On October 10, Little, Brown publishes Blonde Faith, Walter Mosley’s 10th and possibly final novel to feature Los Angeles investigator Easy Rawlins.
Did you once say that the Easy Rawlins series would run five or perhaps seven books?
I messed around with that—sometimes I said nine.
There were more books to write—there was more to say.
It would be easy for a reader to construe the ending of Blonde Faith as the final chapter in the Easy Rawlins saga. Is that your intent?
You know, it’s certainly in my head. There are all kinds of things one could do. I could write about Easy earlier on, for example. There’s all kinds of things. But I’m not thinking about writing any more Easy Rawlins books at this time.
It would be hard to name a character that works harder at family than Easy or for whom family is more important. Yet family is always slipping away from him.
Easy makes a lot of mistakes, like many of us do. And he tries to make up for it—and does in his own way. You know Easy lives a tragic life. You know my Fearless Jones series? If Paris Minton or Fearless saves you, you’re going to be saved, you’re going to be happy, you get some money, the bad guys are going to be whipped. If Easy saves you, your life will probably be worse than if you had died.
Do you think there’s an intrinsic difference between the way blacks and whites view family or the concept of family?
The problem with that question is like you’re being a philosopher. You have to say, well, what are your terms? Who’s white? Who’s black? A lot of people weren’t considered white in America for a long time. The Irish, for instance. So the question is interesting at first, but then it becomes kind of moot because all kinds of families are different. The fact of loving your family and how you love them and how you take care of people may have, and I’m not sure about this, more to do with class than it does with race.
You’ve written 28 books in less than two decades, including mysteries, science fiction, erotica, young adult and nonfiction.
I think a lot of times you want to write a certain kind of story. To write that story you have to write in a different style. It’s one of the issues in America and in the modern world in general that makes people feel that they have to do the same thing. You have to specialize. I think a fuller person is going to want to do all different kinds of work.
Are you touring with Blonde Faith?
I am. I don’t usually tour, but you know this one is very likely the last Easy, and I feel like I kind of owe him something.
I really feel that this is the best Easy Rawlins novel, which makes me happy to kind of go out on it. It’s not that it’s my favorite book, I think it’s my best novel. And I’ve never said that before.