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Articles : Talking with Authors

Interview: Steve Haberman, Author of 'Murder Without Pity'
Published: Wed, 15 Dec 2004, 02:45 EDT

By Beverly West
Staff Writer, Publishers Newswire
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A chat with author Steve Haberman, who has penned a series of crime novels set in whole or in part in Paris.

Q: Will you tell us a little bit about your novel?

Haberman: "Murder Without Pity" (ISBN: 1-4107-4052-8) poses this basic question: What happens when a decent man ignores evil? The story is set in a contemporary Paris, tumultuous with fog, riots over police killings, and Far Right extremists.

Here, dogged state criminal investigator Monsieur Stanislas Cassel works at the Palace of Justice. He is the grandson of a French propagandist for the Nazis during their World War II Occupation. Ashamed of his family's infamy, Cassel avoids anything political, instead, absorbing himself in solving small crimes, which he calls his Little Miseries.

Little does he suspect the life-shaking change awaiting him when he investigates the bizarre murder of a pensioner, found dead in his apartment building. The story mixes an actual historical event with fiction to create a thriller of murder, betrayal, and redemption.

Q: Have you received any feedback or reviews on your book?

Haberman: Absolutely. I've gotten some good reviews and comments, and slowly, but surely libraries are starting to order Murder.

Q: What are your hopes for this book?

Haberman: I'm very realistic about "Murder Without Pity." In other words, I don't expect Hollywood to come knocking at my door. And even if it did, judging by what it puts out, I'm not sure we would get along.

If I sell a few hundred copies, I'll be happy. Writing is simply one aspect of my life; it doesn't consume me, doesn't take up my entire time.

Q: Are you working on another novel now?

Haberman: I'm working on a second murder mystery about a burned-out CIA contract agent who is called back to work for his former boss. The story takes place in San Diego; Paris; Lugano, Switzerland; and Vienna.

Q: Where can we buy your book?

Haberman: How nice of you to ask! You can purchase "Murder Without Pity" by visiting: And while you're at the keyboard, why not visit me at

Q: Do you have any advice for other authors?

Haberman: You better believe it!

First, be careful of the writer's sacred cow, the Read and Critique. Beware!!

Of course, a writer requires feedback but I recommend finding a read and critique group where there is rough equality of knowledge. In other words, beginners grouped with beginners; intermediates with intermediates.

Also search Google or Amazon to find out the qualifications of the R/C leader. Are his/her books reviewed at all? If so, are the reviews generally good or bad? How many books has he/she written? How many copies has he/she sold? Or are they out of print? What come sup on Google?

Also, remember, not all writers make good teachers. Just as it takes a special talent to write, so does it require special talent to teach. It requires people skills, an ability to give criticism without getting personal. And in general it requires a teacher to create a safe learning place where writers feel its okay to make mistakes.

Lastly, I am discriminating, and try reading only writers with taste, style, a strong identity, voice, call it what you like. Eric Ambler, Alan Furst, John Le Carre, for instance.

* * *

Before turning to writing mysteries, Steve Haberman had many articles published, including profiles of well-known writers. "Murder Without Pity" is the first in a series of crime novels set in whole or in part in Paris. He enjoys studying French and Italian as well as martial arts.

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Thu, 22 Jan 2009 01:43 PM EDT