Friday, December 4, 2009

An Interview with Lee Goldberg as we say goodbye to Mr. Monk....

Lee Goldberg interview:

By Pamela James

Lee Goldberg, is witty, wonderful and just plain nice. As the final season finale of Monk comes to a close, Lee took the time to answer a few pending questions......

Lee, tell us about a bit about your latest book and your writing schedule

My latest book is MR. MONK IN TROUBLE, the ninth in my series of original novels based on the TV series (which I also wrote for). Monk is sent to Trouble, a California Gold Rush town, to investigate a murder. He soon discovers that the murder is linked to the past... and to his own distant relative, a quirky assayer named Artemis Monk.

This book gave me a chance to dabble in westerns, something I've always enjoyed reading but, until now, have never tried writing before. The story bounces between the 1850s and present-day, between Artemis Monk of yesteryear and the Adrian Monk that we know and love.

My writing schedule isn't set in stone. I basically work on my books whenever I am not working on a script, or vice-versa. I have about four months to write each book, so I write anywhere and everywhere I can put pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard). No matter what I am writing, I tend to do my best work between 8 pm and 2 am. Don't ask me brother Tod is the same way.

Of course we want to know if the Monk Mysteries will continue?

There will be at least two more MONK books... MR. MONK IS CLEANED OUT in July 2010 and MR. MONK GETS EVEN, the book I am writing now, in Dec. 2010. After that, who knows?

What are your 2010 writing and promotion plans? Do you have another television series you will be writing?

I intend to finish a standalone novel that I have been working on and I hope to begin production in Berlin & Shanghai this summer on a movie I wrote for a studio in Europe. This has been a rough couple of years in the TV business, so I don't know for sure where I will land next tube-wise. As far as promotion goes, I will keep doing interviews like this, interacting with fans on my blog (, my Facebook page, my website ( and on Twitter.

Okay - give us personal background on you such as what you do when you're not writing?

When I am not writing, I am a professional sexual surrogate and Pierce Brosnan impersonator. I'm married and have a 14-year-old daughter, neither of whom know about those other please don't tell them. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where my father was an anchorman on KPIX and my mother was a reporter for the Contra Costa Times. My mother wanted me to be a doctor, and my grandfather wanted me to go into the family furniture business ("Everybody has to sit somewhere," he said). Instead, I put myself through school at UCLA as a freelance journalist, writing for such publications as American Film, Starlog, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle. I also wrote erotic letters to the editor for Playgirl at $25-a-letter, but sssh, that's a secret, too.

My first book was published while I was still at UCLA. It was called .357 VIGILANTE and I wrote it as "Ian Ludlow," so I'd be on the shelf next to Robert Ludlum . The West Coast Review of Books called his debut "as stunning as the report of a .357 Magnum, a dynamic premiere effort," singling the book out as "The Best New Paperback Series" of the year. Naturally, the publisher promptly went bankrupt and I never saw a dime in royalties (It's now available as an ebook on Kindle and the Nook). Since then, I've written dozens of books -- fiction and non-fiction -- and written & produced hundreds of hours of TV. My TV writing and/or producing credits include DIAGNOSIS MURDER, HUNTER, SPENSER FOR HIRE, NERO WOLFE, SLIDERS, SEAQUEST, MISSING and MONK.

Will you be guest speaker at any mystery conferences this year?

I'll be attending Left Coast Crime in L.A, the 3rd Annual Forensic Trends: Psychiatric & Behavioral Issues Conference in Las Vegas, the International Mystery Writers Festival in Owensboro KY, Bouchercon in San Francisco, and the Professional Pierce Brosnan Impersonator Convention in my living room.

Last, but never least, do you have a favorite Monk episode or favorite Monk book?

I really liked my episodes of MONK -- "Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico," "Mr. Monk and The Godfather," and "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing." I also really enjoyed the series finale very much, too. I like all my MONK books (of course!) but I think the ones that were the most fun to write were probably MR. MONK IS MISERABLE and MR. MONK IN TROUBLE.

Leave us with some Monk words of wisdom

Never eat mixed nuts.


  1. What a great interview. I especially enjoyed the nut advice. LOL

  2. You are a funny and talented guy! Thanks for sharing and I AM looking forward the the finale tonight BIG TIME


  3. Lee,
    I will miss Monk on Friday night but it's good to know I have at least a few more Monk Mysteries in 2010. Please keep us updated when you find out more about the mystery series.
    Thank you for answering my questions,
    Happy Holidays
    Pamela James

  4. Ritaestelle ChristianoDecember 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    Thank you Lee - I enjoyed your interview! I am so going to miss the Monk TV series. It is so very well written and performed. Btw, did anyone ever tell you that you look a lot like that actor, Pierce Brosnan? :)

    Ritaestelle Christiano

  5. Wonderful blog! Really fun getting to "know" you Lee!
    Glenda S.

  6. Love the interview! I am going to miss Monk but I never knew there were Monk books so I will need to check them out soon. I loved and watched most of those TV shows especially Spenser for Hire. Hawk was my favorite side kick and who can for get Seaquest.

    I can't believe I have not read your blog before. My bad!

  7. Debra,
    Thanks I'm glad you popped in and took a look. Lee has accomplished a lot in his career and I'm glad he agreed to let me ask a few questions.

  8. Lee, I'm happy to hear there will be at least two more Monk books, but I hope there will be many more. I love your books.

    Pamela, excellent interview.

  9. Thank you, everyone. I don't often do interviews because I am so reluctant to talk about myself :-)



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