We caught up with Woods by phone from his home in Key West about a week before Below the Belt, another in his bestselling Stone Barrington series, hit bookstores. An avid waterman, the author, whose 79th birthday is Jan. 9, started his career in the advertising industry. In 1981, his debut novel, Chiefs, was honored with the Edgar Award, and he has gone on to pen more than 60 books.
What's on your nightstand?
Joseph Lelyveld's book, His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. And I'm in the middle of The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson.
What has stood out in the book on the Mitford sisters?
I'm impressed with the author's deep research. She's writing biographies for six people plus others.
In Lelyveld's book, did anything surprise you about Roosevelt?
I always seem to be learning something new about Roosevelt. He was a very complex man. It seems he was private and almost no one really understood how his mind worked.
Are these both pleasure reads?
For now, but you never know what they'll turn into.
When did you realize you wanted to be a novelist?
Well, I wrote my first novel when I was 9. I didn't get too far into it. I realized it was kind of hard. It took a while.
Contact Piper Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Florida_PBJC.