By Carolyn Kellogg
1:19 PM PST, November 27, 2012
Bestselling author Michael Connelly joined the Los Angeles Times for a video chat on the publication day of his new mystery, "The Black Box."
In the book, set in present day, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch investigates a cold case: a murder committed during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. That was the same year readers were introduced to Bosch in Connelly's first book, "The Black Echo."
In the interview, Connelly talks candidly about what it's been like writing Harry Bosch stories for 20 years. It's less about plot, he explains, than character. In recent books Bosch's daughter Maddie has become a part of his life, expanding his emotional range to include the responsibilities and worries of a parent.
When Connelly began writing fiction, he decided to have Bosch age in real time — so now he's 62, which is old for an LAPD officer. Older, Connelly says, than anyone currently solving murders in the Police Department.
Connelly covered crime at the L.A. Times as a reporter before his career as a novelist took off. He also talks about what it was like working with the police as a journalist, and how that has changed since he's been a novelist (short answer: being a novelist helps).
One of the hardest-working writers around, Connelly also writes novels separate from Bosch: There's the Mickey Haller series — he's the "Lincoln Lawyer" of the 2011 film — as well as the Jack McEvoy and Terry McCaleb books. Sometimes characters overlap; Connelly tells us who appears in the book he's writing now.
He also tells us what it's like to go on book tours and get the occasional bottle of wine from a devoted fan. He'll be in Southern California Dec. 1-2, with five appearances in two days — no wonder people are tempted to give him wine.
Listen closely to the end of the interview: Does Connelly imply there might be an end to Harry Bosch?
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