Meet the Thriller Author is a podcast that features interviews with bestselling authors of Mystery, Thriller & Suspense books. It's hosted by Thriller Author, Reader, and Fan Alan Petersen.
MTTA 123: Otto Penzler
Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction.
He founded The Mysterious Press in 1975. He sold it to Warner Books in 1989. He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.
Penzler is a prolific editor, and has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven–the group’s highest non-writing award–in 2003.
I first came to know Otto’s work a few years ago, when I purchased
The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories which he edited.
His latest book is The Big Book of Espionage which features great stories from Lee Child, Charles McCarry, Ian Fleming, Eric Ambler, Sara Paretsky, and Jeffrey Deaver (just to name a few). It’s out now, I highly recommend this anthology.
As a fan of Otto’s work and as someone who has been at the forefront of the mystery/crime fiction/thriller genre for fifty years, I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview him about his work, book shop, mysteries, spy stories, and a lot more.
Other Books Edited by Otto Penzler
Connect with Otto Penzler
If you’re in New York City make sure to visit Otto’s Mysterious Bookshop.
Ott’s publishing company, MysteriousPress.com.
Check out Otto’s Mysterious Bookshop Gift Guide 2020. Great gift ideas for mystery/thriller/true crime lovers!
Podcast Transcript from Otto Penzler interview.
Please note, I’m using software to transcribe. It does a decent job, and I do a quick pass to clean it up, but it might not be perfect.
[00:00:00.285] – Alan Petersen
You are listening to Meet the Thriller Author, the podcast where I interview Writers of Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense Books. I’m your host, Alan Peterson, and this is episode number one hundred and twenty three. In this episode of the podcast, we’ll be meeting Otto Penzler, who is the Edgar Award winning editor of 16 Vintage Crime Black Lizard anthologies including The Black Lizard, Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, The Big Book of Jack the Ripper. And that’s just to name a few. He is back with a new anthology that has gathered the intel on the world’s greatest secret agents declassified in these pages for the very first time. The big book of espionage is out now, and it has it all state secrets, double agents, leaks Otto Penzler brings you all this and more with his latest title in the big book series. These are great stories from Lee Child and Charles McCarry, just to name a couple. He’s really pulled these stories from the shadows and into the light for the first time. So it’s really fantastic. Really had a great time chatting with Otto Penzler about his anthologies,
MTTA 122: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
Jennifer is a screenwriter, author, speaker, and forensic specialist who aims to shed light and hope in the dark places of the human experience.
The television or movie screen is the closest most people will ever come to witnessing the forensic world. But Jennifer actually lived it. As a daughter of a medical examiner whose office was in our home, she investigated my first fatality, an airplane crash, when she was 8 years old, picking up pieces of skull and brain matter with her father who simply saw it as an anatomy lesson. This would be the first of many coroner lessons she experienced over two decades.
After careers in journalism and teaching, Jennifer turned seriously to screenwriting where she began to connect her coroner world to her writing world. She sought out a degree at the Forensic Science Academy in Los Angeles to gain more forensic training and earn the friendship of LA’s top CSIs, fingerprint specialists, DNA scientists, and detectives.
Today, she lives in Los Angeles and works as a screenwriter, author, speaker and forensic specialist.
Books by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
A Coroner’s Daughter Mystery Series
Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas
Cold Case Foundation
Hole in the Woods Trailer
MTTA 121: Danny Gardner
From his beginnings as a young stand-up comedian (Def Comedy Jam All-Stars vol. 12), Danny Gardner has enjoyed careers as an actor, director, and screenwriter.
His latest book is ACE BOON COON which is the second book in the “Tales of Eliot Caprice” series featuring disgraced Chicago Police Officer Elliot Caprice who is caught between two worlds — black and white — Black and Jewish organized crime — in the 1950s Chicago.
Danny also founded Bronzeville Books, an independent publisher focused on elevating voices and stories that have long been underrepresented and need to be told.
I had a great time talking to Danny Gardner about crime fiction and thrillers that are gritty and pulpy and about publishing the work of Black creatives and people from other underrepresented groups who specialize in mystery, crime, suspense, romance and adventure.
Other Books by Danny Gardner
Other author mentioned: Les Edgerton, Chester Himes, S.A. Cosby, Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist), Cormac McCarthy
HBO’s Perry Mason and Lovecraft Country. FX’s Fargo (set in 1950s Kansas City).
MTTA 120: K.A. Perry
K. A. Perry brings a unique perspective to her environmental thrillers. Her ability to utilize nature as the catalyst to keep her plot moving, and drive the character’s pursuit of the truth, stems from her own appreciation and love of nature. Time spent in nature is restorative for many folks, and this tenet is an underlying theme of K.A. Perry’s writing.
Although K.A. Perry grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, she now lives in Connecticut with her husband and 4 children.
Her environmental thriller, The Green Beach File was published in July.
Show Notes and Links
Authors mentioned: Michael Crichton, Lisa Scottoline, Kurt Vonnegut, Linda Fairstein, Carl Hiaasen, Nevada Barr.
The Public Trust Doctrine.
Video Version of the Interview
MTTA 119: Dan Padavona
Dan Padavona has written horror and thriller novels. He’s the author of the bestselling Darkwater Cove Psychological Thriller series.
The latest book in that series DON’T BREATHE will be published on October 29th.
Dan Padavona was born and raised in Cortland, New York, not far from the Finger Lakes region. He lives in Upstate New York with his family.
He’s a meteorologist with the United States government. He published his first novel (horror genre) in 2014.
During the interview we talked about writing serial killer and psychological thrillers, horror, all while working full time as a meteorologist and still finding the time to write, publish, and market his books.
I enjoyed talking to Dan about his writing process, his books, famous father, and a lot more, so check it out.
Latest Book by Dan Padanova
Other Books by Dan Padanova
Show Notes and Resources
Authors mentioned: Thomas Harris, T.R. Ragan, L.T. Vargus, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Sanford, and Patrick Rothfuss who’s an author that influenced and inspired Dan to write his own books.
Tools of the trade: Scrivener to write. We also talked about Vellum a wonderful app for formatting print and digital books easy as pie.
We talked about book marketing with Facebook and Amazon ads. Dan has a great post about that here.
Dan’s active on GoodReads as a reader and author.
My interview with Dean Koontz (click here) and T.R. Ragan (click here).
Video version of the Dan Padanova interview
MTTA 118: Rick Mofina
Rick Mofina is a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row, flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD and patrolled with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic. He’s also reported from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, the Caribbean, and Kuwait’s border with Iraq. His true-crime freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Telegraph (London, U.K.), Reader’s Digest, Penthouse, Marie Claire, The Moscow Times and The South China Morning Post, (Hong Kong). He has written more than 20 crime fiction thrillers that have been published in nearly 30 countries, including an illegal translation produced in Iran.
His work has been praised by James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Louise Penny, Tess Gerritsen, Jeffery Deaver, Sandra Brown, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Nick Stone, David Morrell, Allison Brennan, Heather Graham, Linwood Barclay, Peter Robinson, Håkan Nesser and Kay Hooper.
As a two-time winner of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award, a four-time Thriller Award finalist and a two-time Shamus Award finalist, the Library Journal calls him, “One of the best thriller writers in the business.”
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announced the Barry Award Winners of this year’s Barry Awards during the Virtual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, and Rick’s novel,
MISSING DAUGHTER, won the 2020 Barry Award for Best Paperback Original Mystery/Crime Novel.
Rick Mofina lives in Ottawa, Canada. (Bio from RickMofina.com)
Rick Mofina’s Latest Book
Other Books by Rick Mofina