Posts Tagged ‘Nolan’

South Carolina Snaps / Quarry for $1.99

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

NEWS FLASH: QUARRY and QUARRY’S VOTE will be $1.99 on Kindle for 48 hours! First sale price on Quarry e-books.

Quarry
QUARRY Kindle $1.99
Quarry's Vote
QUARRY’S VOTE Kindle $1.99

This week my update will be a short one, because (a) I just finished writing eight blog entries in support of LADY, GO DIE! (links will be posted), and (b) I am providing a few pictures from our recent South Carolina trip for Mickey’s induction into the SC author’s hall of fame.

But I do need to mention that ANTIQUES DISPOSAL, the new hardcover, is out even as I type this, as is the mass-market paperback edition of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF.

Also, the Perfect Crime trade paperbacks (with new after words) of the Nolan series are available now or soon will be. They are FLY PAPER, HUSH MONEY, HARD CASH, SCRATCH FEVER, SPREE and MOURN THE LIVING. Actually, the MOURN after word is recycled from the Five Star edition. Otherwise, new stuff.

There’s a nice review here of the new Heller novella collection, TRIPLE PLAY.

And a really nice review of ANTIQUES DISPOSAL from the perceptive Craig Clarke can be found here.

Here’s a fun review of BYE BYE, BABY.

And a very nice recommendation for LADY, GO DIE! right here.

Left to right: Atlantic Ocean, MAC, Atlantic Ocean.

Left to right: MAC, Bogie pretending to be Hammer, Jim Traylor.

MAC and Jane Spillane

MAC sportsman

Potential Crusin’ venue?

M.A.C.

Sex And Violence

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

When I set out to write hardboiled mystery novels, very much influenced by Mickey Spillane and the Gold Medal writers, I made sure my work was strong on sex and violence. I still do. Not only are these ingredients key to the noir sensibility, they represent (as I’ve said numerous times) the big topics: life and death.

And while my historical novels have an element of education/information in them, the primary purpose is to entertain, and usually in the fashion that I established early on – meaning there will be sex and violence.

Over the years this has been commented on occasionally by reviewers, but not really that often – the subject tends to come up in a more general way, i.e., why is there so much sex and violence in noir fiction?

But in the past several years, I have been getting criticized much more often about the sexual component of the books. I don’t mean to defend myself here or to complain about those reviews – I am just observing that there seems to be something afoot in the culture, something more staid, even more prudish. I graduated high school in 1966, so the sexual revolution was all around me, reflected in popular culture from underground comix to nudity-flung films.

So what’s up lately with this anti-sex scene sentiment? And almost always coming from men. Men who don’t want to read about sex. Which strikes me as bewildering. These comments often come from readers who otherwise like the books. Here’s an excerpt from an Amazon Review of CARNAL HOURS that is otherwise a rave:

“The author seems determined to inject some short, steamy sex episodes in each book. These are gratuitous and serve no purpose other than to establish the ‘ladies man’ reputation of Heller, which could be accomplished without the silly detail. I’m not prudish but each time these short episodes struck me as stupid and juvenile.”

I might wonder why any reader of book with the word “carnal” in the title would be surprised to find sex scenes in that book. But this Amazon reviewer is joined by a handful of professional reviewers who have lately made similar comments. George Easter, for example, in the fine magazine Deadly Pleasures, made that his sole carp in a very positive review of BYE BYE, BABY.

Again, I mention this because I find it odd, not to complain about it or defend myself. I will say this: anyone who considers the sex scenes in Nathan Heller novels to be mere gratuitous porn isn’t really paying attention. I don’t believe there is a single Heller sex scene involving my guy with some casual pick-up in a bar or whatever – there are references to such happenings, but they remain off-stage. The sexual encounters are there for characterization reasons, usually to build emotion and establish a closeness, even a love, between Heller and a woman who is crucial to the tale being told, often tragic romances as in TRUE DETECTIVE, TRUE CRIME, THE MILLION-DOLLAR WOUND, FLYING BLIND and BYE BYE, BABY. Some of these are real women, like Amelia Earhart, Sally Rand and Evelyn MacClean Walsh, and this gets me nasty letters at times (“How dare you?”). I had death threats over my depiction of Earhart as bisexual. Here’s the thing: Nate Heller didn’t have sex with any of these women, because Nate Heller is a fictional character.

My sex scenes do make people uncomfortable at times, and I’m rather proud of that. A mystery writer pal of mine, when TRUE DETECTIVE came out, was offended (perhaps the term is “grossed out”) that Heller used condoms and he and the lady in question cleaned up after the act. The sex was too real, apparently. An editor talked me into toning down oral sex passages in ANGEL IN BLACK…between Heller and his wife (oral sex was both characterization and a major clue in that novel).

Anyway, if you guys out there want to skip the sex scenes, fine by me. My generation of guys would more likely have underlined them. If this is progress, count me out.

And isn’t it interesting that none of these reviewers have ever complained about the graphic blood-splattering violence in my work?

* * *

We had a very nice review for the upcoming Barbara Allan, ANTIQUES DISPOSAL, in Publisher’s Weekly.

Our good friend and that good writer Ron Fortier wrote a lovely review of ANTIQUES DISPOSAL on his fun Pulp Fiction web site.

Brandywine Books posted yet another fine Heller review, this time looking at TRUE DETECTIVE.

The low price ($2) this month of FLYING BLIND on Kindle e-book caught some nice attention here.

Perfect Crime Books has announced their Nolan reprint series, with all the covers posted.

The quirky and entertaining Temple of Schlock reviewed THE CONSUMMATA, and back on my birthday took an eccentric look at QUARRY’S EX.

Nate is heading to Japan for a month on a business vacation. He will still be handling the weekly Updates, but they will likely be a little shorter in the near future. Also, I’m working on ANTIQUES CHOP, which means you may be spared these longer entries until I am finished and Nate returns.

M.A.C.

Crying “Wolf”

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

“Wolf,” the second of my horror-tinged radio plays for Fangoria’s Dreadtime Stories, is available for a free listen right here, all through January. Producer Carl Amari, as usual, did a great job.

Amazon is making a number of the Nate Heller novels available on Kindle at bargain prices, for a limited time. Steal of the deal is STOLEN AWAY at $1.99. A number of others are available for well under their usual eight bucks or so, for example…

Also, the first four Quarry novels from Perfect Crime are finally available on e-book. All five are available at Amazon at $4.99.

Perfect Crime’s Nolan reprints are imminent, and received a nice advance notice from the Violent World of Parker.

I’ve done a number of interviews lately, but this one from Comic Book Resources – which is slight comics-centric – strikes me as one of the best. It was an actual phone interview (not an e-mail one) and the interviewer asked solid questions and my answers don’t stink up the joint. Give it a look.

I am also proud to announce that in a forum choosing the best Batman writer of all time, I am coming in with a perfect score: zero. That really hurts, or it would if my BATMAN issues hadn’t sold so well.

Ron Fortier, himself a keen pulpmeister, had nice things to say about CHICAGO LIGHTNING.

Finally, I’d like to share a few photos from our recent trip to St. Louis, where we visited the Star Trek exhibit at the St. Louis Science Center. Consider carefully the shot of me channeling my inner Shatner – new author photo, you think?

Star Trek Experience
Star Trek Experience

M.A.C.

Heller Sells Out

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
Spree

The Amazon trade paperbacks and (especially) e-books of the Heller novels continue to do very well, helped in part by Amazon’s marketing efforts. This month they are offering CARNAL HOURS (one of my favorites in the series) for under two bucks – one of 100 Kindle titles chosen for a special promotion this month. Check it out.

My old buddy from Big Entertainment days, Christopher Mills, has done covers for the six Nolan trade paperbacks that Perfect Crime will be doing early next year. Check out all of these terrific images here.

QUARRY’S EX continues to rack up nice notices, like this one.

And here’s Bookgasm on RETURN TO PERDITION.

BLACK HATS continues to threaten to become a Harrison Ford film. Here’s a Variety piece on the screenwriter, Kurt Johnstad.

For those of you keeping track, I am researching the third Jack and Maggie Starr, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT (for Hard Case Crime), this week. Terry Beatty is beginning the interior illos, and Glenn Orbik has already done a startling front cover, which I’ll share with you soon.

M.A.C.