Posts Tagged ‘Kiss Her Goodbye’

Kiss Her Bye Bye

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Though not due till August, BYE BYE, BABY is starting to generate some very nice coverage. Here’s the Tor/Forge Blog info on it.

Even better are several really great reviews, like this one from the Not the Baseball Pitcher site.

Ed Gorman – that terrific writer, and author of his own first-rate Marilyn thriller – has a lovely and I think quite insightful review about the first new Heller in a decade.

But KISS HER GOODBYE continues to get strong notices, too, like this on at a major Kindle site.

I’ve stirred some interest and even commentary on my admitted displeasure with the cover to the new Heller. I am pleased by the quality of the photograph, and thrilled that my publisher ponied up for a major photographic shoot from the excellent Thalicer Image Studio. But because of fears that the MM estate might object to too overt a Marilyn image, the publisher chose what I consider to be the weakest (and certainly most historically inaccurate) of the photos from the shoot. One of the rejects is attached – and it makes my point, because it’s the image Thalicer’s agent chose to post on the website intended to drum up business – not the actual photo used.

Bye Bye Baby

The angle of the photo also demonstrates that the Mickey Spillane lookalike is thrusting forward a police badge, meaning he is not intended to be Nate Heller, as some (unfortunately) are assuming.

Throughout my career, my lack of input in the covers of my books (despite my background in graphic arts and filmmaking) as well as the frequent battles over my titles (RED SKY IN MORNING should have been called USS POWDERKEG, for example) have been a big source of irritation. On the other hand, sometimes the publishers have been right – my original title for TRUE DETECTIVE was TOWER TOWN, for example…though I was the one who came up with TRUE DETECTIVE as an alternative. But CARNAL HOURS and FLYING BLIND are among titles I fought for, and thankfully prevailed.


Hello, Bye Bye

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Bye Bye, Baby

Here is the cover of the new Heller – first in ten years – BYE BYE, BABY. It’s out mid-August from Forge, a hardcover. A lot of people seem to like this cover very much, and it’s certainly handsome, but I protested the lack of historical accuracy…particularly since the Heller books are noted for historical accuracy. I was also concerned about the detective centerstage who resembles Mickey Spillane (which sends a mixed, weird signal for a non-Spillane/Collins title) and who might be taken for Nate Heller…who this image resembles not a bit. Heller is more a Peter Gunn type at this age and stage.

There were a number of photos taken at the cover photo shoot that I liked a lot better, but there was concern that the model looked too overtly like Marilyn, whose image is copyrighted or trademarked or something. I may be able to share some of this photos with you later.

Don’t mean to be complaining, because a great deal of effort went into this and, as I say, a lot of people think it’s strong.

I hope everybody’s out there reading the new Mike Hammer, KISS HER GOODBYE. We’ve already had a lot of great reviews, but here are some nice ones at Goodreads.

And I was really pleased by this insightful KISS HER GOODBYE review at “Ed’s Blog” (not Ed Gorman, surprisingly!).

Also, Matt Clemens and I received a terrific review of the second Harrow, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, at Kindle Taproom.

Here’s an interesting blog post about Sally Rand, dealing in part with my use of her as a character in a number of the Nate Heller books (and complimentary about how I did so). This comes at a funny moment, since I’m working on the new Heller right now (the JFK book) and Sally Rand (aka Helen Beck) is back. She is, in fact, the love interest – a man and a woman in their late fifties having sex…romantic or sickening? Your call.

Here’s an odd list that ROAD TO PERDITION made – not a comic book list, but a film noir list. A lot of negative comments about the list follow, because it really should have been labelled neo-noir or in some fashion separated itself from the real noir films of the forties and fifties. Still, I’m glad we were included.

Back to work! Nate Heller has just left a murder crime scene….


Say Hello To Goodbye

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Kiss Her Goodbye

I have spotted KISS HER GOODBYE on the shelves of the Davenport Barnes & Noble, so you should be able to find the new Mike Hammer hardcover at your favorite brick-and-mortar. (The trade paperback of THE BIG BANG should be right next to KISS HER.) I don’t know if Borders is carrying the new Hammer (they aren’t getting as many titles in right now, for obvious reasons), but I encourage you to snag this one at Amazon or elsewhere on line, if you don’t have a “real” bookstore handy.

Don’t wait for the trade paperback, because I don’t know if there will be one. This is the last of the Harcourt Spillane/Collins Hammer novels, and the future of the remaining three is in your hands.

Also, the Stacy Keach-read audio book should be out soon. Stacy thinks KISS HER is the best of the three. Our old friend Craig Clarke seems to agree at his Somebody Dies blog.

Great news on about THE LAST LULLABY. I’ll let director Jeffrey Goodman tell you:

“I am very excited to announce that we have signed with Level 33 Entertainment to distribute THE LAST LULLABY in the United States. We are currently aiming for a Fall release of a newly-packaged DVD. At this point, I am not sure what extras it will include, but we are looking into some different things. We also expect this release to place LULLABY in many other places and make it much more readily available.”

Whether there will be a blu-ray seems up in the air. I also don’t know if Jeffrey will include me in the extras on the disc, but I’m hoping there will be some short history-of-Quarry feature, and possibly the original, award-winning short (“A Matter of Principal”) that spawned the film.

Speaking of Quarry, Hard Case Crime has brought out all of their Quarry novels again as part of their re-birth at Titan, the great UK publisher distributed in the USA by Random House.

You might check out this interesting if odd and not entirely accurate mini-article about my DICK TRACY movie tie-in, as part of a list of 100 famous rejections. For the record, it wasn’t Warrren Beatty who went to bat for my novel, rather producer Barry Osborne. And the rewritten version was deemed fine by Disney, they just made me remove the identity of the Blank, making the book the bestselling mystery novel ever published that didn’t reveal who did it. (The 6th printing includes my real ending – all other printings are incomplete.)

ROAD TO PERDITION has made another top ten comic book movies list.

It has also made this top 25 comic-book movies list.

And speaking of movies, you can get my long out-of-print boxed set THE BLACK BOX on sale for under $25 right here. It includes an anniversary edition of MOMMY and MOMMY’S DAY (with lots of special features not previously available), plus REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS STREET MARKET and the anthology film SHADES OF NOIR (available nowhere else, and including the original, longer cut of my Mickey Spillane documentary, recently shortened/re-edited for the Criterion KISS ME DEADLY release).


Son Of A Pitch

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Not long ago, I was out in Hollywood for one of my rare “pitch” trips. One session was on the studio lot of a network with a very famous writer/producer, with a new Mike Hammer series the subject. Two sessions at two cable networks were for “Interstate 666″ (the hardy among you may remember my short story of that name in one of the HOT BLOOD paperbacks). The latter would be in partnership with producer Carl Amari (who did my two Mike Hammer “radio” novels, most recently THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER: ENCORE FOR MURDER). Carl has a deal with Fangoria magazine, who would “present” the film and subsequent series.

These are always long shots, but I have a lot of faith in Carl. The possible Hammer series – my involvement there would likely be limited to a script or two per season – is in the hands of my longtime friend, movie/TV agent and producing partner, Ken Levin.

ROAD TO PURGATORY remains in play, and is one of several projects I hope to do with my frequent collaborator, Phil Dingeldein, of dphilms in Rock Island.

I just heard the other day that “Interstate 666″ won Best Unproduced Screenplay at the Iowa Motion Picture Awards. I was for many years very active with the Iowa Motion Picture Association, but for the last several have stayed mostly on the sidelines. As such, I didn’t attend the awards presentation, but I’m obviously happy to win.

There was some fun coverage of various M.A.C. projects on the net this past week.

A big surprise was the attention my two Jack and Maggie Starr novels received at the Noir Journal. They don’t really consider the books “noir,” but like them anyway, and (like me) wish there were more. There’s a possibility I will be doing a third Jack and Maggie mystery, this time for Hard Case Crime – which means it will be sexier and more violent, and maybe even noir enough for the Journal to pronounce it such.

KISS HER GOODBYE is not on the bookstore shelves yet (you remember bookstores, right?) and is still a pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble; but it’ll be out in a couple of weeks, and continues to get nice coverage. A bookseller has very nice and I think smart things to say about the book here.

There are also some nice KISS HER Goodreads comments you might find worthwhile.

The director of THE LAST LULLABY, the Quarry movie, has a short but sweet interview on that subject here.

And the Collins/Beatty Wild Dog gets a brief, smart write-up at Scoop. Check it out.

Getting back to the Hollywood trip, it was a whirlwind two days, but I got to spend an evening with my pal Leonard Maltin and his wife Alice and daughter Jess, three of my favorite people. Leonard booked a booth at Musso & Frank’s, the famous old Hollywood Blvd restaurant, and the specific booth he booked (the “Chaplin” just inside the doors) was the one I used for Nate Heller and a Dorothy Kilgallen-type newspaper columnist in the forthcoming BYE BYE, BABY. A nice coincidence.

Nicer still was getting to accompany Leonard to the TCM Film Festival where I met Jane Powell and Robert Osborne (and saw Leonard interviewing Ms. Powell, followed by a big-screen screening of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS). I kidded Mr. Osborne that I should have been an interview subject for TCM’s Mike Hammer evening (then upcoming, now past). Mr. Obsborne took my joshing seriously and started talking about budget constraints, etc. He warmed up after that, but I have to say – they should have had me on. Mr. Osborne made two errors in the introduction of THE GIRL HUNTERS, saying that most critics panned Mickey as Mike (not true – he got mostly raves) and that the film was Mickey’s debut as an actor (of course not – that was RING OF FEAR…which TCM has aired a number of times).

The three Hammer films TCM aired were KISS ME DEADLY, MY GUN IS QUICK and THE GIRL HUNTERS. Still MIA for TCM are the original I, THE JURY and THE LONG WAIT, both far better than MY GUN IS QUICK – although TCM aired a great print of that…and MGM is making the film available here.