Lee Goldberg is a #1 New York Times best selling author whose had a remarkably durable career as author and TV producer. His latest book is Movieland, the fourth book in the Eve Ronin series. Eve is the youngest female homicide detective in the scandal plagued Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in a series which is already optioned for TV.
Hi there, I’m your host Jenny Wheeler and in Binge Reading today Lee talks about his ambition to develop Eve into the legendary status of fictional detectives like Harry Bosch (in Michael Connelly’s the Lincoln Lawyer series) and John Rebus, (in Sir Ian Rankin’s Rebus detective series)
We’ve got our usual free book giveaways = this week August mystery and suspense books, an another Booksweeps draw for a library of 50 books valued at over $500 and a new E-reader.
Links for the draw and all the other fascinating topics we discuss can be found in the show notes for this episode on the website, the joys of binge reading .com. If you’d like to ensure you don’t miss out on any episode subscribe to our weekly newsletter for all the relevant links.
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Chuck Greaves, talking about the new Jack MacTaggart The Chimera Club is the Encore author for August.
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Links in this episode:
Lee Goldberg, Monk Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/60433-mr-monk
Malibu Creek State Park: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614
Ralph Dennis, the Hardman classics: https://crimereads.com/ralph-dennis-the-lost-hardman-classics/
Lee’s publishing venture – Brash Books: https://www.brash-books.com/
Ian Ludlow series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/218857-ian-ludlow-thrillers
Garry Disher on JOBR: https://thejoysofbingereading.com/garry-disher-gold-standard-crime/
Garry Disher: https://garrydisher.com/
Chris Pavone: https://www.chrispavone.com/
Anthony Doerr: https://www.anthonydoerr.com/
Jane Harper: https://janeharper.com.au/
Michael Connelly: https://www.michaelconnelly.com/
John Rebus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rebus
Harry Bosch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Haller
Max Allan Collins: http://maxallancollins.com/blog/
Road To Perdition series: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Perdition-Max-Allan-Collins/dp/0743442245
Andy Breckman: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0106563/
Larry McMurtry: https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Larry-McMurtry/547
Jonathan Evison: https://www.penguin.co.nz/authors/jonathan-evison
Where to find Lee Goldberg:
What follows is a “near as” transcript of our conversation, not word for word but pretty close to it, with links to the show notes in The Joys of Binge Reading.com for important mentions.
And now, here’s Lee.
Introducing author Lee Goldberg
Jenny Wheeler: Welcome to the show, Lee. It’s great to have you with us.
Lee Goldberg: It’s great to be here. I wish I was there in person. I love New Zealand.
Jenny Wheeler: Have you been here?
Lee Goldberg: I have. I went to research a novel that I didn’t end up writing. It’s a long story. I hope to write it someday, but I had a wonderful time.
Jenny Wheeler: That sounds fun. You have had a truly remarkable career with an astonishing back list in fiction, non-fiction, writing and directing for TV, and publishing. We’ll get to talk about your publishing work a bit later on, but at the beginning we are focusing on this latest book just published, Movieland, which is the fourth installment in the Eve Ronin detective series.
Eve and her soon-to-be-retired partner Duncan make a memorable and contrasting couple. He’s a wily old fox who is on the verge of retirement, and she’s very much the upstart, new, youngest homicide detective in the LA County Sheriff’s Department. You have got a lot of books there, but I couldn’t see that there was one series yet, apart from this one, which featured a female protagonist. I wondered if this was your first go at writing a female protagonist.
Lee Goldberg: No, it’s not. I don’t know if you have it in New Zealand but I was a writer on the television series, Monk, about a detective with obsessive compulsive disorder. He’s got a nurse who helps him deal with the real world as he’s trying to solve these homicides.
Writing women characters – and real life
I ended up writing fifteen books about Monk, first person, from the point of view of his female nurse/assistant, so I have written quite a few books from the point of view of a woman. In fact my wife, who’s French – and I’m now going to brutalize her accent – says things like, I don’t understand it. In your books you seem to understand women, but in real life you have no clue. She loved how I wrote about women in my books but wishes I was more like that in real life.
I ended up writing the Eve Ronin novels because I missed writing from a woman’s point of view. I really enjoyed those fifteen novels I wrote from Natalie’s point of view, so that was a conscious decision on my part. Plus I figured there are far too many middle-aged male homicide detectives in fiction right now.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s right. I wondered if you were in any way influenced by what’s been going on in Hollywood over the last few years and the higher awareness there is now of the sorts of issues women face in the work environment.
Lee Goldberg: No, I was not influenced by that. What I was mostly influenced by is, I was raised by a single mother. I’ve got two sisters. I’m married to a very strong woman. I have a 27-year-old daughter, so I’m keenly aware, as I hope most men are or should be, of the issues facing women today. It bothers me how women are portrayed in fiction and there aren’t enough women portrayed in fiction.
‘It’s called fiction for a reason’ – Lee Goldberg
If I had any concern at all, it is that I would get slammed for writing a book from a woman’s point of view. But it’s called fiction for a reason, and there are plenty of women writing about men, so I didn’t think there would be anything wrong with me writing about a young woman. I certainly know a lot of young women and have a lot of young women in my life, and I’ve seen the struggles my mom had to go through as a single mother raising four kids. I’ve seen the struggles my own daughter has had to go through, so that more than anything influenced my writing of Eve Ronin.
Jenny Wheeler: Eve has a double burden, being a straight cop in essentially what is still a dirty system – although there have been changes from the beginning of the series in regard to that – as well as being female. I wondered particularly about the dirty cop thing. There has been a bit of a history, maybe a long time ago now, of that kind of problem in LA.
Lee Goldberg: Eve Ronin is not a Los Angeles police officer. She’s a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, and right now the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is beset by scandal and corruption. It’s very much an active, real thing that’s happening now. There’s a whole scandal going on about these gangs of sheriff’s deputies who are tattooed, who are committing heinous crimes and covering up for one another, and beatings in the jails of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department overseas.
I was playing very much on what’s actually happening in the headlines here in Los Angeles.
The political jungle of policing
Jenny Wheeler: That’s interesting. I know that for people outside of the States, the jurisdictional aspect of the police work is fairly complicated. The fact that even when they go to certain different parts of the city, they have to clear it with different police departments. That’s not quite how we see things here in New Zealand. That side of it is quite political, isn’t it?
Lee Goldberg: It’s also very complicated for people here to understand. I don’t think there are a lot of people in Los Angeles who understand the boundaries between the LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and how the jurisdictions often overlap and clash.
For me, that conflict and that misunderstanding gave me a lot to write about it. It gave me something fresh. It was confusing even to me and, as it happens, the Eve Ronin novels take place in what is essentially an island in the middle of Los Angeles that is its own jurisdiction. It is patrolled by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department but surrounded by the LAPD, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, the State Forestry Department, all kinds of other law enforcement jurisdictions.
That confusion creates conflict, creates drama, and it gives me a lot to write about. It’s not just you guys in New Zealand who don’t understand how it works. It’s pretty complicated here as well. There are portions of Los Angeles County that are unincorporated or have city governments that can’t afford their own police departments.
Malibu Creek State Park – well known to movie goers
In those areas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff is the law. So you have the LAPD patrolling Los Angeles proper, but you have Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies patrolling West Hollywood, Calabasas, Aurora, the Santa Monica mountains, Malibu and a number of other places.
Jenny Wheeler: In Movieland the story is set against the background of the Malibu Creek State Park where, at the beginning, random shootings are happening with people who are going out for walks in the park. I gather that even that story also has got some basis in fact. Can you give us the background for that particular story?
Lee Goldberg: Malibu Creek State Park is not like Central Park in New York or something like that. It’s a vast wilderness area that was at one time a movie studio back lot. They shot westerns and science fiction and adventures – Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, How Green is my Valley, Mash, Lost in Space, Tarzan, Batman. A million movies were shot in Malibu Creek State Park but it’s also a vast wilderness area with mountains and forests and streams.
Back in the 70’s the studio donated the land to the State. Movies are still shot there but it’s also this huge park, and over the last few years there have been a number of shootings in and around Malibu Creek State Park that the Sheriff’s Department have written off as unrelated. Some were people shooting at gophers or what have you, or cars backfiring as they drive through the canyons, or people setting off fireworks, and any number of things. They claimed there was no through line to these reports of shootings.
Facts behind Malibu Creek Park story
But then a young with his two kids was camping in Malibu Creek State Park and someone shot into his tent and killed him in front of his kids. That launched a whole new investigation and eventually the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department admitted, yes, all the shootings were connected and they eventually arrested a homeless man who was living in the park.
That has not gone to trial yet, but even that arrest is open to controversy and second guessing. There are still a lot of claims of a coverup and an incomplete investigation. The investigating detectives were fired and are suing the Sheriff’s Department. It’s quite a scandal here, and I thought it was a great basis for an Eve Ronin novel. I fictionalized it quite a bit and came up with my own solution to the crime which has no bearing on reality, but it’s a fun story, nonetheless.
Jenny Wheeler: It certainly sounds as if the Sheriff’s Department has given you a very rich territory to mine. You mentioned the tattoos and in Bone Canyon, book two in the series, that very much deals with these sheriffs who have all got tattoos in almost like a secret society where they have loyalty to one another before anything else.
Lee Goldberg: That’s all true. At the time I wrote it though, the articles were only just beginning to come out in the media and some people accused me of making it up, that it was absurd. Now it’s a major story here in Los Angeles.
The other thing that’s rich about Malibu Creek State Park is that even if you’ve never been there, if you were to go there right now you would have an incredible sense of déja vu because you have seen the park in Dr. Dolittle and Mash and so many movies that it’s almost part of our shared cultural psyche worldwide. It has been so many fictional places.
So many fictional people killed there
That is part of the allure of Los Angeles. It’s a real place, but it’s also an imaginary one. Just about every street has been depicted as somewhere else, so Hollywood is very much alive here in what we say and do and how we live. That clash between fiction and reality for me is a fun thing to explore in these books. To have a crime take place in a location where so many fictional people have been killed, where so many fictional murders have been solved and committed, was also appealing to me.
I’ve shot there myself. I was the executive producer of a TV series called Diagnosis Murder with Dick Van Dyke as a doctor who solves crimes. We shot in Malibu Creek State Park all the time.
Jenny Wheeler: I was going to move on to talking about your TV background because in the series, Eve has got this situation going on where she’s being wooed to agree to have a TV series made about her. In the first book she goes viral with some of the solving that she does. And she’s got this estranged father who’s a washed up director who is behind the scenes orchestrating things, because he wants to piggyback on her fame. She is resisting it because she thinks it’s going to destroy her credibility.
That whole storyline goes through the series, and I thought to myself, as I was reading the books, that your own background in TV would have given you a great position to be able to understand all the different elements that come into that.
How a TV background helps Lee write
Lee Goldberg: Yes, that’s what I’m playing on. In fact, there’s a scene where Eve goes to visit the producer of the show to have a meeting with the writers, and that studio and that office are my office and my studio when I was doing Diagnosis Murder. I think it’s very interesting for a character to have to live up not only to her own expectations and the expectations of her colleagues and also the expectations of the media, but also the expectations of a fictionalized idealized version of herself, and how Hollywood changes and corrupts and twists and idealizes characters and the conflicts that creates.
I thought it would be a rich area to explore and something that would set my books apart from all the other police procedurals out there.
Jenny Wheeler: It certainly sounds to me like there’s an Eve Ronin TV series in the making, as you go along.
Lee Goldberg: That’s the other irony. The TV rights to the Eve Ronin novels have been optioned, so there is the possibility a Ronin TV series could happen at the very same time as I’m writing about a fictional Ronin TV series in my books.
Resolving the issue of Duncan’s retirement
Jenny Wheeler: That’s amazing. From the sound of it, I don’t think that so far Eve has had this meeting with the writers, so that says to me that there’s a book five already on the way. The thing I’m also interested in is whether Duncan is going to continue or whether he finally is going to retire, because at the beginning he was going to be retired very soon and then they extended his time and extended his time. He has become such a key part of the series that I wonder if he’s ever going to get his retirement.
Lee Goldberg: Well, the first four books all take place in a period of about four months, so he hasn’t exceeded his retirement, the clock’s just been ticking down. In book number four, Movieland, we do meet with the writers of the Ronin TV series and also we resolve the issue of Duncan’s retirement. I don’t want to give that away so I’ll let you read the book to find out.
Jenny Wheeler: It is a while since I read that so perhaps it skated over me.
You started out in journalism, so looking back at this remarkable career of yours, it has obviously given you a very good feel for journalistic experience. I notice in some of the books that you’ve got young reporters starting out who are aiming to climb the heights of being on the LA Times, and a sense that might have been your own experience at the beginning. Tell us about how you transitioned from journalism into fiction.
Lee Goldberg: Both of my parents are reporters. My father was a reporter on television, he was on the news every night. My mom was a print reporter for a newspaper, and I put myself through college as a reporter for the United Press Syndicate and the LA Times and a number of other publications, so that was going to be my path.
Getting into writing – men’s action adventures
But I also loved television and I loved writing books, and when I was in college working for my college newspaper, my journalism advisor was a novelist. I would read his novels and give him my thoughts on them, even though I had no experience in publishing. One day his publisher came to him and asked him if he’d write a men’s action adventure novel.
I don’t know if you have the equivalent in New Zealand, but they are the male equivalent of what we have here called Harlequin romances. They are action packed, exploitative, men’s novels. They had guys with giant guns and women with gigantic breasts and explosions and car chases and stuff on the covers, and they had titles like The Executioner, The Destroyer, The Immolator, The Defecator, The Drooler – they had ‘er’ or ‘or’ at the end.
My journalism advisor said he wasn’t dumb enough, desperate enough, or broke enough to write one of these things, but he knew somebody who was, and he recommended me. So while I was a sophomore in college, I wrote a book called 357 Vigilante by Ian Ludlow. It would be on the shelf next to Robert Ludlow, who at the time was the biggest selling novelist in America, and Ian for Ian Fleming. People would go, Ian Ludlow, I think I read something by him. It wasn’t bad.
I would be on the shelf next to Robert Ludlow and I had boobs and explosions on my covers and he had the Brandenburg Gates and hammers and sickles, symbols of the Cold War, on his books, so I figured I’d get his audience from the covers alone.
Vigilante fiction went hot at right time
My book came out the same week this guy, Bernard Getz, blew away some muggers on a New York subway train and vigilantes were hot. My book became a national bestseller. New World Pictures bought the movie rights and hired me to write the screenplay. I was in college at the time, so my book, my publishing and my screenwriting career were born while I was still in college.
I’ve been on that path ever since writing books and TV shows and movies at the same time. I’ve been juggling the two careers. Journalism has always been a part of my life because of my parents, and because that’s how I put myself through school.
Jenny Wheeler: It’s not a coincidence then that you’ve started an organization called The International Association For Media Tie-In Authors. I saw that on your bio online and thought it was quite fascinating. You obviously have been extremely media savvy right from the beginning with the Ian Ludlow pen name. Can you tell us about that organization and why you felt there was a need for it?
Lee Goldberg: Media tie-in writers are people who write novels based on preexisting intellectual properties. Those are novelizations of movies or new books based on TV shows or books based on games or books based on toys. They’re books that the authors did not create the central character or the franchise for, so Star Trek novels and, I don’t know all these games but there are a lot of books based on computer games and what have you, World of Warcraft, that kind of thing.
The books are traditionally huge bestsellers worldwide but are scoffed at by most literary organizations. There is some really great writing being done in these Star Wars novels and Star Trek novels and Murder, She Wrote novels, so me and Max Allan Collins, who wrote Road to Perdition and has done a bunch of what’s called tie-in novels, created this organization well over a decade ago, for people who toil in this world of media tie-ins.
Writers with media tie in projects
It has been a huge success. We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of members and have managed to get a lot of attention for people who write media tie-in novels. I wrote a bunch of them myself. As I mentioned earlier in the interview, I wrote for the television series Monk, but I didn’t create the series. Andy Breckman did, and when a publisher came to him and said we’d like to do books based on the TV show, I wrote the books.
Those were called tie-in novels because I did not create the central character, but the novels were original. I also wrote books based on the TV series Diagnosis Murder. I didn’t create Diagnosis Murder. I wrote and produced the show, but I didn’t create it. I ended up writing eight or nine novels based on that series as well. So I had experience in the media tie-in world and was aware of the kind of disregard that media tie-in writers were held in, even though our books are among the biggest selling in the world. That’s how it started.
Jenny Wheeler: You look in the other direction too, in the sense that you are looking back with your publishing company. You are finding forgotten crime classics and republishing them. Tell us a bit about that side of your work.
Lee Goldberg: Years ago, about the time Amazon started selling eBooks for the Kindle, I decided to take my out of print back list and release them as eBooks. I had regained the rights to the books and I thought, what do I have to lose by making them available as eBooks or just rotting in my garage?
A publishing house as well – Lee Goldberg
I had tremendous success doing it, so a lot of other authors came to me for advice. How can I get my out of print books into eBooks, and how do I get covers and how do I get attention, and can I buy you a drink? Tell me how it’s done. So many people are coming to me asking for that advice.
But also there was an author I loved, a guy named Ralph Dennis who passed away in 1988, drunk and forgotten and living in a bar, actually on a cot. I loved his books and I thought, if I could do this for my books, maybe I could take his books and republish them. I went to a friend of mine who’s an author and a lawyer for his advice on how to acquire the rights to these books and republish them.
My friend who’s a lawyer was also having success republishing his out of print back list and getting nagged by other authors, and when I told him I had in mind, he went, this is a great idea. We can make a lot of money doing this. I said, what do you mean make a lot of money? What do you mean, we? He said, this is a business plan. All these friends of ours who are asking for advice on how to take their out of print books and put them back into print – we could do it for them and take a cut. I said, that’s a pretty brash idea. He said, and there’s the name of our company.
Brash Books goes from strength to strength
We ended up launching Brash Books about nine years ago and we’ve published something like 300 titles to date. We started as a reprint house publishing acclaimed award-winning crime novels that had fallen out of print and we expanded into publishing brand new books as well that had never been published before. It’s been going great. I feel like I’m giving back to the genre that started me out, but also it’s been such a thrill to publish brand new authors.
The only downside is we get inundated with submissions. It’s overwhelming how many we get and the vast majority of them are unreadable slop, so it does take a lot of time. But it’s been a joy for me overall.
Jenny Wheeler: Obviously crime has been something you’re passionate about. At the very beginning, how did you get to be so fascinated by crime stories?
Lee Goldberg: Crime stories have a natural momentum. There’s something driving them forward. The stakes are very clear, the conflicts are very clear and there’s a satisfying puzzle. I like that narrative momentum. I don’t know that I could write a romance that wouldn’t have something pushing the story forward. The stakes wouldn’t mean as much to me.
It is something that works on so many different levels. It works as entertainment. It works as a character study. It works as a morality play. It works as a magic trick and it works as a puzzle. It’s very satisfying. It’s also very hard to write, but it’s what I enjoy reading and it’s what I enjoy writing.
Lee Goldberg’s writing process
Jenny Wheeler: Tell us about your process. With books like these, the plots are incredibly intricate. Do you do a lot of outlining before you begin or do you let the story run along?
Lee Goldberg: I absolutely outline and I believe I can tell 99% of the time when I’m reading a book by somebody who does not outline. I can see them treading narrative water. I can see where they’re making it up as they go along. I can see where they’re rushing to explain things that don’t make sense.
To have a mystery that works, to have a crime story that works, you have to know what the clues are, know where you’re going and play truthfully with the audience. They have to have the ability to solve the crime without having a forensic lab in their living room. They should have the opportunity to see the same clues the detective does. So I outline everything.
I don’t go into excruciating detail. I allow myself the freedom to make up new things and have new discoveries, but it’s the equivalent of, you either get in your car and drive or you get in your car and you know you’re driving from LA to New York and I’m going to take the 10 freeway all the way. That doesn’t mean you won’t make some side trips, but at least you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
Jenny Wheeler: Turning away from the specific books to your wider career, you obviously see a tremendous amount of work from beginner writers. What do you think is the biggest pitfall or problem for beginner writers?
The biggest mistakes of beginner authors
Lee Goldberg: Exposition. Way too much backstory in detail. They make speeches in their prose and they have the characters tell us who they are instead of showing it to us through action and dialogue. Move the story forward. If the scene doesn’t have conflict, if it doesn’t reveal character, then it goes. I can’t stand exposition.
Also, the cliché of the character looking in a reflective surface to see his or her own reflection so that the author can describe them to us is just painful. I also can’t stand cliché dialogue – needle in a haystack, up shit creek without a paddle, all that kind of stuff. If you’re writing a phrase and you’ve heard it before, cut it.
I believe in starting scenes often in the middle. We don’t always need to know exactly how they got to where they’re going. Let us get right into the middle of things. We can pick up how they got there in the boring stuff. Cut the boring stuff, get the stuff that makes you interested as a reader. Don’t tell readers what to think. Let them come up with their own ideas of who the characters are and what their flaws are.
Don’t direct us. Beginning authors feel they need to make everything clear, not have any ambiguity, leave no room in the middle for the reader to fill in some of the blanks for him or herself. But the biggest thing is having a really weak opening that’s full of exposition and all explanation and no drama. You have to hook readers right away from the first two paragraphs. You have to grab them.
What Lee Goldberg is reading now
You have to give them a compelling plot or character reason to keep on reading, and if you don’t have that within the first few pages, your book’s going to fail. I can’t tell you how many submissions we get where the first 20 pages are a slog. The first 20 pages have to rock it, no matter what kind of story you’re telling. Even if it’s a romance, you’ve got to start a book hot. You’ve got to get us right in. You’ve got to tell us what the conflict is. You’ve got to tell us why the readers should care, why they should invest themselves in the story. What is it about this story that’s going to make them want to keep on reading until two in the morning? That’s the key.
Jenny Wheeler: This is The Joys of Binge Reading and we are starting to come to the end of our time together, so we’d like to hear what you like to read. It is a popular fiction podcast, but I’m sure that a lot of the reading you do is likely to be popular fiction. Tell us who you’d like to recommend.
Lee Goldberg: I read across all genres. In fact, there’s an Australian author I love, a guy named Garry Disher who writes the Wyatt novels. They’re fantastic.
Jenny Wheeler: We’ve had him on the show.
Lee Goldberg: He’s wonderful. He deserves to be known all over the world and I don’t know why he’s not. Jane Harper has broken through and I like her books as well, but Garry Disher is so versatile. He writes so many different kinds of crime novels and literary novels. He’s a remarkable author.
Some favorite authors on the must read list
I like Larry McMurtry. I like Jonathan Evison. I like Michael Connolly. I devour books. I just read Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land which takes place across three very different time periods. I’m about to start reading Chris Pavone’s Two Nights in Lisbon. I read a ton of stuff.
Jenny Wheeler: Looking back down the tunnel of time, if there was one thing about your career – writing, publishing, directing – that you would change, what would it be?
Lee Goldberg: I would never have done Baywatch. I worked on the first season of Baywatch. That was living hell. I have two big regrets – Baywatch and The New Adventures of Flipper, which was actually shot in Australia, in Brisbane.
Jenny Wheeler: Why would you not want to work on those again?
Lee Goldberg: Well, it’s no fun writing for a freaking dolphin for one thing, or David Hasselhoff.
Jenny Wheeler: What is the next thing for Lee as author? Give us an idea of what you’ve got on your desk over the next twelve months.
Lee Goldberg: I’ve got two novels coming out in 2023. For the moment, one is called Calico. It takes place in the present day and in 1883, and they’re connected by the same dead body. It’s a modern day police procedural and a period Western. It shifts back and forth in time.
I have a novel coming out in June 2023 called Malibu Burning. It’s about a daring heist pulled off in the midst of a catastrophic wildfire in the Santa Monica mountains.
What Lee Goldberg has got coming up
Jenny Wheeler: Are those both standalones?
Lee Goldberg: Yes, they’re both standalones.
Jenny Wheeler: Is that the first time you’ve written anything in a historical context?
Lee Goldberg: That’s a good question. No. I wrote a book called Mr. Monk in Trouble that was split between present day and Monk’s ancestors in the California gold rush. But I’ve always wanted to write a Western, and Calico gave me the opportunity to write a Western but to contrast it with a modern day police procedural. I think the conflicts and the differences between those two time periods made both stories more interesting. I don’t have a pub date to announce yet for that, but it’ll be in 2023.
Jenny Wheeler: When is the next Eve Ronin going to be coming out?
Lee Goldberg: I don’t know. My contract is up, literally. It just ended. Whether or not there’s a fifth Eve Ronin depends on how well Movieland does. My guess is that there will be, but I never know until I see those sales figures, or until my publisher does.
Jenny Wheeler: Do you have an idea about where the whole series is likely to go?
Lee Goldberg: Oh, yes. I know exactly where the series is going to go. There’s a reason why I started this series with a woman who’s 25 years old, who doesn’t know what she’s doing. She’s in a job she doesn’t deserve and hasn’t earned. She has the expertise but doesn’t have the skills yet to really master it.
Whether Eve continues ‘depends on readers’
I want to see her grow as a character. I want to see her find herself and develop the confidence she needs to have a long and steady career. She’s not Harry Bosch yet. She’s not John Rebus yet. She’s got a ways to go and I can see this series going for 20 novels.
Jenny Wheeler: Fantastic. That’s a wonderful degree of foresight and confidence.
Lee Goldberg: Well, it all depends on the readers. Obviously the books will only go on as long as they continue to make money for the publisher and reach certain sales figures. So far I’ve been very fortunate that they have. But you never know, especially when your contract is up. I sign multi-book contracts and when those multi-book contracts expire it’s always a period of a little insecurity, because you don’t know what’s going to come next. But I suspect the next contract will include a fifth Eve Ronin novel.
Jenny Wheeler: Do you enjoy interacting with your readers and where can they find you online?
Lee Goldberg: I’m everywhere online and I do enjoy interacting with my readers, except when they criticize me. You can find me at www.leegoldberg.com. You can find me at Lee Goldberg on Instagram, Lee Goldberg on Twitter and Lee Goldberg on Facebook. I’m not hiding. Readers feel very free to let me know what they think, good and bad.
Jenny Wheeler: And do you reply to them?
Lee Goldberg: I do, and I manage to keep profanity to a minimum.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s great. You’re such a professional. It’s magnificent to hear how you’ve done it all. Thanks so much, Lee.
Lee Goldberg: It’s been my pleasure.
If you enjoyed Lee Goldberg you might also enjoy Isabella Maldonado – Crime fighter to crime writer…. https://thejoysofbingereading.com/tag/isabella-maldonado/
Next week on Binge Reading
Next week on Binge Reading, USA Today Pamela Aares best selling author and award winning author of contemporary and historical romance talking about her latest Book 11 in the Tavonesi series… Love Thief.
Says one reviewer: “Love Thief is the perfect blend of mystery, passion and life-changing romance!”
Robinhood never had it so rough… A museum security expert by day and a thief with a hidden mission to right wrongs by night, Hunter Sterling is no stranger to deception. But when he teams up with a secretive heiress to recover a priceless statue, he finds himself caught in a web of life-changing secrets and falling for a woman he’s not sure he can trust.
The Joys of Binge Reading podcast is put together with wonderful technical help from Dan Cotton at DC Audio Services. Dan is an experienced sound and video engineer who’s ready and available to help you with your next project… Seek him out at firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone + 64 – 21979539. He’s fast, takes pride in getting it right, and lovely to work with.
Our voice overs are done by Abe Raffills, and Abe’s another gem. He got 20 years of experience on both sides of the camera/microphone as a cameraman/director and also voice artist and television presenter. Abe’s vocal delivery is both light hearted and warm and he is super easy to work with no matter the job. You’ll find him at email@example.com