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About the Book
Coney Island Avenue
The dog days of August in Brooklyn and the detectives of the 61st Precinct are battling to keep all hell from breaking loose.
Innocents are being sacrificed in the name of greed, retribution, passion and the lust for power—and the only worthy opponent of this senseless evil is the uncompromising resolve to rise above it, rather than descend to its depths.
The heart pounding sequel to the acclaimed novel Gravesend—from Shamus Award-winning author J.L. Abramo—Coney Island Avenue continues the dramatic account of the professional and personal struggles that constitute everyday life for the dedicated men and women of the Six-One—and of the saints and sinners who share their streets.
Interview with the Author
—What initially got you interested in writing?
Reading. I believe that we all have a need for creative outlets—making music, singing, dancing, cooking, gardening, painting, writing. We gravitate eventually to the medium in which we are most comfortable—and in which the creative efforts of others have been most inspirational to us personally. I have always been a reader—writing was a natural consequence.
—What genres do you write in?
I am not a big fan of the term genre fiction. I believe writing, as all art, is a journey for the artist—a journey which others may also chose to embark upon—and genre is simply the vehicle. My novels have generally been closest to crime fiction—however Crime and Punishment, Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo and many other classic literary works are also, on the surface, crime novels. That being said, the Jake Diamond series revolves around a San Francisco private investigator while Gravesend and Coney Island Avenue center on NYPD detectives in Brooklyn.
—What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I have always been fond of the early crime and detective fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Earl Derr Biggers, Agatha Christie and others. I was first introduced to writers like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain through the film adaptations of their work—The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice—and these films led me to the books. When I began my own writing, I found myself at home in that neighborhood.
—How did you break into the field?
I entered the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America contest for Best First Private Eye Novel and took home the prize for Catching Water in a Net. The award included publication of the novel by St. Martin’s Minotaur in 2001 and I had my foot in the door.
—What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
My work is primarily about the people who populate the pages and how the manner in which these characters deal with adversity, whether positively or negatively, can determine the kind of persons they will become—heroes or villains—and there may often be degrees or shades of guilt and innocence. I hope readers will take away the notion that there are choices, very important choices, associated with addressing adversity—and great responsibility for those choices. I also try to express the importance of finding those you trust and accepting their help at every opportunity. And, of course, I would like readers to find the work entertaining—smart, funny, challenging, intriguing and worthwhile diversions.
—What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Positive feedback from readers is very gratifying. Catching Water in a Net was released on October 1, 2001 and I received an email from a reader shortly afterwards thanking me for making her laugh for the first time since September 11. Acknowledgment from my peers—the Shamus Award for Circling the Runway meant a lot to me. Finally, writing allows me to coax my thoughts and feelings out of hiding.
—What do you find most challenging about writing?
Continuing to surprise myself—if I cannot surprise myself I cannot expect to surprise the reader.
—What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Write for yourself first.
—What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Lately I have enjoyed Michael and Jeff Shaara’s Civil War historical novels—The Killer Angels, Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure. I enjoy non-fiction history as well—particularly in preparation for travel to other countries. And I enjoy fiction with a strong sense of setting—where the place is an important character in the novel as is Brooklyn in Gravesend and Coney Island Avenue.
—Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find
interesting about you?
I have also done a lot of time in the performing arts—acting, directing and producing for the stage and have acted in film and television including Law and Order, Perry Mason and Homicide: Life on the Street. When I am not reading, writing, travelling or being a nuisance to my friends, I prepare food for a catering company in Denver.
—What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Readers can always read samples of the work at bookselling sites like Amazon. My author page there is:
About the Author
J.L. Abramo was born in the seaside paradise of Brooklyn, New York on Raymond Chandler’s fifty-ninth birthday. Abramo is the author of Catching Water in a Net, winner of the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America prize for Best First Private Eye Novel; the subsequent Jake Diamond novels Clutching at Straws, Counting to Infinity and Circling the Runway; Chasing Charlie Chan, a prequel to the Jake Diamond series; and the stand-alone thrillers Gravesend and Brooklyn Justice.
Abramo’s short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns, Mama Tried: Crime Fiction Inspired by Outlaw Country Music and Murder Under the Oaks, winner of the Anthony Award for Best Anthology of 2015.
Circling the Runway won the Shamus Award for Best Original Paperback Novel of 2015 presented by the Private Eye Writers of America.
Find J.L. Abramo online …
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.L.-Abramo/e/B001HPCCJ4/
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/437400.J_L_Abramo