Friday, March 9, 2012

Belly Up to the Bar and Have a Drink With Me.

Hello there everyone!

My name is Robert K. Lewis, and I'm one of the new kids on the Inkspot block. I got the call about my Midnight Ink sale back in January, and since then have been up to my elbows in rewrites until just about five days ago. So now I have a little room to breathe, which is nice, and which also means I can start contributing to this great blog on a regular rotation. I'm very excited to be able to do so, too. :-)

Before I do anything else, I want to first give a huge thank you to all the other Inkers who have welcomed me so warmly and graciously. What an amazing group of writers I find myself involved with! Truly awesome!

For my first blog post, I thought I would just tell you a little bit about myself, so without further ado...

I started writing novels about seven years ago, those first couple years overlapping with the decade I spent writing screenplays. As a screenwriter, I sold one script to an indie producer, and though it got made into a film, the film never could land a distribution deal. I had a few screenplay managers over that decade, and a few options. The novel that landed me my wonderful agent, Barbara Poelle, was the fourth novel I'd written, and was an earlier incarnation of the book that eventually sold to Midnight Ink. The tentative title is Unknown Damage, and features the debut of my series detective, the ex-narco cop Mark Mallen. If Mallen and I are lucky, I'll be writing him for a long time.

My influences would not only be the noirish and gritty detectives of authors like Hammett, Chandler, and Spillane, but also Frank and Henry Kane, Donald Westlake and his alter ego, Richard Stark.

Beyond that, however is the influence of movies shot in New York between 1968 through about 1981. New York in those days wasn't just a location, it was practically another character. Movies such as Midnight Cowboy, Panic in Needle Park, Serpico, Death Wish, Fort Apache the Bronx, The French Connection, and The Seven Ups went far in influencing my writing style and the characters that inhabit my book worlds.

I also play blues guitar, with some rock tossed into the mix. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert, B.B., and Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Hendrix, Jimmy Page... these are the guys that have heavily influenced my playing. I'm a total guitar junkie, if truth be told.

Oh, and there's the red wine. Old vine Zin, please, thank you!

Anyway, I would just like to say again how happy I am to be a part of this group of writers, and this publisher. I'm very many times blessed, and that's a fact.

Best, and see you again soon!



Robin Allen said...

Welcome, Robert! An interesting life makes for interesting books, and Mark's first adventure promises to be a great one.

Alan Orloff said...

Welcome aboard, Robert! Best of luck with UNKNOWN DAMAGE! Can't wait to read about Mark Mallen.

Deborah Sharp said...

Hiya, Robert ... looks like your book and character will add a bit of testosterone to Midnight Ink's estrogen mix (not that there's anything WRONG with estrogen!) We're thrilled to have you.Looking forward to meeting you in person soon. I'm in S. Fla 'bout you?

Unknown said...

Welcome, Robert! Look forward to reading Unknown Damage - sounds like Mark's a great new character on the mystery scene!

RkLewis said...

Robin: It reads better than it lives, hahahah. :-)

Alan: Thank you. Trust me when I say I can't wait for you to read Mallen, too.

Deborah: I grew up with three older sisters and a mother. No father in the house. So, I'm used to a LOT of estrogen, haha! I'm in Northern California, btw, but I'm sure we'll hook up at some point at a conference, etc. It's always great to meet other authors in person.

Sheila: Here's to hoping that a LOT of people feel as you do about Mallen. :-)

Shannon Baker said...

Welcome Robert. Hey, I just heard Fender Guitars is going public. You could own a piece of that!

RkLewis said...

I know, Shannon! I read that yesterday. I have a lovely 1987 Fender American Standard. I've had it for 25 years, and in a fire, that's what I grab.

Linda Hull said...

Welcome Robert,
I'm a newbie with MI myself. My first will come out in Spring 2013. I'll be looking forward to read Unknown Damage and meeting you at some point!

Lois Winston said...

Welcome, Robert! Best of luck with your series, and it's nice to see you joining us bloggers.

Robert K. Lewis said...

Linda: Nice! I think mine will be coming out Spring 2013, too. We can be nervous together, lol. :-)

Lois: Thank you! You guys have put together a great blog here.

Vicki Doudera said...

Hi Robert!

Thanks for joining us and sharing your intro. I love the blues... that's so cool that you play. Best of luck with UNKNOWN DAMAGE -- we'll all be watching for it.

Will you be at Left Coast Crime? I'm moderating a panel "A Small Sampling of Small Presses." Would be great to belly up to a real bar with you while there!

Beth Groundwater said...

Welcome, Robert!

Robert K. Lewis said...

Hi Vickie, you know... I've been toying with the idea of going. Just not sure if I can swing the money. BUT if I do go, I'll for sure let you know, cuz yeah, it would be great to meet my fellow Midnighters in person.

Beth: thank you very much! :-)

Kathleen Ernst said...

Welcome, Robert! So glad to have you join the MInker crew.