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Friday 8 June 2018

ℚ Yesterday's News: Clare Carlson Mysteries [1] - R.G. Belsky

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author (a.k.a. Dick)  to talk about Yesterday's News (, Oceanview Publishing, 352 pages), a Mystery, book one in the Clare Carlson Mysteries series.

"Belsky's behind-the-headlines story of the story news director Clare Carlson can't let go has enough twists to keep the even the best-read fan on their toes. Yesterday's News is a thriller about truth, lies―and how much of each we're willing to live with." ―Lori Rader-Day, Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of The Day I Died

"Taut, fast-paced and compelling characters make Yesterday’s News a page-turner."
―Mary Burton, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Move  

"Engrossing mystery....Belsky puts Clare’s journalistic integrity to a dramatic test in this gut-wrenching tale."
- Publishers Weekly

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to R.G. Belsky; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Yesterday's News ?

"I'm a longtime New York City journalist, and I've covered some of the biggest crime stories of the past few decades - Son of Sam, O.J., the John Lennon murder etc. But maybe nothing is as heartbreaking as a missing persons case, especially one involving a child.

As Edna Buchanan - who covered crime as a newspaper reporter in Miami and later wrote mystery novels - once said: "One misfortune is worse than murder. It is to lose someone you love, without ever knowing that person's fate."

As a young reporter, I covered the legendary Etan Patz case, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared without a trace on his way to school.

For years afterwards there were stories about what might have happened to him, until finally a man was convicted of his murder. So the family at least had some kind of closure in knowing that their son was dead and the perpetrator apprehended.

But my story in YESTERDAY'S NEWS is about a different kind of missing child case - one in which there is no closure, no answers for the family. Until my character, Clare Carlson, a TV journalist obsessed with the case, goes looking for the truth."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"A lot of myself - and my journalistic experiences - is reflected in YESTERDAY'S NEWS. But, even more than that, I use the professional expertise and personality of many other great journalists I've worked with to capture the real feeling of a newsroom working on a big story in this book.

Belsky at an editorial meeting at
People always ask me if my character, TV journalist Clare Carlson, is based on anyone. Well, she's based on a LOT of people. Let's just say that I've met a lot of Clare Carlsons in my life!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Yesterday's News - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Well, I wish I could take credit for the cover. I love it! But it was decided on by the editorial staff at Oceanview Publishing.

The designer's name is Christian Fuenfhausen. It basically shows the face of an adorable little girl - like 11-year-old Lucy Devlin, the missing girl in my book - through a TV camera lens. Thanks to everyone who made it happen!"
Why should we read Yesterday's News and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I think the most unique thing I bring to the book/series (and Clare Carlson will be a series with another book out in 2019) is my long colorful past in the New York City media, most of it in the tabloid world.

I was a top editor at the New York Post, the New York Daily News, Star magazine and NBC News. I even gained a measure of tabloid fame by being in the New York Post newsroom when we came up with the Post's classic Headless Body in Topless Bar headline.

An awful lot of interesting stuff happens in New York media newsrooms, and I draw on a lot of that for YESTERDAY'S NEWS - as well as all my other books."
Can you tell us something quirky about Yesterday's News , its story and characters?
"Well, Clare Carlson was actually the third lead character I used in the book. When I first wrote the character, she was a woman named Jenny McKay – a female character I’d used in a series of novels in the ‘90s. But she didn’t really work for this story.

Then I tried a character named Molly McQuillan, who worked for a TMZ-like website instead of a TV station.

Finally, I created Clare Carlson, decided she was perfect for the book/story – and I love writing about her now. My only regret is I wish I’d saved myself a lot of time and effort by coming up with the Clare character first!"
Who would you recommend Yesterday's News to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I try to write the same kind of mystery novel that I like to read myself. That means a good story; taut, fast-paced writing; and - most of all - an interesting lead character.

To me the character development is more important than anything. I mean some of Raymond Chandler's plots weren't that terrific, but Philip Marlowe was such a terrific character that you couldn't stop reading his books.

Anyway, I've tried to put all three of those elements - good story, fast pace and interesting character - into YESTERDAY'S NEWS. Hopefully, readers will agree and enjoy the book."
If you could / wished to turn Yesterday's News and the Clare Carlson Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Well, Scarlet Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron are already pleading with me to let them play Clare Carlson on the screen.

Oh, you're looking for a serious answer - not my fantasy one, huh?

The truth is I've been down this Hollywood path a few times in the past. I once wrote a mystery that former Brat Pack actress Ally Sheedy wanted to star in. And I had queries from people like Jane Fonda and Sally Field (okay, not them - but someone in their offices) back when I wrote my first mystery novel back in 1985. And one of my thrillers from the 90s LOVERBOY was optioned to a Hollywood studio for awhile.

But, of course, nothing ever really came of any of it - which is pretty common for a lot of us mystery authors. But I can still hope. And, just in case anyone out there in Hollywood is wondering, I would be fine with either Scarlett, Jennifer or Charlize playing the Clare Carlson role."

What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?

"I write (and read) mostly mystery fiction. All kinds of mystery - suspense, thriller, hard-boiled, even a bit of cozy at times.

I spent most of my career writing non-fiction as a journalist in the New York City media. Journalism is all about facts and real stories and making sure everything is accurate - which can be a very time-consuming, stressful thing. As a mystery author, I get to make stuff up now! How cool is that?"
I think it is very admirable that you were one of those factual journalists, and not one of those who claim to report the 'news' these days ;-)

What is your writing process?

"First off, I write in the morning - that's my creative time.

Second, I write most of my stuff in noisy crowded places like coffee shops, park benches in NYC, the beach and even in bars at times. I can't stand writing in a quiet room at home, I need to be around people to feel inspired. I suppose this is because I spent so much time writing during my life in crowded and crazy newsrooms.

Third, I write all my novels out first longhand on yellow legal pads - I don't know exactly why, but I've always done this through 11 published novels.

Finally, and this is the most important thing, I just write. I write every day. I write whether I feel like it or not. To me, this is the No. 1 rule for being a writer. You have to write. Sounds simple, but a lot of people who want to be writers never do that. Well, you can't write a great novel until you put those first words down on paper (or into the computer)."
What is in store next?
"YESTERDAY'S NEWS is the first in a series featuring Clare Carlson, an NYC TV journalist. The second Clare Carlson mystery, THE CINDERELLA MURDERS, will be out in the spring of 2019. It's about the seemingly insignificant murder of a homeless woman who calls herself Cinderella - which leads Clare into a tangled web of long-buried secrets and murder involving some of the most powerful and prominent people in New York.

I really enjoy writing about Clare - who I think is a flawed, but fascinating character - and I hope everyone will enjoy reading about her too."
Brilliant! Thank you again!

A classic cold case reopened—along with Pandora's box

Yesterday's News
Available NOW!

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CMash said...

Great interview. Since I read this book, and IMO was a 5 star read, I love learning about the author behind the book.

R.G. Belsky said...

Really enjoyed doing this interview. Thanks for telling people about my new book....