By Brian Feinblum, MEDIA CONNECT Chief Marketing Officer
I have known Saul Warshaw for almost 15 years, having worked together at MEDIA CONNECT/Finn Partners. I never would have guessed a man of numbers and figures secretly wanted to launch a writing career. His latest book delivers something special for fans of crime dramas.
MEDIA CONNECT: What inspired you to write your latest novel, A Killing in Business?
Saul Warshaw: Nothing inspirational. Just pragmatism. I’d finished the previous novel –Killing Memories. And I’d always figured this would be at least a three, or maybe even a five novel series. So, it was time to work on A Killing in Business.
MC: You didn’t start writing books until late in life. Is this a second career for you?
SW: Actually, I wrote my first novel about 1960. Because I figured I could write as well as Harold Robbins. Well, one year and 688 pages later, I learned how wrong I was. Never got anywhere with that book. I’ve still got it. Don’t know why. But I can’t let it go.
Is writing a second career? Hardly. Too old for that. Happy in my first career, with writing mystery novels being what I would describe as a very satisfying avocation.
MC: What do you love/hate about the writing and researching process?
SW: Lots of love – no hate. I don’t have a hard time at all, sitting down and writing. Indeed, and I know this sort of kicks the hell out of that image of the struggling writer – I enjoy the writing process. Wow! Seeing those words flowing from my brain to that screen in front of me? That’s a real treat! And as for researching my facts? Well, Google has certainly changed that task. It’s so easy to find what you need.
MC: What do you believe are the key elements to a great novel?
SW: There are three key elements – plot, plot and plot. Of course, engaging dialog is important. And so is the ability to make your characters real and believable. But to me, it’s the plot that’s the key — the glue that holds everything together.
MC: Which writers do you most admire? Why?
SW: Confining myself to books I’ve read over the past few years, in the general fiction category, I’d vote for Gail Tsukiyama, Ken Follett, Isabel Allende, and C. J. Sanson. In mysteries, my favorites are Michael Connelly, Walter Mosely, Lawrence Block and Jonathan Kellerman. Why? Strong plots that really keep you reading and reading and reading.
MC: Why are people enamored with books about crimes and police stories?
SW: I don’t know about other people. But for me, I love this category because it is about stuff that I’d never dream of doing, but I sure would like to know what it would feel like. Pulling off a bank robbery? Killing someone? Or on the other side — solving those crimes? What a kick!
MC: Your book takes place in Los Angeles. Could the story be set anywhere or is there something unique about LA that draws the reader in?
SW: I think any book that is set in Los Angeles starts with an advantage. This is a city everyone wants to visit. It’s Hollywood. Malibu. Beverly Hills. And so, a casual reader might well be drawn to any book because it is set in Los Angeles. As for A Killing In Business, it had to be set in Los Angeles, because the plot would only be accurate in LA. Likewise, Killing Memories had to be set in New York. The plot is heavily dependent on New York — and especially the Lower East Side of the 1940’s and 50’s.
Saul Warshaw works in the accounting department of MEDIA CONNECT/Finn Partners. He began his professional career as a radio news journalist and newscaster. He joined Ruder Finn as a member of the company’s first intern class. In the mid-1970’s he was executive vice president of Ruder Finn, Inc. in New York. In 1978, he became president of Ruder Finn/Los Angeles. And in 1994, he was appointed credit director for Ruder Finn, Inc. He and his wife Vivian live in Los Angeles. In addition to writing mystery novels, Saul spends inordinate amounts of time on the golf course, attempting to match his score with his age, an achievement he knows he will never attain, but enjoys dreaming about.