My second-to-last Burn Notice novel,"The Reformed", comes out today, to be followed this summer by my last Burn Notice novel, "The Bad Beat," so in honor of that, and because my ego demands that I tell you all every small, insignificant detail about my life, here's a bit of background information about the writing of the book. (If you'd like signed copies of the book -- or any of my books, for that matter -- I suggest you contact the fine people at The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles: They'll have signed copies after this weekend. And if you live in Los Angeles, I'll be doing a booksigning this Saturday at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks at 2pm, along with my brother Lee, who'll be signing his latest Monk book.)
1. The client's name is Eduardo Santiago. He's a Cuban gangster who has been....wait for it...reformed. I don't know a lot of Cubans. But one I do know is the excellent writer Eduardo Santiago, author of Tomorrow They Will Kiss and a former student of mine. So when I started the book, I used his name as sort of a place holder for another non-Eduardo Santiago name. But then, after 300-some pages of him being Eduardo Santiago, well, he became Eduardo Santiago for good. Sorry Eduardo.
2. There's a hard-as-nails-and-other-cliches-friend of Sam's named Chris Alessio. Chris and I went to elementary and middle school together and then I didn't seem him for 25 years. When I finally did see him, I found out he was damn near a professional paintball player and wrote extensively on paintball stuff for a variety of different magazines. So when I needed information about paintball markers and needed a hard-as-nails-etc bad ass, he became Chris Alessio.
3. Julia Pistell, whose name appears in this book as a person who has had their identity stolen, went to graduate school with me and is one of the best humans alive. She happened to be visiting Wendy and me last January, when I was in the middle of the book, but didn't have a title yet. However, the fine people at Penguin needed a title and needed it right now, except that right now happened to be while Julia, Wendy and I were eating lunch at a deli in Palm Desert. So I said to Wendy and Julia, hey, anyone got a title? And Julia came up with The Reformed. (This was after The Godfather was rejected.)
4. I finished writing this book last March. I started it in December 2009. So, at that point, I'd read the scripts through the middle of season 3. I tell you this so when I get the inevitable email from someone asking me why X happened when Y happened in Season 4, I can remind them that Season 4 didn't exist when I wrote this book, even though it does now (which is why Jesse isn't in the book). Generally, as with all the books I've written in the Burn Notice series, I try to keep them evergreen so they don't work in lockstep with the seasons and can be read any time.
5. There are swear words in this book. Just to clarify my position on you being offended by swear words: Oh, go fuck yourself. This isn't a kids book. Nut the fuck up. You don't like it? Don't buy the fucking book. Really. Have a great day!