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William Landay Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Mission Flats (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Strangler (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Defending Jacob (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
All That Is Mine I Carry with Me (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

About William Landay:

Writing a bio about William Landay is a dual task. The task is dual because though there is some information available about William Landay; the information is reluctantly shared through an interview here or there. On his website, he has no qualms telling his readers that he is not interested in sharing neither his life nor his life story.

So first, let’s take a glimpse at how William Landay prefers his readers to see him (or not see him) and then we glimpse into his life as he shares it during a 2012 interview with Cheryl C. Malandrinos of BC Blog Critics.

On his website, Landay writes, “Publishers call it as the ATA, for “About the Author.” Am I going to tell more about my self here?”

He goes on to assert that there seems to be two-approaches to how the author reveals himself.

The first one is “Hide your life” by Flaubert. Flaubert intentionally disappears behind his work and did not allow himself to be painted or photographed. There was no images the exist between middle age and childhood of the great author. Flaubert answered back when a publisher asked his photograph, ” You will never me my photograph anywhere. I have declined to have my self painted even by artist-friends of great talents.”

He then describes the other or the second approach as Hemingway’s. He describes it as the author’s-life which is a purposeful, self-conscious extension-of-his-fiction. “Hemingway” is Hemingway’s greatest creation, and it is irrelevant or impossible to read “A-Farewell-to-Arms” or even “The-Sun-Also-Rises without relating the author of the book to the-story. There is nothing phony or sinister in that, as expected. Most writers draw on personal-experience to some extent.

Personally, Landay prefers the Flaubert approach. He says he is a private person. This is the main reason why novel-writing attracted him: All storytellers —Novelists — approach the-world through-misdirection, from-oblique angles, through stories. They come on just like the crabs, scuttling-up to the truth-sideways. It is Landay’s belief that more direct, forthright sorts of authors write memoirs or essays or some other-form that somehow addresses or relate the world head-on.

More important, he believes that each novel should have to stand or be on its own. It could either be, it has the stuff or it does not have. The reader must not have to take a look at the cover of the book to see or find proof that it is authentic, moving and convincing. As a preferably private man he owns up to his readers that he believes his books are the only credential that really matters.

Current Lifestyle

Yet, in his 2012 interview, we discover that William-Landay is the father of two boys who were then 8 and 10 years of age (they would be 10 and 12 years today). Before becoming a full-time author, Landay worked as an assistant DA in the 1990’s. His educational background consists of degrees from Boston and Yale College Law School. Landay has been writing full-time for the past 12 years and spends his free time tending to his boys in one way or another — ” watching and teaching them play basketball or soccer, driving them around, pick up their dirty clothes or begging the to brush their teeth or stop bashing each other over the head or do their homework.”

William Landay never planned to become a professional novelist but right at the moment of his life where he was about to give up and get a “real job” a call came in offering him a two book deal. It was perfect timing since his wife was pregnant with their first child. The book deal was the result of his first successful novel called, “MISSION FLATS” in 2003.

Current Books

Next, “THE STRANGLER” in 2007 was second successful crime novel he would write from his book deal. His most current book, “DEFENDING JACOB”, has also been a huge success!

“DEFENDING-JACOB” is a story of a typical suburban family. The characters include Laurie Barber— the mother, Andy Barber— the father and Jacob— their 14 year old son. The story revolves around the parents enduring the unfathomable ordeal of seeing their son put on a trial for the murder of a schoolmate.

Yet the story is “about” much more than that. It weaves into the storyline the difficulty and challenges of raising kids and the impossibility and rarity of truly-knowing another-person, even your own child or a spouse. In “DEFENDING JACOB” the main characters are constantly-surprised by what they learn about one another. Long-held secrets bubble up to the surface — secrets that might never have been divulged and that might never have troubled a happy marriage.

William Landay believes that there is also the scientific-question of the “murder gene,” the very real-science which suggests that a predisposition-to-violence may indeed be a genetically-heritable trait.

The book delves deep, as seen by a consummate-insider,into the criminal justice system. Andy Barber, the veteran prosecutor, whose views of the defendant’s position are informed by his many years on the other-side.

Landay believes that the sheer-variety of “it’s about…” is one of the main reasons why the book has acquired so many overwhelming response. It is the rich material. “That is why it has pulled endorsements from writers as wildly-different as Nicholas Sparks and Lee Child— two writers that have rarely been mentioned in the same sentence until now.”

Final Thoughts from Author

As a wildly successful but reclusive novelist, Landay does not take his readers for granted. The most important thing he would like his readers to know is that it’s a great privilege to be a writer in our society. ” Very, very few people get to do what I do, as a full time novelist and spend the rest of their days doing what they want the most. I owe this to my readers, without them, this wouldn’t be possible and I would be forced to get a “real job” and the books would stop.

Current Works in Progress

Landay refuses to share any of his works in progress because he believes that “every book twists and morphs”, so anything he shared today might change or be inaccurate by Tuesday. But readers are keeping their eyes “pilled” for the next great novel Landay will reveal. His full interview may be referenced at

Book Series In Order » Authors » William Landay

One Response to “William Landay”

  1. Bernadette: 1 year ago

    I saw the movie ‘Defending Jacob’ and knew I would enjoy your writing.I also agree with you about keeping your personal life private. I’m looking you up right now to see what books are out from you so I can enjoy your stories. I would rather read the story than watch a production that lessens my perception of characters. Thank you for sharing your talent. Simcerely, Bernadette


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