John Searles is an American writer and book critic. He authored the bestselling Boy Still Missing, Strange But True and Help For The Haunted. The latter won the American Library Association Alex Award, was named as an Amazon Top 10 Mystery and Suspense Novel of 2013, a Boston Globe Top 10 Crime Novel of 2013, and an Entertainment Weekly Top Ten Must Read.
His essays, articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and other national newspapers and magazines and he contributes frequently to morning television shows as a book critic. He is based in New York City.
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An Interview with John Searles
Are there any parallels between your own arrival in New York City and
Like Philip, I had a very colorful introduction to New York City. For years, I lived upstairs from an eccentric Village character who existed on a steady diet of martinis and cigarettes. I'd run into him in the hallway some days and he'd be dressed in a woman's blouse for no apparent reason. So he was an obvious inspiration for Donnelly. Thankfully, he didn't have a pet bird, because I happen to have a terrible phobia of birds as does Philip.
How do you approach the process of writing fiction, compared to your work at Cosmopolitan?
Both experiences are so different. At Cosmo, my work is part of a huge group effort each month, whereas my writing is done in solitude for long stretches of time until I am ready to share the story with my editor. Still, I approach both things with a great deal of focus while trying to maintain a sense of humor about myself and not take things too seriously.
Do you find it challenging or liberating (or both) to create such high-strung suspense in your storytelling?
Both. Since I love to read books with three-dimensional characters and compelling storylines...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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