News: September, 2011

Law & Order Legend Joins TV Team

Sep 16, 2011

Emmy Award-winning writer and producer René Balcer, the longtime showrunner of Law & Order and creator of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, is now part of the team developing a dramatic series based on the Jonah Geller novels.

As co-executive producer, he’s been working with writer Avrum Jacobson and producer Rob Cohen, who has a development deal with CTV to create the pilot of a series featuring Jonah, Jenn Raudsepp, Dante Ryan and other characters who appear in my books. Rene helped Avrum create a pilot outline this fall, which the network thoroughly approved, and a full script is being as I write on February 7.

René is one Hollywood’s most accomplished writers and producers. He spent two decades writing, producing and showrunning three different Law & Order franchises, known as “Dick Wolf’s right hand man.”* There is almost no award he has not won, if you count his Edgars, Emmy, Peabody Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, Silver Gavel Awards, and Career Awards from the Reims International Television Festival and the International Mystery Writers Festival.

Avrum Jacobson is a great choice to write the pilot. He’s also a native Montrealer, and was a year ahead of me at the same school. He got Jonah instantly and brings great wit to his work, along with compassion and drama. He’s helped create and run shows like ReGenesis and Endgame and spent a season on another Canadian P.I. show, Republic of Doyle, which hired me the following year as a story consultant.

I hope to hear more good news soon.

*One of Rene’s most unusual forms of recognition came in Season Five of The Sopranos, when Christopher confronts J.T., a TV writer and degenerate gambler who owes him money. Desperate to save himself, the writer (played by Tim Daly) tells Chris things are about to turn around for him: “I got a meeting next week with René Balcer. Dick Wolf’s right-hand guy!”

I only hope things turn out better for me than they did for J.T. He gets whacked by a drunken Christopher—while working on his Law & Order script.

Christmas in Ottawa

Sep 16, 2011

I’ll be the guest of honour at the Capital Crime Writers’ holiday dinner in Ottawa Dec 14. Sadly I won’t have copies of Boston Cream to sign, as it doesn’t come out until January 31, but I know I’ll have a great time catching up with the many writers and mystery fans who live in the area. Join us if you can at KS on the Keys. I’m already salivating over the rosemary-encrusted lamb chops and garlic mash…