Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Novelist Jonathan Kellerman

AFTER many years as a child psychologist, and more than a decade of rejection slips for his literary endeavors, Jonathan Kellerman discovered a Ross MacDonald novel at a going-out-of-business sale.

Photo by Blake Little
That was about 30 years ago, and this week, Kellerman publishes the latest in his series of Alex Delaware crime thrillers. This one, Mystery, starts with the leveling of an old hotel in Beverly Hills and ventures into Internet prostitution and a whole nasty cast of characters.

I have an interview with Kellerman in today's LA Times in which he talks about his early years, his struggle to get published, his new book, how he stays so productive, and a family that includes authors Faye Kellerman and Aliza and Jesse Kellerman.

Kellerman pere was pleasantly suprised by his success, saying that the movies he likes don't make money. "I don't have commercial tastes."

The author also has a beautifully illustrated coffee-table book, With Strings Attached, on his other passion: vintage guitars. He's played since he was a teenager, and these days concentrates mostly on classical guitar, especially Bach.

Finally, several people I spoke to called Jesse Kellerman, a playwright and thriller writer of a more explicitly literary bent than his parents, the most talented of the bunch. Jesse, who is in his early 30s and lives in San Diego, said he gets tired of these comparisons. "But if I didn't want to listen to them," he told me, "I would have gone to law school."

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