Short, Sharp Interview: Lawrence Kelter

back to brooklynPDB: What’s going on? Hi, Paul, I’ve written Back To Brooklyn, the literary sequel to My Cousin Vinny, one of the most beloved film comedies of all time. Bringing Vincent LaGuardia Gambini and Mona Lisa Vito back to life was the most fun I’ve ever had sitting in front of a keyboard. I have high hopes for this book. After all, I love the characters and the backstory—not to mention the two years have invested in the project. But where it goes from here…

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work? I need to be alone in my head while I write. I rarely listen to music while in the creative phase. It is music, however, that keeps me going through the drudgery of editing. Without it… I’ve got a NAD power amp connected to a pair of Dahlquist speakers in my office. I’m a diehard rock fan. Clapton, Mick, John, Paul, and George have prevented me from taking my life many times (while editing that is—a suicide watch is not needed).

PDB: What makes you laugh? People make me laugh—not at them but with them. There’s nothing better than getting together with friends (mates for you Brits) and hoisting a few (or many). If you’ve read any of my stuff you’ve probably suspected that I’m a frustrated comic. My work is full of comedy—can’t seem to pass up a chance to level a gnarly antagonist with good helping of sarcasm whenever the occasion arises.

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover? Don’t be jealous but I rarely get hung-over. I seem to be blessed in that regard. Not that I drink until shitfaced, but I somehow manage to cut myself off before I pass the point of no return.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? No doubt there are fabulous locales in the world I’m selling short, but for my money there are few places in the world as perfect as Tuscany. I was only there once but my days there just seemed to float along in such relaxing manner that it’s forever etched upon my mind. Sitting around, drinking local wine and marveling at the beauty of the countryside … I’m under Tuscany’s spell just thinking about it.

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it? Yes and no. There are so many things I want to do, but I don’t have a formal (or even semiformal) list: places to visit, people to meet. Some are practical and others pie in the sky. I’d like to meet Eric Clapton because I’ve been listening to him since I was thirteen and still have my original vinyl copies of Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire. I’d like to chat with some of the great thinkers and visionaries of our time, and see parts of the world I’ve not yet visited. Mostly, I’d like to live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow up and prosper.

PDB: What’s on the cards? If you’re asking me to look into a crystal ball, I’d rather not. I like each day to be a surprise. Book wise there are many projects in the hopper. I just released a gritty police procedural, which I penned in tandem with Frank Zafiro. It’s called Fallen City, and visits NYC in the eighties when ruthless Dominican drug gangs were on a rampage. There’s more Vinny and Lisa in work as well, a novelization of the film coming this spring with new scenes, more laughs, and insights into the characters backgrounds. Later on in the year Gambini and Vito will return in an all-original new story. Stephanie Chalice is coming back as is Chloe Mather. Several new one-offs are in various states of completion, each vying for my attention.

20900837_10155694496264413_5031558669142335757_oPDB: Anything else? The publishing business is changing at breakneck speed and what my place in it will be is the $64,000 question. I love writing and hope to always feel that way. There’s a list of story ideas on my desk that grows longer and longer everyday. I’ll keep writing as long as the ideas keep coming.

Bio: I never expected to be a writer. In fact, I was voted the student least likely to visit a library. (Don’t believe it? Feel free to check my high school yearbook.) Well, times change I suppose, and I have now authored several novels including the internationally best-selling Stephanie Chalice Thriller Series.

Early in my writing career, I received support from literary icon, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed my work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first book. DeMille has been a true inspiration to me and has also given me some tough love. Way before he ever said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he told me, “Kid, your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having talent. Keep it up!”

I’ve lived in the Metro New York area most of my life and rely primarily on locales in Manhattan and Long Island for my stories’ settings. I try very hard to make each novel quickly paced and crammed full of twists, turns, and laughs.