Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve written and published 9 full-length books and 8 shorts. Here’s the conventional bio:
T.V. LoCicero has been writing both fiction and non-fiction across five decades. He’s the author of the true crime books Murder in the Synagogue (Prentice-Hall), on the assassination of Rabbi Morris Adler, and Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue. His novels include the coming-of-age story Sicilian Quilt, the romance When A Pretty Woman Smiles and the crime thrillers The Car Bomb, Admission of Guilt and Babytrick (The detroit im dyin Trilogy), and The Obsession and The Disappearance (the first two in The Truth Beauty Trilogy). Eight of his shorter works are now available as ebooks. These include the stories and essays he has published in various periodicals such as Commentary, Ms. and The University Review, and in the hard-cover collections Best Magazine Articles, The Norton Reader and The Third Coast.
And here’s my career in more “checkered” terms:
At one time or another I’ve found work as an industrial spy; a producer of concert videos for Rolling Stone’s greatest singer of all time; one of the few male contributors to Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine; a writer of an appellate brief for those convicted in one of Detroit’s most sensational drug trials; the author of a true crime book that garnered a bigger advance than a top ten best-selling American novel; a project coordinator/fundraiser for a humanities council; a small business owner; the writer/producer/director of numerous long-form documentaries; a golf course clerk; a college instructor who taught courses in advanced composition, music and poetry appreciation, introduction to philosophy, remedial English, and American Literature—all in the same term; a ghostwriter; a maker of corporate/industrial videos; a member of a highway surveying crew; a speechwriter for auto executives; a TV producer of live event specials; an editorial writer; the creator of 15-second corporate promos for the PBS series Nature; and a novelist.
There is a sense in which that last occupation was the reason for all the others. Almost anyone who’s ever tried to make ends meet as a novelist knows what I’m talking about.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest is a crime novel called Babytrick. It’s the third in my “detroit im dyin Trilogy. This is a series filled with the heartbreaking tales I was steeped in two decades ago when I was making documentaries on crime and dysfunction in America’s most infamous urban disaster. They are ripped-from-the-headlines stories from a time when Detroit still had a chance, if only its auto execs had been shrewd and innovative and it’s political leaders competent and honest. One of the things I did back then was cruise the seamier parts of the city and pick up very young girls turning tricks on the street. I’d pay them to tell me about their lives and then I put them in a documentary I wrote and produced.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Spending lots of time in a room alone writing is a very odd and unusual thing to do, so in my view all writers’ habits, however they manage to pull it off, are unusual. I’m not trying to be cute or clever…that’s just how I see it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Dostoyevsky, D. H. Lawrence, Simenon, Bellow, Phillip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Elmore Leonard, Elena Ferrante, Patricia Highsmith, Ross MacDonald, Ian McEwen, Walter Mosley, Graham Green, Doris Lessing, Camus, Kafka, Vonnegut, Updike. Jane Austen, Ralph Ellison, Henry Roth,
Alan Furst, Cormac McCarthy
What are you working on now?
A novel called The Tryst. It’s the third in my Truth Beauty Trilogy.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have no idea how to promote or sell books these days. So I try to give them away as often as possible in the hope that someone will like them and give them a kind review.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you can avoid writing books, do so. If you so love doing it that you must, then never stop.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The advice above.
What are you reading now?
One Hundred Years of Solitude.
What’s next for you as a writer?
As always, the next book.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Crime and Punishment