anymore. So Mulligan’s boss demands that he also write features that can be done quickly. One of the stories he assigns to Mulligan is a light feature about a couple of nice people and their amazing dog. Mulligan resists but finally has to give in. The dog story, of course, turns out to me more than it first appeared. But the main reason for this sub-plot is to illustrate how hard it is for a reporter to concentrate on investigative reporting these days.

7. Fran: How fair is the media when reporting a story?

Bruce: People talk about the media as if it is a single entity. It’s not and never has been. The media includes Rush Limbaugh and National Public Radio, FOXNews and CBS News, The New York Times and High Times (the self-appointed voice of the marijuana community). Most journalists, and most news organizations, have high standards and strive to live up to them. Most try to do an honest job. But not all of them do. Some of them (Hello, FoxNews and MSNBC) are little more than propaganda machines.

8.  Fran: Is the story in Rogue Island similar to any that you reported?

Bruce: No. The plot is entirely made up.

9. Fran: How does someone get to write reviews for a publication like The New York Times?

Bruce: You need a track record. If you’ve published some books and have established yourself as an expert on a subject, you can approach a publication like The Times and ask to be considered as a book reviewer in your area of expertise. They might even approach you first. If you don’t have a track record, you have to begin small. Volunteer to write some reviews for your local newspaper, which is likely to pay you only with a free copy of the book. Volunteer to write some reviews for one of the many websites that publish them. Or maybe even start your own book-review website. And make yourself an expert in something.

 

Friday

1. Fran: What are some important things that Mason needed to know when investigating the story on manhole covers? Why did Mulligan ignore his efforts at first?

Bruce: Mason, the publisher’s son, is always hanging around Mulligan, trying to learn what it takes to be an investigative reporter. Mulligan doesn’t much like the kid, both because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and because he is always under foot. So when Mulligan gets a vague tip that there’s some chicanery going on involving manhole covers, he gives it to the kid, hoping the trivial story will keep him occupied and out of the way for a while. The kid’s approach to the story is to go to the guy who runs the highway department and ask him about it. Of course this gets him nowhere. What he needs to do, Mulligan then tells him, is develop some sources. Seduce a secretary, Mulligan says, or talk to the guys who work with shovels for a living.

2.  Fran: You left a couple of unanswered questions and lose ends at the end of Rogue Island? Do you intend to tie them up in the next book?

Bruce: The big questions are all answered in the conclusion to “Rogue Island,” but yes, I deliberately left a few loose ends. I’m not going to say what they are because that would be giving too much of the story away. But, no, they won’t be addressed in the next book. In real life, there are always a few unanswered questions, and I wanted “Rogue Island” to feel like real life. This is one of the things that Ken Bruen, the Irish master of noir, liked best about the novel. Here’s what he said about the ending: “There are no tidy solutions, and the ending of the novel leaves a fierce chill lingering. The last lines are as callous as I’ve ever read, and perfectly fitting.”

3. Fran: How will Mulligan finally face the future with all the lies and deceit from the past?

Bruce: When you are an investigative reporter, you deal with a lot of deceitful people. Getting lied to and even betrayed are part of the job. As Mulligan puts it, “You spend long working days listening to idiots drone on at public meetings, getting lied to by cops and politicians, chasing down false tips, having doors slammed in your face, and standing in the rain at 4 a.m. watching something burn.” You get used to it. You roll with the punches. And sometimes, if you’re lucky and good at the job, you find a way to write something that gets back at the bastards.

4. Fran: Will Mulligan and Mason team up again? Mason is the publisher’s son, yet he did not act like a spoiled kid who would not take direction. Is this common?

Bruce: Yes, they team up again in “Cliff Walk,” and almost certainly will once again in the third novel in the series.  What I’m doing with the Mason character is playing around with a theme that has been explored endlessly in American fiction—the relationship between the hero and one of society’s outcasts. Robert B. Parker’s detective hero, Spenser, for example, has a violent black sidekick named Hawk. James Lee Burke’s cop-hero, Dave Robicheaux, is pals with a thuggish drunk named Clete Purcel. This theme goes all the way back to Natty Bumpo and his Indian companion Chingachgook in James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking novels. My hero’s sidekick is a different sort of outcast. He’s not a drunk or an ex-con or a member of a racial minority group. He’s a privileged young man with a big trust fund—the sort of person those of us who grew up poor or middle class tend to resent or even despise. Is Mason’s willingness to take direction from Mulligan unusual for a rich kid? I don’t know. I’ve spent a lot more time with firemen, cops, and mobsters than I have with rich kids.

 

 

Saturday

1.     Fran: How did you get your book signings and where?

Bruce: I’ve done book signings at The Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan; Murder By the Book in Houston; Eagle Eye bookstore in Decatur, Ga.; the Providence Public Library; The National Press Club book fair in Washington; The Other Tiger bookstore in Westerly, R.I.; The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Az; the Borders bookstore in Providence; and Barnes & Noble bookstores in Howell, N.J. and Middletown, R.I. The first six got in touch and invited me to come. The others were set up by my publicist at Tor.

2. Fran:  Did the press ever interview you? Which ones, and how did you get the interviews?

Bruce: I was interviewed by two television stations, the public radio station, and a drive-time radio talk-show host in Providence as well as by my little hometown newspaper in New Jersey.  I contacted them and set the interviews up myself.

3. Fran: What is your favorite genre to read?

Bruce: I love crime fiction, but not all of it. I prefer well-written noir, hard-boiled detective novels, and police procedurals. I don’t like cozies. I will not read books in which crimes are solved by hair dressers, dentists, old ladies, or cats. I also read a lot of science and history.

4. Fran: Do you have a favorite author? Who and why?

Bruce: There are so many that it’s hard to know where to start. I love Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and reread their work every couple of years. As lovers of hard-boiled fiction know, they are the ones who started it all. I admire the lyrical crime novels by James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, Thomas H. Cook, and Daniel Woodrell; the tight-as-a-drum noir novels by Ken Bruen; the high-on-amphetamines prose of James Ellroy; the remarkable historical crime fiction by Ace Atkins; and the quirky New England novels by Howard Frank Mosher. But my favorite passage in all of literature is the opening passage of Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. What these books have in common is that they are all beautifully written.

5. Fran: What do you think it is about your book or books that keeps the reader turning those pages until they get to the end?

Bruce: My novels are character-driven. I think readers care about the characters and keep reading to find out what will become of them.

6. Fran: What is your website? Who has reviewed your books?

Bruce: My website is http://brucedesilva.com. My blog is http://brucedesilva.wordpress.com.  Rogue Island has been reviewed by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News, the McClatchy newspapers, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Providence Journal, Publishers’ Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, Suspense Magazine, and a bunch of websites including Harriet Klausner’s popular Genre Go Round, to name the major ones. All have been raves. For example, The Dallas Morning News said the novel “raises the bar for all books of its kind.” The Washington Post said called the book “as good and true a look at the news game as you’ll find this side of The Front Page.” And Publishers Weekly said Mulligan is “a masterpiece of irreverence and street savvy.”

7.     Fran: Where can we buy your books and when is your next one coming out?

Bruce:  Rogue Island is on sale at most major bookstore chains, many independent bookstores, and most online booksellers including amazon.com.  I don’t have a publication date for Cliff Walk yet, but it should appear about a year from now.

 

8. Fran: What advice would you give new authors?

Bruce: Write every day, even it’s only a few lines. Create memorable characters that readers will care about. Make sure they don’t sound alike when they talk. A veteran investigative reporter, the privileged son of a publisher, a female fire chief, a corrupt arson investigator, and a mobbed-up bookie may all speak English, but they don’t use the language the same way. Find a good agent. It’s almost impossible to find a publisher for an un-agented book. Try to get a hard-cover book deal because soft-cover originals almost never get reviewed.

9. Fran: As a journalist, it must have been easier to get your book published. Tell us about your publishing experiences and how other authors might learn from yours.

Bruce: Agents and publishers like to work with journalists because they are used to writing every day and know how to meet deadlines. The best strategy for getting published is to produce a well-written, original story—but connections also help. My friendship with Otto Penzler, dean of the country’s crime fiction editors, led me to my great agent. And the blurbs I got from 14 A-list crime novelists I’d met a writers conferences over the years helped convince my publisher that my book had legs. Don’t have connections?  Go out and get some. Go to writers’ conferences like Mystery Writers of America, Bouchercon, and Thrillerfest. Introduce yourself to people and say something smart that makes an impression.

10.  Fran:  When you decided to write Rogue Island, did you create a chapter outline, a book outline, or did you just develop and the main character and go from there?

Bruce: I began with a handful of characters and this general idea: Someone was systematically burning down the Providence neighborhood where my main character grew up, people he knew and loved were perishing in the flames, the cops were looking for answers in all the wrong places, and it was up to my main character, an investigative reporter, to find the hand that strikes the match. Then I set my characters in motion to see what would happen. I didn’t outline my second novel, either. I prefer to write myself into the story, discovering the plot as I go along. If I don’t know where the story is going, I end up with a lot of surprises. If I don’t know what’s going to happen next, my readers won’t either.

11. Fran: What else would you like to add to this interview?

Bruce: The most memorable crime stories transport you to interesting places and let you hear, see and smell them. It is difficult to imagine Ken Bruen’s best novels set anywhere but in his native Galway, Ireland, or Daniel Woodrell’s work set anywhere but in the Ozarks. Read James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels and you have been to New Iberia, LA, even if you’ve never left your house. As my friend Thomas H. Cook once said, “If you want to understand the importance of place, imagine ‘Heart of Darkness’ without the river.” One of the places I know best is Providence, RI. Unlike big, anonymous cities like New York, where many fine crime novels are set, Providence is so small that it’s claustrophobic. Almost everybody you see on the street knows your name, and it’s almost impossible to keep a secret. Yet it’s big enough to be both cosmopolitan and rife with urban problems. And its history of corruption, which goes all the way back to a colonial governor dining with Captain Kidd, makes it an ideal setting for crime fiction. I made Providence not just the setting but something akin to a major character, in “Rogue Island.”

Fran: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me and share your writing experiences with everyone.

Fran Lewis

 

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