TweetRyne Douglas Pearson is an accomplished novelist and screenwriter. Despite the often ‘dark’ nature of his novels and films, Pearson has been noted to have a ‘sweet, disarming quality’ by Entertainment Weekly-an accusation he has been unable to shake. He is addicted to diet soda and the sound of his children laughing. A west coast native, he lives in California with his wife, children, a Doberman Kelpie and a Beagle Vizsla.
Time to chat with Ryne!
What is your latest book?
My latest book, Cop Killer, is the first book in my new District One Thriller series. It tells the story of two detectives, Danny Owen and Jack James. One is a hard-charging young investigator who lives for the thrill of the chase. The other is a cool and methodical investigator with an almost legendary status in the department. When these two polar opposites are partnered there’s little time for them to reach some equilibrium of coexistence, as a brutal killer begins littering the city with bodies. But as Danny and Jack uncover the identity of this murderer, the lines of right and wrong begin to blur, leaving the partners to wonder just who is adversary, and who is ally.
What are the special challenges in writing a series?
The District One Thriller series will be the second series I’ve worked on, the other being my Art Jefferson Thriller series. The biggest challenge, for me, is not trying to lay too much groundwork too early. I already know the next three books in this series, but I don’t want to know everything. Being surprised it part of the fun of being a writer, and the temptation to begin threads in an earlier book that will play out in later books is strong, but I (mostly) resist.
What else have you written?
I’ve written eight other novels—All For One, Confessions, The Donzerly Light, Top Ten, Cloudburst. October’s Ghost, Capitol Punishment, and Simple Simon. I also write and publish short stories when the mood strikes me.
How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?
All. The. Time.
Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?
I will write out of order when I get stuck somewhere. I find it’s best to keep the momentum going, even if that leaves a gap that needs to be addressed eventually.
Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?
I edit continually. I can’t help it. I see something and have to fix it.
Have you ever written characters that you truly despise?
The ones you despise are the most fun. Writing the serial killer in Top Ten was a complete blast. What a bad, bad boy.
Do you have any advice for first-time authors?
Write a lot. Write like you’re gonna burn it. No one but you and the NSA will see what you write before you decide it’s crap and delete it, so write the crap. Crap leads to stuff that’s not crap.
Do you have any grammatical pet peeves to share?
I’m not a big grammar nazi. I tend to break rules if it helps the flow of a scene.
Do you write anything besides novels? Care to share?
I also write screenplays. I’ve worked in the film industry for thirteen years. The movie Knowing was based on my original screenplay, and I’ve done uncredited work on a number of films.
Do you feel your latest book is your personal favorite or one of your previous novels?
My previous novel All For One is my personal favorite. I just love writing kids, and, even in the horrific situation the story place them in, it was a joy to write them.
Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?
Grow a thick skin and move on. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?
Automobiles. I love to drive.
What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?
Lasagna is my favorite. Least favorite would be anything remotely resembling liver.
What music soothes your soul?
Hawaiian music is very, very soothing. I’m a big fan.
What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?
Favorite film is It’s A Wonderful Life and favorite book is IT by Stephen King.
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