Posts Tagged ‘Morgan the Raider’

Coming Down The Pike

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

This will be another fairly short update, because I am coming down the pike on the new Jack and Maggie Starr mystery, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT. I have about a week and maybe a day or two left, assuming all goes well.

I admit to it being a strange experience, because at Berkley Prime Crime, I had to keep myself somewhat in check where the ol’ sex and violence is concerned – the series was conceived to be my Rex Stout tribute, so that seemed in keeping, though Rex did more in the sex and violence department than many seem to notice or recall (or I should say Archie Goodwin did). But writing this for Hard Case, my concern is the opposite. Is it tough and sexy enough? Can I push the envelope a little, and do things Prime Crime would have bridled at, without violating the integrity of the series? We’ll see.

One fun thing: the Des Moines Register called me (well, a reporter did – the paper itself just never calls) and asked me to weigh in on a real-life Iowa mystery. Check it out.

Here’s a nice review of STOLEN AWAY. I love that Amazon making these books available again is stirring new interest in Nate Heller.

Here’s a rare negative review of THE CONSUMMATA. It’s from the very good site, The Violent World of Parker, and you may want to have a look. I responded to the review, and this began an exchange that you may find entertaining. I only respond to negative reviews when I think there’s something unfair or inaccurate in a review. I might note that I may be a rare example of somebody who adores both Richard Stark’s understated style and Mickey Spillane’s over-the-top one. I know I’m the only writer who had those two men as mentors. But I am never surprised when a Stark/Westlake fan does not care for Mickey. (In this case, to be fair, the reviewer liked THE DELTA FACTOR but not the sequel.)

Lynn Myers and I (mostly Lynn) have put together a new Paul Cain collection with a biographical sketch about this mysterious BLACK MASK writer. I haven’t seen the book yet (it’s a limited edition expensive number) but it’s starting to be reviewed, for example here.

And here are some nice comments (if you scroll down the list) on my CRIMINAL MINDS novel KILLER PROFILE. Matt Clemens co-wrote that one.

We had our first public Crusin’ performance with new bass player, Brian Van Winkle, at a fun club called Ducky’s Lagoon ourside Andalusia, Illinois. How well did we do? Immediately got two book-backs for March and May.

See you next week, and I hope to report that SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT has been completed.


The Consummata Cover (and Wallpaper!)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

No update this week, other than to give you this first look at Robert McGinnis’ great cover for THE CONSUMMATA! Working with visiting George Hagenauer doing final plotting and researching for the upcoming Nathan Heller JFK novel.


The Consummata

[Nathan]I also made wallpapers out of the cover — head over to the Download Page to check ’em out.

Morgan The Raider #2: 44 Years In The Making!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I have just completed THE CONSUMMATA, the Morgan the Raider novel of Mickey’s that I finished for Hard Case Crime. It just went out via e-mail to editor Charles Ardai a few hours ago. I’m very pleased with it, but it was a tricky one. Mickey had completed 108 double-spaced pages, but this time I had no plot or character notes. Even the evocative title itself (which had been announced by Signet Books many years ago) went unexplained. It required really getting inside the manuscript, and Mickey’s head, to figure out where he was headed…and I think I pulled it off.

So finally, the sequel to THE DELTA FACTOR, the second Morgan the Raider novel (Signet Books announced modern-day pirate Morgan as Mickey’s new series character with great fanfare), will appear…with Mickey’s fans only having to wait 44 years.

My technique I’m sure would dismay purists. I expanded and revised Mickey’s hundred-plus pages, weaving my own scenes and thoughts and style in and around his, so that his material appears deep into the book, nine of its thirteen chapters. (I created no new characters, however, and my plot strictly flows out of things he put in motion.) I get a lot of praise (much appreciated) for the seamlessness of these collaborations, but it’s because I treat them as collaborations – and don’t just “pick up where Mickey left off” that they are able to achieve what they do.

This is going to be an extremely big year for me, at least in terms of how much stuff will be out there. I will do a post on that subject either next week or soon thereafter.

The First Quarry Audiobook
The First Quarry Audiobook

One thing that is out right now is the audio book of THE FIRST QUARRY. I haven’t heard this yet, but it’s the same reader (Curt Palmer) who did THE LAST QUARRY, and he’s excellent. This company, Speaking Volumes, will be doing more Quarrys – all the Hard Case titles and perhaps the early books, as well. It’s only $19.95, very reasonable for an audio book.

Vince Keenan considers THE BIG BANG one of the best books of the year. Hey, Vince – me, too!

The Sons of Spade website went even farther, calling THE BIG BANG the best P.I. book of the year.

This is very gratifying, and we showed up a few other places, too, but mostly were overlooked. This is the first year in a while that Bookgasm hasn’t listed me on the best books of the year. As I have made clear here before, I despise these lists, and give them absolutely no credence…unless I am on them.

There’s a lovely post about THE GOLIATH BONE, which posits a movie version and presents a dream cast. Very much worth checking out, plus I posted a comment you may find of interest.

There is a very interesting piece about the BATMAN character Two-Face and the similar Haf-and-Haf character in DICK TRACY, discussing my work on the latter and referencing my BATMAN work in general. I provided several comments and you may find the back-and-forth interesting.

Finally, the contest remains open for anyone who can identity my two sections of the Top Suspense Group “Round Robin” short story (see below for details). So for nobody has won. Well, almost nobody…my son Nathan pegged ‘em. Nice going, Nate! Too bad you don’t need any M.A.C. books….