Posts Tagged ‘Crusin’’

Casino Capers

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

If you are in my part of the world, some Crusin’ gigs are coming up. We are landing some really great venues – Dec. 3 and 4th we’ll be at Jumer’s Casino, 777 Jumer Drive, Rock Island IL, from 8 to midnight both nights. On Sunday Dec. 12, we’ll be at Riverside Casino, just outside Riverside, Iowa (birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk), from 2 pm till 5.

This coming week, though, we will have a CD release party at the Button Factory in Muscatine, at their Upper Deck bar, from 8 till midnight. Night before Thanksgiving is a huge night for live entertainment in these parts, so I’m hopeful we’ll have a nice crowd.

The live CD, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HAPPENED – we’ll show you the cover next week – was designed for me to send (or drop off) to potential venues. The liner notes contain a detailed history of the band with historic pics. The 20 songs are a mix of originals (some previously only in demo form) and all sorts of things from the ‘60s, from Bobby Rydell to the Vanilla Fudge. Nate will be home soon and he and I will discuss how we are going to offer this to you. Because it’s not a for-retail CD, we can’t sell it; but we can give it away, and we’ll be coming up with some offers of out-of-print M.A.C. material that you can buy and receive the new CD as a bonus.

If you are involved with a mystery or comics con and are interested in considering booking us for your event (midwest only, unless you can provide air fare for four), you may request a copy of the promo CD. Just contact me at macphilms@hotmail.com. Same goes if you are a bar or nightclub anywhere in Iowa or Illinois.

The big news this week is the Top Suspense Group that I’m part of designed to give a handpicked group of writers a place to show off their e-book wares. You may have seen the press release, but here it is again:

Top Suspense Group

With more than 700,000 e books already on line, The Top Suspense Group plans to slash through the clutter and offer readers one site filled with exciting books in several genres at reasonable prices.

As creator and acclaimed author Dave Zeltserman explains, “Every member of our group has made his or her mark on genre fiction, whether it’s noir, crime, mystery, thriller, horror or Westerns, and in some cases, several of these genres.

“Authors include Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman, Vicki Hendricks, Harry Shannon and myself,” Zeltserman notes. Zeltserman has spoken before about the difficulty readers have in searching for sites that offer seasoned professionals making some of their finest material available at affordable prices. Not only will readers get the books, but many of the books will contain extra
material, such as the writer’s commentary on the book that has been purchased or the addition of a free short story.

“Readers will appreciate a reliable inexpensive site that continuously delivers some of the best in contemporary genre fiction,” said Top Suspense Group member and multi-award winning author, Max Allan Collins.

Check us out at:

www.topsuspense.com
www.topsuspensegroup.com

M.A.C.

Hammer Sounds

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Quarry's VoteThis is going to be a brief update this week, because Nate has a busy week in Japan.

This week’s cover from Perfect Crime’s reprint series of the first five Quarry novels is QUARRY’S VOTE. The original title of this one is PRIMARY TARGET, a title I like and actually prefer; but we needed to make the patterning of the titles consistent, and especially with the new Hard Case series entries, Quarry seems to have found his way into the titles.

I recently heard the final mix of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER Vol. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER, and could not be more pleased. Stacy Keach, Mike Cornelison and Tim Kazurinsky (among other talented thesps) (I don’t think I ever typed “thesps” before) did great work. The audio stuff – both Carl Amari’s radio-style dramas and the readings of the new Spillane/Collins novels by Stacy Keach – are attracting some attention and awards. Here’s a nice write-up on Mike Hammer as one of the classic tough guys available on audio. And here’s a link to a brief, fun interview with Stacy on the same subject.

We will very soon have the new CRUSIN’ CD available, probably right after Nate gets back from Japan. Because it’s a promotional item, I can’t sell it, but I am reserving around 50 of the 200 run to give away as free bonus items with the sale of another, related item. I’ll be more clear about that later….

M.A.C.

Better Late Than…

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

A terrific QUARRY’S EX review came in from Daniel Luft – very insightful and a real pleasure to read. Too bad the book didn’t come out last month as promised. On the other hand, and I can say no more, it looks like EX really will be out some time next year…possibly a year late, but…

Mystery File shared two Top 100 Lists by top-notch fan/critics, dating to 1993. I don’t remember this – maybe never saw it – but both lists have Nate Heller novels on ‘em. As you know, I despise such lists…unless I am included. In which case their validity is unquestionable.

I do wonder, when I see such lists, just how much tastes-of-the-moment are in play. In 1993, STOLEN AWAY was getting a lot of attention, rave reviews, a Shamus nod, etc. There hasn’t been a Heller since 2001, so I wonder how many lists today would fail to include one of those novels. We’ll see if BYE BYE, BABY gets Heller back on the radar.

Blood Money NEL EditionThere’s a very interesting look from a UK site about the first two Nolan novels and how they were published with very cool Dali-esque covers over there. If you’ve never seen these covers, it’s worth a trip (to the site, not the UK) (but I’m always up for a UK trip). I left a couple of comments that you may find of interest.

Barb and I listened to a rough cut of the new Mike Hammer audio novel (THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER) in the car on a Chicago getaway this weekend. Producer/director Carl Amari did a great job, with Stacy Keach just batting that ball out of the park as his signature character. But the rest of the cast is terrific, too – with Mike Cornelison as Pat Chambers (in my opinion, the best Chambers ever), Tim Kazurinsky as a Broadway producer, and all kinds of Chicago talent. This will be out next March. By the way, I play a role in ENCORE FOR MURDER – a small but significant one – and I got the best review possible from Barb: she didn’t realize it was me! This either shows that I did an incredible acting job, or that I don’t make much of an impression, even when you live with me for 40 years.

Also on the trip, we listened to the second pass on the new Crusin CD – CRUSIN’ LIVE – ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HAPPENED – and after just one tiny tweak, we’ll be ready to press the suckers. I’m doing about 100 copies for promo purposes, and a limited edition available here at the site – these will probably be given away “free” when you purchase another item (TBD). This is not a national release because it’s designed to show potential clients what the band sounds like, and includes covers of material that we can’t afford to license. We may be able to offer downloads of the original songs from the album (there are seven, including a blistering “Psychedelic Siren,” first live recording of that we’ve ever issued).

While in the Chicago area, I saw Nate’s book SUMMER, FIREWORKS & MY CORPSE in the science-fiction/fantasy section of Borders! He has arrived!

I would like to mention two of my favorite writers, briefly. First, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for the Facebook film THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a stunner – beautifully constructed and the dialogue crackles. Don’t miss this film.

Second, we lost Stephen Cannell last week. He did a lot of TV in recent years that I didn’t care about (starting around A-TEAM time), and I have never been able to get into his novels. But he remains one of my handful of favorite TV writers (Sorkin being another). He gave us ROCKFORD FILES, TENSPEED AND BROWNSHOE, THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO (Mike Cornelison had a recurring role!), and RICHIE BROCKELMAN, PRIVATE EYE. Most important to me, he and Roy Huggins (my other favorite TV writer) came up with CITY OF ANGELS. That’s my favorite private eye show of all time, and I owe Cannell, Huggins and actor Wayne Rogers a huge debt – Nate Heller is their bastard offspring. I never met Cannell, but not long ago I sent him a foreign movie poster of a film version of the three-part ANGELS pilot, “The November Plan,” asking that he signed it. He did, and I will treasure it.

M.A.C.

Summer’s End

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

A word from my son, Nate —


As some of you may already know, in addition to administrating this website, I work as a freelance Japanese to English translator. In the spirit of crass nepotism, I’d like to hijack this week’s post to announce the release of my first book-length translation, SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE: a collected novel, novella, and short story by suspense/horror writer Otsuichi.

The titular SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE, Otsuichi’s breakout suspense novella (written when he was only sixteen), follows a nine-year-old girl who dies during summer vacation. While her two friends-turned-killers attempt to hide her body from their families and the police, we watch from the point of view of the girl’s dead body. It’s a simple story with an interesting narrative twist.

The collection follows with “Yuko,” a short story set in post-war Japan. A young woman is starting her first job as the lone servant in a mansion home to a reclusive author and his wife. But as weeks pass with no actual sign of the wife’s existence, the servant begins to fear for her master’s sanity.

The third and final selection, BLACK FAIRY TALE, is a novel of classic Japanese horror. In it, a girl loses her eye in an accident and receives a transplant. Her new eye contains visions of the experiences and memories of its previous — deceased — owner. The girl, her own memories gone, finds herself estranged from her old family and friends and becomes drawn to the past life of her eye’s donor. But as she seeks to discover the donor’s fate, she soon finds herself in mortal danger.

As you can see, there’s a lot packed into this book, and there’s a lot to like. Otsuichi deftly mixes the creepy and the supernatural with a grounding in slice-of-life Japan, and the twists and turns are surprising, but never cheap or dishonest. I am very lucky to have worked with such captivating and well-written source material, making my first book-length published translation something I can be proud of. I hope you’ll check it out!

We’ll now return to your regularly scheduled update:

Very proud of Nate – I read this book in galley proofs, and it’s excellent. Can’t wait to lay hands on an actual copy.
Here’s a small but nice BIG BANG review (those seem to finally be winding down).

And here’s a link to an appearance I made last May at the legendary Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City. (And here’s a link of the same with audio only.) It’s about an hour – I discuss THE BIG BANG and read a brief selection, then answer a few questions. They have signed copies and you can write them here for info about mail-ordering one: info@prairielights.com

For those of you in the eastern Iowa area, Crusin’ will play at the Elms Restaurant, 2108 Grandview Avenue, from 8 to 11 on Friday, Oct. 1. Muscatine’s River Drive is blocked by road construction and you should use the bypass.

Work continues on the live Crusin’ CD culled from soundboard recordings last August. Twenty songs including around seven originals. It’s designed for promo purposes but I’ll sell a limited number here.

Here are some things Barb and I enjoyed over the weekend: the solid crime film THE TOWN; the new Weezer CD, “Hurley”; and the eighth season of the electrifying British show Spooks (aka MI-5), thanks to our all-regions DVD player (and Amazon UK).

M.A.C.