Posts Tagged ‘Quarry’s Ex’

The Big Year

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this will be a big year for me, and for my collaborators Barb, Matt and Mickey.

Some of this has to do with publishers holding onto books a while before publishing; some of what is seemingly a big output has to do with my working with those gifted collaborators I just mentioned. My big fear is that some of this work – all of which, I think, finds us at the top of our collective game – may slip through the cracks. Those of you who follow these updates are encouraged (well, actually I’m begging) to support this stuff, and tell your friends, write about the stuff on blogs, and post Amazon and Barnes & Noble reviews.

Encore for Murder

Writers who are at all prolific suffer – we “grind” out and “crank” out books. People who use that kind of phrase really don’t know much at all about writing. But expect to hear that sort of thing said about me this year. Now, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business is okay. That’s fine. I am still rock ‘n’ rolling, after all.

This week we are sharing with you the first look at the terrific cover of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER. This was about as fun and rewarding a project as you could imagine. Working with actors like Stacy Keach, Tim Kazurinsky, David Pasquale, and Mike Cornelison is a dream come true. As I’ve mentioned before, Tim is one of my favorite Second City/SNL talents, and Pasquesi is a great stand-up who shared the stage with Jeff Garlin and Fred Willard at the Second City Reunion last year. And Mike Cornelison is probably the best Pat Chambers ever. The previous Hammer audio, THE LITTLE DEATH, was adapted from a screenplay; but ENCORE FOR MURDER was written specifically for the audio novel format, and I’m really proud of it. Like Sinatra said after listening to a playback, “If you don’t like that, you don’t like ice cream.”

Also coming up in the Big Year are:

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF, Kensington hardcover, March. Both Barb and I think this is the best of the Antiques novels, both in terms of mystery and funny, and it presents a conclusion to the story arc of the first five books. Best cover we’ve snagged.

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, also Kensington but a paperback, and also March. This is the second J.C. Harrow novel by Matt Clemens and me, and we both think it’s superior to the first one (which was well-received, and which we like, but there was room to improve…and we did). It’s a satire on reality TV and features two really scary serial killers. We went for broke on this one. Frankly, if this doesn’t do well, there won’t be another. Please support this one. Here’s an idea: buy thousands, go up in a plane, and dump them over your town. Just a thought.

KISS HER GOODBYE, Harcourt “Otto Penzler” hardcover, May. This was a particularly strong unfinished manuscript from Mickey, circa 1975, and I am hugely happy with the results. I think it’s at least as good as THE BIG BANG. I had great material to work with. Thanks, Mick!

BYE BYE, BABY, Forge, hardcover, August. The first Nate Heller novel in ten years. This was delivered in 2009, and faces the clutter of the other M.A.C. novels out there this year. Marilyn’s murder, solved. Find out what really happened, and see if Heller at age 58 is any less violent or randy than he was back in the ‘30s and ‘40s. (Hint: he hasn’t mellowed.)

QUARRY’S EX, Hard Case Crime, trade paperback, August. Postponed from last year. Made some “best book of the year” lists in 2010 without being published. Good trick, even for Quarry.

THE CONSUMMATA, Hard Case Crime, trade paperback, October. The long-awaited sequel to THE DELTA FACTOR by Mickey with me batting clean up. Cubans, bondage, and Robert McGinnis!

RETURN TO PERDITION, DC Vertigo hardcover, October. Graphic novel. The final chapter in the PERDITION saga, with MS. TREE artist Terry Beatty coming on board. This may not be the final PERDITION novel or even graphic novel, but it is guaranteed the last chronologically. Terry is doing his best work.

In addition, I am close to signing an agreement that will bring all of the Nate Heller books back out in trade paperback and e-book, including two new collections of short stories and novellas. The Ness novels are already out, as are the early Quarrys (though not yet on e-book), and likely Nolan will be next. Also, trade paperbacks of the Barbara/Max Collins collaborations REGENERATION and BOMBSHELL are on the horizon (with e-books), as well as short story collections of both authors. Look for Barb/Max titles to appear as “Barbara Allan” works.

After our exchange of views on his review of an early Quarry novel, David Rachels asked me to contribute to his regular feature “Five Quick Questions” at his always interesting Noirboiled site. Despite the brevity of the format, some new things came up. And David, who teaches Japanese lit, e-mailed to say he had ordered Nate’s book, SUMMER, FIREWORKS & MY CORPSE!

Both QUARRY’S EX and THE CONSUMMATA are nicely showcased in the latest news release from Charles Ardai about the return of Hard Case Crime. It appeared lots of places, but this link takes you (appropriately enough) to the Violent World of Parker site.

Similarly, the news release about the e-book-oriented Top Suspense Group (of which I’m a member) got wide cyber attention, but here it is at my pal (and fellow TSG member) Lee Goldberg’s great website.

Jeff Pierce of Rap Sheet fame has a wonderful site about sexy covers of tough mysteries, and he went nicely nuts over the McGinnis cover of THE CONSUMMATA.

Did I mention that 2011 is my 40th anniversary in the writing game? BAIT MONEY sold in December 1971.

M.A.C.

Best Postponed Book Of The Year!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

QUARRY’S EX is showing up on some Best Books of 2010 lists, like this one on Craig Clarke’s excellent Somebody Dies website.

Not bad for a book that wasn’t published (it will be out in October 2011 from Hard Case Crime via Titan).

The Round Robin we did for the Top Suspense blog continues on. You can start reading it here.

I will admit I hate these Round Robins, but I wanted to help promote what I think is going to be an important site in the e-book revolution.

My pal (and great writer) Ed Gorman knows how much I like actor Wayne Rogers of my favorite P.I. show, CITY OF ANGELS (huge influence on Nate Heller), and Ed was nice enough to provide a link to a very good New York Times autobiographical sketch by Rogers, who is a hugely successful businessman. It’s an “as told to” piece, which must be why my fave series is referred to as CITY OF THE ANGELS.

I am working on two projects this week – THE CONSUMMATA for Hard Case Crime, the sequel to Mickey Spillane’s THE DELTA FACTOR. I am working from about 110 double-spaced pages of Mickey’s, a very good and substantial manuscript. Then mid-week, if the weather allows, George Hagenauer – my longtime friend and research associate – will join me for a plotting/researching session on the next Heller, which I hope to call ASK NOT. We have been swimming (make that drowning) in research for over a year, and we think we have come up with a fresh angle on this old case. It’s my hope not to do just another re-hash on this never-ending mystery, and – thanks in no small part to George – I think we’re on to something.

Orders continue to come in on the various options to acquire the new live CRUSIN’ CD, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened.” So far most are taking the “Kisses of Death” option. Quantities are, as they say, limited, so don’t wait much longer.

CRUSIN’ had a bad weekend. We were contracted to play at Riverside Casino, loaded up, showed up…only to be told we’d been cancelled – in fact, the entire Sunday afternoon series of bands had been cancelled (during “football season”)…two months ago! All the bands were called, we were assured…only we hadn’t been. The Riverside folks made it clear we’d be back in 2011, but we do want to apologize to anyone who made the trip and saw nothing but an empty stage.

M.A.C.

You Only Blog Twice

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

This week’s Quarry cover is QUARRY’S DEAL. Another great Terry Beatty cover. Ordering info here.

Quarry's DealNate has been in Japan for several days now, and he’s doing a blog (daily, so far). He is posting beautiful pictures and great, often very funny commentary. He is a very talented young man and his father (me) is proud of him. So you get two blog entries this week; this one from me, and this one from Nate.

Because Nate is in Japan, I’m working a few days early on this update, to give him plenty of room to get it put together and posted. So it’s October 30 in Muscatine, Iowa, a beautiful fall day with lots of color in the trees and chill in the breeze. Tonight is the “official” local Halloween night, and I’ve carved the pumpkin (I’m damn good at it – ask Nate) [Nate:It’s true!] and Barb is putting a bunch of scary stuff on the porch…ours is one of the houses the neighbor kids flock to, although some of our goodies are getting long in the tooth (we had to throw away a talking skeleton head after years of noble service).

We’ve been watching horror movies, and Barb – who for decades didn’t like them – is now a fan and catching up. We watched the very funny RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD from the late, great Dan O’Bannon. Our favorite Halloween movie, though, is TRICK ‘R’ TREAT, and if you haven’t seen that wonderfully dark, funny anthology movie, put it on Netflix for next Halloween season. It looks great on Blu-Ray. (So does RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, which features my old pal Linnea Quigley, with whom I almost did a comic book project some years back).

This weekend I am zeroing in on the conclusion of RETURN TO PERDITION, and next week (now, as you read this) I’ll be writing the next DICK TRACY introduction. Nice to have a connection to TRACY again. Next up is THE CONSUMMATA, the DELTA FACTOR sequel by Mickey Spillane that I am completing for Hard Case Crime.

Next year is going to be a big M.A.C. year. Barb and I have ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF (by “Barbara Allan”) coming out in March, and that same month from the same publisher (Kensington), Matt Clemens and I have NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU out. In May the third of the Mike Hammers appears – KISS HER GOODBYE (do not miss this one) – and in August BYE BYE, BABY, the first Nate Heller novel in ten years. Some time next year, QUARRY’S EX will come out, as well. And from DC/Vertigo, RETURN TO PERDITION.

This will no doubt initiate a bunch of “when do you sleep” questions (and putdowns), but the fact is BYE BYE, BABY has been done for well over a year, and three of the titles are collaborations. RETURN TO PERDITION is something I’ve been working on for a year and a half. QUARRY’S EX, of course, was supposed to come out this year and was postponed. What I fear is that some or maybe all of these titles will get lost in the shuffle because there are so many of them. And that drives me crazy, because each of these books is really strong. I get beaten up and sometimes ignored because I am seen as “prolific.”

But I have no intention of slowing down. At 62, I am not fooling around – I have stories to tell. I even have band jobs to play. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of my first professional sale of a novel – BAIT MONEY to Curtis Books. The following two years will mark the 40th anniversary of me as a published professional (BAIT MONEY came out in December 1972 but was a January 1973 book).

So if any of you connected to writer’s organizations (the MWA has had enough yearly dues out of me to afford to make a statue of me for their lobby, if they had a lobby) or mystery conventions or mystery magazines (attention: Kate Stine) are interested, 2011 is a perfectly good time to start the career tributes and to book me as a guest and to just generally make a fuss. I’m available. I’ll even bring my rock band along.

For a price.

Here’s a fun fan review of my Batman graphic novel SCAR OF THE BAT. Nice to see something from a few years back get noticed now.

M.A.C.

The Rising Son

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

My son Nate, who – as regulars here well know – runs this web site will be in Japan for a month (he’s there already as you read this). So he’ll be putting up these weekly updates from Japan, and I don’t think there will be any glitches, but (just in case) I thought I’d mention it.

Quarry's ListWe will continue to showcase the upcoming QUARRY reprints. This week it’s QUARRY’S LIST, and another of Terry Beatty’s terrific covers.

I usually post quite a few links to news stories and reviews, but this week, I’m all over the web and it’s one story endlessly recycled…but it’s very good news, so I’ll repeat it here, even though you probably already have Charles Ardai’s press release memorized by now.

Hard Case Crime is moving to the great UK publisher Titan (they are distributed in the USA by Random House). Titan is one of my favorite publishing houses, and publisher Nick Landau is one of my favorite publishers…favorite people, actually. Titan is the house where we will very likely be doing collections of a certain Collins/Beatty title, and another key property I’m involved with may be moving to Titan, as well – I’ll share more when I’m able).

Anyway, one of the first (if not the first) titles Hard Case will be doing at Titan is the postponed (but very well-reviewed) QUARRY’S EX. There is no contract for another Quarry yet, but Charles and I are talking. What is much more firm is another Spillane/Collins collaboration – a non-Mike Hammer, but the sequel to one of Mickey’s best bestsellers. And to make that news even more exciting, Robert McGinnis will be doing the cover.

I do have one link for you, a very nice write-up about an hour-long internet/radio interview I did, and it includes a link to that interview. I know you’ve heard and read plenty of interviews with me, but I was in a weird mood that day and spilled a bunch of new beans. So it may be worth your time.

Nate, have fun in Japan! And everybody reading this needs to read the book that paid for the trip, and the link is right here.

M.A.C.