Interview with Joe Ide | More2Read Interviews
 

Interview with Joe Ide


Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent and grew up in South Central Los Angeles. Joe’s favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him. Joe went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers before writing his debut novel, IQ, inspired by his early experiences and love of Sherlock. Joe lives in Santa Monica, California.



Interview with Joe Ide


Lou Pendergrast

Thanks for having time for a few questions on writing and your writing life.

Wrecked, the third novel of yours with main protagonist Isaiah Quintabe,

what was the idea and inspiration behind it?

 

Joe Ide

I wanted to create a character who didn’t routinely resort to violence and wasn’t courageous by virtue of wielding a gun. I wanted to show someone who was powerful and incisive who could face down the bad guys without becoming a bad guy himself. I wanted a hero who was ethical, thoughtful, and just.


Lou Pendergrast

Isaiah Quintabe, tell me please how he came into creation on the page?


Joe Ide

It was a combination of my background and my love of Sherlock Holmes.  “Sherlock in the Hood” was the only idea I had. 


Lou Pendergrast

What happening with that TV adaptation of your debut IQ?


Joe Ide
Show business has it’s own time clock.  The book was optioned in 2015 while it was still in manuscript form. 

They’re just now writing the pilot.  


LP

Will there be any stand alone tale in the future?

 

Joe Ide
Yes, but I’m not telling.  


LP

Writing, when, where, and with what, do you do it?

 

Joe Ide

Morning’s best.  I work from 730 to about 1:00.  Then I come back to around 4 and put in a couple of more hours.  My study is best.  It’s pretty sound proof as it is but I wear ear plugs to shut out any extraneous noise.  It helps me focus.  


LP

Do you write in a journal?

 

Joe Ide
No.  It’s just one more thing I’d have to write.  I’m fully occupied with my day job. 


LP

What key advice would you give to aspiring novelist?

 

Joe Ide

Learn to write at a professional level. It’s the first thing an editor/agent sees. 

If the writing isn’t there, nothing else will save you; not idea, character, story or whether the book has potential as a franchise. 


LP

You like basketball? Any hobbies aside writing? I am mentioning basketball because an all time great praised your work. Tell me more about that please.

 

Joe Ide

I love to fly fish.  I’m a hacker but it requires your full concentration and doesn’t allow any other thoughts to intrude and there are no phones where I fish.  It’s a kind of zen and, for those of you who care, the fish are never really in danger.  I  met Kareem through his publicist, a mutual acqaintance.  I went backstage after one of his speeches.  He’s quiet, shy, very articulate with a wide and deep breadth of knowledge.  That he liked my books was really a thrill. 



LP

If you could walk with a fiction writer from the past for a day, what would you want to see and do?


Joe Ide
I’d want to have coffee with Elmore Leonard. 


LP

Which authors inspired you to become a writer? 

 

Joe Ide

Aside from Conan Coyle, my biggest influences were  Elmore Leonard and Walter Moseley.  Moseley gave me permission to write IQ.  He wrote about the  people and places I knew, and if he could find an audience, maybe I could too. 

I loved Leonard’s low life characters and how real they felt. I loved how they led the plot instead of the other way around. I loved the mixture of pathos and comedy. And I loved the writing. So rich, entertaining and economical at the same time. I think his dialogue is the best in crime fiction and ranks at the top across the board.

Other early influences include, John LeCarre, William Gibson, Hunter S. Thompson, Louise Penny, James Baldwin, Cormac McCarthy, Jo Nesbo and many many others


Photo Credit: Larry D. Moore




LP

Which characters and stories from fiction do you re-read, and why?

 

Joe Ide

I re-read Elmore Leonard’s books  because I love them and they’re a refresher course in how to write character and dialogue.  I re-read John Le Carre for a refresher course in precision and detail and because I love George Smiley.  There’s a little of him in IQ. 





LP

Your readings in 2018 which ones were most notable for you?

Joe Ide

The Vancouver Writers Festival.  

Granville Island is a great place to explore. 15,000 people attend over the course of a week and a bunch of great authors speak and do readings.  


LP

Thanks for this insightful and inspiring time into your writing life.





Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 04 January 2019