Welcome Larry! I’m thrilled to have this chance to chat and find out more about you and your work! Did you always know that you were going to be a writer?
Definitely not. As a matter of fact I was voted The Individual Least Likely to Visit a Library while in high school. If you don’t believe it I’ll scan my high my yearbook and post it on Facebook for the entire world to see. Just a painful heads-up—my yearbook picture is absolutely dreadful.
Did anyone help you along the way?
Yes and yes. First and foremost I have to give mad props to Nelson DeMille, who actually picked up a pencil and edited portions of my first manuscript. Way before he said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he said, “Kid your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having writing talent. Keep it up.” I’ll always be indebted to that man.
I was also part of a small writer’s workshop led by Ann Loring. Some of you may remember Ann for her role as Tammy Forrest in the soap opera Love of Life. Ann really helped me to develop my sense of drama. The knowledge she imparted to me was priceless.
Why do you write?
I have several answers to that question but the top two are: I enjoy it, and that in some odd way I feel as if I’m creating a legacy and memorializing myself with my books. I hope that my books will live on long after I’m gone.
Why did you choose a woman to be your protagonist?
Women are cooler than men—hands down. I’ve tried to come up with a unique male character several times but they always end up resembling a gross James Bond characterization. Stephanie Chalice is an interesting detective, she’s bright, a wee bit headstrong, and lots of fun. Above all else she has an intense moral code and is deeply compassionate.
Do you feel that you’re qualified to write a female character?
I hope so. I really try to do a good job. Some of my critics have said that Chalice is more of a male fantasy than a real woman, and others say that her characterization is dead on. I guess it’s up to my readers to decide. Many authors who write cross-gender try to hide their identity—they use their initials instead of their first name. I on the other hand … I just take it on the chin.
Why have you made Chalice so funny?
Because I’m funny. At least that’s what I’m told. Picture Larry David with better hair (well just with hair; and thank God a little better looking), and far less caustic. That’s me. I’ve always wanted to do standup comedy but I’m way too shy.
Do you see Chalice as television or movie vehicle?
Do I ever. Without exaggerating, fifty percent of my fans ask me why there hasn’t yet been a movie, and I explain that the decision makers in Hollywood are clearly idiots.
Why do you think the series has been so successful?
I’m not entirely sure. In the past two years several hundred thousand readers have welcomed Stephanie Chalice into their libraries. I’m not writing War and Peace, I’m writing thrillers so I try very hard to entertain the reader at all times, blending suspense, humor, and story-interest into each page.
What has been your biggest mistake?
When I first began to write Chalice, the character in book #1, Don’t Close Your Eyes was a little too into herself. I’ve been criticized for that character flaw and in retrospect understand that the criticism was valid. The original book has recently been rewritten and I believe that the issue has been addressed. Unfortunately those early negative reviews will live on the Internet forever. Fortunately there are far more good one than bad.
Baby Girl Doe: Chalice #5
by Lawrence Kelter
Everyone deserves a well-earned vacation, don’t they? Guess again!
Plans have been made and the bags are packed but Detective Stephanie Chalice is having about as much fun as Michael Vick at an ASPCA fundraiser.
The new story finds Chalice and Lido on the East End of Long Island, vacationing with Max, their new arrival. Things go wrong from the very start. Their vacation rental burns to the ground, bodies pile up, and just to make things interesting Lido . . . Well, I’ll just leave it to you to find out.
Chalice may be out of her jurisdiction but she's never out of questions or determination and soon connects two unsolved homicides. As always, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and her initial findings plunge her deeper and deeper into the most extraordinary investigation of her career.
I zigzagged between the two opposing lanes of traffic as I gave pursuit.
He was in a flat-out run, but I was not going to be beaten. Not now, not with Gus’ captor in sight. I reached down deep and found an extra gear, one that I didn’t know existed. I was running so fast, I felt as if I could take off. I was closing in on him: two yards behind . . . one . . .
I lunged and took him down by the ankles. As he attempted to kick free, I pounced upon him, fists flying. I hauled back and was ready to pummel him when I froze. “You? It’s you?” The face I was about to strike was one I had seen before, but looked nothing like the person I had seen on the ladder outside my bedroom window. This man was the one who told me there was absolutely nothing suspicious about the fire the day I first inspected the remains of Bill Alden’s cottage. Two bodies, burnt beyond recognition—now I understood who would use that specific MO. Dummy, you couldn’t make the connection?
“You son of a bitch.” I heard the sound of others running toward me, but my fist was clenched.
“Chalice, we’ve got him,” Ambler said. “Don’t!”
There was no force on heaven or earth strong enough to keep me from striking him, this man who had turned my family’s world upside down and put my husband’s life at risk. I drove my fist into his jaw and heard it crack. I was ready to hit him again when someone grabbed my arm. I looked up and saw Gus. His cheek was swollen, and there was dried blood on his face.
“Thanks, babe,” he said, “I’ll take it from here.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A resident New Yorker, Kelter often uses Manhattan and Long Island as backdrops for his stories. He is the author of the Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series and other works of fiction.
Early in his writing career, he received support from best-selling novelist, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed his work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first novel. When completed, DeMille said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum.”
His novels are quickly paced and feature a twist ending.
Lawrence will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour and 5 runners up with receive an autographed print copy of the book (US and Canada only).
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