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Michael Kaufman, PhD, is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction books. As an advisor, activist, and keynote speaker, he has developed innovative approaches to engage men and boys in promoting gender equality and positively transforming men’s lives. Over the past four decades his work with the United Nations, governments, non-governmental organizations, corporations, trade unions, and universities has taken him to fifty countries.

Michael Kaufman’s latest novel, THE LAST EXIT, is a thrilling near-future novel where the secret to eternal life is closely guarded by people who will do anything to protect it, even if it means destroying everything in their path.

During the interview we chatted about Michael’s background as a global leader in gender equality efforts, about his writing process, how he balances writing about important issues while delivering an entertraining mystery novel, and a lot more.

Connect with Michael Kaufman: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Michael Kaufman’s Latest Book

Video Podcast

Transcript

Please note, transcripts are generated by an automated program called Happy Scribe not a human and only lightly edited so if any section seems choppy or off, that’s why.

[00:00:00.060] – Alan Petersen
You are listening to meet the Thriller author, the podcast, where I interview writers of mysteries, thrillers and suspense books. I’m your host, Alan Petersen, and this is episode number one hundred and forty two.

[00:00:12.510]
In this episode of the podcast, you’ll be meeting Michael Kaufman, who was recently called a writer to watch by Publishers Weekly. He is a global leader in gender equality efforts who has worked in 50 countries with the United Nations governments, NGOs and women’s organizations. His latest book, The Last Exit, is a cross genre DC Mystery that tackles social issues with grit and humor and features Jen Lu and her sidekick conflicting climate change and longevity drugs in 2033 and a lot of fun talking with Michael about his writing process, about writing a thriller set in the future in twenty thirty three and tackling very important issues, but in a fun and way and entertaining way for the Thriller.

[00:00:56.320]
So had a lot of fun talking with Michael about that and getting to know his work and writing process. So stay tuned for that interview coming up here just in a moment. And just a quick reminder to please go visit ThrillingReads.com/Links.

[00:01:08.640]
You can access all my links from that one site and review my podcast there, which helps me get the word out, as well as joining the Through the Weeds newsletter and a lot more. So check that out at ThrillingReads.com/Links. I have a lot of interesting stuff up there. All right. Here is my interview with Michael Kaufman.

[00:01:29.430]
Hi, everybody. This is Alan with the Thriller author and the podcast. I have Michael Kaufman and very excited to talk to you. Michael, welcome to the podcast. Nice to be with you, Alan. So you have a new book coming out.

[00:01:41.980]
It’s The Last Exit. I believe it’s out now. Is it right?

[00:01:44.850] – Michael Kaufman
It is, actually. It already popped into its second printing, which. Oh, exciting. Yeah, that’s very exciting.

[00:01:51.090] – Alan Petersen
Congratulations. Thank you. So tell us a little bit about it, please.

[00:01:54.930] – Michael Kaufman
Well, the last exit is a near future mystery and it’s a crossover book. So there’s elements of a classic police procedural. You know, the police detective is trying to figure out who done it and why and all that. But it’s also set in the near future, set in Washington, D.C. and twenty thirty three. So there’s you know, there’s all elements of speculative fiction. It’s, you know, Washington twenty thirty three. I mean, climate change is hitting hard. There’s rampant inequality. There’s a virus that is taking down a lot of folks in their 40s and 50s. There’s you know, it’s not a dystopian novel. I’ve got to add that, you know, these grim dystopias where, you know, it’s sort of, you know, endless fog and neon and doom and gloom. But there are dystopian elements in this, of course, I guess you could say the same pretty much for Washington, D.C. today, for example, or any day of the week. But there are dystopian elements. But it’s not a dystopian novel, persay, but it focuses around a D.C. police detective named Jen Liu, who is trying to get to the bottom of what appears to be some illegal street versions of a longevity treatment. Now, you know you know, you’re coming from San Francisco. I mean, you know all about this, all these tech zillionaires who are pumping money into trying to figure out how to live forever. And I guess if you’ve got billions, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to spend the damn stuff, damn thing. So anyway, you know, go ahead, 12 years, there’s some sort of longevity treatment available to the super rich. There’s also a modified version of this treatment that doesn’t let you live forever, but allows you to live in a healthy way until you’re in your 90s. And this is particularly important because, as I said, there’s a virus that is striking down a lot of people in their 40s and 50s and 60s. And there is and here is the big dystopian element.

[00:04:08.670]
There’s a new policy out called exit, and that is if parents choose to voluntarily die at 65, except their kids will get this, you know, this modified longevity drug. And it’s one of those things as a parent, as every parent knows, you’d do anything for your kids and this would be a biggie. You’re going to die so they can live anyway. There’s an illegal version of this treatment that appears to be going around and then it appears that people are dying from it. So my police detective, Jen Lu is trying to figure out who is behind this, what it’s all about, what’s happening and. Well, and we take it from there. She ends up having to risk her life, her career, all of the above to get to the bottom of of what’s going on.

[00:04:58.740] – Alan Petersen
Well, yeah, a lot of. A lot of a lot of concepts that I really love, the I was really the the blurb of your book, like you mash a lot of different genres, which I think is really cool. Is that something because you were just interested in different things, you just want to pick one?

[00:05:17.180] – Michael Kaufman
Oh, yeah. You know, no, I mean, I can’t it was not for, you know, Machiavellian reasons. It is cool actually to to get reviewed now. And it mainly mystery and thriller, you know, book sites and science fiction in there, too. And and some, you know, non genre fiction I read. One reason is I read all over the place. I’m you know, I read a lot of crime and thrillers.

[00:05:46.630]
I do read some science fiction. I read just straight ahead novels, classics. But also it’s my own work over the years, aside from writing, has been as an adviser and an activist working on issues around engaging men to promote women’s rights. I’ve worked over the years extensively around the world in the UN system with different governments, NGOs. And so I wanted to bring the some of the issues that I’m interested in onto the pages now. It’s not this is not a you know, this is not a nonfiction book.

[00:06:23.230]
It’s you know, this isn’t homework to read this book. It’s fun. But I wanted to engage readers conceptually as well as getting people to turn the page. And so it just seemed that this sort of cross genre approach would allow me to both have a lot of fun, first of all, entertaining people, but also to explore some real issues that face us as as well not just as readers, but as citizens and human beings. And you mentioned that you have the climate change and inequality, that’s tough stuff that that’s been going on for four years, but you also threw the virus in there.

[00:07:00.820] – Alan Petersen
Was that before the she started writing this before all this pandemic?

[00:07:04.400] – Michael Kaufman
Well, you know, it’s funny. I was talking to someone who just, you know, to a reader who didn’t didn’t know. And there’s no reason why they would know the laborious process to go from writing a book to, you know, like I had an agent already. But then going through the, you know, working on a book with it, with your agent and and and others. And then then they pitched the book. They sell it.

[00:07:25.990]
And you go through a whole year with your publisher. So, yeah, this was written back and, you know, started it. And I think around twenty, eighteen, twenty nineteen wrote the bulk of it and and they were saying, but listen, it’s got this virus. And in fact, it’s funny, Alan, on the second page of the book, there is a scene, my detective is is wearing an ninety five mask, not because there’s a virus, this virus that’s not really that big a deal in this part of the book.

[00:07:56.260]
But there’s a big forest fire that is in the great Shenandoah blaze that is sending smoke into DC. And you know, this person I was talking to said, yeah, but you were taking that from the big fires in California last year. I said, no, no, this was way before that. And then she said, well, what about the virus? And what actually, you know, she puts on this mask. And in the original that I wrote, I just wrote, she she put on her in ninety five.

[00:08:21.880]
When I was editing it, I realized who the hell is going to know it. And ninety five is like, no one is going to know that, you know, this obscure reference. So I changed the settings to make it clear this was a mask she was putting on. Of course by the time the book comes out, you know who doesn’t know it? And ninety five is. Yeah, there’s several things like that. As I said, climate change is hitting hard.

[00:08:42.190]
There’s a virus. Part of the back story is a movement not unlike Black Lives Matter. It’s it’s focused. It’s set in DC. It’s focused around police brutality. One big difference is it also the movement includes some rogue police officers who decide to screw the thin blue line. I’m going to work in solidarity with my community and others. And so there’s a big overhaul in the mid 20s in DC policing. Again, you know, it’s it’s kind of interesting, but, you know, and a lot of stuff on income inequality.

[00:09:21.820]
But but the thing is, you know, you don’t have to be, you know, to have a PhD in political science. I mean, I actually do. But anyway, you don’t need a PhD in political science to make those connections. I mean, you and I are living at a time of, you know, of momentous challenges. I mean, huge, huge challenges. And I think, you know, yeah, I love reading everything.

[00:09:43.030]
I love reading stories that are just totally escapist and all that. But in the end, I don’t want to write a book that pretends I’m living in some, I don’t know, dream world, you know, or, you know, or a book set today that could as easily have been written in the 1960s or 70s. I mean, we’re confronted with some existential challenges to us as humans. So I wanted to as I say, the book doesn’t get into lectures.

[00:10:13.270]
It’s not a diatribe. But these issues are part of the texture of the world that Jen Lu lives in.

[00:10:20.430] – Alan Petersen
I was going to ask you about that, like how the fine balance of, you know, your interest and your experience in these issues. But then writing is fiction and entertainment is that that’s something that was a challenge>

[00:10:35.050] – Michael Kaufman
Basically, no, and I’ll tell you why, because I also write nonfiction, my last book came out well two years ago now was called The Time Has Come Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution. So, you know, and I and I, you know, talk and stuff on these other issues. So I didn’t feel I need I didn’t need a soapbox. I had that, you know, I give a lot of talks for a living, so I didn’t need a soapbox. I wanted it just to be part of the just the background, just like it’s part of your art background, whatever it might be. I didn’t want to have to explain things. So it’s just there. I also one of the reasons that I love writing this, you know, and this is the first of a series of mysteries with this character.

[00:11:26.710]
Writing it as a mystery is that mysteries and any, you know, any good mystery does is to you. They force a certain discipline on the writer. You know, my other fiction by the two books of fiction haven’t been mysteries. And I realize in retrospect that, you know, when you just write up a non genre novel, you’ve got so much latitude, you can take it in different directions. You can talk about the weather for three pages. If if it’s poetic, you do whatever you want. I mean, obviously, you can screw yourself trying to do that, but you’ve got a lot of latitude. Mysteries are really plot driven. They’ve got to be tight. They’ve got to make sense. They’ve got to hang together. You can’t have, you know, in the same pages that people are going to skip over just to get, you know, get to the plot or get to the dialog.

[00:12:19.720]
Now, I say it’s plot driven. I also think they need to be strongly character driven. You know, there are some mysteries series that I read and I enjoy, but the character doesn’t change from book to book. You know, you could read book ten in the series and the character, male or female, you know, is indistinguishable from 10, 15 years before. And again, I wanted to create a character that was going to be interesting, that was going to have challenges like any character, but was also going to going to evolve and change in the course of this this series.

[00:12:56.890]
And. Well, we’ll see. I’ll let others judge that one. So far, nice feedback on that. And but yeah, partly I wanted to I wanted the discipline of that tight writing, that tight story that just didn’t give me space to just to be dropping my opinions and editorializing too much.

[00:13:19.870] – Alan Petersen
Is this your first mystery that you’ve written, that you’ve published?

[00:13:23.050] – Michael Kaufman
It is it is that it published? Yeah. There’s one thing on my computer somewhere. We all have those. Yeah.

[00:13:29.690]
Yeah, we all do. Yeah. My first novel was a straight ahead novel that Penguin did a number of years ago. My second, which I actually co-wrote, is an anti-war fable and yeah, that’s my first, first novel. So yeah, it was fun to write. I’ve already already finished the sequel. That’s, that’s, that’s the routine. By the time in a series, by the time one comes out, you’ve done the draft of the of the next one.

[00:13:55.540]
So next one I guess will be out a year from now.

[00:14:00.130] – Alan Petersen
So how about your character Jen Lu is a challenge being a male writer writing female characters? Any concerns with that?

[00:14:14.080] – Michael Kaufman
There certainly are concerns. I I didn’t make that decision lightly. But one of the nicest things that I’ve heard from both seen in different reviews and I’ve heard from different people is they from women, women reviewers and readers. They just said they felt they felt they felt good about what I did. They felt I nailed it. You know, that that it just that she rang true. I think part of that comes from two decision.

[00:14:45.280]
One thing in my life. And when one decision as a writer in my life, as I said a minute ago, a lot of my work has been engaging men to support women’s rights. And where that work starts with is listening to women, listening to the voices of women, the concerns of women, not trying to take over and say that we as men have got all the answers or even perhaps half the answers at best. And so what that allowed me to do is to approach the task of having a central human character with a lot of, you know, with a lot of care and caution and and checking on things, just checking on details and, you know, with women writers and.

[00:15:33.750]
Being being willing to back up and if I did wrote something and, you know, my wife would read it and said, I would say nope, no woman would do that. Good. This is what we need. Here’s the decision I made as a writer. There’s actually two narrative voices in the book. And this is a big element to the book and the story, which I haven’t mentioned yet. And that is Jen. Lou is part of an experimental program in DC in twenty thirty three.

[00:16:01.770]
She has a synthetic sort of a bio computer implant in her brain. I guess that’s the other big dystopian element in the book. And it will be an issue. I get to explore the whole role of A.I. in our lives. Anyway, she’s got the synthetic implant. The this implant is named Chandler, a familiar name to mystery readers, of course. And Chandler is he’s a wannabe tough guy, but he’s only two and a half years old or less than two and a half years old.

[00:16:33.990]
So he has a hard time pulling it off the tough guy routine. But Chandler narrates about half of the book. So I go between chapters which are literally inside Jen’s head, narrated by this synthetic implant, telling her story between that and third person, a third person narrative. So I don’t attempt to narrate in her voice, although, of course, her voice is there as far as dialog and conversation. But I stay out of Chandler’s in her head, but I stay out of her head in that sense.

[00:17:11.130] – Michael Kaufman
There are all the concerns and debates about appropriation of voice. And, you know, it’s a really interesting and complex discussion around that. So I’m not taking a position on that. But I am I’m not pretending to narrate in her voice or from her experience. So I do play with that. I sort of I guess I, I take it on that that challenge right at the margin of of what seemed seems smart as I as I set out to do that.

[00:17:42.570]
But also. Oh, I got tell you what happened, you know, I knew that my character Jen Lou was going to evolve. You know, as I was saying a minute ago, good, good mysteries, good books, characters change. They develop there. They’re confronted with the the things in the story and that affects them as a character. That’s that interaction of the plot and the character. So I knew the agenda was going to deal with some, you know, some of her demons, both in this book and as the series goes on.

[00:18:13.560]
I knew that. Here’s what I didn’t know, that my synthetic computer implant, Chandler was also going to change. So this guy’s a guy in quotes. He’s not a guy. He’s a lump of, you know, some sort of matter. But this this synthetic computer, bio computer actually starts changing. In the course of the book. He starts doing things that certainly were not in my plot outline. And and this was one of the most exciting things for me as a writer, that suddenly I had this this voice, this this this this computer that was really becoming a character.

[00:18:53.400]
And it was the thing when when crookedly my publisher bought it. That was the first thing they said is we love Chandler, we love that narrative voice. So, yeah, it was both a lot of fun to write in that voice and his voice, his voice or his could his and but but also to see, you know, see how that just enriched the story in ways I didn’t expect. Yeah.

[00:19:24.610] – Alan Petersen
That seems really fascinating to me since a really cool concept to me. There’s a movie. The movie isn’t very good, but I like the concept of it. I think it’s called upgrade. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but now he has this chip put in him and same thing in the voice in his head that makes him do things. And so the concept is good. But the movie wasn’t very good, but the concept is cool. So when I saw that, I’m like, oh, this is like, you know, that that hopefully Hedo, as you say, it’s evolving and changing school.

[00:19:55.530]
And what I didn’t want to do, you know, I didn’t say I do read science fiction, but I didn’t want to you know, I didn’t want to turn this into, I don’t know, just, you know, movie of the week and the bad movie with, you know, man with computer in his brain or woman with computer in her brain. One of the questions I will be dealing with as the series goes on is, you know, as I said, is this, you know, human computer interface that we’re all in some way or another part of, even though it’s not implanted yet?

[00:20:28.770] – Michael Kaufman
Well, it is for some people. I have a friend with Parkinson’s who’s got a computer in his brain now. That’s helping keep him mobile and alive so it’s not conscious. That’s the big difference and I actually don’t think by twenty, thirty three will have conscious entities in our brain. But, you know, there’ll be different forms of augmentation. That’s that will be an issue I deal with. But it also makes the book fun. I think one of the great things I’m waiting for it to arrive, but I just heard clips. But the audiobook version actually has two narrators, which I love. There’s one narrator for the channeler narrated chapters. And it’s a male, it’s a male voice actor and then a female voice actor for the other the other third person narration. So, yeah, it’s pretty cool. Yeah.

[00:21:18.260] – Alan Petersen
You know, like I mentioned before, who knows what they’re working on down here in Silicon Valley. I’m 40, 50 miles away from there. Yeah. Obviously those driving cars down there all driving by themselves here, they’re like testing, mapping everything out. So you figure somebody is probably working on something like this, but who knows?

[00:21:37.450] – Michael Kaufman
Yeah, you can. You can bet. Yeah.

[00:21:41.710] – Alan Petersen
So I just want to ask you about you know, you mentioned before about the push back of, like actors playing other roles and stuff, you know, like a white actor playing a nonwhite role you mentioned earlier. It was just really interesting. I wonder that myself is that’s something that you think is going to affect the writing community like, you know, is that something that’s going that we’re going to get pushback back on? I don’t know what your thoughts on that.

[00:22:07.930] – Michael Kaufman
You know, I think I think I think it’s already been happening. And I you know, I think that as you know, as a white male writer and and I don’t say that with any you know, I’m not saying that with a sense of inbuilt guilt. You know, I don’t think that, you know you know, an accident, a chance of birth should be a source of guilt, but it has to be a source of responsibility. And that goes back to this really important notion of privilege.

[00:22:37.360]
And I remember years ago a woman telling me, basically telling me what privilege is. And she said it’s you know, it’s ultimately all these things, Michael, that you don’t have to question because you’re a man and, you know, you don’t have to think about walking up to the corner to buy milk at night. You don’t have to think about, you know, she just went through this list of things that as a woman confronts her. You know, I’ve had black friends say, you know, you don’t have to think about, you know, driving across town in your car that you can get stopped and someone’s going to ask you a cop’s going to ask you, whose car is this? Or worse.

[00:23:16.270]
That’s privilege. And the thing about privilege, it’s invisible. Now, what I say that comes with that is not I don’t you know, it’s not that we should feel guilty, but we should feel pissed off. We should feel pissed off. I should be pissed off. You should be. I would say you should be pissed off. You know, as someone who is is white, as someone who is a man, you know me, you know, speaking for myself, as someone who is able bodied, as someone who is straight, just feel pissed off that everyone doesn’t have the same basic rights and privileges that I enjoy.

[00:23:46.300]
It’s as simple as that. So it’s not about collective blame or collective guilt. It’s about collective responsibility. It’s about collective love. It’s about thoughtfulness and it’s about listening. And so I think what it means for writers is that we better listen if we’re in positions where we’ve enjoyed relative privilege, if we’ve had access to the airwaves because of our sex or skin color, if we get listened to more, if we get more respect, you know, I just I just read a wonderful tweet today and I so I can’t remember I can’t remember one.

[00:24:24.490]
But anyway, this woman is saying she was in a she was working doing some project with NASA at NASA a few years, ten years ago. And she was talking about some situation and some guy just cut her off in the middle of her explaining something. And he just said, you know, you’re wrong about this. You should read. And he mentioned an article. He said you should read whatever it is MacDonald at all, et cetera. So this woman said, so I pulled my hair back away from my nametag, pointed to my nametag, and she said, I am mcdonnel at all.

[00:24:57.640]
Anyway, it was just a great example of privilege at work. He just felt that he could you know, he was the one that should be in charge, be listened to. So I think as writers, it just means to to approach, you know, when we write about a group that has had witness face brutality or discrimination or racism or homophobia or sexism, approach it with a spirit of humility, of listening and but also know that, you know, there are limits on the experience that I have.

[00:25:35.370]
You know, there’s just my life. Yes. As a writer, we try to imagine as much as possible. Thank goodness. Otherwise, all of our books would be about someone sitting in front of a computer would be incredibly dull. So it’s true. You know, virtually all writing is an active imagination. We graft on bits in our own experience and history, but ultimately it’s filtered through our own experiences and our own the world we lived in.

[00:26:00.210]
So we’ve got to if as soon as we step out of that, we better be damn careful, we better ask questions, we better get feedback. And we should we should also respect when that there may be limits and not to place those in advance. But there may be limits or moments perhaps. I don’t think it’s a permanent thing. But moments where some of us just say, OK, I’m stepping back, you know, this is not my day or my issue or my I’m going to let other people do the talking here. It’s complicated.

[00:26:30.240] – Alan Petersen
So did you always before you wrote this book and published it, did you always wanted to be a fiction writer? Is that always in the back of your head, no matter what you’ve been doing, or is this come later in life?

[00:26:39.300] – Michael Kaufman
No, I’ve been writing fiction. My first novel actually came out in twenty in the nineteen ninety nine or two thousand so twenty years ago and it was, I say, a straight ahead story. I actually dredged it up recently to try to write a screenplay based on it. It’s not about to come to a theater near you, but who knows. But it was really fun to work on again so. Yeah no I’ve been writing fiction for a long time, probably some more sitting on my computer, going way back.

[00:27:11.010]
I love most of what I read as fiction. I you know, I just love that. Well, that is what I read these days. And so, yes, it’s been a dream for me to be able to focus more on that. And I just decided, OK, just just do it. And so I’ve sort of been switching gears, you know, still continuing my work. Am I speaking on gender equality issues, but transitioning more and more to writing?

[00:27:39.060]
Just focusing on my fiction writing and right now, particularly mysteries. And what’s your process like?

[00:27:43.740] – Alan Petersen
Do you outline your books thoroughly or do you walk to that your writing process?

[00:27:48.900] – Michael Kaufman
I’m you know, there’s that in the mystery world. And you always hear this term. Alan, are you a there are are you plot in or go by the seat of your pants?

[00:27:59.640]
And I’m I’m in between. I you know, it’s partly depends on the type of book you’re writing plays procedurals have to be much more tightly plotted than other for other genres within the mystery world that have a bit more latitude. But the thing is now, you know, you’re writing on a on a on a computer. You go back and you change things. You know, you change those details that pop up later on. So I have a I have a general idea.

[00:28:27.270]
I didn’t actually know. I hadn’t decided it for certain who my culprit was. I pretty much knew. But it took a little while and it evolved with the sequel. I had no idea. And tell us about halfway through. And then it then it became clear in my mind. So I have an outline. I have a number of my characters.

[00:28:48.120]
But then I left the writing process to its magic. And it is it is magical. I mean, it’s you know, it’s you get to you get to dream out loud. I’ll be out for a run. And I just hear my characters chattering away in my head and just, you know, or be thinking about something that was about to happen. And it just starts coming to life, you know, in front of me. I remember years ago on a novel that, you know, I was I was working on at the time.

[00:29:20.910]
This is many years ago. I had one of those experiences where I was actually, you know, right into a scene. And, you know, it was this couple. They were separated. He went back to to to her place. They went for a walk around the block in the outline. By the time they ran this long block, they’ve gotten back together anyway. She wasn’t ready.

[00:29:41.400]
It turned out they didn’t. And it’s you know, we describe it as writers in these sort of mystical terms, you know? The characters have a life of their own, and, you know, it’s it’s poetic, it’s not true. I mean, of course it’s not true. They’re they’re characters in our heads that we’re creating. But here’s what is true. I think that for most writers, we actually have a sense of our characters that is more deep than we’re consciously aware.

[00:30:09.000]
So we think we’re going to do this. And what by the time we hit that chapter, we’re starting to shoehorn characters that are much more real by the time we get to that chapter, much more complex. And we’re trying to shoehorn them into, you know, a certain plot expectation and what the writing process actually allows us to do.

[00:30:29.310]
And this is part of the beauty of writing on a computer rather than, you know, writing a manuscript by hand. Or can you imagine writing, you know, back in Dickens days and having a chapter published before you even get to the next one? We get to change things. And so as the story comes alive, as characters come alive, suddenly new characters are popping up. Suddenly, I’m thinking about characters differently. And it’s it’s it’s what you can say.

[00:30:58.200]
I mean, I’ve got a smile on my face. Just talking about it is what I love about about writing. It’s just it’s magical. And you usually do you like usually write in the same spot. You like to switch it around. And I do write at the same spot in this room you’re looking at here. It’s my it’s my study in my office. You know, occasionally I’ll just pull out my laptop and go sit somewhere different. Or if I’m if I have a scene that’s set in a particular place, then I can be at I’ll either go there or go there, take notes or actually write a bit. But now it’s basically here. I don’t have a regular schedule. I mean, part of it’s a problem in the sense that if I start writing first thing in the morning, I have a hard time doing anything else because I just want to keep going. So right now, I mean, I don’t even I you know, I really want to show you the list of things I’m supposed to be doing and, you know, my inbox and this and that. I mean, all the boring stuff that one needs to do in life. Because last year I started a new series and I just thought it was just taking notes. And suddenly I started writing and I just, you know, I’m going, going, going. And late at night, I’m finally going, OK, stop writing already.

[00:32:19.500] – Alan Petersen
So what’s next for for you and for Jen Lu?

[00:32:25.770] – Michael Kaufman
Yeah, I finished a draft of it. My agent has it. I’m just waiting to hear back from her. I’m lucky. You know, I’m lucky. I’m lucky to have an agent. It’s actually an agent within who’s apart has a partner. And so I get incredible feedback from both of them. Very fortunate about that. And but I expect, you know, this one feels pretty far along. We’ll see what they say. And so I think that they’ll be, as they say in the business, taking it out either back to the publisher.

[00:32:58.650]
This one, they’ll take it to first and other publishers at some point. And I assume about about a year from now. I’m also I could have told you this a week ago, but I I’ve started I’m starting a new mystery series, unnamed at this point, but very different in many, many ways and set in the present here in Toronto where I live, or mainly in Toronto. Yeah. And having a lot of fun with that. As I said, it’s working on a screenplay, you know, a lot of a lot of different fun, different projects.

[00:33:34.500] – Alan Petersen
And where can the listeners find you? Do you have like a website or.

[00:33:38.070] – Michael Kaufman
Yeah, my website is just my name Dotcom. MichaelKaufman.com, the first chapter of the book. If you go there, there’s a whole bunch of articles and blogs and all the usual stuff, both from my my fiction work and a lot of stuff from my work in nonfiction. I tweet from Koffman writes as a writing w r t s. Kaufman writes, Yeah, those would be places people could track me down. And I should just say I, I think like most writers, I love hearing from readers. So, yeah, it’s fun when, you know, already folks who have who have read or listen to the last exit drop a note or tweet about it. I love I love hearing, I love hearing from readers. All right, great.

[00:34:36.090] – Alan Petersen
Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and talking to us about your work.

[00:34:40.810] – Michael Kaufman
It was a lot of fun talking to you, Alan. It’s been really good talking to you. And stay safe.

[00:34:46.950] – Alan Petersen
Yes, thank you. You too.


About the Author
I write thriller and crime fiction novels and host the Meet the Thriller Author podcast where I interview authors of mystery, thriller, and suspense books.

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