Steven M. Forman is the author of two well-received Eddie Perlmutter novels, BOCA KNIGHTS and BOCA MOURNINGS. Much like Perlmutter, Forman is a Boston native and now spends much of his time in Boca Raton, Fl. Unlike Perlmutter, Forman is a semi-retired businessman who remains involved in his business and not a decorated ex cop. EDDIE THE KID is Forman’s first e-Book and novella. His writing uses the Florida landscape like Carl Hiaasen at his best and has the open humor equal to that of Dave Barry. Forman’s writing can be as serious and thrilling as any thriller out there, and his use of humor—both dark and light—makes him stand-alone in his field.
I recently had an opportunity to interview him for TheBigThrill.org:
With two successful novels that deal with the present time why do a novella that’s a prequel to your series?
My Boca series starts when Eddie Perlmutter is a fifty nine year old retired super cop. He’s sixty one by the end of the trilogy. If I kept moving forward I’d eventually have a ninety-eight year-old protagonist. I decided to take a step back in time and tell old and new readers how he got started. I also wanted to show a darker side to Eddie.
When you first conceived the idea of Eddie, did you know his back story?
Eddie Perlmutter is a compilation of everyone I ever met growing up. I gave him admirable qualities and enormous short comings. He’s the guy who says everything you wish you had said and done everything you wish you had done in stressful situations. Once I knew who he was it was easy to fill in his back story. The only thing Eddie and I have in common is we both find humor in almost everything.
As a Boston Irishman myself, I think you have captured the old bigotry, humor and pride of the Boston Irish in all your writing; you’ve also portrayed the North End Italians well, from Mafia hit men to small businessmen. How have you been able to do this?
I grew up in the area and had plenty of experience with both the Boston Irish and North End Italians. I took the best and worst of those I met and rolled them all together to create an eclectic cast of characters. I also have an Italian brother in law who grew up in the North End and provided me with an accurate picture of what it was like. I knew a few people in organized crime but I learned more from reading the papers and watching The Godfather a hundred times.
When you have an idea that brings Eddie back to the written page, how much, if any, research do you do?
I do a lot of research and my plots usually dictate the kind of research I have to do. In Eddie the Kid I have a killer who comes to America from Sicily on a vendetta. I had to learn about Sicily and create a vendetta that started in the days of The Black Hand extortionists, prohibition, the Chicago mob of 1910, Mafia bosses Al Capone and Johnny Torrio, Mussolini and World War Two. I did a sub plot on forced busing in South Boston. Everything had to researched and one research project led to another.
EDDIE THE KID shows readers Eddie’s past in Boston, which is the first time you’ve left Florida in your writing, do you see Eddie having adventures outside the state as a grown man?
Eddie is 29 years old in EDDIE THE KID. He’s 59 when he retires to Boca. That leaves me thirty years of adventures in any locale I want to take him.
I have to ask because it happens in all your stories—repeatedly—how did you fall upon Eddie and his talking penis? Ghosts and demons I’ve read in thrillers, but I think Eddie has the only talking penis in fiction.
He may have the only talking penis in fiction but in real life every man has one. Seriously.
Did you find writing a novella easier than a 300-page novel?
I found it difficult to develop plot and characters in a hundred pages or less. I like to write stories within stories that tie together in the end. That’s tough to do in a shorter format.
If EDDIE THE KID is a successful eBook, do you see more novellas in the future?
Sure. I write to entertain readers and if there is a demand for my short novels I’ll do more of them.
In the novella you write so well about Boston, is there a chance of a standalone Boston novel?
Absolutely. It’s a very interesting city with limitless characters and stories. One of my favorite authors is Dennis Lehanne and he’s all about Boston.
What’s next for you, or should I say what’s next for Eddie?
I’m outlining a story now about three families who escape genocide in their countries and flee to America to start over. Eddie might make a cameo appearance in the story but it’s definitely different than anything I’ve written in the past. Right now it’s just an idea but my sense of humor might not allow me to write a serious book. We’ll see what happens.
Steven M. Forman was born in Boston in 1942, graduated the University of Massachusetts in 1963, married in 1968 and started a food marketing company in 1970. He always had a passion for writing but spent the next forty years building a world-wide importing and exporting business. His first novel, BOCA KNIGHTS, was published in 2009 and received excellent reviews. BOCA KNIGHTS was followed by two sequels, BOCA MOURNINGS and BOCA DAZE and an e-book novella entitled, EDDIE THE KID. All of his books are available wherever fine books are sold and as e-books on the internet. He and his wife Barbara divide their time between their two favorite cities, Boston and Boca Raton. His daughter Jana, his granddaughter Taylor and grandson Bradley live in Boca Raton as do his son David, his wife Stacie their son Tyler, and twins Shaina and Raquel.
To learn more about Steven, please visit his website.