Sunday, April 22, 2007

Getting the Last Word

My novel THE LAST WORD is coming out next week... it's the eighth and final book in my tie-in series based on DIAGNOSIS MURDER, a show I also wrote and produced. Reviews are starting to come in and some fans/critics are surprised and a bit shocked by what I wrote. Some have called it "too dark."

I don't think it's any darker than THE PAST TENSE (#5) or THE DOUBLE LIFE (#7)...the other books in what I like to think of as an "unofficial" trilogy. It was certainly my intent with THE LAST WORD -- as well as PAST TENSE and DOUBLE LIFE -- to explore, as deeply as I could, Dr. Mark Sloan and to make him more than just a one-dimensional TV character, a "doctor who solves crimes." Over those three books, and to a lesser degree in THE SHOOTING SCRIPT (#3), I was intentionally confronting/deconstructing the ridiculous conceits of the series in a backwards attempt to make the implausible, underlying concept more believable and, by extension, the characters more real. I know that sounds pretentious, but I like to think that's what made these books read more like novels than simply knock-offs of a TV show...and why I was lucky enough to enjoy so much critical praise for them.

If I ever decide to do more DM books, the resolution of THE LAST WORD opens the door to go in a new direction which...after being involved in four seasons of DM as a writer/producer and as the author of eight books...I am ready to do. I think I have taken this particular format and these relationships about as far as they can go.

I'm curious to know what you think. Is THE LAST WORD a fitting end for the series? Or did I go too far?

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