About the Books
How did you develop the character of Moe Prager?
Moe Prager is an outgrowth of a character named Moe Einstein, from two unpublished novels featuring Einstein. There is a superficial resemblance between Moe Prager and Reed Farrel Coleman. We’re both from the same neighborhood in Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay/Coney Island) and we went to the same high school (Abraham Lincoln), but Moe is older than me and would be about my oldest brother’s age. Moe is better looking than me, but I’m smarter. On a deeper level, Moe and I share the same struggle with our Judaism.
Are your books available on audio? In e-book format?
Yes! Check the Books Page for links.
Why did you write some books under the name Tony Spinosa?
I created Tony at a time when I had completed the last book of a contract. My future with that publisher was unclear and I was unwilling to sit on my hands until a determination was made. At the same time, I didn’t want to write a book with my real name that might compete head to head with my other works. So Tony Spinosa was born.
Are some of your characters based on real people?
Retired NYPD Detective Tom McDonald served as the model for Johnny MacClough, a central figure in the Dylan Klein novels. And in the Moe Prager series, Moe’s brother Aaron is very closely modeled on my brother David.
What is the order of the Moe Prager books?
Click here to see the Moe Prager books in order.
Is it true you started out as a poet?
My first published work was a poem in my high school literary magazine, and at Brooklyn College I was on the school literary magazine. But any pretense of pursuing poetry as a career was dashed when I took a careful look at the faculty of the English Department. At that time in the mid 70s, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery and David Lehman were teaching at BC. Any chip was promptly knocked off my shoulder and ground into dust. It was like thinking you’re good enough to play in the NBA and having Michael Jordan kick your ass up and down the court until you realize that maybe basketball isn’t a good career choice.
Are you from Brooklyn?
Yes, an area in Brooklyn that borders Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach and Coney Island. They all figure prominently in my work – Coney Island especially, with its bizarre blend of decadence and bustle.
Can you tell us about some of your influences?
My big brothers, Jules and David, showed me that not everything in the world was disastrous. My father’s illness (bone cancer) and his failure in business are so much a part of me that it is sometimes difficult to separate who I am now from who he was and what he suffered. My mom spoke a lot of Yiddish and though we weren’t exactly a religious family, the sound of Yiddish has shaped me more than I can say.
How can I contact you?
I’m always happy to hear from readers. Click here to contact me.