Well, it is hard to believe that The Late Show is my 30th published novel. Wow. Who would have thought? Not me. I remember hoping to get one novel published. Then it became a plan to get five written. And now suddenly – at least to me – I’m at 30. The past 25 years have gone fast and been punctuated each year once and sometimes twice by a book being taken to heart by so many of you readers. Characters like Jack McEvoy, Terry McCaleb, Mickey Haller, Rachel Walling, Henry Pierce, Cassie Black, Lucia Soto and of course Harry Bosch so warmly embraced. It has meant so much to me that this supposed writer is left without words to properly express it. And now, I think it’s only fitting to introduce Renée Ballard in the 30th book. She shares something in common with all the others. In each’s own way, they are determined and forceful. They are also fair. These are basic personality traits that we all share on some level. It makes it hard to believe I have made a 30-book career of them. I can only say thank you to the booksellers and critics who recommended these characters and the readers who embraced them and in turn spread the word far and wide.
It is very humbling. Across all the years and all the bookstores I’ve been to and the readers I have met, I always come back to a moment several years ago, when I was in a bookstore in Lille, France, near the Belgium border. A woman tearfully told me through a translator that she was very worried about Harry Bosch. It was a moment that still strikes me in the heart. A reader a half a world away from Los Angeles and the place where I sit in a room by myself writing about these characters had been so touched by my work . . .
Another author once wrote that “writin’ is fightin’.” In many ways, I think it’s true. But it’s a good fight and sometimes even a fun fight, if there is such a thing. It’s you against the blank screen and every day you have to see what you’ve got. It can be lonely for sure but it’s hard to be lonely writing about characters like Harry Bosch when I know he means something to so many. It’s truly an honor to be able to do this and be responded to in such a big and wonderful way. All I can do is to say thanks and to be determined to returning the favor with the best writing I have in me. To never simply glide on momentum or mail it in. Thirty books – it’s a stunning marker to me. I am glad I share it with a new character I plan to get to know better over time. I’m certainly not done yet. As the saying goes, more to come.
– Michael Connelly