Les's Life Story

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from The Putt at the End of the World

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Les on Film

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Les Standiford is the author of the novels Spill (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1991); Done Deal (HarperCollins, 1993); Raw Deal (HC, 1994); Deal to Die For (HC, 1995); Deal on Ice (HC, 1997); Presidential Deal (HC, 1998); Black Mountain (GP Putnams, 2000); Deal With the Dead (GP Putnams, 2001); and the e-book, Opening Day (www.LiveReads.com, 2001).


Les on Les: "Depending on your point of view, you could say that I've tried a number of career paths or that I've quit a lot of things. (I've managed a French restaurant and a 100-bed extended care nursing facility, among other jobs.) But it's not really surprising to me that most writers give long lists of former occupations--some say it's because we're out there gathering material, and I suppose we are, in an incidental way. But I think it happens because so many writers are quintessential outsiders, people who have a difficult time fitting into any organization, really. The university has been a wonderful place for me, in that regard. It's one place where one-eyed cats are tolerated, even celebrated at times, and I find it hard to fully express the gratitude I feel for having landed here, among so many fine fellow writers and excellent students."

On writing suspense/mystery thrillers: "At a time when the American voting public lists crime as that issue that more than any other affects their daily lives, I think that the mystery/suspense genre is the perfect vehicle for bridging the gap that sometimes threatens to divide the so-called 'high' road and the 'low' road in literature. No question that mystery/suspense is charged with telling a cracking good story, but from Poe through Hammet down to LeCarre, the field has a long honor roll of practitioners who can combine that ability to tell a compelling story while also focusing on characters and moral issues of the greatest possible significance."


Standiford is the co-author of Bones of Coral, a screenplay based on the novel of the same name by James W. Hall, for MGM-Pathe. He is a member of the Associated Writing Programs, Mystery Writers of America, and the Writers Guild.

He wrote the screenplay adaptation of Spill, which has been released as a feature film starring Brian Bosworth and seen recently on SHOWTIME. He is author of the text for the best-selling book of photographs by Alan S. Maltz, Miami: City of Dreams (1997), and of the history, Coral Gables: The City Beautiful (Riverbend Books, 1998).

He has contributed a chapter to the national best-seller Naked Came the Manatee (Putnam, 1997), with Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, James W. Hall, et al. He is contributing editor of The Putt at the End of the World, a collective novel of golf, published by Warner Books in June of 2000.

He has recently completed a work of non-fiction scheduled for publication in May of 2002 for Crown: Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Building of the Overseas Railroad to Key West.

Standiford's short stories and articles have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including The Kansas Quarterly, Writer’s Digest, Fodor’s Guide, Smoke Magazine, The Key West Reader, Confrontation, Three American Literatures (Modern Language Association), Perfect Lies: A Century of Classic Golf Fiction, and Communion: Contemporary Fiction Writers Reread the Bible. His novels have been reprinted in the United Kingdom, Holland, France, Germany and Japan. He has been a regular reviewer for The Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, New York Newsday, and The New York Daily News.

He attended the Air Force Academy, Columbia University School of Law, and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Muskingum College in Ohio and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. He spent twenty years in the West, working at times for the U.S. Forest, the Utah Parks Company, and the U.S. Park Service. He is a former screenwriting fellow and graduate of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

He is a past recipient of the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He is currently Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami, where he has lived since 1985 with his wife and three children.

"Les Standiford makes it look easy and elegant...each scene unfolds like a little gasp for breath." --New York Times

"John Deal is such a rich creation you'll have to remind yourself you're reading fiction."--Chicago Tribune

"...calls to mind the fiction of Graham Greene..."--Philadelphia Inquirer

"Deal to Die For has the most emotionally centered protagonist in contemporary crime fiction. Flawless."--Booklist

"Les Standiford is one of a handful of today’s best writers who can bond all the excitement of a page-turning thriller with quality writing any novelist can envy."--George Garrett