“As a writer, when you fall in love with a place, you want to spend more time in it, either physically or mentally, and so you write about it.” – Don Winslow
For thriller/crime writer Winslow, born on this date in 1953, that probably means California (where he’s lived for over 20 years), although this native New Yorker has been all across the world and had the chance to “fall in love” with many different locales.
A private investigator before he became a writer, Winslow earned a degree in African History, has a master’s degree in Military History, and worked as a safari guide in Africa and hiking guide in China before getting into writing in the 1990s. His first novel, A Cool Breeze on the Underground, is set in NYC where he was doing his private eye work and became the first in a series of books about investigator Neal Carey.
But he likes to write about many things. “My problem is not that there are too few ideas out there,” Winslow explained. “It's that there are too many.”
A self-proclaimed insomniac, he starts his writing day at 5:30 a.m., writes for several hours before going for a 6 or 7 mile hike, then hits the keyboard again. His routine has resulted in 19 novels, almost all bestsellers, the latest being this summer's The Force.
When he first started he set a page count goal. “So I thought I should write five pages a day. And that's what I did. Eventually I had a book,” he said. “Producing words isn't a problem for me. And I usually write two books at a time. When one horse gets winded, you just jump on the other.”