Posts Tagged ‘Complex 90’

Totally Recalling the Zombies

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

I am preparing to start the new Nathan Heller book, ASK NOT, which is a sequel to the forthcoming TARGET LANCER. In the weeks between novels (as you may recall I completed COMPLEX 90 shortly before leaving for San Diego Con), I tend to take care of smaller projects that have piled up. This week I’m dealing with a Dick Tracy intro, a serial novel chapter, and a radio script, among other things. Also, I’ve cleaned my office, reorganized the basement “book room” (the repository of my authors’ copies), and removed ten boxes of books from my basement library, culling and thinning, seeking room for new purchases. I also took a trip with Matt Clemens to Chicago on the Mike North project (which has stalled) and welcomed my friend Brad Schwartz and his parents into the Collins manse for a fun Sunday afternoon.

Additionally, Barb and I went into Chicago last week and saw the great British invasion band The Zombies (with key original members, singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent) at the same fun nightclub, Viper’s Alley, in suburban Chicago where we saw the Vanilla Fudge a while back. The band was great, although a much more laidback act than the Fudge. Blunstone is a brilliant singer who conveys a sense of joy, even bliss, wrapped up in the songs he sings; his constant smile and his manner are sweet in the best sense. Argent as a keyboard player is clearly the best rock has to offer, and he both inspired and intimidated me. The only downside – and this happened to some degree at the Fudge concert – is the behavior of some of the Baby Boomer crowd. They get drunk and behave as if they are at a Poison concert, trying to insert themselves into the performance, whooping and standing up and making devil horns with their arthritic fingers. God save me from the inebriated, particularly the Baby Boomer inebriated.

The Zombies
Photo by Daniel Veintimilla of Creative Loafing

Barb and I have also gone to a number of movies, and of course last week I commented on the Batman movie, which the critics love and I don’t. We saw the TOTAL RECALL remake, from the director of the entertaining UNDERWORLD series, and the critics mostly hate it. Yet it’s an extremely entertaining, well-made, twisty yet largely coherent action film with some BLADE RUNNER trappings, befitting the Phillip K. Dick source material. Not a great film, TOTAL RECALL nonetheless does everything the BATMAN film tries to but actually accomplishes it. Naturally, the nerds and the critics hate TOTAL RECALL even while extolling THE DARK KNIGHT RISES as one of the greatest films of all time.

My lapse into film reviewing (a habit I have tried to kick) got Ed Gorman’s attention in this nice write-up at his great blog.

Finally, “Skin” got another good review, interestingly from a reader who had never encountered Mike Hammer before (and found the experience something of a shock!).


Skin Game

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

My latest collaboration with Mickey Spillane is available in e-book only from Dutton’s e-relaunch of its Gilt-Edged Mystery Line, of which Mickey was the first great star, actually easily the greatest star. It’s a nice honor that they are making Mickey a big part of this new start.

Here’s where you can read about the novella and order it from parent company Penguin. It’s also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book sellers.

The novella is my completion of a very interesting fragment from the Spillane files – a typically great opening from Mickey. It’s already generating some terrific reviews, like this one…and this one.

Meanwhile, LADY, GO DIE! continues to get nice notices. Here’s one of the latest.

And for an in-depth view of the First Comics panel at San Diego Comic-Con, with an emphasis on Ms. Tree, check this out.

And the next Hammer novel – COMPLEX 90, the long-awaited third book in Mickey’s Red Scare trilogy (the other two novels are ONE LONELY NIGHT and THE GIRL HUNTERS) – has been delivered to Titan. I finished right before we left for San Diego.


Complex Issues

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

This will be a somewhat brief Update, as I am immersed in working on the new Mike Hammer, COMPLEX 90. It’s a particularly tricky book because it includes a sequence about Hammer in Russia (referred to and essentially outlined in Mickey’s unfinished manuscript) that I am trying to bring on stage. The book takes place in 1964 and is, in part, a sequel to THE GIRL HUNTERS.

I am pleased to report that MICKEY SPILLANE ON SCREEN by Jim Traylor and has received a glowing review from Rod Lott at the web’s premiere review site, Bookgasm. Check this one out.

I’ve been astonished at how much coverage Hard Case Crime’s announcement of the new Jack and Maggie Starr mystery, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, has been stirring up. It indicates the PR genius of editor/publisher Charles Ardai. The book doesn’t even come out till next February, and my JFK Heller novel comes out this Fall, and it hasn’t had a whisper of fuss…even if all it does is solve the JFK assassination. But I’m delighted by all this advance coverage of SEDUCTION. I won’t provide links to all of the nice write-ups the announcement has received – I’m getting great reviews for the idea of this book! – but here’s a typical one from that pro Mel Odom.

We continue to get terrific LADY, GO DIE! reviews, and this one is one of my favorites. The review is from a slightly feminist POV, and I love the way the reviewer – and a number of other women who have given this book good reviews – struggle with the females in the novel, grasping that Spillane wrote very strong women and yet having to deal with those women tending to follow Hammer’s lead…plus Hammer calling them “doll,” “kitten” and so on. A while back a reviewer said nobody uses such terms any more. Well, those books take place in the past. On the other hand, I call my astonishingly beautiful blonde wife – in her sixties and looking about thirty-five – “doll” and “babe” all the time. Sue me. Anyway, read this smart, fun review.

We’ll close with a rarity – a fan reviewer who loves one of my Batman stories. It’s called “Robber’s Roost,” is about the Penguin, and is a prose short story. Also, full disclosure: I don’t remember a thing about it.


Hammer and Noms

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Two Mike Hammer projects have earned nominations in the annual Scribe Awards from the International Association of Media and Tie-in Writers. “The New Adventures of Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder” is nominated in the new audio category, and KISS HER GOODBYE is nominated in the Best Original Novel category.

The Daggers are British awards for crime and mystery fiction. I don’t know much about them, other than that they are prestigious; but the Hammer short story “A Long Time Dead” has been “shortlisted.” Whether this is a nomination or an even shorter list of nominees will follow, I can’t tell you. But here’s the full “short” list.

My cyber press tour, which I thought had wound down, continues, at least for a while. Comic List broke an interview with me into two sections, one on LADY, GO DIE and other things, another centering on the long-threatened ROAD TO PERDITION sequel. Several people comment that there should not be a sequel – apparently unaware that I’ve already written three (and the “in-between-quel, RTP 2: ON THE ROAD).

Hermes Press has announced my collection of the Mike Hammer comic strip. We have apparently located the missing Sunday lacking in the long-out-of-print previous two-volume edition, plus I’ve done two new essays about the strip and Mickey. It’ll be a very handsome book.

Mickey Spillane's From the Files of... Mike Hammer

This fairly positive but condescending review of LADY, GO DIE! is (somewhat unfortunately) probably the widest circulated of any of that novel’s reviews. The reviewer refers to the novel as a “sequel” to I, THE JURY (yes, using quotes, apparently to question its authenticity – Mickey’s partial manuscript was very clearly a sequel to I, THE JURY, and I don’t appreciate the doubt this reviewer appears to cast).

Here is Part One of an interview I did with Comic Geek (Part Two will appear later this week).

Yup, here’s another interview with me. Tired of hearing me yammer? Me, too.

For a change of pace, here’s a nice review of THE MILLION-DOLLAR WOUND, indicative of the new lease on life the Amazon reprints and e-books have given Nate Heller.

I love this review of LADY, GO DIE! (“Why don’t you marry it?” – Pee Wee Herman).

This LADY, GO DIE! review is nice, too.

So is this one.

And an overview here.

While the cyber press tour has certainly slowed down, I still have an interview or two coming up. I wonder how this is impacting sales? I don’t see how Titan could have done much better in getting the word out on the web.

If you haven’t picked up LADY, GO DIE! yet, let me encourage you to do so, and not just because I’m the co-writer. As I may have mentioned, the book is physically beautiful, with the classic Spillane photo tipped in on the front cover and his signature boldly reproduced on the back (gotta slip off the dustjacket to see this).

In the meantime, work on the fifth of the Hammer collaborations begins this week – COMPLEX 90.