Dennis Palumbo – Member Spotlight

Meet Dennis Palumbo. Bestselling author, Dennis Palumbo, credits a childhood gift with the inspiration behind his award-winning, Daniel Rinaldi thriller series. “When I was ten and home from school with the mumps, my father gave me a beautiful, hardcover, illustrated edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” he explained. “I’ve been faithful to that delightful marriage of storytelling and the mystery genre ever since.”

The ten-year-old soon forgot the mumps, but not the fascination ignited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s crafty sleuth. After his college graduation, Dennis became a scriptwriter for the groundbreaking, Emmy-nominated, ratings-giant, Welcome Back, Kotter. He was also tapped to write scripts for numerous other television productions.

He wrote the original story of, then co-authored the screenplay for, My Favorite Year, a box-office hit that earned legendary leading man, Peter O’Toole, an Academy Award nomination, and garnered Dennis a nomination for Best Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. Yet, throughout his Hollywood career, he maintained his youthful wish to write mysteries.

Dennis’s decision to leave the silver screen behind and begin his career as a licensed psychotherapist—specializing in creative issues—led him to write the cutting edge, critically-acclaimed, Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within. The bestselling, non-fiction tome is highly praised by authors, screenwriters and artists as “inspirational”, “practical”, “motivating” and “a must have for all writers”. The book is currently used to teach classes in more than 200 universities world-wide. Writers and other creative professionals in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia credit it as life-changing.

The Hollywood Reporter lauded Writing from the Inside Out as “… An eminently readable book that deftly identifies stumbling blocks and how to overcome them…(it) is more than a little food for thought. It’s the promise of an entire spiritual banquet for emotionally debilitated creative writers.”

Numerous other writing projects followed. Then, the roads of Dennis’s childhood dream and his career as a licensed psychotherapist intersected when he began writing his internationally lauded Rinaldi thrillers.

“All of my novels feature psychologist and trauma expert Daniel Rinaldi,” he said. “As a consultant to the Pittsburgh Police, he treats victims of violent crime—those who may have survived the kidnapping, home invasion or sexual assault but are still traumatized by the experience.”

Each book in his riveting, bestselling series, including Fever Dream, Night Terrors, Phantom Limb and Mirror Image, has earned rave reviews and more Rinaldi fans. The fifth Daniel Rinaldi novel, Head Wounds, was named a “Best Thriller of 2020” by Suspense Magazine. Publishers Weekly stated, “(The Daniel Rinaldi novels) are riveting.” Oscar-winning writer and producer (Crash and Million Dollar Baby), Bobby Moresco said, “Rich, complex thrillers…with surprising twists and characters that leap off the page.”

Dennis’s column, “The Writer’s Life,” appeared monthly for six years in Written By, the magazine of the Writers Guild of America. He’s also done commentary for NPR’s All Things Considered. Currently he writes the “Hollywood on the Couch” column for the Psychology Today website, and provides articles and reviews for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Lancet, and others.

His work helping writers has been profiled in The New York Times, Premiere Magazine, Fade In, Angeleno, GQ, The Los Angeles Times and other publications, as well as on NPR and CNN. He’s also appeared numerous times on Between the Lines, the PBS author interview show.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Pepperdine University, he served on the faculty of UCLA Extension, where he was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Dennis conducts workshops throughout the country and overseas, at both clinical symposia and writing conferences—often to packed rooms—receiving rave reviews.

His short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, critically-acclaimed anthologies, his own collection of short mysteries, From Crime to Crime (Tallfellow Press) and elsewhere.

Dennis’s sixth Daniel Rinaldi thriller, Panic Attack (Sourcebooks/Poison Pen Press) is scheduled to debut in September of this year. His first novel, City Wars (Bantam Books) is currently in development as a feature film.

The long ago hopes of a ten-year-old boy, to one day write mysteries, became reality and Dennis’s pleasure in achieving that goal is evident. Now entering his 30th year in private practice as a therapist, he recently reflected on this, noting, “…the past decade has been highlighted by my opportunity to fulfill that ambition with my Daniel Rinaldi novels. Something about the symmetry of that journey surprises and gratifies me to this day.”

To learn more about Dennis go to www.dennispalumbo.com

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