Please welcome Adam Mitzner in a brief interview with NMR's Ray Palen in which he discusses his his new legal thriller A Case of Redemption and more!
New Mystery Reader: Your first novel, A Conflict of Interest, drew comparisons to John Grisham and Scott Turow. How do you feel about that? Who are your literary role models?
Adam Mitzner: Every time I get an email from a reader comparing me to Turow or Grisham (or anyone I consider to be in that pantheon), I experience this ďI canít believe itĒ moment. Turowís Presumed Innocent is, in my opinion, the best legal thriller ever written, and so when people tell me that they liked my books just as much (or if Iím lucky, even better), I canít imagine any higher praise. And Grishamís work has particular resonance with me because I read The Firm when I was a law student and was actually living the interview process described in that book. It told me that my life experiences could provide the basis for good fiction.
As for literary role models, Turow and Grisham are of course up there. I also try to read books outside of my genre, mainly stories driven by character development. I think it helps my writing and Iím fascinated by what makes different people tick.
NMR: The accused in A Case of Redemption is a rapper labeled Ďthe most hated man of all timeí and his hit record entitled ĎA-Rodí use the namesake of probably the most hated player in Major League Baseball --- Alex Rodriguez. Coincidence or just a Mets fan?
AM: Guilty to being a life-long Met fan, but that honestly wasnít the reason I picked A-Rod. His name nickname is instantly identifiable with baseball, which was what I was needed for the plot because the murder occurs with a baseball bat. I thought about using Jeter, but it didnít have the same rhythm.
NMR: Itís good to write what you know as there is a wealth of experience to draw from. In your other life as an Attorney are there more stories you are burning to tell?
AM: My practice these days is mainly corporate based, so that isnít the direct source of my writing. However, the people I encounter and their work certainly informs my fiction. One of the best things about being a lawyer is that you get to learn about other peopleís businesses. I have some cases now involving the art world and Iím fascinated that an artist can create something worth millions of dollars in a few hours. Thereís a book there, Iím sure.
NMR: The characters in A Case of Redemption could easily draw comparison to real-life celebrities. How much of that played a part in your development of this story?
AM: My original thought in A Case of Redemption was to play on the idea that we really donít know people as much as we think we do. Obviously, thatís truest for celebrities, who we often think we know based on the public persona. I was interested in exploring the idea that our friends and family have a public personaís too, as do each of us.
NMR: Each of your novels are stand-alone in nature. Any desire to write a series with recurring characters or do you prefer a clean slate with each story?
AM: Stand-alone or series, that is the question. I wrote an article about that very subject for omnimystery news. http://www.omnimysterynews.com/2013/05/please-welcome-novelist-adam-mitzner-1305270800.html#.UaS0qc37Q1I.
I really like that a stand-alone book allows you to take the protagonist through a truly life-changing adventure that changes him or her in some fundamental way. Itís hard to go through two such changes, especially in rapid succession.
My next book is also a stand-alone, but the initial feedback Iíve been getting from readers of A Case of Redemption has been that they want more of Dan Sorensen, so thatís definitely a possibility somewhere down the line.
NMR: The legal thriller genre took off with the release of Grishamís THE FIRM and has spawned countless other authors to fill this over-crowded field. What do you feel your novels have added to this genre?
AM: There are two things Iím striving for in my books: (1) that the character development be as good as youíd find in any type of novel. The best thrillers, in my opinion, combine that sense of ďthrillĒ with immensely interesting characters. (2) that the law be accurate and realistic. I hope that after you read one of my books you understand more about the law. The way I used to feel after reading a Michael Creighton or Tom Clancy book gave me some insight into a world that I knew little about.
NMR: Whatís next for Adam Mitzner?
AM: Iím almost done with the first draft of my next book Ė a return to the law firm that was the center of the action in A Conflict of Interest (my first novel), but with a focus on the head of that firm. I really like it, and my wife says itís the best thing Iíve written so far.
For more from Adam Mitzner visit his website at www.adammitzner.com