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Robert Azmitia

"Mr. Robertson said I should come over."
Kendall Robertson was a deputy managing editor and Kramer's right hand hack. They were moving quickly. I had gotten pinked no more than fifteen minutes earlier and already my replacement had come knocking.
"Tell you what," I said. "It's Friday afternoon, Angela, and I just got laid off. So let's not start this now. Let's get together on Monday morning, okay? We can meet for coffee and then I'll take you around Parker Center to meet some people. Will that be okay?"
"Yeah, sure. And, um, sorry, you know?"
"Thank you, Angela, but it's okay. I think it'll end up being the best thing for me anyway. But if you're still feeling sorry for me you could come over to the Short Stop tonight and buy me a drink."
She smiled and got embarrassed because she and I both knew that wasn't going to happen. Inside the newsroom and out, the new generation didn't mix with the old. Especially not with me. I was history and she had no time or inclination to associate with the ranks of the fallen. Going to the Short Stop tonight would be like visiting a leper colony.
"Well, maybe some other time," I said quickly. "I'll see you Monday morning, okay?"
"Monday morning. And I'll buy the coffee."
She smiled and I realized that she was indeed the one who should take Kramer's advice and try TV.
She turned to go.
"Oh, and Angela?"
"What?"
"Don't call him Mr. Robertson. This is a newsroom, not a law firm. And most of those guys in charge? They don't deserve to be called mister. Remember that and you'll do okay here."
She smiled again and left me alone. I pulled my chair in close to my computer and opened a new document. I had to crank out a murder story before I could get out of the newsroom and go drown my sorrows in red wine.


–Excerpt from The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

   
  1. What do you love about being a writer?
    You don't have to rely on anyone else to do it. You either do it yourself or you don't.


  2. What is your biggest challenge as a writer?
    Starting a book is always daunting.


  3. If you were not a writer, what other profession would you want to pursue?
    I'd like to build houses.


  4. In your opinion, what is the most influential crime novel of the last 100 years?
    The Big Sleep.


  5. Which fictional hero do you admire or despise the most?
    I probably admire my own character Harry Bosch the most. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have been able to write about him for 20 years.


  6. After writing, how do you spend the rest of your time?
    Thinking about writing.


  7. What city or location has the most impact on your writing?
    Definitely Los Angeles.


  8. Do your books have a message?
    If so, it would be very subtle and basic. Fairness. Harry Bosch has a simple code: Everybody counts or nobody counts. I think that's a pretty good message.


  9. What are you currently reading?
    Stephen King's next book, Under the Dome.


  10. If you could meet any person (living or dead), who would that be?
    Raymond Chandler.


  11. What is your greatest vice?
    Putting writing ahead of everything else.


  12. What is your greatest extravagance?
    Cars.


  13. What is your idea of misery?
    Being stuck on a plane on the runway.


  14. What is your idea of happiness?
    Watching my daughter play when she doesn't know I am watching her.

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