Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mr. Monk and the Happy Ending

Mr. Monk is a MessMy seven year, three episode, fifteen book relationship with Adrian Monk has ended. I've just finished writing my last book in the series, Mr. Monk Gets Even, and I will be sending it to my editor next week after taking one last pass through it (don't despair - the book series may continue with another writer).

My relationship with Monk has been long and wonderful. It began when  “Monk” creator Andy Breckman hired me and William Rabkin to write an episode of the TV series entitled “Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico,” which would end up being the first of three episodes we wrote for the show.

At the time, Bill and I were about to begin writing & producing the Lifetime TV series Missing and I was deep into writing the Diagnosis Murder novels, which were based on the TV series of the same name that we’d also written & executive-produced.

When Andy was approached by NAL about writing Monk novels, he declined the opportunity and recommended that I write them instead.  I took the assignment, which was an insane thing to do, since it would mean writing a new book by night every ninety days, alternating between Monk and Diagnosis Murder, while also running a TV series during the day.

That’s how much I loved Adrian Monk.

I kept up that brutal pace for two years before finally ending the Diagnosis Murder book series after eight novels.

Andy liked my first Monk novel, Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, so much that he hired Bill and I to adapt it into an episode of the TV show. The episode, entitled “Mr. Monk Can’t See A Thing,” may be the first time in American TV history that a tie-in novel of a TV show has been adapted into an episode of the series….and by the author of the book, no less (if it’s ever been done before, we haven’t found it. And if it has been done, it’s obviously a rare occurrence!)

If it wasn’t for Andy’s enthusiasm and support, I doubt I would have written so many “Monk” novels or had so much fun doing them. He gave me his trust and the creative freedom to make the book series entirely my own, and for that I will always be grateful.

Mr. Monk Gets Even comes out in January...but Mr. Monk is a Mess, the second to last of my Monk novels, comes out in two weeks.

(Below is a trailer I did for a Monk book excerpt that appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

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