Posts Tagged ‘The Big Bang’

Premature Ex-Aculation

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Though it isn’t out till late September, QUARRY’S EX has already racked up a rave! It’s courtesy of Ron Fortier (a terrific writer in his own right), whose Pulp Fiction review site is always worth checking out.

THE BIG BANG received a pretty positive if patronizing review from the Chicago Sun Times. The reviewer is the kind of guy who enjoys a cheeseburger, then apologizes for it. But it’s a nice high-profile place to get reviewed, in an era where most of the reviewing is done on-line now.

There’s a new website about DICK TRACY up – old pal Jim Doherty is part of it. A TRACY comic-book story, circa 1990, that I did with artist Joe Staton (another old pal) is supposedly posted there, but all I can find so far is the first page. But check into it. That story – “Fireworks” – was done for a Disney comics digest but never got used. The website just went up recently, so to get the full “Fireworks,” you may have to check back now and then.

The ExpertA blast from the past – a recent, positive review of THE EXPERT (1995), my first screenwriting credit. I like that movie, though it’s only fittingly faithful to what I wrote. I always like to say that they apparently had only one copy of the screenplay, misplaced it, then tried to remember it. Anyway, that’s the case with the Jeff Speakman scenes – the James Brolin crazy-warden scenes are right on script. If you’ve never seen this, it’s worth tracking down – a decent B action movie about a prison break-in. With the great Jim Varney! It deserves better on video than it’s received – the only widescreen presentation is the laserdisc, and there’s never been a U.S. DVD release (the UK DVD is full screen pan-and-scan).

On the music front, intense rehearsals lay ahead – we have the Daybreakers Reunion for the Class of 1970 coming up on July 10, and on July 28, we have the Crusin’/XL’s Great River Days Concert. More about these later.


100,000 Served!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Here at FOMAC (which does not stand for F**cking Old Max Allan Collins) we are celebrating. We are over 100,000 visitors to our humble site. Thank you to the Friends/Family/Fans of M.A.C.

QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE has been nominated for a Best Paperback Novel “Anthony,” which will be presented at Bouchercon in September.

It’s unlikely Barb and I will be attending the con, so the odds of winning this one are long indeed. Voting is done by attendees at the con, and writers who aren’t in attendance don’t often win. It’s a popularity contest, but then so is the writing game in general.

But this is a very nice honor. THE FIRST QUARRY was nominated last time. Keep in mind I’ve only had five Anthony nominations in my entire career (George Hagenauer and I won for MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES). So I’m very grateful, particularly to those of you who voted for the book in the preliminary round.

Last Quarry Audiobook

Speaking of Quarry, there is an excellent, reasonably priced audio book of THE LAST QUARRY from Speaking Volumes Audio, nicely read by actor Curt Palmer. You can buy it at Amazon or other of the usual suspects, or at Speaking Volumes’ own website.

There are more Quarry audios on the way from Speaking Volumes, including the early out-of-print books. I hope Curt Palmer is asked to read those, as well, because he does a nice, understated job. According to Curt’s site, he is going to do THE FIRST QUARRY and at least one more.

Also, Stacy Keach’s reading of THE BIG BANG is out from Blackstone Audio, and Barb and I are listening to it in the car now – another terrific job from everybody’s favorite Mike Hammer actor. Again, you can get it from various online sources, including directly from Blackstone Audio. But Amazon seems to have the best price.

Back to Quarry, I received a handful of bound galleys from Hard Case Crime. If you are an internet reviewer, and aren’t regularly receiving Hard Case Crime reading copies, write me at, and I’ll send you a copy (until my supply is gone).

I am working on the JFK Heller – still researching/plotting. I am considering titles for the book, and would love to get your opinions.

Among current candidates:




Hammer Has Onion A Peel

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

We had a very high-profile review of THE BIG BANG in a hip spot – the A/V Club, which is part of the Onion.

The review (a B-) is very favorable till the critic does a kind of politically correct left turn at the end. But I’m glad to get it, and the review’s been picked up all over the place. You’ll also note a lively discussion in the comments, and I get in the act, but not in a very argumentative way.

After all these years, there are Spillane haters out there. I admit it’s sometimes been shocking to me, but Mickey always inspired emotional responses, due to the emotion he packed into his work. Interestingly, I have been viciously attacked by both Spillane fans and haters, although a relative handful in both cases.

I’ve always been fairly outspoken, and my son Nate keeps me on a short leash (or tries to) because I have a tendency to respond when somebody disses me on line (or anywhere). The Collins Family Motto is: RUIN MY DAY, I RUIN YOURS.

Democracy is at its messiest on the internet – social discourse had seldom been subjected to ruder behavior. Check out the A/V Club review above for some examples.

Here’s a great BIG BANG review from Vince Keenan. He “gets” it.

And a short but sweet BIG BANG review from Sons of Spade.

Here’s another nice BIG BANG mention.

We got a lot of great attention thanks to the Rap Sheet and Jeff Pierce. The giveaway contest of four copies of BIG BANG and four of THE LITTLE DEATH is over, and I’ll be sending the signed copies out this week. You had to name your four favorite private eye novels to enter, and I’m pleased that both my name and Mickey’s turned up on a lot of lists.


We were happy to help the Rap Sheet celebrate its fourth birthday.

I have finished my draft of the second Harrow novel, but am doing extensive tweaks and tightening this week.

And next weekend I go to Chicago with my actor pal Mike Cornelison to record ENCORE FOR MURDER with Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer (and Mike C. as Pat Chambers). I’ll report back next time!


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….