We are delighted to welcome author David C. Taylor to CrimeFiction.FM’s digital interview booth today.
David’s new novel is NIGHT LIFE (Forge Books, March 2015 hardcover and ebook formats), the first title in a new historical crime fiction series set in 1950s New York.
NIGHT LIFE delivers a pulse-pounding murder plot surrounding complex protagonist and war veteran Detective David Cassidy, who finds himself caught between police and mafia ties. The author uses his vast experience writing for TV and film to make the vivid, old-time New York setting come alive in some very interesting ways.
We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with David to talk more about the book.
CFFM: Introduce us to your series lead, Michael Cassidy.
David: Cassidy is a New York cop from a background that does not usually lead to the police force. His father reached the States as a teenage refugee from Russia and is now a successful Broadway producer. His mother’s family was here early enough to help tie up the Mayflower. His godfather is a well known New York gangster.
CFFM: What is it about him that appeals to you as a writer?
David: Cassidy has an instinctive sense of justice. He has a passport to many different groups in society but is both an insider and an outsider in all of them. The character continues to surprise me as I write him.
CFFM: Why did you choose 1954 New York as the setting for your new series?
David: It’s a time in the city that I remember well and that I loved.
David: It is historical crime fiction, noir, but it is also a book about the pressures and currents that push and pull within a family. And it is a story, like many others, about the tendency of power to corrupt.
CFFM: Historical crime fiction requires a willingness to do extensive research. What did you learn that surprised you during the research phase of NIGHT LIFE?
DAVID: I learned how useful Google can be to check on something we half know, and how occasionally inaccurate it can be.
CFFM: You spent 20 years in Los Angeles writing for television and movies. Which parts of that experience translate well to writing novels?
David: Writing for TV and movies teaches structure and dialogue and requires that you pay off later the things you plant early.
CFFM: What are some of your outside interests? And have any of these found their way into NIGHT LIFE?
David: I have spent time in the bars, jazz clubs, art galleries, and museums of New York.
CFFM: What type of books do you read when reading for pleasure?
David: No single genre. Everything from Dickens to cook books to non-fiction to thrillers to poetry and plays.
CFFM: Do you prefer physical books or e-readers?
David: Physical books.
CFFM: What’s the most useful advice you’ve received as an author?
David: Early on someone I respected said to me, “Don’t get it right. Get it written.” What she meant was that all good writing comes from extensive re-writing. Get it down and then go back.
CFFM: What’s next for David C. Taylor?
David: The next Michael Cassidy book comes out next April 1, April Fools Day, perhaps appropriately.
David C. Taylor was born and raised in New York City. He spent twenty years in Los Angeles writing for television and the movies. He has published short stories and magazine articles and produced an off-Broadway musical in New York. He now divides his time between Boston and the coast of Maine.