New York author Jason Starr pens thrillers that tap into city dwellers’s worst fears — nutso roommates, murderous encounters on the street, and the dating of other New Yorkers. His new psycho-on-the-loose book, The Follower, hits stores this week, and he reads next Wednesday at KGB Bar. He spoke with Vulture.
I understand you’re working on a graphic novel for DC Comics.
I can’t really talk in depth about it, but it’s an original graphic novel and a supernatural thriller. The end-game is to release it in 2008. I was really into graphic novels and comics as a kid, but it kind of got lost over the years. I’ve just started seeing the artwork come in from the artist, and it’s really exciting to see what’s in my head interpreted like that on the page.
And your new novel, The Follower?
It’s about a love triangle between a woman in Manhattan who’s dating a guy that’s interested in her for reasons wildly different from the reasons she thinks, and another guy who’s beyond-repair deluded. So she’s caught in the middle of these two men. It’s about the date from hell.
You live in New York — where do you write?
I end up doing most of my writing in coffee bars. My apartment’s really small, and I just don’t have a lot of room to physically write there. I’ve gotten used to the conversations and noise, though. I’ve even gotten used the repetitive Starbucks soundtrack — I think I’ve heard Paul McCartney’s album about a thousand times.
Is any of The Follower based on personal experience?
It’s autobiography! No, not really. I haven’t stalked anybody.
This is one of the only times you’ve written from a female perspective. Did you ask anyone for help?
I actually don’t think I got much wrong. I did ask my wife about some of it. My character had some body-image issues, and I wanted to make sure I was getting it right. Little things. Like she had just eaten Chinese food the night before and she’s worried that she looks a little … bloated. I was aiming for a certain type of neurotic New York woman that my wife helped me with.
Do many crazy people show up to your readings?
My fans are definitely all over the map. Some of my earlier books were more straight-ahead crime novels, and they definitely appealed to the loner psycho types. I’ve been getting a lot of notes from women about my more recent books, so I’m hoping I’ve branched out of that.
Any creepy fan mail?
No threatening letters or anything. But I wrote one book — I don’t want to give anything away, but, well, all of my books are about murderers — where a particular murder happened, and I got a letter from a fan telling me how he’d always wanted to do that same thing to his wife. I was wondering if I should call the authorities, but I didn’t. I decided he was just kidding. —Sara Cardace