Lanny Larcinese didn't begin writing fiction until his late sixties, but he has already established himself as a respectable noir writer. His two crime novels, Death in the Family and I Detest All My Sins, are prime examples of his talent. He is currently shopping a third novel and just completed his fourth. Lanny is also active in the writing community, helping other writers establish themselves in the market, particularly in developing the Crime Writers Caravan to coordinate public events for fellow authors. Interviewing him proved to be enlightening.
Your novels Death in the Family and I Detest All My Sins are excellent examples of modern noir. Why your focus on noir?
I'm philosophically and temperamentally prone to see the dark side of human nature, as reflected by the Seven Deadly Sins. Also, my work is character-driven. Combining those two things lead me to noir, especially a character who knows what he's about to do is wrong but does it anyway. He can't help himself. Or can he?
What makes your fiction unique?
Not unique but not typical in that my work is theme-driven via characters experiencing events created to bring out their conflicts concerning moral themes. The genesis of my stories in my head always begins with a character with a problem. Also, my writing voice is unique, a weird combination of highly articulate and "street," or vernacular.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The art of expression. Knowing I can create sentences that have never been said before by anyone, ever—neither as to form nor content. Not all of course, but many. It's a combination of being well-spoken or having a facility with language and an otherwise moral/immoral take on life.
I'm interested in your next novel, Fire in the Belly. What can you tell us about it? What inspired you to write the book?