In Edgar-finalist Michael Koryta's Envy the Night, a stand-alone thriller, Frank Temple III struggles to come to terms with the violent legacy of his father, a government agent turned gun for hire.
What made you decide to write a stand-alone after three Lincoln Perry books?
I certainly wasn't burned out on Lincoln as a character, but I did feel a sense of fatigue over the consistency of the form I'd been working with (first-person detective novel). I wanted to use multiple points of view to write a crime novel that was ultimately about family and the burden and impact of legacies, as well as the terrible danger of a sustained lie.
What sort of research do you do for your work?
I've worked as a reporter and a private investigator, so a lot of background knowledge was provided on the job. I've never been shy about seeking out experts and asking questions. For Envy the Night, much of my “research” came in the form of summer fishing trips with my father over the years that allowed me to become familiar with the area and see the potential for a story.
Do you write full-time now or are you still doing PI work?
I still do PI work part-time, for the same investigator who went out of his way to mentor me when I was 16 years old. He's been extremely supportive and accommodating toward my writing career, allowing me to do what I can, when I can, and all of those experiences are grist for the mill.
Are people surprised to find out how young you are, especially since you published Tonight I Said Goodbye when you were 21?
The age element has been a constant factor in my career, and it's a double-edged sword. Some people are intrigued due to my youth, some unfairly quick to dismiss the work due to it. I'm used to being the youngest person in the room—I was as a newspaper reporter, as a PI, as a novelist—and it isn't something that receives any of my attention. I feel like I got a head start in doing what I've always wanted to do, and that's a sacred opportunity.
What's next for you?
I've finished a first draft of the next Lincoln Perry novel, to be called The Silent Hour, which should be out next summer. It was a pleasure to return to those characters after leaving them in a state of flux at the end of A Welcome Grave.