DW: It seems your voice is well and truly back. Congratulations.
RS: I see you’re still grinding them out, too.
DW:Yes, well. The last time we chatted, there was a certain . . .hostility in the air. I hope we’re past that now.
RS: I’d been traveling.
DW: So I gathered. Would you say your latest Parker novel, BREAKOUT, is the most autobiographical so far?
RS:: No, I wouldn’t, and if you’re smart you won’t, either.
DW: You do seem to know quite a bit about crime and the criminal mind.
RS: I read the papers. The business section. You mostly read the funnies, I think.
DW: The greatest insights come from so-called comedy, I believe. But how do you manage to maintain absolutely no sense of humor year after year?
RS: No sense of humor? Don’t make me laugh.
DW: I wouldn’t even try. But speaking of humor, perhaps inadvertent, what did you think of PAYBACK, the Mel Gibson programmer based on Parker’s first outing, THE HUNTER?
RS: It was a remake. The first time, POINT BLANK, with Lee Marvin, I got paid. Also, it was a better picture.
DW: You didn’t get paid for PAYBACK?
RS: Ask me again what I know about the criminal mind.
DW:You must be a little shallow-pocketed at the moment. What’s next for you and Parker?
RS: Who wants to know? I like that watch.
DW: Thank you. Is there another outing for Parker com–
RS: I said, I like that watch.
DW: This interview is over.
© Donald Westlake 2002