Posts Tagged ‘Crusin’’

St. Looie Postscript

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Bouchercon was a blast. Among many friends I got to see and spend time with were Bob Randisi, John and Barbara Lutz, Christine Matthews, Ted Fitzgerald, Jeff Pierce, Ted Hertel, Dick Lochte, Christa Faust, Deadly Pleasures editor George Easter, EQMM editor Janet Hutchings, Mystery Scene editor Kate Stine, agent Dominick Abel, editor Michaela Hamilton, Strand editor Andrew Gulli, and so many more. I can say with no humility whatsoever that the two times I signed I had huge lines, damn near rivaling the guests of honor — Barb and Matt Clemens signed with me, so I can’t take all the credit. I was part of two lively panels — one on comics, another on the future of the private eye genre — on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

Crusin' at Bouchercon 2011

Along the way, I gave “shite” (my new favorite word courtesy of my new favorite pal Ali Karim) to my shy and retiring buddy Gary Phillips both on and off the comics panel, jawed with Sara Paretsky, and with Crusin’ backed our guest artists Bob Randisi, Joelle Charbonneau, Bryan Gruley, Mark Billingham and Guest of Honor, Val McDermid. Everybody was great — Bob has a fine voice and gave Elvis a run for it on “Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love,” Joelle (a stunning redhead in a green gown) had the pipes to do justice to “Be My Baby,” Mark and I did a raucous “Saw Her Standing There” while the charismatic Val joined Mark for a stirring Orbison/k.d. lang-style “Crying.” Finally Bryan blew the roof off the dump with a “Gloria” that Van Morrison might have envied.

In addition, the performance (on Saturday night) found Crusin’ very well-received with dancing from the start and applause after every tune. A rough load-in at the Renaissance Grand (as my late friend Paul Thomas said, “The ass end of a hotel is never pretty”) was the only mote in the eye of a wonderful night.

Bill Crider (with whom I also jawed, his lovely wife Judy, too) was nice enough to post a pic from the dance with some comments from attendees thereafter.

The Shamus awards on Friday were fun at the Busch brewery, where some have accused me of eating two pieces of a cake that was not quite big enough to serve the entire group. This is a libelous notion, but perhaps my losing the short story Shamus was karma….

I was honored to read Ed Gorman’s acceptance speech for receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye. Much deserved, and a graceful, modest acceptance from Ed, who had to remain in Iowa at the bat cave (it’s not Batman’s cave, it’s just a cave full of bats).

Some very nice web attention has come up for various of the new MAC books. KISS HER GOODBYE got a strong write-up from the L.A. Review of Books, for example.

Sons of Spade gave BYE BYE, BABY a short but very enthusiastic and insightful review here.

A very flattering review calling me the James Brown of the mystery writing game (my apologies to Gary Phillips, but after all I am the hardest working man in show business now that James is gone) appeared at Bookgeeks.

And I got a nice recommendation from Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego for BYE BYE, BABY.

Finally, the Library Journal had wonderful things to say about THE CONSUMMATA.

My apologies to anyone at the con I didn’t mention. There were so many friends and friendly faces that it was a very pleasant blur. Also great for Barb and me was spending time with son Nate and his girl Abby, who came to the Crusin’ dance. I am in fact still in St. Louis as I write this on the Monday after the great Bouchercon weekend, spending more time with my fantastic son (he’s fantastic even if it was his idea to go to the horrible psuedo-noir “Drive” yesterday).

Finally, a big shout-out to Jon and Ruth Jordan, the brawn and the beauty.

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.

Hi, Hi Baby

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Bye Bye Baby

Today (Aug. 16) is the publication date of the first Heller in almost a decade (but you knew that): BYE BYE, BABY. All I ask is that everybody reading this buy 25 copies and ship them to friends (or strangers if necessary).

The audio book is also available, and is the first of a new series from Brilliance that will present every single Nate Heller novel – and the two short story collections – in new audio presentations. This is exciting news, at least for me, and these audio presentations will tie in with the new trade-paperback/e-book reprint series of the complete Nathan Heller Memoirs from Amazon/Encore.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I will be doing daily updates while Barb and I are on the road the next week’s whirlwind West Coast Tour for our bouncing BABY (see tour schedule above).

This will be a busy week around the Collins household. Barb and I are preparing for the tour, which also will be promoting “Barbara Allan” and other projects, like Hard Case Crime titles and ongoing Mike Hammer projects. And (speaking of Hammer) I will be continuing a crazy work schedule to complete LADY, GO DIE! before we leave next Monday.

Also this week, Barb and I have our 45th high school reunion and of course Crusin’ is playing for that, this coming Saturday night. The band will have a monster rehearsal this week picking up even more ‘60s material for that very special gig.

There are a few nice MAC mentions that have popped up in the last week or so on the Net. Here, for instance, is a cool discussion of Chicago crime that talks about the movie and book, ROAD TO PERDITION, liking both but liking the latter more.

The New York Post has included BYE BYE, BABY on a “required reading” list.

This blog entry – again from the Ed who isn’t Gorman – has smart things to say about Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer, and a particularly insightful look at the film KISS ME DEADLY. Ed Who Is Not Gorman also highly recommends my documentary on the Criterion release.

There’s a very nice overview of the hardboiled/noir genre in multi-parts that includes Nate Heller and me. But the whole series is good, with insightful comments about Mickey and Hammer.

You’ll have to scroll down to find it (or just read your way down, because it’s a good blog), but here’s a nice review of the upcoming QUARRY’S EX.

M.A.C.

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:

http://www.thebigthrill.org/2011/04/2011-thriller-awards-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?

M.A.C.