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Roger L. Simon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Moses Wine Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Blacklisting Myself (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Know Best (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Southbound Train (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Refugees (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Roger L. Simon is a prolific writer that is as renowned for his novels as he is for his screenplays. Simon is best known for the Moses Wine series.

Roger L. Simon was born in 1943 in New York City. His resume includes stints at Dartmouth College and the Yale Drama School. Simon comes from a Jewish family. He has been married three times.

The author has always been quite vocal about his political leanings.

In the early 1960s, Simon was an outspoken supporter of the Civil Rights movement. At the tender age of 22, the author was in South Carolina helping to register black field workers who wanted to vote.

Simon even taught African American students black history, an achievement that would have been frowned upon in contemporary times but which many considered perfectly acceptable back then.

Simon’s work brought him into contact with a number of prominent members of the Civil Rights Movement. He also lost friends who had joined him in the fight to advance the rights of black people.

And when he finally found his footing in Hollywood, Roger L. Simon used the money he earned from his screenwriting gigs to finance small screen programs for entities like the Black Panthers.

So many people know Simon for his contributions to the field of entertainment. But the author’s passion has always been politics, and even his screenwriting and literary efforts where merely tools that he used to bring his message to the masses.

For the longest time, Simon identified as a liberal. But the O.J. Simpson trial in the 1990s shook his faith in the leftist movement. The author believed that the acquittal of Simpson was a massive injustice driven by the sort of racial politics that he found repellent.

And in the years that followed, the writer began to distance himself and his work from what he perceived to be the excesses of the left, eventually coming to identify as a libertarian.

Of course, few people that you meet on the street today will make mention of Roger L. Simon’s political leanings. To most people, Simon is a writer of fiction above all else.

The author found success in Hollywood at a pretty young age. The Moses Wine series for which he is best known found its way into bookstores in the 1970s. ‘The Big Fix’, the first novel in the series, was inspired by a conversation the author had with Alan Rinzler who, at that time, was the editor at ‘Straight Arrow Books’.

Simon had written a story about a veteran who went insane and kidnapped the son of a lawyer. Rinzler wasn’t impressed with the story and he encouraged the author to write something a little more exciting.

Simon gave the criticism some thought. He came across authors like Ross Macdonald and Raymond Chandler, and their works inspired him to tackle the mystery-suspense genre. Roger L. Simon specifically wanted to update the PI subgenre.

Moses Wine was supposed to be a fresher, more hip version of the detectives that had made Chandler and Macdonald so popular. Simon based many of the character’s traits on his own personality.

He decided to use Echo Park in California as the setting of the first novel because that was where the author was living at the time.

For the most part, the author always treated his Moses Wine novels like diaries. They were an accurate reflection of his life and his mental state at the time that any given novel in the series was written.

Anything that engaged the author while he wrote this series inevitably made its way into his books. And because so many of Moses Wine’s adventures were drawn from Simon’s own life, he could never write as many books in the series as he wanted.

The author initially promised that he would write at least one Moses Wine novel a year, but his life didn’t undergo as many drastic shifts as he presumed. SO he didn’t have nearly as much to say through his hero as he assumed.

Of course, that limitation did little to curtail the author’s success. Simon wanted Wine to be as out-of-the-box a detective as one could get, which is why he made the protagonist a divorced, marijuana smoking Jew.

His gamble paid off. Moses Wine was a big hit among readers, quickly making Roger L. Simon a bestselling author. He went on to write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of ‘The Big Fix’.

Also titled ‘The Big Fix’, the film was directed by Jeremy Kagan. Richard Dreyfus played the part of Moses Wine.

Besides writing novels and screenplays, Roger L. Simon founded PJ media, a start-up company that was created to aggregate blogs. Simon wanted the business to create a space within which conservative and liberal voices could have constructive discussions.

PJ Media eventually developed a television service.

+The Big Fix
Back in the sixties, Moses Wine was a different person. He was a staunch activist who thought that he and Lila Shea would be together forever. But the sixties were a lifetime ago.

Wine doesn’t care nearly as much about politics as he used to. And these days, his private investigative work in LA keeps him rather busy.

Wine’s past returns to haunt him when Lila knocks on his door. Lila works for a senator who wants to become president; someone has been executing a rather effective smear campaign against the senator.

Lila wants Wine to find and stop that person. When Lila is found dead, Wine’s priorities shift.

+Wild Turkey
Jock Hecht is a bestselling author. Everyone says he murdered Deborah Frank, an anchorwoman. Thomas wants Moses Wine to clear Jock’s name.

A year ago, Wine solved his first major case. The feat made him a celebrity. Now everyone wants a piece of him, not just publications who want interviews but also Thomas, a reporter that will document Wine’s process for Rolling Stone as he investigates the claims against Jock.

When jock ends up dead, Wine realizes that there might be so much more going on than meets the eye.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Roger L. Simon

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