Warren Lane was published in 2015.
What’s the book’s first line?
Will Moore sat in a lounge chair by the hotel pool in his Bermuda shorts and white polo shirt, browsing through photos of escorts on his phone.
You can see right off the bat this is not the most admirable guy. He’s rich, he’s married, and he’s at a fancy resort hoping to have another meeting with an attractive young woman. Will has done well in life, but like many for whom success comes easy, he’s developed a sense of entitlement. He’s in the midst of a long moral decline that will have profound consequences on a number of people.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Five people, each flawed in their own way, get tangled up in each other’s lives after a chance encounter. Will Moore is a wealthy fifty-year-old philanderer who may be mixed up in some very bad business. His wife, Susan, is forty, sensitive, and exceptionally intelligent. Mark Ready is nearing thirty and adrift on a sea of alcohol. He has a good heart, but not much else. Will’s mistress, Ella Weyland is sometimes strong, sometimes weak, but currently stuck in a pattern of promiscuous and self-destructive behavior. Warren Lane, the private eye, is an outright bastard and borderline sociopath who makes no apologies about the way he is.
Susan wants to hire Lane to investigate her cheating husband. She winds up hiring Ready by mistake. When Ready throws himself into the task, he makes a mess of things, nearly wrecking everyone’s lives in a series of encounters that are sometimes moving and sometimes very funny. In the end, everyone winds up getting what they deserve.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
A close friend of mine was an avid reader, and was consistently helpful and encouraging to me, especially through a few difficult years in my twenties. She always encouraged me to write, and I promised myself I’d dedicate my first book to her. I put writing aside for many years, because I had to make a living and support a family. When my friend’s cancer returned and her prognosis was grim, I knew I’d have to get to work if I wanted her to see the book.
I have no idea where the story came from. I wrote the first draft, about 40,000 words, in one week. The book went through a few rounds of editing and eight major revisions before I published it. The final draft was much more complete and well-developed than the original. My friend only got to see the first draft, but I guess that’s something. Her husband told me she was reading it and making notes in the margins before she died. I said, “Really? What did she say about it?”
“She said, ‘He knows I’m on my deathbed. And he sends me a fucking manuscript to edit!'”
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
It’s an engaging story, with vivid characters. The momentum keeps picking up as the chapters go by, and you never really know what’s going to happen next. Sometimes you just want to drop in on other people’s messed-up lives, ride along through their troubles and see how things turn out.