Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Giveaway: Behind The Music

(From Tod Goldberg's blog)

My third Burn Notice book, The Giveaway, comes out today, so in honor of that, here are a few behind-the-scenes details:

1. Most of the characters in the book are named for real human beings. The client, Bruce Grossman, is one of the fine critics at Bookgasm.com, and as a thank you for him sending me a really great bootleg of a Replacements concert, he is now forever immortalized as an old bank robber with mommy issues. Likewise, one of Sam's buddies is a man named Rod Lott, which happens to be the name of the editor of Bookgasm.com. Rod's a great lover and champion of crime fiction, so I thought making him a strange friend of Sam's was only the right thing to do. Brenna Fender, yet another friend of Sam's, won a contest on the Burn Notice message board on the USA network site and now, well, now she's a bad ass.

2. This is the first book in the series that has the client's POV, for a little while at least. And thus far it's the only one, but who knows since I'm only 20 pages into the 5th book now. I've been tinkering more and more lately with how to do the other parts of the book that aren't in Michael's pov, so that the books have a bit more depth. So in this one you get Michael's pov, Fiona's, Sam's and the client's. Oh, and the car talks, too.

3. I finished this book in the summer of 2009, so if you're curious where my Burn Notice mindset was, I'd read the scripts up through the end of the second season and the first couple of episodes of season 3. As usual, however, I haven't attempted to integrate the burn notice management angle all that much, simply because by the time the book comes out -- i.e. today -- that part of the story has changed dramatically. I try to drop in small bits when I can so that readers who've seen all the episodes and read all the books will get some sense of continuity, but hopefully you can pick this book up if you've only seen last week's episode (whenever last week might be) and not be lost or confused.

4. A tiny plot point from this book became the genesis of my 4th Burn Notice book, called The Reformed, which is due out in January. Which was a good thing, because I had no fucking idea what I was going to write about next.

5. The plot for this book came to me one night while watching a documentary about the origin of biker gangs. I already knew that I wanted to write about a bank robber who robbed safe deposit boxes, but didn't know quite where that would lead me other than that I wanted him to rob a biker gang. Matt Nix suggested that he hit their stash house and it all came together.

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