Thursday, April 30, 2015

Please Welcome Back Author J.L. Abramo

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by J.L. Abramo

We are delighted to welcome back J.L. Abramo to Omnimystery News.

Last week we spoke with J.L. about his new Jake Diamond mystery Circling the Runway (Down & Out Books; April 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats), and we asked him if he would tell us more about why he chose this particular genre to write in. He titles his guest post for us today, "Why Crime?"

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J.L. Abramo
Photo provided courtesy of
J.L. Abramo

Crime fiction, film and television are extremely popular among readers and viewers worldwide. Fiction writers are often categorized, listed and known for their particular genre; be it crime, mystery, romance, horror, science fiction and so on. Genre is defined by Merriam-Webster as a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content. And as stated by Joyce Carol Oates in The New York Review of Books, "In genre fiction there is an implied contract between writer and reader that justice of a kind will be exacted; 'good' may not always triumph over 'evil', but the distinction between the two must be honored."

I have often been asked why I chose mystery and crime fiction as my literary genre. It might be more accurate to say that the genre chose me; and to add that a particular genre is simply the vehicle in which the writer journeys through the landscape he or she is compelled to explore. In my experience as a reader it is the theme and not the plot of a novel that carries universal and lasting impact; making the particular genre secondary to the thoughts and feelings which the writer is consciously or unconsciously driven to express. Crime and Punishment, Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo are, on the surface, crime novels; classic literary works that greatly influenced generations of readers and future writers; not as a consequence of their genre, but for their examination of the trials and tribulations of the human experience. Similarly, the same holds for visual art and music. A timeless painting or a lasting musical composition is one that leaves a profound impression on the viewer or the listener; be it renaissance, religious, impressionist, avant-garde, symbolic, dada, classical, folk, country, blues, jazz or rock and roll.

That being said, the selection of crime fiction as my vehicle of choice was a consequence of my exposure to literary works which examined crime and its ramifications and which greatly influenced me as a young man and adult; Dostoyevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Jim Thompson. And by exposure to films like The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, On The Waterfront, Anatomy of a Murder, Witness for the Prosecution, The French Connection, The Godfather and countless others.

In the first Jake Diamond novel, Catching Water in a Net, I found I was redefining my interpretation of the responsibilities of friendship.

In Chasing Charlie Chan, I did what only God and the novelist can do, bringing a character back to life, by turning back the clock, to tell his untold story.

In the novel, Gravesend, I employed the crime fiction genre to revisit the Brooklyn neighborhood of my youth. For as T.S. Eliot said: "We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

So, the question arises. Are we, practitioners of the written word and members of professional guilds like the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers, novelists or crime novelists. And the simple answer is we are writers, willing to use any means of transport which will help us tell our tale and help attract the attention of potential followers.

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J.L. Abramo was born in Brooklyn on Raymond Chandler's fifty-ninth birthday. Abramo earned a BA in Sociology at the City College of New York and a Masters in Social Psychology at the University of Cincinnati. His first Jake Diamond mystery, Catching Water in a Net, was the winner of the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America prize for Best First Private Eye Novel. J.L. lives in Denver, Colorado.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at JLAbramo.com, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Circling the Runway by J.L. Abramo

Circling the Runway by J.L. Abramo

A Jake Diamond Mystery

Publisher: Down & Out Books

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)

Private Investigator Jacob Diamond and San Francisco Detective Sergeant Roxton Johnson are famous for not getting along. Cats and dogs. Oil and water. Liston and Ali. Jake and Rocky.

When an assistant district attorney is murdered in his high-rise apartment building, and Johnson suspects his lieutenant may have something to do with it, he can think of no one else to turn to for help — no one he can trust — except Jake Diamond.

If the mismatched duo can avoid stepping on each other's toes long enough — they may be able to stop circling the runway and land on the villain's doorstep.

Circling the Runway by J.L. Abramo

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