1) So, who are you & what have you written?
I’m Earl Javorsky, an L.A. transplant, now living in San Diego. I have written three novels. Down Solo and Down to No Good (releases in early November) are Charlie Miner books. Charlie is a PI that inexplicably revives after being killed and then goes on to solving murders, including his own. He is memory- and cognitively impaired, so he creates problems as fast as he solves them. Both books borrow from the supernatural genre only to the extent that, generally, people don’t reanimate their bodies and continue daily life. Otherwise, they’re more or less straightforward (well, slightly convoluted) Chandleresque mysteries.
Trust Me is a much more conventional novel, centering around a serial predator in the L.A. recovery community.
2) Why do you write crime fiction?
My dad used to have a stack of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine issues on his toilet tank. I would steal and devour them. Then, from twenty to thirty-six, I was on a career track in the chemical entertainment industry, so I collected a lot of first-hand material about the world of crime.
3) What informs your crime writing?
Trust Me is based on a real character, a psychiatrist in his sixties who “mentored” attractive young women he found at recovery meetings. In fact, his goal was to have sex with them. It was inappropriate and unattractive, but he wasn’t a killer until he got in my book.
In the Charlie Miner books, I explore what has always fascinated me: the mind-body connection (and disconnection) and the idea of consciousness—what is it and what happens when it’s compromised by drugs and alcohol, or trauma?
4) What’s your usual writing routine?
Best described as a lack of routine. I suffer from the usual distractions— social media, the internet in general, a basketball obsession (playing, not watching), reading, work (editing and proofreading)—and will, when inspired, collect thoughts about characters, what might happen if I put them in a particular situation, location, structure, and miscellaneous ideas. Eventually, I organise these and go to work, usually in unscheduled manic spurts.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
So many candidates here, but one novel jumps out: Tropic of Night, by Michael Gruber. I think it is brilliantly structured, and it explores the subjects I mentioned above, the mind-body problem and the mystery of consciousness. Also, it treads a delicate line between straightforward, real-world mystery and an exploration of magic and the supernatural; you never quite know what’s real, but the possibilities are tantalising. And, besides a great plot, a terrific protagonist (Detective Jimmy Paz), and exotic locations (Florida, Africa, Siberia), it brings shamanism, exotic psychotropic drugs, and philosophical speculation into the mix, all the while maintaining a noirish tone and avoiding pretentiousness.
Come to think of it, I haven’t realised until right now how much that book informed my own writing!