How I Wrote KING CITY by Lee Goldberg
Ed here: Lee Goldberg is one of those few writers who've done it all--magazine writing, novels, short stories, tie-ins, books on writing and writing for television and movies. He's also been a producer and director. And I'm sure I'm forgetting some other form. His Monk tie-ins are at least as strong as the tv series best and sometimes even better. He's written two of my all-time favorite novels The Man With The Iron-On Badge and The Walk. His latest novel is King City which in juicy detail he talks about here. I enjoyed the hell out of this and you will too.
Here's an essay I posted on this blog in August about the writing process behind the book...
I've written over thirty novels, and my process with all of them was pretty much the same. I had an idea, I wrote a bullet-point outline, and I started writing the book, revising my outline along the way (I call them "living outlines," since I usually finish writing them a few days before I complete my manuscripts). But the process of writing KING CITY, my new standalone crime novel, was entirely different.
KING CITY began as a TV series pitch that I took all over Hollywood four or five years ago. It generated some interest but ultimately didn't lead to anything. So I put it in a drawer and moved on.
But the idea nagged at me anyway and I began to think KING CITY might make a better book than a screenplay. So, between MONK novels three years ago, I wrote 200 pages and a broad-strokes outline for the rest of the book.
I sent the proposal to my agent and began writing my next MONK book. The first place she sent KING CITY to was Penguin/Putnam, my MONK publisher, because she felt certain they'd snap it up. Between DIAGNOSIS MURDER and MONK, I'd written twenty-some novels for them. We knew that they liked me and my work, which had been successful for them, so we didn't think they'd see KING CITY as much of a gamble.
But they passed, surprising us both. My agent felt the rejection was less about me or the book than the way the business had changed. Mid-list authors were being dropped, editors were being fired, and the days of selling book proposals was over. If I wanted to sell KING CITY, I'd have to write the whole book and then shop it around.
I wasn't wild about that idea. If editors who knew me and my work well didn't find the first 200 pages compelling enough to merit an offer, I doubted that reading the whole novel would change their minds. And if these editors, folks I'd worked with for years, weren't willing to gamble on me, why would someone else?
for the rest go here: