Author Berry's newest historical thriller is The King's Deception, and in this one, Berry's much-loved detective, Cotton Malone, loses track of his teenage son while trying to keep an eye on a fugitive for the Justice Department. When Berry's not at his typewriter thinking up new tales of espionage, he and his wife, Elizabeth, focus on historical preservation. They are the founders of History Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding the preservation of historical buildings. He lives in St. Augustine.
What's on your nightstand?
Inferno by Dan Brown. Dan Brown is the king of the thriller genre.
What makes him the king?
You know, I changed the entire way I plotted a book after reading his Da Vinci Code. He's very good at blocking off scenes and laying out plot.
I know you were 35 when you decided to step back from your career as a lawyer and write fiction. What was the final straw, so to speak?
A little voice drives you crazy. All writers have a little voice in their head. I ignored it for 10 years. I decided to listen to it. I started to write. I finally gave in to it.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer