James Ellroy on the Record
The darkest of the hard-boiled crime writers, James Ellroy, author of the blockbuster L.A. Confidential, has a past that would make a couple of good films. At age 10 his mother was murdered and crime was never solved. Ellroy wrote a book about the crime and it's effect on him called My Dark Places complete with crime scene photos. After his father's death when he was a teenager, he spent years living on L.A. streets, hand-to-mouth, thieving, drinking and drugging, until his late 20's when he joined A.A. and started writing. His first book was published when he was thirty. He is now promoting his latest book Destination Morgue! L.A. Tales, a collection of crime stories with inter-connected characters. Because he has been so open about his life, Ellroy tells the Sacramento Bee, "people think I'm crazy." Well no, but perhaps a tad disturbed? "I'm a completely disciplined, clean-living professional. Yeah. You can't write books like these with this kind of meticulousness without living a wholesome life devoted to diligence." There is no one like Ellroy for a brutal and uncompromising look at crime and those who fight it.