For those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series and will tell anyone who’ll listen that he’s the best writer in the business. What few of you know, however, is the profound impact he’s had on my work. There was a point in 2006 or so when I was on top of the world. I’d sold the GOD’S END trilogy to Delirium in limited edition, Snowbooks in the UK, and Random House in Germany. I was feeling invincible. And then I read Connolly’s EVERY DEAD THING and realized just how far I had to go in every respect. My prose. My characterization. My plot lines. Everything. So I found myself faced with a dilemma…Either I continued to attack the market and struck while the metaphorical iron was hot, or I took a step back and risked losing my career momentum in order to better myself as a writer.
Don’t let anyone tell you I’ve done anything in life the easy way.
So I took six months off from writing and did nothing but read. I identified my weaknesses and attempted to strengthen them by learning from the modern masters. I devoured the Parker mysteries (five books at the time). I caught up with Dave Robicheaux. I studied Aloysius Pendergast and Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher and Sigma Force. I committed myself to becoming the author I knew I could be.
The result was a book called BLOODLETTING, and the real beginning of what I would consider (in the loosest of terms) “my career.” With each subsequent title, I’ve attempted to improve myself in some way. And while nothing I write will ever be good enough for me, I will continue to push myself harder with every book until my scribblings can stand alongside the works of amazing authors like John Connolly, who showed me what the craft was supposed to be.
And this past weekend, I finally got to meet him.
17 thoughts on “John Connolly”
Good for you, Mike, great piece. I’m with you all the way. Love Connolly and I’m slowly working my way through James Lee Byrne’s stuff.
I hope you’re enjoying Burke’s books. They feel so real, don’t they?
Really enjoying them I’ve got Feast Day of Fools on audio on the go and I’m reading Wayfaring Stranger as well whilst on hols 🙂
so should have 5 completed for the end of the week then back on Robicheaux.
Great story and ‘tribute’ to Connolly, Mike. You know my thoughts about the guy…and to top it off, he is one hell of a nice guy, isn’t he?
Absolutely. And a hell of a performer. It was great hearing a few of the stories behind the writing of the Parker series. Are you going to see him again this tour?
Sadly he has already done his Australian tour for Wolf in Winter; hopefully he’ll be back in 2015. During the last trip I did have the pleasure of a sit down meal where he spent about 30 minutes at the table I was at, with varied discussion with the 8 or 10 of us seated there. That was followed by a talk on various topics to all attendees. Would do that again in a heartbeat.
Mike, you really took the time to make yourself “better” as opposed to just settling–that itself is a tribute to your dedication.
Having said that, YOU”VE MET JOHN CONNOLLY! 😉
BLOODLETTING was the first book of yours that I could see spin-offs, or sequels emerging from.
I know, right? How cool is that? 😉 You should see if he’s coming to somewhere near you.
That’s awesome, Mike!
I need to go back and reread and catch up on those wonderful Charlie Parker novels.
His other novels are good as well.
Besides you, of course, one of my other must read authors is Ken Bruen and his Jack Taylor series….great, great reads.
How tall are you or is Mr Connolly a hobbit stand-in?
Interestingly, he made a hobbit reference, too. 😉
LOL! I wanted to ask something to that effect, too!
He’s larger than life in person. 🙂
thanks for turning me on to Connolly, he is intense! Bruce
You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy the whole series!
i just got the 2nd book today 🙂
They get even better from there!