Posts Tagged ‘Bouchercon 2011’

Nobody Died

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I am pleased to report that none of my friends died this week (Clemens, you can come out of your hidey hole).

If you have Facebook, you can check out this superior audience recording of “Alley Cats” with Mike and Nick Cornelison. You can get pretty much all of the dialogue. Several people have asked me what the requirements were for this competition, and I have frankly forgotten the exact instructions (which I received over the phone). There was a name and job description of one of the characters, the line “That’s gonna leave a mark,” the need to be a “buddy film” situation, the use of a manila envelope, and maybe a couple of other things. The audience knew of these requirements and sometimes ahhhed and even applauded when they were worked smoothly in. Understand, this was an under-the-gun competition – actors and crew waiting for me to quickly turn out a script that they could execute in under a week.

My buddy Parnell Hall has made some fun You Tube song videos about the writing game. Crusin’ and I (and lots of bigtime writers, including Crusin’ guest artists Val McDermid and Bob Randisi) participated in a new e-book-centric vid mostly shot at Bouchercon in St. Louis. (That makes our appearance the last video recording of the band with Chuck Bunn.)

Nice reviews for various M.A.C. stuff continue apace. That fine human and terrific writer Bill Crider contributed a great CONSUMMATA review.

This review from Bookgasm is kind of odd. The reviewer seems to like me and the Quarry series, but mis-reads QUARRY’S EX as a prequel to THE FIRST QUARRY, which I think it clearly isn’t. He doesn’t seem to like Quarry’s encounters with B-movie actors, either, and doesn’t seem to care for (or “get,” in my view) a novel that otherwise has earned glowing reviews. Still, always nice to be noticed by Bookgasm, a really great review site.

On a happier note, renowned comics writer John Ostrander provides a great BYE BYE, BABY review at my pal Mike Gold’s ComicMix site.

For those wondering what I’m up to this week, I am continuing work on a book entitled SPILLANE ON FILM with my ONE LONELY KNIGHT collaborator, Jim Traylor.


Nate Heller’s 20th Century

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

In the new MYSTERY SCENE – Number 121, with a pic of my Crusin’ Bouchercon bandmate Val McDermid on the cover – you will find a wonderful overview of the Heller saga by the great mystery critic, Jon L. Breen: “Nate Heller’s 20th Century.” It’s beautifully designed by editor Kate Stine herself, and the issue also features a rave review of BYE BYE, BABY from Thrilling Detective’s Kevin Burton Smith. Don’t miss it.

Craig Clarke has also written about the revival of Heller (courtesy of the new AmazonEncore editions) at his Somebody Dies web site, always worth a visit.

With THE CONSUMMATA about to come out, I’ve been asked to guest blog and do various things and stuff around the net. One of those things was to compile a list of my favorite pulp fiction for Flavorwire (oddly, they call this my list of favorite detective novels). Cool list, if I do say so, with mostly great book covers to illo.

We’ve also had some dynamite reviews of QUARRY’S EX, one at Pulp Serenade and another at Book Reporter. Check ‘em out.

Finally, here are some pics you may enjoy from the recent Bouchercon.

With Jeff Pierce of the great mystery site, the Rap Sheet

With Barb (at right) and our “Barbara Allan” editor from Kensington, Michaela Hamilton

Typical smart-ass moment on a panel.

Matt Clemens (center) speaking on the collaboration panel.

Me giving Gary Phillips some much need shit (Duane S. looks on).

Behind the mic and at the keyboards at the B’con dance

Barb, lovely in the audience

The legendary John Lutz and me

The “Barbara Allan” chorus line

“Barbara Allan”

Private Eye Writers of America Presidents (l to r): Bob Randisi, Jerry Healy, Sara Paretsky, M.A.C., S.J. Rozan, Dick Lochte, Parnell Hall and John Lutz.

Thrilled to be Nominated

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

A very pleasant surprise last week (actually, two of them): the International Thriller Writers have nominated YOU CAN’T STOP ME for Best Paperback and the Mike Hammer “Long Time Dead” for Best Short Story.

Matt Clemens and I had been told that YOU CAN’T STOP ME had made the short list of ten for the ITW honor, but we were nonetheless blown away by the actual nomination. This comes at a very good time for us because, frankly, the current Harrow book isn’t burning up the bookstands, and we are (in TV terms) “on the bubble” with the fledgling series.

If you have not read either Harrow – YOU CAN’T STOP ME and the current NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU – maybe this news will be enough to get ya off the dime. I believe the Kindle prices on both books are very low – under five bucks each last time I checked.

And of course it’s very, very rewarding to have a Spillane/Collins collaboration singled out. Some people dismiss the posthumous Spillane material, without even a read, citing “purist” notions about not wanting to subject themselves to a work started by one writer and completed by another. Apparently they never read Ellery Queen.

Anyway, here is the full list of the nominees:

As I’ve said before, one of the cool surprises the net can serve up is a new review for an old book. Here’s a nice one about the Mallory novel, NICE WEEKEND FOR A MURDER. Mallory has been getting a little love lately, out in cyberspace, so maybe one of these days we’ll get him back into print.

OurTop Suspense Group anthology keeps getting great reviews, like this one. There are occasional complaints about typos and inconsistencies story-to-story, and we’re cleaning those up as we can – it’s a home-made effort by pros, understand. You can get it in actual book form now, and it’s really a beautiful-looking book. Reads good, too.

KISS HER GOODBYE keeps racking up nice reviews – this one is from somebody who I frankly think is getting jaded (he likes GOLIATH BONE and BIG BANG better – most reviewers and readers…including Jane Spillane…think KISS HER is the best of the trio), but overall it’s another good one.

Last week Barb and I wrapped up ANTIQUES DISPOSAL and got it shipped (well, e-mailed) to Kensington. We took two days off for a getaway (to Des Moines – yes, our life is a glittering, glorious, glamorous Jet Set fantasy) and came back for a nice weekend (not for murder) with son Nate, his girl Abby and our granddog, the supremely insane Australian Blue Heeler, Toaster. Also got in a really good Crusin’ gig at the local Eagles Lodge Hall, for Eagles pooh-bahs from all over the grand state of Iowa.

It is true, by the way, that Crusin’ will be playing at Bouchercon in St. Louis this fall. We will be having a handful of mystery-writer guests who will join us on a few songs. No instrumental sit-ins (that way lies madness), but we will have some guest vocalists. The first we’ve invited: Bob Randisi. Are you out there, Parnell Hall?


New Antiques

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Antiques Knock-Off

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF is supposed to be coming out March 1st, but I am getting reports that it’s already out. I am pleased to report that Barb and I have had rave reviews from both Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly for this entry in the “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” series. I’m getting increasing positive feedback from readers of my usual hardboiled fare that they are digging this cozy series, which Jon Breen aptly describes as “subversive.” If you don’t laugh at these, check your pulse – you may have passed away.

One of the interesting things about the net is that reviews of older books show up. This week some really perceptive reviews popped up of various not-current works.

With ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF just hitting the shelves (our best “Barbara Allan” yet in my opinion), it’s fun to see ANTIQUES MAUL, the second book in the series, turn up on a Kindle review site. I love it when a reader “gets it” – particularly a reader who blogs. Reviewer Joe M. points out that ANTIQUES MAUL is on sale for Kindle at under five bucks!

Indian Book Reviews has a very nice review of MORTAL WOUNDS, the collection of my first three CSI novels. I’m very proud of those novels, written in collaboration with my NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU co-author Matt Clemens. We did eight CSI novels and two CSI: MIAMI, all of which are among the most successful non-science-fiction TV tie-ins of all time. Matt and I are waiting to hear if the Harrow series will continue at Kensington – if you buy copies (real books or Kindle) you will help the cause!

The fun blog Not The Baseball Pitcher has a review of my 1981 Nolan novel – FLY PAPER! Pretty decent review, too. Speaking of Nolan, I am working on a deal to bring Nolan and Jon back into print (books #3 through #8 – the first two are still available as TWO FOR THE MONEY). They will be trade paperbacks, not initially available on e-book.

Finally, I’ll mention we had a very successful two-night stand at the Riverside Casino here in Iowa. We appeared with Denny Diamond, an excellent Neil Diamond tribute act, and had great response. We are in talks right now possibly to appear at the St. Louis Bouchercon. That would be our third Bouchercon appearance, and we hope it happens, because the other two were a blast!