An Interview with T. Jefferson Parker
Author of L.A. OUTLAWS and THE RENEGADES
T. Jefferson Parker is the prize-winning author of sixteen novels. His latest novel, The Renegades, the second crime novel to feature Deputy Sheriff Charlie Hood, will be published in February 2009. A native Californian, Parker’s crime novels are set in Southern California. For more information about Parker, visit his website www.tjeffersonparker.com
MF: Please describe THE RENEGADES for our readers
MF: Word is that this new series, L.A. OUTLAWS and THE RENEGADES has captured a wider reading audience than your previous novels. Any speculations as to why these novels are selling so well (apart from the fact they’re so damn good)?
MF: L.A. OUTLAWS and THE RENEGADES both imply that the Old West isn’t a thing of the past. In what way(s) do you think the Old West survives today?
MF: In L.A. OUTLAWS, part of the novel was written in the first person through the eyes of Allison Murietta. How difficult was it for you to write as a female?
MF: L.A. OUTLAWS is structured to lead to THE RENEGADES, and similarly THE RENEGADES points to another novel in this series. Do you have a third novel in mind and if so could you give us a hint?
MF: Apart from not bumping off or writing out crucial characters from series mysteries, what other challenges are presented for you as a writer when creating a series of novels?
MF: Joaquin Murrieta’s name crops up frequently in L.A. OUTLAWS and THE RENEGADES, Please tell us a little bit about him.
MF: Allison Murrieta seems to spiral out of control as L.A. OUTLAWS continues and her celebrity grows. She isn’t portrayed as a "bad" person by any means. How did you create her character?
MF: Which of your novels are you the proudest of? Why?
MF: How familiar are you with the Antelope Valley and what led you to set THE RENEGADES in this area?
PARKER: I love that Antelope Valley. It's north of L.A. and in some ways it's a "last frontier" of L.A. in that it's being developed now. I love the desert, the sunsets and the wind and the rocks and sand and critters. I don't love the endless tracts of gigantic houses being built out there, but they are certainly emblematic and meaningful in a human sense. There's an odd culture of rednecks and drugs and bikers and hippies and general weirdos up there, dumped right on top of aerospace and the Skunkworks and Chuck Yaeger and the right stuff. A brew like that is always good for mystery/crime fiction.
MF: What sort of research did you do for THE RENEGADES?
MF: Your sixteen novels are all set in California. As a native Californian are you ever tempted to set a book in other state or in Northern California?
MF: You were a reporter after graduating from UC Irvine. How did journalism impact your writing career?
MF: You clearly love California. Would you consider yourself a regional writer?
MF: Thank you for your time and this interesting conversation.
Read our review of L.A Outlaws and The Renegades at MostlyFiction.com