Posts Tagged ‘Return to Perdition’

Now Hear This

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

No One Will Hear YouHere’s an advance look of the second J.C. Harrow novel, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, by me and Matthew Clemens. We thought Kensington did a fine job on the cover of YOU CAN’T STOP ME, but this one really knocked our socks off. I’ll let you know more later about this one, which both authors think tops the first book by a country mile.

Matt and I have been working on a proposal for the next Harrow for several weeks. We had a sample chapter ready and were tweaking the proposal when a better idea came up – not completely different, but a compelling alternative – and we junked what we had and started over. We have work meetings at the Muscatine, Iowa, Applebee’s, where our discussions of grotesque homicides routinely raise eyebrows and drop jaws. Matt and I are also working on several jigsaw puzzles – we did an NCIS and NCIS: LA not long ago, and are set to do a MENTALIST puzzle, as well. These are short stories that accompany a puzzle image, which contains the clues to a mystery (we did a number of CSI puzzles for this same client, a few years back).

Nate and his girl friend Abby (and Nate’s wonderfully crazy blue heeler, Toaster) visited over the weekend. We mostly watched the SHERLOCK BBC series on Blu-Ray (second go-round for Barb and me) and went to the entertaining if mindless RESIDENT EVIL 3-D movie…fun, but no PIRANHA 3-D (no kidding, that one’s terrific – almost Russ Meyer level over-the-top).

Nate and I continue to explore the e-book notion. Right now we’re thinking of doing new books of old material – i.e., a collection of my horror stories, a Barbara Allan short story collection (every story Barb and I have written together), two-fers of various novels (like two Mallorys to a book), etc.

Cop, writer, all around great guy Paul Bishop has one of the coolest web sites around – BISH’S BEAT – and recently he wrote what may be my favorite review yet of THE BIG BANG.

The film version of ROAD TO PERDITION has made it onto a very hip “best 10 mob movies” list. I am thrilled to be on there with some of my favorites, like GET CARTER and PRIME CUT.

I will be writing more RETURN TO PERDITION script this week and also doing my draft of the sample chapter for the next Harrow novel (assuming Matt Clemens delivers his draft soon).


Returning to Perdition

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I am back at work on Return to Perdition – strictly on the front burner now. I’m inspired by Terry Beatty’s great artwork. I hope this graphic novel, the conclusion to the Perdition saga, is out next year some time. Some of the characters and events intertwine with the Marilyn and Kennedy Nate Heller novels, which is tricky.

And negotiations to possibly film my screenplay from my novel Road to Purgatory are continuing apace. I never believe this kind of thing till the check clears and shooting begins, but it’s promising, very promising.

After a busy summer, Crusin’ has no bookings this September – next date is Oct. 1 at the Elms in Muscatine. But we have been booked back to Riverside Casino in December, which is very encouraging, and we are putting together our live CD to help show other venues what we can do. Any Midwestern mystery conventions would be wise to consider us.

Even now The Big Bang is racking up some nice notices. You’ll have to scroll down to read this nice one from the Lansing State Journal.

It’s a pleasure to see an Augusta Chronicle article about cult crime writer Ennis Willie getting widespread attention on the web. Considering Willie was a mystery himself for years, seeing his picture and reading an interview with him is almost surreal…definitely surreal is seeing my own name prominent in the article. A good job, though the writer seems to think Willie was a rich, famous writer in the ‘60s, when even then he was an obscurity, published by a minor softcore smut house (Merit Books) out of Chicago. Over the years, a handful of us realized we had been reading and loving and collecting Willie, and our enthusiasm turned him into a much-collected writer – the original paperbacks now go for a lot of money. The article, of course, covers the new Willie collection, Sand’s Game, from Ramble House.

Fun to see Dead Street (by Mickey Spillane with a little help from yrs truly) getting attention so late in the game with this really nice write-up.

Downright odd is seeing my Dick Tracy movie novelization getting attention, but here’s a pretty good article on my adventures with Disney on that project. You can get my version in the book Tied-In, available at Amazon on Kindle and print-on-demand.

I’ll wrap by saying Barb and I saw some very fun movies this weekend – Machete and Going the Distance, incredibly different films but similar in that they are entertaining and not cookie-cutter Hollywood. Machete is, of course, an outrageous B-movie ride, while Going the Distance is a really funny, uncontrived romantic comedy with Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. In addition, we got the blu-ray from England of the new updated Sherlock (Martin Freeman of the original Office is Watson) – it’s first-rate, really terrific. It’s coming out over here soon, and don’t miss it. In its way it’s very faithful, and by dumping the Victorian era, you get an idea of what it must have been like to encounter the Sherlock Holmes tales when they were first published, and were cutting-edge current, not fog-wrapped nostalgia.


Con Fusion

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Saner heads have prevailed, and I will not be trying to attend two panels simultaneously. I’m getting a little long in the tooth to do my Basil Fawlty impression.

So I will be reluctantly forgo the Vertigo Panel (though editor Will Dennis promises to give RETURN TO PERDITION a boost), and concentrate on the Scribes/Tie-in Panel. Here’s a reminder:

Friday, July 23:

5:00-6:30 Scribe Awards/Media Tie-in Writers Panel— Presenting the fourth annual International Association of Media-Tie-in Writers (IAMTW) “Scribe” awards, honoring such notable franchises as CSI, Criminal Minds, The X-Files, Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars, and Dr. Who. Nominees on hand include Alina Adams (As the World Turns), Max Allan Collins (G.I. Joe), Keith R. A. DeCandido (Star Trek), Stacia Deutsch (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Jeff Mariotte (CSI), Nathan Long (Warhammer), and Dayton Ward (Star Trek). With moderator Collins and awards presenter Lee Goldberg (Monk). Room 4

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no autograph session scheduled after the panel. And, throughout the con, I have no autograph sessions set either in the autographing area or at a booth. But there is no panel following the Scribe Awards one, and the panelists listed above – including yours truly – will hang around to sign books you’ve brought. Before the panel, you can buy books by the panelists at Mysterious Galaxy’s booth and elsewhere in the dealer’s hall. Right after the panel, in Room 4 itself – or in the hallway, if we get chased out by officious pratts – all of us will be signing any books and other stuff you haul along.

And I’ve had another panel appearance added (you may not find it in the official con listing – I seem to be among “others” on the panel):

Thursday, July 22:

4:00-5:00 From Screen to Comics— An in-depth look at what it takes to turn big screen action into 32 pages. Join talent creators from across the spectrum, including Max Brooks, Nancy Collins, Peter David, Tony Lee David Tischman, Mike Johnson, Max Allan Collins, and Scott Tipton as they look behind the scenes at some of the biggest properties to come to comics, like True Blood, Doctor Who, The A-Team, TRANSFORMERS, and Star Trek! Room 9

The Iowa City Book Festival was great fun. What a privilege to do a panel with Nick Meyer, one of my heroes (and a fellow University of Iowa grad) and the gifted director/writer who mistakenly confused Iowa and heaven, Phil Alden Robinson. Great guys – funny, knowledgeable, and very nice. I felt very much honored to be in their presence.

The screening of THE LAST LULLABY at the Bijou Theater on Sunday afternoon at the U of Iowa student union was well-attended, and the audience seemed to really like the film. We had a spirited question-and-answer session. Among those attending were such friends and fans as Stephen Borer from Minneapolis, Brad Schwartz from Ann Arbor, and Charlie Koenigsacker from Iowa City. I hadn’t seen the film for maybe six months, and viewing a nice 35mm print was a treat. Jeffrey Goodman reports around a dozen foreign sales for LULLABY – not in the USA yet, though you can still get a copy of the limited edition “screener” DVD at

Speaking of our favorite hitman, two really great advance reviews of QUARRY’S EX have turned up on the net.

Bill Crider loves Quarry almost as much as I love Bill Crider.

And Craig Clarke has made up for not caring for YOU CAN’T STOP ME with a rave review at his excellent SOMEBODY DIES site.

And I gave two interviews that have turned up at two other first-rate sites.

Jeff Pierce of RAP SHEET fame (at his KILLER COVERS site) does a nice write-up (intended for MYSTERY SCENE) on classic gals-and-gats paperback covers, with interview stuff from me, Norman Saunders’ son and somebody called Charles Ardai.

And John Kenyon (also an attendee at the LULLABY screening on Sunday) has posted his recent interview with me at his THINGS I’D RATHER BE DOING site.

See you at the con! Check in here daily starting Thursday morning for brief con updates.


Rapping About Banging

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
The Big Bang
In Stores Now!

First off, Thursday night (May 20) at 7 pm, I will be reading from THE BIG BANG and speaking afterward at one of the really great indie bookstores, Prairie Lights in Iowa City. Here is the store’s own write-up on the event.

I don’t need to say much this week, because I said so much elsewhere. I am honored to have been asked to do a lengthy interview on THE BIG BANG and my relationship with Mickey Spillane (and Mike Hammer), appearing right now at one of the really, really great mystery sites, JANUARY MAGAZINE’S RAP SHEET.

Topping that off, the RAP SHEET will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a giveaway of four copies of THE BIG BANG and four copies of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER: VOL. 2 – THE LITTLE DEATH. These will all be signed and sent out by me, personally.

My thanks to J. Kingston Pierce for giving THE BIG BANG and me such a lavish platform to display our wares. Mystery fiction has few finer advocates than Jeff Pierce.

In addition, there have been some other terrific write-ups on the net lately.

That other great internet site, Bookgasm, gave THE BIG BANG a flat-out rave. You gotta check this one out.

The Noir Journal site has a terrific write-up on THE BIG BANG, with some great graphics plus bonus reviews of two Spillane classics, VENGEANCE IS MINE! and THE DEEP. Very smart stuff on the latter two books by a female Spillane fan.

You have to scroll down for it, but there’s a nice bit about THE BIG BANG courtesy of Bob Wade in the San Diego Union’s mystery column.

The one and only Paul Bishop – real cop, real writer – also said nice things about THE BIG BANG (and kindly provided a link to the Rap Sheet interview).

We’ve been hitting the internet jackpot lately, where some of the top mystery sites are concerned. That fine, funny writer Bill Crider has one of the very best sites, the kind worth checking three or four times daily. He likes the ANTIQUES series and did a splendid write-up of the current ANTIQUES BIZARRE.

And here’s some love for THE LAST LULLABY.

The last few updates have been on the brief side, I admit – I am burrowed in working on the second J.C. Harrow novel, and it’s a bear. I’m on page 410 and still have five chapters left.

Barb and I have plotted the next ANTIQUES mystery (the one after next year’s ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF!). She has already written her first draft of the first chapter. The series is building in popularity and the Barbara half of Barbara Allan deserves the lion’s share of credit.

For many, many months, I’ve been going from one novel to the next, or at least from one project to the next, and I am frankly frazzled. I’m preparing to slow down some. Most of the rest of this year will be spent writing the JFK assassination Nate Heller novel. Well, about half of it will be reading research material, and half writing.

Also, I’ll be plugging away at RETURN TO PERDITION, which is at about the half-way point of its around 200 pages. This is the graphic novel finale to the PERDITION saga, although not necessarily the last PERDITION book. This is the first major Terry Beatty/M.A.C. project in some time.

Finally, let me assure those who care that we are in serious talks about both Ms. Tree and Quarry for reprint editions – the complete run of the former, and the first four (and now very expensive) novels about the latter.

More definite info soon….