For the launch of my third novel, I thought it would be fun to have the story editor, Patrick J. LoBrutto, ask some questions. He’s not only conversant with the novel; he made it better.

Pat, who worked in-house at Bantam and at half a dozen other major imprints, has edited more books than most people read in a lifetime. Over a career spanning three decades, he’s worked with Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Eric Van Lustbader, Walter Tevis, the Louis L’Amour Estate, Don Coldsmith, Jack Dann, F. Paul Wilson, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Herbert, and hundreds of others.

Obviously, if any of my answers come across as incoherent, it’s all Pat’s fault.

Rather than just provide an excerpt of my newly released novel, I thought it would be fun to share some of my intentions by annotating the excerpt. You can read the opening words of the novel in the form of this brief prologue. Below that, the prologue is reproduced with some notations.


imagesIn the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, office buildings rarely betray the power of the players inside. Consistent with that principle, a man who privately called himself The Mean had chosen to occupy the second floor of a modest four-story brick building within easy walking distance of both Putnam and Greenwich Avenues. The former was a major thoroughfare, two lanes in either direction. The latter, which locals simply called The Avenue, was a one-way street on a steep hill between Putnam and the railroad tracks. Lined with tony shops and expensive restaurants, it furnished a promenade for people who drove Maybachs and Ferraris, Bentleys and Land Rovers. At two key intersections, traffic cops policed both moving cars and pedestrians, who often received tickets for jaywalking.