100,000 Served!

June 8th, 2010 by Max Allan Collins

Here at FOMAC (which does not stand for F**cking Old Max Allan Collins) we are celebrating. We are over 100,000 visitors to our humble site. Thank you to the Friends/Family/Fans of M.A.C.

QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE has been nominated for a Best Paperback Novel “Anthony,” which will be presented at Bouchercon in September.

It’s unlikely Barb and I will be attending the con, so the odds of winning this one are long indeed. Voting is done by attendees at the con, and writers who aren’t in attendance don’t often win. It’s a popularity contest, but then so is the writing game in general.

But this is a very nice honor. THE FIRST QUARRY was nominated last time. Keep in mind I’ve only had five Anthony nominations in my entire career (George Hagenauer and I won for MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES). So I’m very grateful, particularly to those of you who voted for the book in the preliminary round.

Last Quarry Audiobook

Speaking of Quarry, there is an excellent, reasonably priced audio book of THE LAST QUARRY from Speaking Volumes Audio, nicely read by actor Curt Palmer. You can buy it at Amazon or other of the usual suspects, or at Speaking Volumes’ own website.

There are more Quarry audios on the way from Speaking Volumes, including the early out-of-print books. I hope Curt Palmer is asked to read those, as well, because he does a nice, understated job. According to Curt’s site, he is going to do THE FIRST QUARRY and at least one more.

Also, Stacy Keach’s reading of THE BIG BANG is out from Blackstone Audio, and Barb and I are listening to it in the car now – another terrific job from everybody’s favorite Mike Hammer actor. Again, you can get it from various online sources, including directly from Blackstone Audio. But Amazon seems to have the best price.

Back to Quarry, I received a handful of bound galleys from Hard Case Crime. If you are an internet reviewer, and aren’t regularly receiving Hard Case Crime reading copies, write me at macphilms@hotmail.com, and I’ll send you a copy (until my supply is gone).

I am working on the JFK Heller – still researching/plotting. I am considering titles for the book, and would love to get your opinions.

Among current candidates:




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19 Responses to “100,000 Served!”

  1. Brian_Drake says:

    Hi, Max. For the Heller titles…. hmmmmm. I would skip the Lone Gunman or Magic Bullet because those phrases, in relation to the case, have been overused, and you’ve always had unique titles. I really like “Shadows in Sunshine” which I think really captures the mood of what happened in Dallas and the events that followed. Of course, it’s your book, pick what you want, but them’s my thoughts.

  2. pat says:

    Hey Max,

    How about “The Book Depository”?

    If not, I like Smoking Gun or Ides of Texas

    Pat Lee

  3. Edmond D. Smith says:

    Hi, Max:

    I kinda of like Shadows in Sunshine too but your asking for suggestions got me thinking of some other potential titles (which, without knowing the exact storyline might be completely off the mark) and so I came up with the following off the top of my head: Freeze Framed, Bullet Count and Shell Game.

  4. patrick foster says:

    Ides of Texas. I think that’d really tie in with the conspiracy stuff I assume you’re writing about. Can you say, is this the Heller scheduled for next year, or a second one in the pipe?

  5. I’m glad you guys (and others) are liking SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE, because that’s a contender.

    I have another I like: ASK NOT.

  6. patrick foster says:

    Wow. ASK NOT seems the best of the bunch.

  7. Edmond D. Smith says:


    I was giving it some more thought and while I like Shadows in Sunshine and I have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting at with it I think to others who are not as familiar with your stuff as I and your regular fan base the title might sound a little “Oprah Book Club”ish. I don’t know, maybe this is a good thing; it might make people who wouldn’t ordinarily be attracted to it to give it a look…or maybe it will just confuse folks.

    With that said (for what it is worth) I do like “Ask Not” as it immediately conjures up JFK and that whole era.

    Anyway, I eagerly anticipate (whatever-you-call-it’s) arrival.

  8. Brad Schwartz says:

    It’s hard for me to judge without knowing the angle you’re taking with the book, but ASK NOT immediately jumps out at me as being the most Kennedyesque. That seems like it would grab the attention of JFK buffs more than any of the others. MAGIC BULLET would, too, but it seems too similar to MAJIC MAN to me, unless you intend some connection because both involve a President. SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE I also like a lot, so I’d suggest either that or ASK NOT.

  9. I appreciate all this input. Several other folks have contacted me via e-mail with ideas and suggestions.

    Right now I’m liking ASK NOT.

    But SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE remains in play….

    I’m also considering DROWNING IN RESEARCH.

  10. Kim Frazier says:

    What about IDES OF A BITTER NOVEMBER? Or just BITTER NOVEMBER? Like SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE, but LONE GUNMAN makse me think of the X-Files spinoff, and SMOKING GUN sounds western-ish. ASK NOT is cool, but it doesn’t sound like a Heller novel to me, it sounds more like a non-fiction book just about JFK himself. Ya could also go with something that combines ALL of the conspiracy theories out there, like THE GRASSY KNOLL. My opinion is not that it was the mysterious babushka lady or the umbrella man who assassinated JFK, but the grassy knoll itself, since it’s forever being mentioned in the vast majority of conspiracy theory books out there. Of course, there’s tons of super-tacky titles you could use, but I won’t go into them here, ‘cuz I don’t want people to know just exactly what kind of…uh…”interesting” sense of humor I have. I’d kind of like to still be able to go out amongst normal society without my SWAT gear on. Congrats, too, on the 100,000 people that have hit your site thus far! Does this mean you’re gonna put up a sign now, like MickeyD’s does? How cool would THAT be?

  11. Thanks, Kim — but here the sign would be MickeyS not Mickey D’s.

    Feeling good about ASK NOT, for now, anyway. It invokes JFK but also has a nice sinister ring.

  12. Brian_Drake says:

    ASK NOT is your title. Hands down winner.

  13. Edmond D. Smith says:


    I think I sense a growing consensus: ASK NOT is looking good to be the next Heller title.

  14. Pretty sure it’s gonna be ASK NOT.

    The editor can always pressure me otherwise, but it’s feeling good.

  15. Brian_Drake says:

    You’ve talked before about editor-enforced title changes in several introductions you’ve written (the first two Quarry books and The Million Dollar–I mean, The *Hollywood* Wound–come to mind). After all the years you’ve been producing, your track record, etc., do you still have no power over the title if the editor insists on a change? And by what criteria does an editor judge a title?

  16. Brian,

    it varies.

    My current Nate Heller editor took BYE BYE, BABY without a blink.

    Our Kensington editor did not like what Matt and I came up with (KILLER TV) and — after many attempts by us to come up with alternative, all unsuccessful — Kensington suggested YOU CAN’T STOP ME. Some publishers (like Kensington) consider a title part of marketing, and therefore their domain.

    This can be very frustrating. My title for RED SKY IN MORNING (and I still greatly prefer it) was USS POWDERKEG. My title for BLACK HATS was MARSHAL OF MANHATTAN — I think BLACK HATS is better (of course, I came up with that, too…as I did RED SKY).

  17. Craig Clarke says:

    I for one am very excited about the Quarry audios. Your work seems to translate well to the medium.

  18. dan luft says:

    I have to admit that KILLER TV sounds kind of trashy to me but YOU CAN’T STOP ME just comes of as generic. I think ASK NOT is a better title than SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE. Just like MAGIC BULLET sounds a little too close to MAJIC MAN, SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE is a little too close to DAMNED IN PARADISE.

    My favorite title in the Heller series remains NEON MIRAGE (which I hope was yours). It also has my favorite opening sequence of any of your books.

  19. NEON MIRAGE was indeed my title. Several Heller titles of mine that were objected to wound up being used because nobody (including me) could come up with anything better — namely, FLYING BLIND and CARNAL HOURS. CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL was originally CHICAGO LOWDOWN, since I didn’t want to get that close to Ellroy…but the publisher overruled me. My original title for TRUE DETECTIVE was TOWER TOWN, but TD was my idea, too. I still think THE HOLLYWOOD WOUND is better than MILLION-DOLLAR WOUND, but it’s too late now.