Episode 33: Dennis Palumbo

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The last time I saw Lisa Campbell, she was naked. It was almost thirty years ago, when I was in junior high and she was the latest Hot Young Thing, smiling invitingly at me -- and thousands of other lonely guys -- from the pages of Playboy Magazine... Now, as she stood in my office waiting room, cashmere sweater folded neatly over her arm, I had to admit that the years since had taken their toll... -- Dennis Palumbo, Phantom Limb I had such a terrific, full conversation with Dennis, I almost don't know where to start the show notes. First, make sure you check out his website, DennisPalumbo.com, where he has info on all of his books, not to mention news and links and even short stories to read. Speaking of short stories, you can read his wonderful Christmas mystery, "A Theory of Murder," which features no less a detective than young patent clerk Albert Einstein, at Lorie Lewis Ham's online magazine, Kings River Life. It appeared on Robert Lopresti's list of 10 of the best mystery short stories he's read. Check out the multi-author blog SleuthSayers.org (what an awesome blog title!) I go all fan girl on "My Favorite Year," one of my favorite movies ever. If you haven't yet seen it, you are in for a treat. And if you have, well, it's always a good time to re-watch it. Here are Dennis' Daniel Rinaldi books, in order: 1. Mirror Image 2. Fever Dream 3. Night Terrors 4. Phantom Limb In addition, he's written a sci-fi novel (City Wars), a nonfiction collection of essays (Writing from the Inside Out, which we discuss in the interview), and a collection of short stories (From Crime to Crime). His first Daniel Rinaldi short story will appear in February in an anthology from Poisoned Pen Press. And if you are as fascinated as I am by his combination of Hollywood experience and psychological insight, you can also check out his Psychology Today blog, Hollywood on the Couch. Finally, we gave a shout out to Vicki Delany, who also wrote novels while holding down a full-time job. You can check out my interview with her right here. As always, if you'd rather read than listen, the transcript is below. Enjoy! -- Laura Transcript of Interview with Dennis Palumbo Laura Brennan: Dennis Palumbo is a former Hollywood screenwriter, a licensed psychotherapist in private practice, and the author of the Daniel Rinaldi mystery series. He also writes short stories and essays, blogs for the Huffington Post, and contributes a regular column to Psychology Today called “Hollywood on the Couch.” Dennis hasn’t just done it all, he makes it all look easy. Dennis, thank you for joining me. Dennis Palumbo: It's my pleasure, Laura. LB: You have done so much, so well, let's start at the beginning. Did you always want to be a writer? DP: Pretty much from my youth, I would say from about 10 or 11 or 12. You know, reading comic books and comic strips and right around then I began reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood. I've just always loved storytelling. And particularly mysteries and thrillers. And, yeah, I’ve always liked writing and liked doing it. It was my favorite thing to do in high school and college, was writing essays or short stories. I actually came to Hollywood and was still writing -- the only writing I had done that had seen print was writing for the Pitt News, which was the newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh from which I graduated. And when I came to Hollywood, I was writing short stories and sending them all over the place and also writing scripts trying to break into television. It was very unusual, the same week my then-writing partner and I got our first writing job, which was the first episode of “Love Boat,” by the way. The same week that happened, I sold my first story, mystery short story, to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. It was just amazing, that week, I'll never forget that week. I was only like, 24, 25. That was a good week. I was very, very lucky.

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