Posts Tagged ‘Appearances’

The Weird Ways of the Net

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

For yet another week, I spent much of my time on a sort of internet tour for LADY, GO DIE! (out this week). Later in this update, I will provide links to various pieces I’ve written and interviews I’ve given. How odd it is, to be doing most of my promo on the web – not in book stores or even on TV or radio.

On the other hand, I should note that Barb and I have a book signing this coming Saturday, May 12, at Barnes & Noble in Davenport, Iowa, from 1 p.m. to 3. This is the first signing for both ANTIQUES DISPOSAL and LADY, GO DIE! It’s at North Park Mall, 320 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA 52806.

But isn’t the internet weird? Sometimes wonderfully so. For decades, I wondered and even searched for Ennis Willie, author of the Sand novels that had (along with Richard Stark’s Parker series) inspired me as a teenage writer, in particular Nolan, the series Perfect Crime has recently reprinted in trade paperback. Then one day, out of the blue, I hear from Ennis Willie himself – neither a penname nor an African American (both had been speculated) – in my e-mail box. Since then, he was published two collections of his “Sand shockers” and I have written introductions to both.

Now I’m about to share with you an e-mail and my response. It comes from Ennis Willie’s 1960s editor at Merit Books. When I was 15 I wrote this gentleman, asking him if he’d look at my first novel, without telling him my age (the book was called The Gray Flannel Thugs). He said he’d look at the book. Meanwhile, forty-eight years later, this turned up in my e-mail box:

Max –

As an old man now, I was thinking about fiction I had enjoyed and Ennis Willie popped into my head. Wondered if he had written anything lately. Picked up “A Sand Shocker” from Amazon. Was surprised to see my name in it at least four times. Also, your editor used the short stories I had Willie do for Rascal. He never wrote any before I came onboard.

If you are interested, I might be able to fill you in on some of the Camerarts details. Although not there from the beginning, I did spend four years there.

Lastly, I was/am a big Dark Angel fan. Liked very much what you did on Before the Dawn. You’ve come a long way, baby.

Cheers,

Tony Licata

This was my somewhat astonished response:

Dear Tony —

How amazing to hear from you.

You have the honor of being the only editor who rejected me who I look back on fondly and with gratitude.

As you may recall, I had my parents drive me to your office in Chicago to deliver my first novel manuscript in person. I was, I believe, 15.

You wrote me a very long, helpful, encouraging editorial letter, and when I tried a novelette for Rascal, you responded with a similarly long and helpful letter. You didn’t have to do that. Hard to know just how much you aided me in my career at that very important juncture.

I wound up writing four novels in high school, and then the novel I wrote in community college (Mourn the Living) — very much a Sand imitation — got me into the undergrad Writers Workshop at Iowa City. Richard Yates, author of Revolutionary Road, was my instructor and mentor. The next two books I wrote sold before I got out of grad school, and that community college novel eventually got published, as well.

How odd and sweetly strange it is that you read one of my DARK ANGEL novels as a reader and not an editor. Somehow that’s the greatest compliment of all. I’d love to send a few other books of mine, not based on anybody else’s concepts, to show you how really far I’ve come.

Thank you for getting in touch with me, and thank you for the time you spent with an enthusiastic kid from Iowa, who was writing sex scenes long before he ever had any. Of course, I never did shoot anybody, either, and I’m still writing about that….

Warmly,

Max

* * *

I wrote a very in-depth piece about the process of putting LADY, GO DIE! and the other “lost” Hammer novels together for Lit Reactor.

Here’s a well-conducted interview about LADY, GO DIE! at Slacker Heroes.

The Slacker Heroes interviewer also did this nifty review of the book.

Another nice interview with lots of comics images can be found at CBR’s fun site.

MTV.com asked me to rate my top ten crime comics.

Flavorwire wanted a beginner’s guide to crime fiction, and I chose these ten books.

Finally, Criminal Element presented an excerpt from LADY, GO DIE!, but you won’t need to read that, will you? Since you’re going to buy the book this week….

M.A.C.

See You In St. Louie

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Here is my schedule for Bouchercon:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th, 2011
PANEL: UNNATURAL VICES-Thursday, September 15th – 2:30PM
Comics and crime fiction (Location – Majestic D)
Cullen Bunn (M), Max Allan Collins, Gary Phillips, Jason Starr, Duane Swierczynski

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th, 2011
PANEL: I’M ALIVE AND ON FIRE- – Saturday, September 16th – 10AM
Rumors of the private eye fiction’s death have been greatly exaggerated (Location – Majestic A, B)
Ali Karim (M), Max Allan Collins, Barbara Fister, Robert J. Randisi, Linda Richards

Saturday night, presumably in a ballroom at the hotel, Crusin’ will be playing from 8:30 till midnight, with special guest vocalists joining us in the last set.

Also, Matt Clemens will be doing a panel on collaboration on Friday, but I don’t have the details. Check the schedule when you get there. Or if you aren’t going, pour yourself a glass of wine and start reading BYE BYE, BABY…another good way to spend the weekend. Beer also works. Coke Zero, too.

Ron Fortier has written a great review of THE CONSUMMATA. Ron is a terrific writer himself and his comments are always welcome.

The nifty Sons of Spade web site has posted a short but I think pretty good interview with me. The guy knows how to ask questions.

And Hard Case’s rebirth continues to get some really nice attention, such as J. Kingston Pierce’s write-up on the Kirkus blog.

Finally, here are a couple of pictures from our signing last week at one of the Chicago area’s best bookstores, Centuries and Sleuths.

Max with longtime fan and friend Mike Doran at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park.
Barb signing ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF at Centuries and Sleuths.

M.A.C.

MAC on WGN

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

A quick addition to this week’s update:

Yesterday, Max was on WGN Radio’s Steve and Johnnie, and they’ve been kind enough to provide us (and you!) with an MP3 of the hour-long interview:

He’s the New York Times bestselling creator of Road to Perdition, Quarry, Nathan Heller: It’s Max Allan Collins!
In this extended conversation, Steve and Johnnie catch up with renaissance man Max Allan Collins. Some of the topics discussed are: his future work involving the Kennedy family, his love of ‘Storage Wars’, the future of e-publishing and bookstores, the latest round of comic book movies and why Mickey Spillane doesn’t get the respect he deserves.

Direct link: .MP3 (28.2 MB)

(And if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to scroll down for this week’s regularly scheduled update.)

Nate

San Mateo

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Okay, so I shouldn’t have angered the Travel Gods. This — with the exception of the event itself (see below) — was one horrible day. LAX was slow and mobbed, the plane ride featured babies or children fore and aft and sideways (including, as Barb so delicately put it, “poopie diapers”); the San Francisco airport was jammed with passengers awaiting delayed planes, the ride on the airport train was unpleasantly packed, and the room of car rental counters looked like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The car we rented was a “free upgrade” because they were out of what we’d reserved — this was a Volvo model I knew nothing about with a radio that picked up nothing but foreign language talk shows. We were booked in a downtown San Fran hotel and found ourselves in a morass of cars, taxis, trolleys, buses, construction and detours. After an hour and forty-five minutes, we could never find the hotel. We called them and told them where we were (seemingly perhaps a few blocks away) but they couldn’t guide us there. They could, however, refuse to cancel our reservation. We hobbled to San Mateo, were fooled by a road sign that labeled East Third as West Third, sending us on a half hour wild goose chase. The book store folks (we stopped in around four) were great but advised us downtown San Mateo had no hotel. So we returned to the freeway, found a Doubletree hotel where we were charged top dollar for a “deluxe” room (no difference from any other standard room in similar hotels), had a lousy-even-for-a-hotel meal, wrestled with the parking lot requiring the hotel key (which it refused to recognize), then back to the bookstore.

The event, at least, was great. A nice turnout at M is For Mystery with some real fans who brought all kinds of stuff for us to sign — a nice fan named Mike even dragged along all the Dick Tracy IDW hardcovers for signatures! — and lots of BYE BYE, BABY and quite a few ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF were sold. Barb gave a great Barbara Allan/ANTIQUES talk, and I was so tired, fried and loopy that I said lots of things in public that I shouldn’t have, which seemed to entertain the public.

Saturday morning (at 5 a.m.) we will be up and out, and with any luck headed back to Iowa, where East is East and West is West, and where only the farmers are up at 5 a.m.

M.A.C.