Literary Birthday – 18 February – George Pelecanos

Happy Birthday, George Pelecanos, born 18 February 1957.

Seven Quotes

  1. If the storytellers told it true, all stories would end in death.
  2. For nine years I was a full-time independent film producer and wrote novels at night. Then I started to get offers to write for film and television, and I had to give something up. So here I am.  Life hasn’t slowed down for me.  If I’m not writing a novel or a film I’m doing magazine or newspaper work, or writing a short story.  I work seven days a week, and that’s fine. Retirement scares me more than death.
  3. I can’t listen to vocals when I write. The singing collides with the words racing through my head.
  4. Either you want to tell a story or you don’t. Do you want to draw attention to yourself and your own writing and your beautiful style or do you want to be invisible and let the story and the characters take over for the reader. That’s what it comes down to for me. What comes into it with crime is just conflicts. I like conflict in any kind of popular art. There is no greater conflict than life versus death, so there it is. I’m not that interested in the crime aspect of my books. I am interested in the characters.
  5. I do believe that a series should end after a few books. After that there is little credibility left for a character who seems to have no psychological scars after repeatedly participating in acts of violence. You should know when to get off the stage.
  6. The idea is to present the world the way it is, rather than the way people want it to be. Basically, I write the kinds of books I want to read.
  7. There’s a room in my house where my stereo, records, CDs, and books are housed. I spend a lot of time in that room, sitting in my chair beside the fireplace, reading and listening to music. Sometimes I just stand before the shelves and look at my books, because every single one of them means something to me. And sometimes I’ll take a book out and rub my hand across the cover, because it feels good to hold and touch a work of art (if the day comes when there are no more books, and reading is solely done on a screen, I’m out of the game).

George Pelecanos is an American author. He has written fifteen crime novels set in and around Washington, DC. Hell to Pay and Soul Circus won the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. An award-winning journalist and pop-culture essayist, he writes for the Washington Post. He is also a film and television producer and writer best known for the HBO series The Wire.

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 18th February 2013