Nightstand | Dennis Lehane
We caught up with Dennis Lehane as he gears up to return to his beloved Boston for the summer. Lehane, an Eckerd College graduate who lives in St. Petersburg part-time with his wife, Dr. Angela Bernardo, and toddler, Gianna Malia, serves as co-director of Eckerd's Writers Conference: Writers In Paradise. The 45-year-old is the bestselling author of Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island and The Given Day. In November, he rewarded his longtime fans with the release of Moonlight Mile. It marked a return to his series characters Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro after an 11-year hiatus. He will discuss Moonlight Mile at an appearance Saturday at Largo Public Library. (See Book Talk.)
What's on your nightstand?
Cigar City Mafia by Scott Deitche.
What do you think of it?
It's terrific. I'm also reading Tampa Cigar Workers by Robert P. Ingalls and Havana Before Castro by Peter Moruzzi.
Are you reading these books for work?
Yes. They're for my next book. It involves Boston, Havana and early Ybor City.
What's on Gianna's nightstand?
I actually found my favorite childhood book. It's a Sesame Street one. It's a Grover book, The Monster at the End of This Book. There's also One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, Goodnight Moon (by Margaret Wise Brown) and Cat the Cat, Who Is That? by Mo Willems. The Mo Willems books are obsessive and they drive grownups crazy, but she loves them.
What if your daughter grows up and tells you she wants to be a writer?
I think I'd be okay with that. When I think of it right now, though, I have to say I'd be surprised because she's so sunny.
Here are my favorite lines from Moonlight Mile: "Her shell is made of quiet fury and wary disconnection. Mine is made of humor and sarcasm. Together we resemble a comedian failing an anger-management class.''
How do you come up with such great stuff? Do you keep lines that come to you in some sort of suitcase until you are ready to use them?
No, when your subconscious gives you the lines, you use them. The Patrick and Angie characters I know very well. We have a deep relationship, the three of us, and I know Angie is tempestuous with her anger and disconnects. She's very quick to close off. With Patrick, everything is sarcasm. I write the lines as I go.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer