Here’s a piece about my two most memorable Christmases that I wrote recently for Bookreporter. Happy holidays, everyone, and thank you for your interest and support in 2012.
I had written four novels in high school and a number of short stories, spending my summers creating the manuscripts that I would send out during the school year. I had any number of encouraging responses, but no sales.
At the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, I was blessed to have Richard Yates — the great mainstream author of REVOLUTIONARY ROAD — as my mentor. He helped me shape my pulp fiction into something that strove to be something more, even if it didn’t always. He got me an appropriate agent in New York, a crusty ex-paperback editor named Knox Burger, who said of my Raymond Chandler/Mickey Spillane-inspired work, “I’m afraid young Mr. Collins has learned to be a blacksmith in an automotive age.” Yates had told Burger that he thought I was another Dashiell Hammett. Burger said, “No — W.R. Burnett maybe.”
And here are pics from my appearance at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park, Illiniois, doing a Q and A at the Midwest MWA Christmas party on Dec. 16.
Before I sign off, here are a few links you might like to check out.
Here’s an interview I did about the Disaster series, in support of the current reprint program from Thomas & Mercer.
This is a well-done “get to know” me and my work from the fun site Mystery People.