What I remember most about the writer Walter Mosley is the time I did NOT see him in person. In 1995, the NYS Writers Institute scheduled Mosley to appear at Page Hall at the downtown UAlbany campus. This was to be either before or after the premiere of the movie Devil in a Blue Dress. Mosley wrote the book from which Carl Franklin crafted the screenplay, and he was also an associate producer.
But for reasons, I no longer remember, Mosley was unable to appear. The audience still got to see the film, which was pretty good, as I recall. Denzel Washington played detective Easy Rawlins. The film also starred Jennifer Beals and Tom Sizemore. I mostly remember Don Cheadle as the violent cohort of Rawlins, Mouse Alexander. This was before Don Cheadle was DON CHEADLE.
The Easy Rawlins series is the series most identified with the author, Devil, published in 1990, being the first of at least 15 books, the most recent being Blood Grove (2021).
Mosley also appeared as an actor in another film featuring Denzel, the remake of The Manchurian Candidate (2004). He played Congressman Rawlins, an obvious nod to the hardboiled detective series.
From OrderOfBooks.com: “Walter Mosley is an American novelist of crime fiction and historical mystery novels… Mosley’s father was an African-American clerk in the U.S. Army and his mother was a personnel clerk of Russian-Jewish descent.
“As an only child, he used his imagination to fill the void that he would later be able to hone into his fiction career… [He] became a published author at the ripe age of 34, but hasn’t stopped writing since.”
Mostly, I know Walter Mosley as a trusted voice in various documentaries. O.J.: Made in America; Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am; and the recent PBS series about Muhammad Ali all featured his insights.
Maybe I’ll actually read some of his books one of these days.