Posts Tagged ‘A Long Time Dead’

Spillane/Collins Nominated

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

The Mike Hammer short story “A Long Time Dead” (published in the Strand) has been nominated for a Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” award. This is me working from a Hammer fragment by Mickey and developing it into a short story. Beyond the half dozen substantial manuscripts in the Spillane files, another ten or so shorter fragments provide the makings of short stories or even novels. The current Hammer radio novel, ENCORE FOR MURDER, was developed form a one-page novel outline in the files.

BYE BYE, BABY has received a lot of attention on the web over the last week or so, but nowhere more generously that in the cyber pages of January Magazine, and it’s all due to J. Kingston Pierce, who is rapidly becoming a major figure in mystery/crime criticism.

First, the book was the Pierce pick of the week, plus the “front page” of the magazine highlighted that pick with a mini-article, then Pierce used extra material from his Kirkus blog to do a BYE BYE, BABY interview.

The interview the latter was culled from came from a Kirkus blog interview about BYE BYE, BABY and Heller that also went up last week.

I also did a BYE BYE, BABY piece for the Romantic Times blog.

And the ubiquitous (and controversial) Helen Klausner has given BYE BYE, BABY a favorable review.

Our one-week West Coast tour is now under way (check above for cities and bookstores and other pertinent info) and I will be doing brief daily updates.

By the way, LADY, GO DIE! – the first of the Titan “Mike Hammer” novels – has been completed and submitted.


Mike Hammer is Selected

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

By Hook Or By Crook
By Hook Or By Crook
Tyrus Books

I’m pleased to announce that the Mike Hammer short story, “A Long Time Dead,” which appeared last year in the Strand magazine, has been selected for the 15th edition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s The Best American Mystery Stories 2011.

Otto Penzler selects the fifty stories that he regards as the outstanding mystery/crime stories of the year and submits them to a guest editor – this year it’s Harlan Coben – who whittles the list down to twenty.

And “A Long Time Dead” made the cut. This is the first time one of my stories has been chosen for the BAMS honor (or, for that matter, one of Mickey’s).

The story was developed from one of eight or so shorter Mike Hammer fragments in Mickey’s files. The unpublished Hammer material falls into three categories: a., substantial novel fragments of approximately 100 pages or more, sometimes including plot and character notes; b., shorter novel fragments of a chapter or two, sometimes including plot and character notes; and c., single chapters or less, (again) sometimes including plot and character notes. A previous Hammer story developed from such a fragment appeared in 2010 in the Strand (“The Big Switch,” was chosen for Ed Gorman’s rival “best stories of the year” collection, By Hook or By Crook).

It’s gratifying that these Hammer short stories are being so well-received. I hope to develop the rest of the shorter fragments into short stories in the coming years, with an eye on an eventual collection. With some odd exceptions, Mickey himself never really published a Hammer short story. The exceptions are “The Night I Died,” which I short-story-ized from a radio script of Mickey’s (the only ghosting of sorts that I did for him during his lifetime) for the Spillane/Collins-edited anthology The Private Eyes, and “The Duke Alexander,” an offbeat humorous Damon Runyon kind of thing, starring Hammer but not at all typical, which appeared in Byline: Mickey Spillane (edited by Lynn Meyers and me). I believe “The Duke Alexander” was intended primarily as a screen treatment.

Other exceptions are short story-length condensations of Mickey’s Mike Hammer novels,The Killing Man and Black Alley, both of which appeared in Playboy. I don’t know who created those condensations, but I doubt it was Mickey (it wasn’t me).

So “The Big Switch” and “A Long Time Dead” – both chosen for “best of the year” collections now – are the first actual Mike Hammer short stories in the conventional sense. And there will be more….