Camera Q&A: Walter Mosley on adapting his novels for the screen, by Christian Niedan
Walter Mosley is a New York City-based author, whose 37+ book literary career goes back to 1990′s Devil in a Blue Dress. That novel kicked off a series revolving around detective Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins — a Black resident of the Watts section of Los Angeles, whose continuing story begins in 1948, and (with the May 2013 release of his 12th story,Little Green) has progressed to 1967. Mosley also created the character of ex-convict Socrates Fortlow, the modern-day protagonist of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, and two other novels. Both Rawlins and Fortlow were adapted for the screen in the 1990s. Denzel Washington portrayed Rawlins in 1995′s Devil in a Blue Dress, directed by Carl Franklin. Laurence Fishburne portrayed Fortlow in 1998′s Always Outnumbered, directed by Michael Apted for HBO. During production Mosley met producer Diane Houslin, and in 2012 they partnered to launch a new production company: Best of Brooklyn Filmhouse. Other Mosley creations include Fearless Jones, portrayed by Bill Nunn in the final episode of Showtime’s anthology series, Fallen Angels. He has also authored several science-fiction stories — the latest being The Gift of Fire andOn the Head of a Pin, which were released together by Tor Hardcover in May, 2012. Camera In The Sun interviewed Mosley in the summer of 2012, as he was editing Little Green, and discussed how his books have been adapted for the screen — including past and future versions of Easy Rawlins.
Read the rest of the interview here »
The dates have been announced for the Little Green National Author tour, May-June 2013 in the following cities; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Scottsdale, St. Louis, Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Brooklyn, New York, Washington DC.
Browse the Events Calendar (to the right) or click “Appearances” to see a list of readings in your area.
Walter Mosley. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, $9.99 e-book (279p) ISBN 978-0-345-80444-0
Many of Mosley’s heroes are men who are or have been brutal and are certainly still dangerous—men like Fearless Jones, Leonid McGill, Easy Rawlins, and Easy’s friend, Raymond “Mouse” Alexander—and all have their redeeming qualities. Xavier “Ecks” Rule may be the worst, having “beaten, raped, and murdered my brothers and sisters,” until he meets Father Frank, whose Seabreeze City, Calif., congregation consists of 96 similarly lost souls. Father Frank gives Ecks a mission to aid Benol Richards, who as a young woman 23 years earlier helped her lover, Brayton Starmon, kidnap and sell three babies. Now Benol wants to make amends, and Ecks reluctantly agrees to help. Sordid tales mingle with trials, redemptions, and philosophy grounded in gritty experiences as Ecks follows cold clues into hot action. Ecks’s world is populated with some of Mosley’s most colorful and memorable characters, from Father Frank, who never invokes God, to the edgy parishioners who make up his flock. No Mosley fan should risk missing this scintillating novel. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins Loomis Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on 02/01/2013 | Details & Permalink
A brand-new, eBook original crime novel from bestselling author Walter Mosley, Parishioner is a portrait of a hardened criminal who regrets his past, but whose only hope for redemption is to sin again.
In a small town situated between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, a simple church of white stone sits atop a hill on the coast. This nameless house of worship is a sanctuary for the worst kinds of sinners: the congregation and even the clergy have broken all ten Commandments and more. Now they have gathered to seek forgiveness. Xavier Rule—Ecks to his friends—didn’t come to California in search of salvation but, thanks to the grace of this church, he has begun to learn to forgive himself and others for past misdeeds. One day a woman arrives to seek absolution for the guilt she has carried for years over her role in a scheme to kidnap three children and sell them on the black market. As part of atoning for his past life on the wrong side of the law, Ecks is assigned to find out what happened to the abducted children. As he follows the thin trail of the twenty-three-year-old crime, he must struggle against his old, lethal instincts—and learn when to give in to them.
Vintage; Available December 18, 2012; Random House Digital, Inc.
GIFT OF FIRE / ON THE HEAD OF A PIN
Coming from Tor Hardcover
On-sale: May 8, 2012
The Gift of Fire
In ancient mythology, the Titan Prometheus was punished by the gods for bringing man the gift of fire—an event that set humankind on its course of knowledge. As punishment for making man as powerful as gods, Prometheus was bound to a rock; every day his immortal body was devoured by a giant eagle. But in The Gift of Fire, those chains cease to be, and the great champion of man walks from that immortal prison into presentday South Central Los Angeles.
On the Head of a Pin
Joshua Winterland and Ana Fried are working at Jennings-Tremont Enterprises when they make the most important discovery in the history of this world—or possibly the next. JTE is developing advanced animatronics editing techniques to create high-end movies indistinguishable from live action. Longdead stars can now share the screen with today’s A-list. But one night Joshua and Ana discover something lingering in the rendered footage…an entity that will lead them into a new age beyond the reality they have come to know.
By Walter Mosley, Special to CNN
updated 8:26 AM EST, Thu January 26, 2012
GOP candidate Newt Gingrich appears at a campaign event on January 25 in Cocoa, Florida
Editor’s note: Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 books, including the mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins and his latest featuring Leonid McGill. He has won an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His newest book is “All I Did Was Shoot My Man” (Riverhead Books).
(CNN) – Newt Gingrich is a political opportunist. His job is to pack as much powerfully charged meaning into every sentence as he can, which makes him a working poet. So he knows full well that calling someone a “food stamp president” brings up the working person’s fear, looming reality, and in some cases the actual experience, of unemployment — while making a shout-out to racism and affixing a stigma to poverty. All the while hiding behind the symbol of a flag.
By James H. Burnett III | JANUARY 25, 2012
Given his potent combination of wildly colorful yet believable characters, it’s understandable that some fans of novelist Walter Mosley have yet to forgive him for apparently killing off Easy Rawlins, his most popular character, in the 2007 bestseller “Blonde Faith.’’
Rawlins was, fans argued, not just a character they could envision through Mosley’s words, but also a character they could relate to, one they wish they could have known.
Illustration by Christoph Niemann
By Marilyn Stasio, Published: January 20, 2012
A big city never looks the same once you’ve walked its streets with a hard-boiled private eye. Preferably someone as perceptive and thoughtful as Leonid McGill, the shady but honorable bruiser-for-hire in an addictive series of New York crime novels by Walter Mosley. A former mob fixer who has gone straight, McGill doesn’t so much walk the city as case it for danger. Keeping pace with him is as much an education as an adventure.
Mosley comes from the Raymond Chandler pick-up-sticks school of plot construction, so like the three previous books in this series, ALL I DID WAS SHOOT MY MAN (Riverhead, $26.95) is quirky by design. The inspired title comes from the mouth of Zella Grisham, who shot her boyfriend when she caught him in her bed — “under the quilt that my Aunt Edna made for me” — with her best friend. Although the no-good cheater survived, Zella did eight years hard time on evidence planted by McGill that falsely implicated her in the $58 million robbery of a Wall Street firm. Having engineered her early release, he thinks he has atoned for one more of the past crimes that still haunt him — until hit men start coming after Zella, looking for the heist money she supposedly squirreled away.
Astrid Stawiarz/GETTY IMAGES – Novelist Walter Mosley attends the 25th annual Brooklyn tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.
By Kevin Nance, Published: January 20
As Bill Clinton pointed out just before being elected president in 1992, the crime novels of Walter Mosley are first and foremost crackling good stories, full of mystery, suspense and prose like good soul food: hearty, stick-to-your-ribs sentences with a spicy aftertaste. Their nutrient value is fortified — particularly in the case of the books featuring the African American sleuths Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins and Fearless Jones, both set in Los Angeles in the 1950s — by layers of insight into race relations in a time when a black detective’s life was never in so much danger as when he stepped into a bar full of white people.
Read the rest…
Available January 24, 2012
In the latest and most surprising novel in the bestselling Leonid McGill series, Leonid finds himself caught between his sins of the past and an all-too-vivid present.
Seven years ago, Zella Grisham came home to find her man, Harry Tangelo, in bed with her friend. The weekend before, $6.8 million had been stolen from Rutgers Assurance Corp., whose offices are across the street from where Zella worked. Zella didn’t remember shooting Harry, but she didn’t deny it either. The district attorney was inclined to call it temporary insanity-until the police found $80,000 from the Rutgers heist hidden in her storage space.
For reasons of his own, Leonid McGill is convinced of Zella’s innocence. But as he begins his investigation, his life begins to unravel. His wife is drinking more than she should. His oldest son has dropped out of college and moved in with an exprostitute. His youngest son is working for him and trying to stay within the law. And his father, whom he thought was long dead, has turned up under an alias.
A gripping story of murder, greed, and retribution, All I Did Was Shoot My Man is also the poignant tale of one man’s attempt to stay connected to his family.