Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and sixty-fourth, is of multi-genre author Preston Lang. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Preston Lang is a native of New York City and a product of its public school system. He’s written articles and plays in addition to novels, and he’s held a wide variety of jobs, each of which he’s found instructive. Moving furniture taught him that some extremely strong men can be close to useless on a big job. As a mathematics instructor he learned that a lot of people find negative numbers a little bit silly and embarrassing. Selling footwear taught him that a shoehorn can be a dangerous but probably not a deadly weapon. As a lounge pianist he learned that even if a few of the keys are broken, you can still figure out a way to play the song. In the fish canneries he learned that it’s not important to have pretty shoes.
He started reading crime fiction at a young age, starting with Donald Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown series, which made Lang very angry. For those who don’t know Encyclopedia Brown, he was a smug, small-town boy detective who solved mysteries with his ostensibly enormous intellect and a hired thug named Sally Kimball.
So from the age of nine the desire to exculpate the criminal was pretty strong in Lang—that and the desire to simply commit the crime better in the first place. Crime fiction was probably the best place for someone like him to end up.
He’s happily married to a dangerous, fast-talking Canadian. Recently she pointed out to Lang that the fact that Donald Sobol was able to infuriate him so much with children’s genre fiction probably means that the man was a genius.
His debut crime novel, The Carrier, is out now from 280 Steps.
And now from the author himself: Read the rest of this entry »