Today in Author Meltdowns

Remember when James Ellroy was known for being a good crime writer and only that? I know, those days are long gone, and he’s been doing the Delusions of Grandeur act for quite a number of years now, but I gotta say, his interview with Deborah Solomon might just be the strangest one yet:

I do not follow contemporary politics. I live in a vacuum. I don’t

read books. I don’t read newspapers. I do not own a TV set or a

cellphone or a computer. I spend my evenings alone, usually lying in

the dark talking to women who aren’t in the room with me.

You mean they’re on the phone?

No. They’re metaphysical. I brood. I brood about former women in

my life. Potential future women in my life. I ignore the culture. I

don’t want it to impede, impair, interdict, suppress or subsume my

imagination with extraneous influences.

Is this an act? Are you trying to pass yourself off as the sort of isolated sociopath who is a stock character in crime fiction?

No. I am not acting. There are times when I think it isn’t quite

kosher to be lying in the dark talking to women who aren’t in the room

with me. And it turns into a certain kind of hauntedness and

loneliness. But by and large, I dig it.

Of course, Solomon doesn’t help with her usual penchant for unbelievably stupid questions that probably invite irritation and head-messing more than anything, but still. And I guess this is what we’re stuck with (since Ellroy claims he won’t answer any more personal questions after the 9th of this month), unless we get her side of the story