Best-Selling Author Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly is an author of detective-fiction novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective "Harry" Bosch and defense attorney Mickey Haller. Two key events in his life led him to becoming a full time fiction writer. The first was seeing Robert Altman’s film The Long Goodbye (based on Raymond Chandler’s novel). After seeing the movie, Connelly read all of Chandler’s books and decided he wanted to become a writer.
The second event was a night in the early 1970s when the 16-year-old Connelly was driving home from his job as a hotel dishwasher when he saw a man running down the street and throw something into a hedge. Pulling over, Connelly found a towel with a gun wrapped in it. He put it back in the shrubs, then trailed the guy to a bar, and then led police to the bar. The man had vanished and a murder-robbery was never solved. "That night of being immersed in the police department and being interviewed repeatedly by these detectives, who seemed to me very hardened individuals, this really impressed something upon me," Connelly recalled in an interview with Benedicte Page for Bookseller. "That's when I started being fascinated with their lives and how they worked."
But before he was a best-selling author, he got a job as a crime beat writer at the Daytona Beach News Journal and later the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars, an era that brought with it much violence and murder and in 1985 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. After moving to California in 1987 and working three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel The Black Echo. The novel, featuring Detective "Harry" Bosch, was published in 1992 and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel.
Harry Bosch and Connelly received a good deal of publicity in 1994 when U.S. President Bill Clinton came out of a bookstore carrying a copy of Connelly’s latest book, The Concrete Blonde, in front of the waiting cameras. It turned out that President Clinton was a fan of Connelly's earlier novels, and White House staffers arranged a brief meeting with the author at the Los Angeles airport late one night.
While many of Connelly’s books feature Harry Bosch, he has also written several popular books with other main characters. In 1996, Connelly wrote The Poet, his first book not to feature Bosch; the protagonist was reporter Jack McEvoy. Blood Work was released in 1998 and is about FBI agent Terry McCaleb. In 2005 Connelly released The Lincoln Lawyer, his first legal thriller featuring the conflicted protagonist Mickey Haller, a criminal defense attorney. Blood Work was made into a movie in 2002, directed by Clint Eastwood who also played McCaleb. The Lincoln Lawyer was also made into a movie in 2011, with Matthew McConaughey playing lawyer Mickey Haller.
Connelly continues to write books from his home in Florida. The Drop, his latest Harry Bosch novel, is now available. Bosch returns in Michael Connelly’s next novel, The Black Box. The book is being written now and is expected to be released in November.