Posts Tagged ‘CSI’

Message from M.A.C. – February 9, 2007

Friday, February 9th, 2007

My New Year’s Resolution is to provide updates on a more regular basis. With my son Nate back from Japan after a year of study there, I may get prodded enough by him to actually make it happen….

Two new novels are coming out soon.

Black Hats

BLACK HATS will be released in late March by William Morrow in hardcover. It’s the first novel under my “open secret” penname, Patrick Culhane. This byline will be used for standalone historicals, and the second Culhane standalone is in progress right now. BLACK HATS is my long-promised Wyatt Earp novel.

Here’s a brief rundown:

The Prohibition era has just begun, the Wild West a fading memory, when Wyatt Earp — spending his golden years as a detective in Los Angeles — goes east to help the son of his late friend, Doc Holliday. Wyatt’s onetime deputy, Bat Masterson — now a bigtime sports writer — joins the defense of young Holliday and his hot new nightspot against a new breed of badmen — mobsters led by Brooklyn’s brash, brutal young Alphonse Capone. As the ’20s (and machine guns) start to roar, the lawless lawman enter a glittering world of beautiful showgirls, ruthless gangsters and highrolling gamblers — in one last glorious stand signaling the end of their legend and the beginning of Scarface Al Capone’s.

BLACK HATS is an historical thriller in the Nate Heller/ROAD TO PERDITION mode, but it’s also a lot of outright fun, sort of THE GODFATHER MEETS THE STING. I may be doing a brief tour supporting the novel, if my writing schedule allows. Stay tuned.

A Killing in Comics

A KILLING IN COMICS will be out in May from Berkley Prime Crime. With the “disaster” series coming to a sort of logical end with WAR OF THE WORLDS MURDER, I was asked by my editor to replace it with “something to do with comics.” KILLING is a prose novel but has comic art integrated within, making it a kind of hybrid, thanks to wonderful retro comics illos by my longtime MS. TREE partner, Terry Beatty, who has also done a stunning cover.

The book’s hero, Jack Starr, is not unlike Nate Heller, but his adventures with his ex-stripper stepmother Maggie Starr (who runs the small newspaper syndicate that Jack is chief troubleshooter for) are slightly less hardboiled — more Archie Goodwin than Mike Hammer. A KILLING IN COMICS is a fictionalized take on the creators of a certain superhero who were screwed by a certain comic book company. This one’s a lot of fun, too — I haven’t a better time writing a novel since I was in college.

Antiques Roadkill

The second Trash ‘n’ Treasures mystery, ANTIQUES MAUL, by “Barbara Allan” will be out in September. If you haven’t read the first one, ANTIQUES ROADKILL, it’ll be out in paperback from Kensington in July. Barb and I have had wonderful positive reaction to Brandy Borne and her eccentric mother Vivian. And the novel has received some glowing reviews, a book club sale, large print and (early stages) television interest.

Matt Clemens and I have a short story collection out together from a small press in Chicago: MY LOLITA COMPLEX AND OTHER TALES OF SEX AND VIOLENCE. We’ve had some very nice reviews, and it’s nice to officially share byline with Matthew. Matt was my assistant on the CSI novels as well as DARK ANGEL and BONES. What looks to be our final CSI, SNAKE EYES, has been out for a few months; though we’re no longer writing novels for CSI, we’re involved with other licensing for them — we’re writing two jigsaw puzzles right now, and not long ago I finished the dialogue and co-script for another CSI video game. We’ve been approached to do another novel series for a major crime TV series…we’ll see….

As I write this, a Quarry movie is being filmed in Louisiana — although the character has been renamed Price. Why? Because this is a one-shot film — I didn’t want to license the series character, in case I want to make a Quarry movie myself, or license it to Hollywood. The multi-million-dollar indie film is directed by Jeffrey Goodman, who helmed the award-winning short film A MATTER OF PRINCIPAL (available as part of SHADES OF NOIR on my DVD boxed set, BLACK BOX) and the feature version’s script is by me, although another writer did a draft after my two drafts. I also did a last minute polish, and wish the filmmakers all the best. Tom Sizemore is playing “Price.” It’s called THE LAST LULLABY, and officially is based on the short story “A Matter of Principal,” although it contains many elements of my novel, THE LAST QUARRY (which is based on my original screenplay for the film, as opposed to the revised version being shot).

On the horizon are a number of Mickey Spillane projects. Mickey had a number of books in progress at the time of his death and he told his wife Jane to give them all to me — “Max will know what to do with them.” We have a major Mike Hammer deal — involving three new Mike Hammer novels! — that will be announced in detail soon. And I’ve finished up DEAD STREET, a non-Hammer novel Mickey was working on.

This is an unusual situation. Rarely has a major mystery writer left behind so much unpublished material. Although unfinished, all of these projects have substantial Spillane material — usually half or more of each novel was written (the last Mike Hammer Mickey was working on, THE GOLIATH BONE, was 2/3’s finished). In addition, notes and sometimes endings were among the manuscript pages. Also, Mickey spoke to me about most of the stories, talking about where he was heading with them, sharing endings with me, and getting my assurance that I’d “wrap up” anything he wasn’t able to. No greater honor has ever been paid me.

M.A.C.

Message from M.A.C. – November 6, 2005

Sunday, November 6th, 2005

Road to Paradise

A lot to report on, and I hope the infrequency of these updates will be explained if not excused when you see what all I’ve been up to. ROAD TO PARADISE, which received a great advance rave review from Publisher’s Weekly, will be out in the last week of November. This means that once again I have somehow earned the worst imaginable time of year to go out and promote a book — I have a very narrow window to do signings and readings and so on, so check this website for the list of dates. Most of them will be in the midwest, though I may go to the West Coast in January.

The novel is the last of the ROAD trilogy, and more info about it appears elsewhere on this site. Is this really the end of the story? As usual with me, that depends on you. I have a notion for at least two prequels and one after-quel or whatever-the-hell you might call it. What would they be? Well, there’s been some movie interest in my developing a prequel that explores the beginnings of the Michael O’Sullivan/John Looney relationship. And when you read PARADISE, you’ll see for yourself the major loose end I purposely left myself.

The next book will not be a PERDITION spin-off, however, nor a new Nate Heller. I have a novel about Wyatt Earp in the works which will be delivered to Morrow in 2006, with a commitment for another book after that (which could or could not be one of the PERDITION novels mentioned above).

Eliot Ness

Also, I’ve just finished the initial post-production (locking the visual side) of the feature-length version of ELIOT NESS: AN UNTOUCHABLE LIFE. Elsewhere a press release on this site will fill you in in detail on that project; but I will say that Mike Cornelison, actor, and Phil Dingeldein, shooter/editor, have knocked it out of the park. So did everyone else involved, including Lighting Designer John Houghton and Audio wizard Mark Johnson (who is working on the music and finished audio right now). We shot in Hi-Def, and anyone expecting a straightforward record of a play will be surprised…pleasantly.

Quarry fans will be excited to learn that I’ve written my first novel about our favorite hitman in a couple of decades — THE LAST QUARRY will be published by Hard Case Crime sometime next year, probably last summer. It is indeed the last story chronologically in Quarry’s career, though I reserve the right to fill in the blanks of the “missing years” (though “blanks” rarely enter in where Quarry is concerned). The novel expands upon the short story and short film “A Matter of Principal.” Director Jeffrey Goodman is still working on getting my screenplay version of the longer take on this tale in front of the cameras.

Those who haven’t had a chance to see that short film (written/produced by me, directed by Jeffrey) will soon be able to — the new DVD label Neo-Noir (distributed by Troma) will issue my anthology feature SHADES OF NOIR next year. At some point it will be an individual release, but in late January it will be available exclusively in my boxed set THE BLACK BOX, which includes new lavish 10th anniversary editions of MOMMY and MOMMY 2: MOMMY’S DAY as well as REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS STREET MARKET.

SHADES OF NOIR includes “A Matter of Principal” and two other short noir films, the original “demo” film of “Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life” and “Three Women” (from my wife Barbara’s short story, “World’s Greatest Mother”). The DVD is rounded out by the long-asked-for documentary “Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane.” Bonus features include the “lost” Blake Edwards “Mike Hammer” pilot from 1954 starring Brian Keith, as well as a “making of” feature on “A Matter of Principal” and several rare Spillane trailers.

CAVEMAN: V.T. HAMLIN AND ALLEY OOP, my new documentary, has been doing well on the midwestern film festival circuit. I won “Best Director” at the Iowa Motion Picture Awards (and Mike Cornelson picked up “Best Narrator”); won the Silver Eddy at the Cedar Rapids indie fest; were an official selection at SMMASH in the Twin Cities; and won two awards of distinction at the Wild Rose fest in Des Moines. We are in discussion with Iowa PBS about a possible broadcast home, and I’m starting to show the doc to DVD distributors, as well.

Also coming next year is the first book by “Barbara Allan” — the collaborative penname for Barbara Collins and her husband (me). It’s a light mystery somewhat in the Mallory manner called ANTIQUES ROADKILL, and will be a hardcover from Kensington, also in late summer. We have signed to do two more. These are funny and somewhat “chick lit” in nature, but have a nice edge, nonetheless. Barb does the mystery plotting, and I write the fashion tips, of course….

CSI: Killing Game

The latest CSI was just published — KILLING GAME (my title was IMPERFECT CRIMES, for the record) — and another has been delivered: BOOT HILL. It’s not due in print till late next year. The CSI schedule has slowed down, possibly because the original books are being reprinted and issued at lower prices. We have sold well over a million copies in the USA alone. My collaborator Matt Clemens and I are in CSI novel hiatus at the moment (though we just finished doing four new CSI jigsaw puzzles, and I just finished up the fouth CSI video game script) and are at work on a TOP SECRET TV tie-in that will be of interest to anybody who took the time to read this deep into this update.

Fans of the old KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER show with one of my favorite Mike Hammers, Darren McGavin, should check out Moonstone’s anthology of classic Kolchak-style tales: KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER CHRONICLES. I’ve been honored with the final slot in the book: “Open House.”

Recently published, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS MURDER is attracting nice sales and attention (a wonderful review in one of my fave mags, FILMFAX!), but the disaster series is probably over. On the other hand, I’m about to begin a new novel for the same publisher, Berkely Prime Crime, in a new series about the history of comics in post-WW 2 America. The first novel will be called A KILLING IN COMIC BOOKS, and each chapter will have…I am delighted to say…an illustration by my longtime MS. TREE collaborator, Terry Beatty.

Speaking of MS. TREE, once again there is serious TV talk, and I may soon be writing a 2-hour pilot for the show. I would also do a number of scripts, if we go to series. This would be a dream come true — no property of mine has generated more interest in TV and movies than MS. TREE. Plans for an elaborate reprinting of the entire run are on hold until we see if this time the dream really does come true. And Terry and I are champing at the bit to do a new graphic novel about our favorite female vigilante.

No other comic book stuff is happening right now, though my CSI: NY mini-series at IDW is being published currently. No, I am not writing the CSI: NY novels (Stu Kaminsky is) but I did deal with those characters in two CSI: NY puzzles and the aforementioned mini-series, which I presume will be collected as a graphic novel.

Nate Heller Fans of the World — do not despair. For various commercial reasons, Nate has to sit on the bench for a little while longer. You can catch up with in an anthology of race track mysteries that Otto Penzler is doing — a new Heller short story, “That Kind of a Nag,” will appear there. And a great new audio book, unabridged, of THE MILLION-DOLLAR WOUND is out right now.

Thank you for your interest and support, and I hope to see many of you soon at signings and other personal appearances. Your support of ROAD TO PARADISE will keep things moving forward, and a purchase of the Neo-Noir BLACK BOX will further our indie adventures.

M.A.C.