Frequently Asked Questions
As a child, I liked two types of books – Gothic and Western. As I grew older, the westerns became a passé genre and my love of gothic turned to love of mysteries, specifically Ross MacDonald. I can say everything I want to say and still develop a plot. Mysteries are specifically good to my mathematical mind, because they have beginnings, middles, and ends.
How did you come to pen your characters – Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus?
When starting off, I used the old adage, write what you know. And I amended it to not only write what you know but write what’s important to you. My life is centered around family, children and Judaism. I enjoy reading about other cultures, so I thought that there were people out there who might enjoy reading about my culture. Hence Rina was born. Peter came later. I needed someone to solve the crime and he just developed. I like writing series characters because they change over the years…just like my family and children develop.
What’s it like having two writers under one roof?
It’s terrific. Jonathan is my first and best editor. If it passes my stringent criteria, then Jonathan’s, by the time it makes it to my actual editor, I know I’ve turned in something of quality. It wasn’t always so easy, I must admit. Both Jonathan and I have egos, but we’ve learn to deal with them and each other over the years. The hardest part is scheduling the releases of our novels so that they don’t come out at the same time.
Now we have a third Kellerman to consider. Jesse’s blockbuster debut novel, Sunstroke, hit some bestsellers lists not only in America but internationally as well. What a problem to have, right?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Every writer essentially deals with three books – the one that’s being published, the one that is being actively written, and the one that’s being conceived. That’s a lot of mental juggling. To unwind, I exercise, I read, I watch TV and I love to garden. There is something so utterly gratifying watching things grow. I love roses and I love my herb garden and I have a mini-orchard at the back of my property. Mostly citrus but also avocado, apples, pears, loquats and figs. It’s a great bounty if the squirrels don’t get them first.
Why have you chosen to write non-series books?
I’ve three non-series, one a contemporary mystery set in Las Vegas, and the other two are historical novels. I’ve always loved history and I suppose this is a way of integrating some of my favorite activities. I’d love to write an historical that takes place during the Civil War, but they take so much time, that it might be a while. The Quality of Mercy took two years to write, the same with Straight into Darkness.
After writing both of those novels, I was thrilled to get back to Peter and Rina Decker. I’ve got a new novel in the works, The Burnt House. Returning to your series characters always involves a burst of pent-up creativity. My series characters are like family to me. They actually talk to me, telling me what