NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Connelly has sold more than 85 million books under nearly 40 titles, but there’s another distinction that makes him equally proud: His most famous protagonist, LAPD Det. Harry Bosch, has become the longest running character on streaming television.
“I know the history of streaming is very short, but it’s still something that we’re very, very proud of,” Connelly said.
Based on his book series, “Bosch” ran seven seasons on Amazon, and then spun off as “Bosch: Legacy,” which premieres its second season Friday on Amazon Freevee.
But that’s not the only streaming series based on his books — Netflix recently premiered the second season of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” whose protagonist, Mickey Haller, is the half-brother of Bosch. While the pair have appeared in books together, they’re unlikely to appear together on television because they’re on separate streaming networks.
Recently, the best-selling author spoke with The Associated Press about the legacy of his detective character, similarities he and his creator have in terms of family life, and how much Bosch is in him.
AP: How do you deal with the gap between the time the book was written and the changing values at the time of the series?
CONNELLY: I still haven’t written the perfect book yet. And so you do get a chance to retell things. And there’s other dimensions to it. Like, we’ve adapted books that are almost 30 years old and 30 years in Los Angeles or anywhere, the changes are amazing. So you’re automatically kind of telling a new story. And that to me is refreshing and fun. It’s a real joy to be in the writing room I got to admit, it’s a huge ego boost. All these people are talking about something new created, a character you created.
AP: How many different adventures can Harry Bosch and these characters have on screen?
CONNELLY: I keep writing about them, so hopefully we won’t run out of book material. But also — especially with ‘Bosch (Legacy’) — it’s a life of its own. Yeah. We use some books as kind of like baseline story.
AP: But you’re going beyond the books?
CONNELLY: We are in an area where we’re really exploring stories that are not taken from the books, and that’s very fun to do. And believe it or not, then I take some of that stuff and put it in the books. For example, Maddie becoming a police officer was in the show before it was in any of my books. Now it’s in my books.
AP: Is Harry Bosch anything like you?
CONNELLY: Little things to make him an outsider. But he wasn’t sharing my DNA. I was lucky and it got published. And then they wanted another Harry Bosch story and then another. And so eventually you can’t keep that separation and you start sharing. There’s leakage from my life into his.
AP: What similarities do you have?
CONNELLY: Most notably is that we have daughters who are the exact same age and went to the same schools, and his daughter happens to say stuff my daughter has said to me. So that to me was a big bridge between me and my character.
AP: The father-daughter relationship has become a trademark for you?
CONNELLY: Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller have daughters the exact same age as my daughter. So I’m sharing that in both series. And I really think it’s such a key part of my own life or any father’s life.
AP: How did it all begin for you?
CONNELLY: I’m a writer because I’m a reader. And the books that turned on that light for me were the classics… I loved the private eye novel. I love the outsider looking in.
AP: But your insight came from being a newspaper reporter?
CONNELLY: I was a journalist for 14 years and I covered the police. I was smart enough to say, ‘This is what I have that maybe other writers don’t have,’ so I’d be a fool not to use that authenticity to my book. So, Harry Bosch started out as a cop, and he was an outsider.
AP: Any chance that Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller will appear on screen together, like they do in the books?
CONNELLY: That would be difficult to do. You know, if we could solve the war in Ukraine, we might be able to bridge the gulf between Netflix and Amazon. But they’re competitors and maybe it was a mistake for me to take one series to one and one to the other. But I got two TV shows going and they’re both really good. So, I don’t really regret it. But there is a small regret that in the books it’s important that these guys cross paths… Mickey and and Harry might never be in a TV show together.