[when asked..."What influenced you to write crime novels? Who were your inspirations?"] I'm a rabid follower of true crime stories, and after reading of the horrors of countless child abductions, a story about a missing boy and the toll it takes on his family lodged in my consciousness. After a long period of trying to figure out how to tell it, the Frank Behr character -- a tough, damaged ex-cop with a dark past -- walked onto the scene in my head and I began writing what became "City of The Sun." I'd been an avid crime fiction reader since I was a kid. Chandler and Hammett, John D. MacDonald, Donald Westlake, Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block, James Elroy and even the crime novels of Cormack McCarthy are among my favorites. They set the standard -- which is a very literary one I believe -- in the genre, and the one that I strive for in my books. I'll leave it to the reader to decide if I belong in their company.