Posts Tagged ‘Road to Purgatory’

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.


Perfect Crimes

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

I’ve been working with artist Terry Beatty and editor John Boland of Perfect Crime on the new trade paperback reprints of the first five Quarry novels. Not sure of pub dates yet, but Terry’s covers are knockouts and will be previewed here as soon as I’m allowed. Each book will have a new after word by me – I just delivered those – and the back cover will feature a picture of me in my 1971 glory (the year I created Quarry).

Perfect Crime has also just published two volumes of THE SHAMUS AWARD WINNERS. Volume One features my long-out-of-print Nathan Heller novella, DYING IN THE POST-WAR WORLD. Read about the books here.

Tied InAnother book I contributed to is TIED-IN, a wonderful collection of essays on the novelization and TV tie-in trade edited by the co-founder of the International Association of Media and Tie-in Writers, Lee Goldberg. I’m the other co-founder, and you’ll find a chapter about the writing of the infamous DICK TRACY and ROAD TO PERDITION movie novels, as well as my participation in roundtables about the craft of tie-in writing in general, including behind-the-scenes CSI stuff. Check it out here.

John Looney’s home is up for sale in Rock Island. Have a gander if you’re interested – out of my price range, and anyway, I’m already haunted by John and Connor Looney.

The ROAD TO PERDITION Blu-ray continues to get raves, and my talk about the ROAD TO PURGATORY film project continues to spread virally on the net. No further news yet, although things to seem to be progressing. PERDITION has turned up on another of those “10 Best Comic Book Movies” lists.

Remember, Eastern Iowa folks, to come see Crusin’ at Wilton Founder’s Day on August 27. The XL’s play on the 28th, so it should be a great weekend of classic garage band rock by two Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Bands.


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.”


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!


Quarry Racking ‘Em Up

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Barb and I are signing at Mystery Cat Books this Saturday (details above). We’ll have both QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE and ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET available, and many rare out-of-print M.A.C. items will be on hand, as well. It’s possible Ed Gorman may drop by, which provides a sighting opportunity second only to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.

More wonderful reviews are coming in, some for QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE, others for the Quarry movie, The Last Lullaby.

Craig Clarke, long a booster of my work and a knowledgeable Quarry fan, provides a really smart, insightful review at his Somebody Dies website.

And writer Ron Fortier (he collaborates with Gary Kato on the fun comic Mr. Jigsaw — Gary assisted Terry Beatty on Ms. Tree back in the day) has provided another sharp-eyed review of The Last Lullaby.

And the Author Magazine website has posted a great review of QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE.

Battle Royale

Coming out this week from Viz is the novel BATTLE ROYALE, the wonderfully fried modern classic that was the basis of the cult film. The film is very well-known for one too controversial to ever get traditional American DVD distribution — high school kids on an island play Survivor with lethal weapons, winner take all. I wrote an introduction for this edition (tying it to the original Death Race 2000), and Nathan translated an afterword by Koushun Takami, the author of the novel, plus an interview with Kinji Fukasaku, the director of the film. (Nathan may be doing a major translation project for Viz very soon — stay tuned for a much more detailed announcement.)

We are seeing the paperback of ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET, with its festive new Christmas cover, displayed face-out at the big chain stores, sometimes in the mystery section, sometimes with Christmas-themed books. The perfect stocking stuffer. Barb continues to work on her draft of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF (ANTIQUES BIZARRE will be out in the Spring).

Matt Clemens and I have been working on the synopsis for the second novel in the series that begins with YOU CAN’T STOP ME. After a false start on a different idea, Matt and I (at Bouchercon in Indianapolis) pitched editor Michaela Hamilton of Kensington what we all think is a really strong, wild idea that she liked…and which I will not share with you here. I’ll say, though, that this series attempts to take the approach Matt and I developed for the CSI, BONES and CRIMINAL MINDS novels into something of our own that has an element of social satire (having to do largely with reality TV) that serial killer novels often lack.

People are constantly asking me about the film version of ROAD TO PURGATORY, and I can only say that it remains very much alive, and I hope to have news for you soon. In the meantime, I am working on the graphic novel conclusion to the saga, RETURN TO PERDITION, doing my best to stay out in front of artist Terry Beatty.