The characters in the books, and frequently the character of the author, or the translator.
I have found that, almost without exception, the people who write about [or translate books about] the nasty side of life are very nice people, with their feet firmly on the ground.
In the summer of 1968, two months after the riots, I went to work for my father at his lunch counter and carryout,.......................
My life has accelerated to a different level these past two years. I travel extensively, both nationally and abroad, to promote the books. I've done readings in rowdy London pubs, drank Guinness and Irish whiskey in Dublin, eaten like a king in Athens, walked through Paris at Christmas time, and appeared on prime-time television shows overseas. I've been flown to foreign arts festivals to introduce and discuss my beloved westerns and film noirs.
I ride in limousines, stay in first class hotels, meet with rappers and actors on film projects, hear my voice on NPR and routinely see my face in magazines and newspapers.
And honestly, I just laugh, I laugh because I know where I came from, and that's not me.
Fame can affect actors, sportsmen, and politicians, who believe their own publicity even as they tarnish and then destroy their carefully created image.
But can a writer enjoy a very luxurious lifestyle, and still maintain the ability to paint a realistic portrait of life on the street?