I went to the Washington DC prep school St. Albans, where aside from attaining an expensive education both in academics and the social order, I worked on hot rods and drank Stroh’s. I had an afternoon job as a Volkswagen mechanic and projectionist at the Wheaton Plaza Triplex. I would credit my time as a projectionist as being the seed from which the urge to write grew because I often came to dislike the opening scenes of movies and would edit them to make them more effective. That led me to NYU Film School and New York. Like high school, the lessons I learned from college were valuable on two levels. I learned to refine the way I thought about visualizing stories, and I learned that I disliked working in the film industry. After college, I lived hand and mouth selling newspapers at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and doing production work for extremely little pay. My burgeoning film career in slates and boom work provided zero opportunities on the creative side, so I took a steady job at an engineering firm doing traffic counts, drafting and technician work so I could get to work writing. It was over the next five years that I wrote my first three novels and two screenplays. The former stank, the latter were OK, and none of it sold. Fortunately, I had an aptitude for visualization that helped me develop a career in engineering as an expert in underground New York. A solid day job is crucial for a novelist. I was first published in New York Press in 1997 with an article about fishing, but it wasn't until 2001, after 18 years of writing novels and fishing articles, that I decided to self publish my novel Sleep with the Fishes. Unfortunately, my pub date was September 10th. The fateful events of the 11th doomed my promotional campaign, but also drew me into the effort to save people trapped at ground zero by providing mapping of the utilities surrounding the WTC site and trying to find a way in to collapsed areas. So I spent time down at the site an several occasions verifying the locations of manholes and exploring ways into the site. The New York Times wrote me up on that adventure, and I've been a go-to for the Times ever since on matters about underground New York. I self published the book Pipsqueak in 2002 and this quirky novel about a taxidermy collector got noticed to the extent that it won Left Coast Crime's Lefty Award. That in turn got me noticed by Random House - I landed my first publishing contract twenty years after penning my first novel. I moved on from the Garth Carson taxidermy novels when I changed publishers and came out in 2009 with Feelers which was based on interviews I did with people who clean out houses of dead people. This June Buy Back (novel #7) will also be published with Minotaur. I just wrapped up the sequel to Feelers. Next year’s novel Ringer features everybody’s favorite Brooklyn lothario and erstwhile conquistador Morty Martinez as he tries to recover a lost reliquary and gets caught between rival murder plots between a bratty heiress and her tycoon stepfather. What next? Hard to say. What with Feelers in the pipeline at Apostle Films, that series could heat up, but accolades for Buy Back have yet to amass. The next project will probably be a stand alone.”


- Brian Wiprud