Interview with M.A. Rothman, Author of The Inside Man
08 Jul 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Inside Man?
Other than what the blurb says, it really is a story about Levi Yoder, who happens to be a member of a New York mafia family, but is characterized as an angel in wolf’s clothing. He does the right things, but some of the cops may not exactly like how he does it.
This particular book has a serious theme, and in fact starts with a real (footnoted) Senate subcommittee testimonial about Child Sex Trafficking. It seems like a harsh way to start a book, but the story does touch on the topic with the kidnapping of a Japanese mob boss’s grandchild, and it evolves from there.
The book itself deals with the criminal aspects of kidnapping and how Levi can help recover the lost child, and along the way, maybe help a lot more.
The book was actually inspired by real events. Many years ago when I was in college, the young sister of a close friend of mine from North Africa was kidnapped and a victim of trafficking. The effect it had on my friend and his family left an indelible impression on me, and was the seed for writing this book. In fact, during the sale of this title (July 8th through the 15th) I am giving all the proceeds from the sales to a charity called Operation Underground Railroad. Its mission is to combat child trafficking and exploitation.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’m an accidental author. Meaning that I didn’t ever think of being an author or even of writing stories, it just happened soon after I had kids. I began telling stories for bedtime and when they became elaborate enough that I was having trouble keeping track of things, I began writing down notes. Notes became outlines, outlines became drafts, and eventually I was writing novels.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
I love Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, so in a nutshell, that’s 4 of my favorite books.
As to a contemporary set of titles, I can’t necessarily pick one, but I’m a big fan of authors such as David Baldacci, Lee Child, Clive Cussler, the classics in Science Fiction like Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Isaac Asimov, etc.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Can I be a necromancer and resurrect dead people? If so, J.R.R. Tolkien. And I know he was a linguist, but I would probably ask him some dark technical questions about his intermingling of languages (ones he created) with his books. What led him down that path? Would he do it all over again?
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Nothing. I hate it. You’d be crazy to do it.
But yet I do it anyway.
I suppose, in all seriousness, I settled on the genre of hard Science Fiction and techno thrillers, largely because it agrees with my natural yearning for knowledge. I have to research details all the time, and I enjoy that immensely. I’m not sure how much I enjoy the writing process, but I actually think I might be a minority in that I enjoy editing quite a bit. It’s work, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. It’s work to write a novel, especially if you’re trying to make it any good.
What is a typical day like for you?
Wake up at 3am, start writing, finish at 6am, then go to main job, then come home and to bed by around 9pm. Crazy, eh?
What scene in The Inside Man was your favorite to write?
There’s plenty of scenes that I enjoyed writing, but I’ll be honest, I try to write ending that are memorable and leave you wanting more. So, I’ll be honest and even though I had the general idea of how I was ending the book, the ending I gave it was literally done in the last minute. It just came to me, and set things up for the book that follows (which will be on pre-order).
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Let no excuse be a barrier to your success.
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