“All writing is that structure of revelation. There's something you want to find out. If you know everything up front in the beginning, you really don't need to read further if there's nothing else to find out.” – Walter Mosley
Mosley, who celebrates his 64th birthday today, is most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Growing up in Los Angeles as an only child, he ascribes his writing imagination to "an emptiness in my childhood that I filled up with fantasies." It was after moving to New York City and taking a course in writing at the City College of Harlem – inspired by Alice Walker’s classic novel The Color Purple – that he caught the writing bug.
He started writing at age 34 and said he has written every day since, His first published novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, was the basis for a 1995 movie starring Denzel Washington. Since then he has penned more than 40 books in a variety of categories, including mystery, science fiction, crime fiction, and non-fiction politics. His work has been translated into 21 languages.
Mosley cites many “inspirational storytellers” as role models, and the most important one, he said, was his father.
“My father always taught by telling stories about his experiences. His lessons were about morality and art and what insects and birds and human beings had in common. He told me what it meant to be a man and to be a Black man. He taught me about love and responsibility, about beauty, and how to make gumbo.”
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