I Read/I Wrote: James Ziskin

In the I Read/I Wrote series, authors introduce a book they loved–in the genre in which they write–and share one of their own books.

I Read: A Welcome Murder by Robin Yocum

Edgar finalist Robin Yocum’s A Welcome Murder is an engaging jigsaw puzzle of a novel. Both a satisfying mystery and hilarious romp, A Welcome Murder introduces a roguish cast of losers, sad sacks, nymphomaniacs, drug dealers, and unscrupulous politicians, all against the backdrop of decay in a once-proud Ohio steel town.

The wonderful book gave me hours of enjoyment, thanks to the exceptional plotting, wordsmithing, and humor. Yocum chronicles the rise and fall of fortunes, fueled by ambition, bad behavior, and even worse decisions, with seemingly effortless skill. He paints the corners of the plate like a Cy Young Award winner, achieving a rare balance between police procedural and social farce that truly works. Rich and complex, A Welcome Murder is a joyful portrait of dreams fumbled and recovered.

I Wrote: Cast the First Stone (Seventh Street Books 2017)

I’m proud of this book. I wanted to deal with a topic that still resonates today: discrimination and hatred aimed at the LBGTQ community. I wanted to shine a light on the sowbugs, silverfish, and centipedes that hide under rocks until they’re ready to spew their ignorance against those who simply want to love whom they love.

Cast the First Stone was 2018 finalist for the Anthony, Lefty, and Macavity awards.

February 1962: Tony Eberle has just scored his first role in a Hollywood movie, and the publisher of his hometown newspaper in upstate New York wants a profile of the local boy who’s made good. Reporter Ellie Stone is dispatched to Los Angeles for the story. But when she arrives on set to meet her subject, Tony has vanished. His agent is stumped, the director is apoplectic, and the producer, Bertram Wallis, is dead. Murdered.

Ellie is on the story, diving headfirst into a treacherous demimonde of Hollywood wannabes, beautiful young men, desperately ambitious ingénues, panderers, and pornography hobbyists. Then there are some real movie stars with reputations to protect. To find the killer, Ellie must separate the lies from the truth, unearthing secrets no one wants revealed along the way. But before she can solve Bertram Wallis’s murder, she must locate Tony Eberle.

James Ziskin is the author of the Anthony® and Macavity Award-winning Ellie Stone Mysteries. His books have also been finalists for the Edgar®, Barry, and Lefty awards. A linguist by training, he studied Romance languages and literature at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his graduate degree, he worked in New York as a photo-news producer and writer, and then as Director of NYU’s Casa Italiana. He spent fifteen years in the Hollywood post production industry, running large international operations in the subtitling/localization and visual effects fields. His international experience includes two years working and studying in France, extensive time in Italy, and more than three-and-a-half years in India. He speaks Italian and French.

James lives in Boston. He is represented by William Reiss of John Hawkins and Associates, Inc. For more information, please visit jameswziskin.com.

4 thoughts on “I Read/I Wrote: James Ziskin”

  1. Thank you so much for visiting us! I’m a huge fan of the Ellie Stone series, and I look forward to reading the book you recommend too. Congrats on all your successes!

    Has there ever been something that you wanted to include in the books but had trouble finding out about, given the timeframe of your series?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The beauty of being the author of a book is that you can include what you want and leave out what you should. When I can’t find confirmation of a historical details, I either gloss over it, or leave it out altogether. That’s infinitely better than putting in a detail that’s wrong.


  3. Whats it like to win an award? Overwhelming? Underwhelming? As an aspiring wtiter, its somewhat of a dream of mine, even though I know it shouldnt be my focus. Im just curious


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.