Les's Life Story

Read Them All

from The Putt at the End of the World

Interview with Amazon.com

Les on Film

Favorite Links and Les Elsewhere on the Web

Take me Back Home!

Amazon.com: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?

Standiford: I can't remember not writing, or at least telling stories. I assumed everyone did it. I intended to be a lawyer and actually attended Columbia Law School, but dropped out when it finally occurred to me that there was a big difference between justice and "the Law." It's much easier to see justice done
when writing fiction. I wrote seriously for almost fifteen years before I got my first novel Spill published. It had a fairly weighty ecological theme despite its thriller premise. The movie version is out right now, on Showtime, starringBrian Bosworth, but that doesn't mean I'm recommending it. The Deal books,which feature independent contractor John Deal, grew out of my fascination with the typical Hitchcock film: ordinary folks thrown into the path of extraordinary evil. The plot is always there, but it's the people I care about when I'm writing.

Amazon.com: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
Amazon.com: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)? Do you have a favorite location or time of day (or night) for writing? What do you do to avoid--or seek!--distractions?

Standiford: I'm at the computer anywhere from 4-8 hours a day when I'm writing, from the time I drop the kids off at school until they come home, longer if I still can lift my fingers and no calamities erupt in the playroom. I have developed the ability to write a tender love scenewhile my seven year old daughter screeches at me that her Nintendo just isn't working or while
the dog coughs up bone splinters beneath my chair, but I'd take the occasional sabbatical in a secluded cabin in the woods if anyone wants to offer it up.

Amazon.com: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other online forums?

Standiford: I'm on the road two months or so a year, for every book and enjoy it (check out Book Report on AOL where I posted a diary for Deal on Ice this time.) I've just discovered e-mail and forums (fora?) such as this and am getting a kick out of them. As time permits I answer all my mail, e- and otherwise. I'll be on a panel re: the Florida Mystery Tradition at Bouchercon in Monterrey this October.

Amazon.com: When and how did you get started on the Net? Do you read any newsgroups such as rec.arts.books and rec.arts.sf.written, mailing lists, or other on-line forums? Do you use the Net for research--or is it just another time sink? Are you able to communicate with other writers or people you work with over the Net?

Standiford: I stumbled into the wider world of the Net when I was asked to do the On the Road segment for AOL's Book Report (which links to this site, and where I saw that my books were available through Amazon.com and that--egad--readers were actually volunteering reviews of these books! As my most recent book, Deal on Ice, is set against the backdrop of contemporary
book retailing, it was a discovery of great interest to me, of course. I use Lexis/Nexis and the Net for research. I try not to let it become a time sink: I have three kids, a day job as Professor and Director of the
Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami (we have a web site, I just don't remember the address right now) an old house on an acre of ground, etc., so I don't get a chance to even think about wasting time. E-mail correspondence with friends and associates is actually a big time-saver, I have discovered.

Copyright Amazon.Com, 1997