Marco Conelli's Matthew Livingston Mystery Series

My guest today is Marco Conelli. Drawing from twenty years of experience as a NYPD detective, Marco is the creator of the young adult Matthew Livingston Mystery series. He lives and works in New York City. Welcome, Marco. Let's talk writing!

Anne - When did you first realize you were destined to be a mystery/suspense writer?

Marco - The idea of being a writer surrounded me from a young age, simply because I was a big fan of reading. When I became a detective in the NYPD I saw so many things in the course of my work, especially as an undercover, I found myself saying, “No one would believe this!” I desired to tell a story and felt it was best suited for the crime genre.

Anne - I'm impressed by people who lead an undercover life. Me? Nope...I talk too much! Tell us about your book.

Marco - My latest book is Matthew Livingston and the Politics of Death. I’m thrilled that it won the Silver Falchion Award this year for best crime novel. In book 3 of the Matthew Livingston mystery series 16 year old aspiring journalist Dennis Sommers is assigned to cover a political campaign speech for the school’s newspaper. At the site of the campaign speech, he witnesses the candidate shot by a sniper who is, according to all accounts, imperceptible at the crime scene.

Dennis relays the story to 17 year old teen prodigy Matthew Livingston who decides to pursue the shooter with a different investigative method than the ones used by his local police. Along with the multi-talented Sandra Small, they dispatch themselves into an investigation that the elusive murderer turns into a game of cat and mouse. Matthew, Dennis, and Sandra employ stealth tactics and tech-savvy gear in the hopes of baiting this killer, only to find the anonymous assassin is preparing for his next kill.

As the mystery unfolds, Matthew feels his opponent watching his every move. Only Matthew's intellect can protect him and his friends. Will he corner the killer in time, or will the assassin strike again?

Anne - Is it part of a series? If so, include other titles. What do you enjoy most about writing a series? What part do you loathe?

Marco - Yes. Matthew Livingston and the Politics of Death is indeed part of a series. The titles that precede it are Matthew Livingston and the Millionaire Murder and Matthew Livingston and the Prison of Souls.

I enjoy writing in a series because I believe the characters really get to grow. I introduce new facets to them from book to book. Readers enjoy learning more about my protagonists. That is something that lacked in young adults mysteries of the past, no growth in the characters. They were strictly boilerplate.

What I loathe (or rather dislike) in writing a series is occasionally people will not buy the new book when I am touring because they haven’t read the books that precede it. I always explain that it is a series but each book stands alone as a mystery. You don’t have to read them in order.

Anne – I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I don’t mind reading a series out of order. I’ll take a good read anyway I can get it!

Where can readers get your book?

Marco - The book can be purchased at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Anne - Outside of writing, what accomplishment are you most proud?

Marco - I am extremely proud of my accomplishments as a detective in the NYPD. I served a little over 20 years and got to be part of some amazing things.

Something I’m proud of recently is my lecturing and in particular the lectures I provide for aspiring mystery writers as well as established mystery authors.

My presentation called "Going Undercover To Solve Your Crime" has been featured at venues such as The 2010 and 2011 Writer's Police Academy as well as Killer Nashville and many forthcoming venues. In my course writer’s get to see first-hand fallacies about Criminal Investigations that usually come from television. They also experience the importance of undercover work to corner criminals for information.

Anne - I'm filing that information away for future use. I definitely want to attend one of your workshops. J

Quick. Your four favorites – author, actor, movie, song.

Marco – Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Actor:Christian Bale, Movie: Fletch (big fan of the Gregory McDonald novels), Song: A Day In The Life (The Beatles)

Anne – Where can readers reach you online?

Marco – At my website and on Facebook.

Anne – Thank you so much for dropping by today, Marco. I enjoyed chatting with you about your Matthew Livingston series. I wish you every success, and hope to attend one of your workshops very soon.

As always comments are appreciated and welcome. Happy writing! 

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Kelly Hashway said...

I like that each book is a stand alone. That's important for a mystery series. Each book is like its own case so a reader can pick up any book and not be lost. Best of luck to Matthew.

Jaden Terrell said...

It was my pleasure to meeet Marco at Killer Nashville and the Writers Police Academy. He's an exciting speaker and a talented wroter. I loved his stories about his undercover work.

Great interview, Anne and Marco.

Marco said...

Thank you so much Kelly and Jaden. Indeed, stand alone is important. So many books I would like to read in order, but glad I didn't. Be well.

Jean Henry Mead said...

An intriguing book, Marco. It's great that you're able to transcribe your police experience onto the pages of your books.