Posts Tagged ‘Quarry’s Ex’

Better Late Than…

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

A terrific QUARRY’S EX review came in from Daniel Luft – very insightful and a real pleasure to read. Too bad the book didn’t come out last month as promised. On the other hand, and I can say no more, it looks like EX really will be out some time next year…possibly a year late, but…

Mystery File shared two Top 100 Lists by top-notch fan/critics, dating to 1993. I don’t remember this – maybe never saw it – but both lists have Nate Heller novels on ‘em. As you know, I despise such lists…unless I am included. In which case their validity is unquestionable.

I do wonder, when I see such lists, just how much tastes-of-the-moment are in play. In 1993, STOLEN AWAY was getting a lot of attention, rave reviews, a Shamus nod, etc. There hasn’t been a Heller since 2001, so I wonder how many lists today would fail to include one of those novels. We’ll see if BYE BYE, BABY gets Heller back on the radar.

Blood Money NEL EditionThere’s a very interesting look from a UK site about the first two Nolan novels and how they were published with very cool Dali-esque covers over there. If you’ve never seen these covers, it’s worth a trip (to the site, not the UK) (but I’m always up for a UK trip). I left a couple of comments that you may find of interest.

Barb and I listened to a rough cut of the new Mike Hammer audio novel (THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER) in the car on a Chicago getaway this weekend. Producer/director Carl Amari did a great job, with Stacy Keach just batting that ball out of the park as his signature character. But the rest of the cast is terrific, too – with Mike Cornelison as Pat Chambers (in my opinion, the best Chambers ever), Tim Kazurinsky as a Broadway producer, and all kinds of Chicago talent. This will be out next March. By the way, I play a role in ENCORE FOR MURDER – a small but significant one – and I got the best review possible from Barb: she didn’t realize it was me! This either shows that I did an incredible acting job, or that I don’t make much of an impression, even when you live with me for 40 years.

Also on the trip, we listened to the second pass on the new Crusin CD – CRUSIN’ LIVE – ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HAPPENED – and after just one tiny tweak, we’ll be ready to press the suckers. I’m doing about 100 copies for promo purposes, and a limited edition available here at the site – these will probably be given away “free” when you purchase another item (TBD). This is not a national release because it’s designed to show potential clients what the band sounds like, and includes covers of material that we can’t afford to license. We may be able to offer downloads of the original songs from the album (there are seven, including a blistering “Psychedelic Siren,” first live recording of that we’ve ever issued).

While in the Chicago area, I saw Nate’s book SUMMER, FIREWORKS & MY CORPSE in the science-fiction/fantasy section of Borders! He has arrived!

I would like to mention two of my favorite writers, briefly. First, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for the Facebook film THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a stunner – beautifully constructed and the dialogue crackles. Don’t miss this film.

Second, we lost Stephen Cannell last week. He did a lot of TV in recent years that I didn’t care about (starting around A-TEAM time), and I have never been able to get into his novels. But he remains one of my handful of favorite TV writers (Sorkin being another). He gave us ROCKFORD FILES, TENSPEED AND BROWNSHOE, THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO (Mike Cornelison had a recurring role!), and RICHIE BROCKELMAN, PRIVATE EYE. Most important to me, he and Roy Huggins (my other favorite TV writer) came up with CITY OF ANGELS. That’s my favorite private eye show of all time, and I owe Cannell, Huggins and actor Wayne Rogers a huge debt – Nate Heller is their bastard offspring. I never met Cannell, but not long ago I sent him a foreign movie poster of a film version of the three-part ANGELS pilot, “The November Plan,” asking that he signed it. He did, and I will treasure it.

M.A.C.

Got Live…Do You Want It?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The Crusin’ gig at Wilton Founder’s Day (Friday night Aug. 27) went well – we had a nice big Friday night crowd (though not rivaling the Saturday night mob hometown boys the XL’S drew). The night was cool and pleasant, but humid, with lyric sheets and guitar/keyboard cases getting soaked; and playing on a long/narrow flatbed truck was daunting – we were lined up like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and I couldn’t even see guitarist Jim Van Winkle down there somewhere past bassist Chuck Bunn and drummer Steve Kundel.

We needed a professional sound company for the gig, which the fee didn’t really cover, but my pal Mark Johnson of Rock Island’s Brass Sail Recording (he did the sound and co-wrote the music for Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life) cut us an amazing deal. In addition, Mark made a sound-board recording, and the result was positive enough that I’m thinking about putting together a live CD. This would primarily be a promotional tool for getting Midwest bookings, but I may offer it here on the site, as well.

I am in frequent touch with Charles Ardai, who is being courted by a number of publishers in the search for a new home for Hard Case Crime (and QUARRY’S EX). I can’t be specific, but I will say I’m optimistic. And one of my first projects for a new Hard Case may be finishing THE CONSUMMATA, Mickey Spillane’s sequel to THE DELTA FACTOR with modernday pirate, Morgan the Raider. Speaking of Hard Case, here’s a fun write-up on Hard Case Crime.

And check out this a nice little review of ROAD TO PERDITION (the graphic novel).

BombshellNate and I are discussing starting up an e-book company to get my backlist back in print. We may do Heller, although I probably will make at least some effort to get the series back into traditional print first. I fear e-book publishing may doom titles to never seeing “real” book format again.

With BYE BYE, BABY coming out next July – Nate Heller solving Marilyn’s murder – I am considering putting out an e-book of BOMBSHELL, the Marilyn book Barb and I wrote (we may use the popular “Barbara Allan” byline). I’ll probably include some bonus features – possibly the original short story that the novel was expanded from and a Marilyn “vampire” story, both written solo by Barb. Maybe I’ll include the Heller novella, KISSES OF DEATH. We’ll see.

Opinions welcome….

M.A.C.

Quarry’s Ex X-ed

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Many of you already know that Dorchester – where Hard Case has been publishing its books – has shut down its mass market publishing, and that QUARRY’S EX is a casualty. If you have one of the arcs of that novel, you have a collectible.

I’ll let Hard Case honcho Charles Ardai explain. Check it out here (at Bill Crider’s great site).

Bottom line is: I don’t know when QUARRY’S EX will see print. I am confident it will, and will keep you posted.

Ironically, we have had several raves for QUARRY’S EX of late. Booklist said: “Collins remains the quintessential modern-day pulp writer.” Publisher’s Weekly called the book a “perfect piece of sardonic pulp noir.”

Rooney

Recently I did several phone interviews about the ROAD TO PERDITION blu-ray. Several of those interviews touched on the long-gestating ROAD TO PURGATORY film project. I revealed that I will probably not be directing, but that we seem to be on the verge of making a deal. That in fact we are looking at paper work right now. The primary interview you can read here.

But you’ll have to do your own google search for the other web mentions my info received – I believe this is the first time I’ve gone viral. The news of a PERDITION sequel is all over the web. Some people seem delighted, others think PERDITION shouldn’t have a sequel (a little late, since the PURGATORY and PARADISE novels have already done that). Some people are nice about it and say positive things about me, others say nasty things, and that’s the web for you. I love the idea that there are people who long for a PERDITION film but want to make sure somebody but me writes the script – the creator of the story needs to be kept out of it! Wow. Gotta love democracy – makes for some inspired lunacy.

The Premiere web site also interviewed me about the PERDITION blu-ray. Turns out I’m happy.

For reasons beyond me, my 2007 Ms. Tree novel DEADLY BELOVED has been reviewed, and while I wouldn’t call it viral, the review is available quite a few places on the web. It’s patronizing and certainly not a rave, but you can read if you like.

The Sunday (Aug. 8) Crusin’ gig at Riverside Casino went very well – I had a touch of flu and was worried that it might cause me trouble, but it didn’t. We did a solid three-hour show and the audience danced and applauded from the very start. Lots of great comments. I hope we get asked back, because it was like real show biz – lights and sound and a nice stage set-up (drums and several amps were provided). For eastern Iowa fans, we have another big show coming up at the Wilton Founder’s Day celebration, the evening of Aug. 27. More later!

M.A.C.

Comic Con Update #4

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Scribes Awards 2010

Here’s a link to the nominees and winners of this year’s Scribes. Scroll down and read about the great new book about the tie-in biz edited by Lee Goldberg and contributed to by me.

Saturday is a day I like to avoid at the con, and Barb and I started out by sleeping in (while Nate and his girl friend Abby went over to Coronardo island to have lunch at the SOME LIKE IT HOT/SOMEWHERE IN TIME hotel) and had a lovely lunch at the Fish Market, then walked along the water down to Seaport Village. Very lazy, damn near vacation-like.

Scribes Awards 2010

But we wound up at the con by late afternoon, where I encountered Patton Oswalt. As I reported yesterday, we saw Patton at the House of Blues and he was just outright brilliant — Barb was hoarse today from laughing so hard. We caught up with Patton where he’d just finished a signing at the Dark Horse booth, and to my delight, he was (comic geek that he is) glad to see me. We talked for about ten minutes and I gave him an advance copy of QUARRY’S EX. He is a delightful, down-to-earth, very funny (obviously) guy. I have no idea why he suddenly stabbed me in the eye with a pen.

M.A.C.