We'll Always Have Cleveland: A Memoir of a Novelist and a City

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9781598510140: We'll Always Have Cleveland: A Memoir of a Novelist and a City
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“A warm, loving portrait of a city and the surrounding area―smoothly and sincerely written.” ― Ohioana Quarterly

In this memoir, novelist Les Roberts tells how he discovered the heart and soul of a city while fictionalizing it for a series of mysteries.

When Roberts, a TV producer at the time, arrived in Cleveland from L.A. for a short-term consulting job in 1986, he never dreamed that, just months later, he’d find himself so completely won over by the place that he’d give up the glitz of Hollywood and put down roots in this rustbelt city. It took only a few weeks in Cleveland to convince Roberts that the city was a ripe setting for his next private-eye novel. Then, a chance meeting on an airplane led him to the inspiration for his new character: Milan Jacovich. The combination proved very successful. Thirteen Milan Jacovich novels resulted, and with each book Roberts drew more heavily on real Cleveland places and people.

Roberts writes about his favorite locations and his favorite people (and at least one person who was not happy to find himself in a novel). It will appeal to fans of the series, fans of the city, and aspiring novelists who want to learn how one writer took a city and made it his own through fiction.

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From the Inside Flap:

If you're a fan of the "Milan Jacovich" mystery series by Les Roberts, you'll enjoy this memoir.

When novelist and television producer Les Roberts arrived in Cleveland from Los Angeles for a short-term consulting job in 1986, he wasn't entirely prepared. It was January, and he'd brought no overcoat, no boots. That chilly Northeast Ohio surprise wasn't all he was unprepared for. He never dreamed that, just months later, he'd find himself so completely won over by the place that he'd give up the glitz of Hollywood and put down roots in this rustbelt city.

It took only a few weeks in Cleveland to convince Roberts that the city was a ripe setting for his next private-eye novel. Then, a chance meeting on an airplane led him to the inspiration for his new character: Milan Jacovich (pronounced My-lan Yock-o-vitch), a tough Slovenian-American sleuth with a master's degree and a taste for klobasa sandwiches and cold Stroh's beer.

The combination proved very successful. Thirteen Milan Jacovich novels resulted, and with each book Roberts drew more heavily on real Cleveland places and people for the authentic local flavor of his stories. From the upscale Heights to the industrial Flats, from shiny new Jacobs Field to the aging ethnic neighborhoods, Roberts and Jacovich covered the town. They saw where the deals were made (Johnny's Bar, Little Italy), the good times were had (The Velvet Tango Room, Vuk's Tavern), and the bodies were found (all over the place!).

In this memoir, Roberts tells how he discovered the heart and soul of a city while fictionalizing it for a series of novels. He writes about his favorite locations and his favorite people (and at least one person who was not happy to find himself in a novel). It will appeal to fans of the series, fans of the city, and aspiring novelists who want to learn how one writer took a city and made it his own through fiction.

About the Author:

Les Roberts is the author of 16 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich, as well as 11 other books of fiction. The past president of both the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer’s League, he came to mystery writing after a 24-year career in Hollywood. He was the first producer and head writer of the Hollywood Squares and wrote for The Andy Griffith Show, The Jackie Gleason Show, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., among others. He has been a professional actor, a singer, a jazz musician, a teacher, and a film critic. In 2003 he received the Sherwood Anderson Literary Award. A native of Chicago, he now lives in Northeast Ohio.

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