Thursday, June 15, 2017

Robert Ellis: Jimi Hendrix + Detective Matt Jones = Soul Play

I was reading something this week about Jimi Hendrix and his feeling that performing in concert was a spiritual awaking for him, and he hoped, his audience. Yes, yes, yes. The Electric Church.

I feel the same way about each one of my novels; that each one of my heroes, Frank Miles, Teddy Mack, Lena Gamble, and Matt Jones stand out because solving the crime is not their number one priority. Each one of these characters is vulnerable in some fundamental way. Each one of these characters is on a personal journey where self-discovery, their gut instincts and sharp minds, lead them to solving crimes that are bigger than themselves.

I'm working on Matt Jones's third murder case right now. I'm often asked how this wonderful character came to life. Matt came to me in a single moment, a single sentence written by Henry James that I loved so much I opened City of Echoes with it. Curiously, I revisited the quote this weekend when a reader posted it online and sent me a note. Many thanks for the fine memories it conjured up. This truly is the essence of Detective Matt Jones.

"The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it—this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience." -- Henry James

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