Another Interview with Caleb Carr

Caleb CarrCaleb Carr appeared a podcast with James Altucher earlier this week. During their hour long discussion, the pair touched on numerous different topics ranging from Mr. Carr’s childhood through to his latest novel Surrender, New York. They also discussed the process of writing, and touched on his methods when writing The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. An excerpt from the interview appears below along with a link to the full podcast.

James Altucher (JA): “So, fast forwarding, you did a bunch of best-selling novels. You also did a lot of nonfiction books about military history, terrorism; you’ve done a ton of essays. I recommend people read all of them actually, because they’re all so intelligent. But I do want to get to Surrender, New York. Why now? Why is this … the first time you’re doing a contemporary thriller set in modern times? You’ve done future, you’ve done past — you haven’t done now.”

Caleb Carr (CC): “Two reasons. I reached a point in my life where I wanted to write something that would give people really close insight into my life without it being blatant. I wanted to return to that idea. Get a little closer than the Alienist books did. And also, I’m now going to do two more Alienist books.”

JA: “A sequel and a prequel, right?”

CC: “A sequel and a prequel, right. And they’re both going to be told by Kreizler.”

JA: “Which is different than The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness.”

CC: “Right, and I needed to find a way to speak in the voice of what’s always considered the man behind the curtain in these things. Like Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle wrote one story told by Sherlock Holmes — terrible failure. But Kreizler’s a very different character. I wanted to find a way to speak about these matters — about all the things we’ve been discussing, these psychological matters and personal matters — in a way that would make people comfortable … so it didn’t sound like a case file, so it didn’t sound like a scientific study. So it gave you insight into the character because people really are fascinated by Kreizler. They want to know what gives with this guy.”

You can listen to the full interview on James Altucher’s website.


The Alienist at Turner Upfront

The Turner Upfront presentation for 2016-17 held in Madison Square Garden earlier this week included a teaser for TNT’s upcoming adaptation of The Alienist. According to Deadline, the President of TBS and TNT and Chief Content Officer for Turner Entertainment, Kevin Reilly, who is apparently “a huge fan of the book,” has promised that the TV series “will be marquee programming.”

Although several other trailers have since appeared on TNT’s YouTube channel, the teaser for The Alienist does not appear to have been released online yet. However, the few comments I was able to locate on Twitter from various members of the entertainment press in response to the teaser for The Alienist were positive. Diane Gordon, freelance event reporter for Variety and New York Magazine, described the teaser for the series as having “great production value,” while Michael Schneider, executive editor for Indiewire, revealed that ten scripts for The Alienist have now been finished, and casting is underway.


The Alienist TV Series: No Longer Shooting In Montreal

The Statue of LibertyEarlier this month it was reported on The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Montreal website that The Alienist TV series would be shooting in Montreal this summer. On Wednesday of last week, however, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reported that, “The Quebec city [Montreal] is losing two American series to New York, as I hear TNT’s straight-to-series The Alienist also recently decided to relocate.”

At this stage, I have been unable to find another source to confirm the report that shooting has moved to New York City. Nonetheless, the series is no longer listed on ACTRA Montreal “What’s Shooting” pre-production list, so at the very least it appears to have been confirmed that shooting has moved from Montreal. It would certainly be exciting to hear that the production has moved to New York — after all, many of the book’s settings still exist, as 17th Street’s maps of Alienist locations demonstrate — so as more news comes to light about this development, it will be reported here.


Third And Fourth Alienist Novel Announced!

The Alienist 2006 EditionIn an exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, it was revealed this morning that Caleb Carr will be returning to the Alienist series. Mulholland Books have announced that they will be publishing two new Alienist novels that will act as ‘bookends’ for the two current novels in the series, The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness.

The first of the two new novels will be set 18 years after The Angel of Darkness, in New York City of 1915. Josh Kendall, VP, Executive Editor, and Editorial Director of Mulholland Books explained that this book, “set against a stage of rising nationalist violence and the early spy state,” is “centered on nativist violence and terrorism during America’s involvement in World War I.”

The second of the novels will take us back in time again, presumably to the late 1870s or early 1880s (assuming the events in the summary from the publisher’s press release matches the timeline already established in the series so far). In this novel, titled The Strange Case of Miss Sara X, “a youthful Kreizler, after finishing his psychology training at Harvard, falls under the spell of William James, has his first run-in with Roosevelt, and delves into the secret life of Sara Howard, heroine of the first books.”

For those of us who have wondered if there would ever be a third novel, official confirmation of two new Alienist novels is something to be excited about! However, the wait need not be arduous; we are also lucky enough to have Caleb Carr’s upcoming contemporary thriller Surrender, New York to look forward to! If you haven’t already done so, I recommend reading more about the novel and pre-order before its release on August 23.


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