Thrillers

Novelist, screenwriter and producer of feature films.

Burt Weissbourd writes character-driven thrillers. It began years ago when he went to Hollywood in 1975 to produce feature films. He was 26 and didn’t know anyone in the movie business, but he’d stumbled onto a timely idea — he was going to work with, and most importantly, back screenwriters. That is to say, stand behind their work, protect them from being rewritten, include them in the process of choosing a director, casting the picture, all of the decisions that go into making a feature film. Now, he can see how working with fine actors helped him to draw complex, conflicted characters without being too heavy handed.

Burt left Hollywood in 1987 — the golden age was over and he wanted to write. As a producer developing a screenplay, he learned to look for stories with strong, complex characters and a “rich stew” — that is to say a situation with conflict, emotional intensity, and the potential to evolve in unexpected ways. That is exactly how he approachs the books that he writes. He learned how to do that as a producer working on screenplays.

BOOKS:

Danger in Plain Sight (ebook | print available 09/08/2020)

Inside Passage (ebook | print available 10/13/2020)

Teaser (ebook | print available 11/20/2020)

Minos (ebook | print available 11/20/2020)

In Velvet (ebook | print available 02/06/2021)

Biggest literary influences:

Ross MacDonald (he wrote his only screenplay for me based on his book, The Instant Enemy, when I was producing movies), Raymond Chandler, Ross Thomas, Dashiell Hammett, Eric Ambler and Scott Turow. 

Last book read:

An early draft of Tom Murphy’s untitled work which he calls his “Ski Book.” It’s about his solo crossing of Yellowstone in the winter. There’s a movie being made about his crossing and generally about Tom.

Book that changed my life:

Ross MacDonald’s The Chill. He was able to seamlessly use complex psychological issues to create complicated characters and to drive the story forward without drawing attention to it.

Favorite literary character:

Ross MacDonald’s detective Lew Archer. A tough, insightful and, most importantly, sensitive man. He’s self-aware and not afraid of dealing with hard, often dangerous problems. He’s also compassionate and understanding about people who try hard to live a good life, even when it doesn’t work out.

Currently working on:

Two books:

Rough Justice, which is a thriller that covers more than 25 years and moves through China, Paris, Seattle, Vancouver Island, most importantly LA (in the late eighties and nineties) and finally Laos. It’s a vast canvas with many intertwined characters. Almost finished.

I’m simultaneously working on the sequel to Danger in Plain Sight.

Words to live by:

Honesty, integrity.

TESTIMONIALS:

“Bravo, Callie James. A woman gets in touch with her inner action hero in this bracing thriller.” — Kirkus Reviews

“With Danger in Plain Sight, Weissbourd delivers a polished page-turner about terrorism, money laundering and the price of sins rooted in avarice … Tart dialogue, explosive set pieces and a dexterous narrative style that favors velocity over exposition add to the book’s appeal … Thrillers may be a dime a dozen but memorable characters deserve a longer half-life, so here’s hoping Callie and Cash make a welcome return soon.” — BlueInk Review

“Here’s what happens when you enter Mr. Weissbourd’s world: You can’t get out. You will be astonished not only by the colorful, playful, lethal characters, but you will be hooked into a plot that laughs at whatever else you thought you were doing today. Callie and Cash, beauty and the beast and the characters that swim through their world are each a gem of humanity observed.” — David Field, screenwriter, former head of West Coast Production United Artists

“From the author of the brilliant Corey Logan Trilogy, Danger In Plain Sight is the latest thriller from Burt Weissbourd and his finest novel yet. Weissbourd has created an entire genre — Seattle Noir. Callie James and her son, Lew, are indelible characters. I devoured the novel in a single night — and I think you will, too.” — Jacob Epstein, writer, executive story editor Hill Street Blues, writer LA Law