Posts Tagged ‘The Consummata’

True Detective Hits #1

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
True Detective

Last week, Amazon released the trade paperback (and e-book) edition of TRUE DETECTIVE. At the same time, they chose the book as the Kindle Pick of the Day, priced it at 99-cents for 24 hours, and it was at #1 – out of 900,000-some books – by mid-afternoon. The next day the price was back up to around eight bucks, and still it stayed high on the charts. To take advantage of this new Nate Heller interest, Amazon dropped it to $1.99, where it’s still priced as I write this, and the book remains after five days in the upper reaches of the Kindle charts.

Cross your fingers that this is a new start for Nate Heller. The sale day TRUE DETECTIVE sold 13,000 e-book copies. Keep in mind that the first printing of the book back in 1983 was only 12,000. (The original edition went into a second printing, but we probably sold almost as many e-books in one day as the initial publication did in its two printings.)

If you invested in one, thanks. If you haven’t, what’s stopping you? A big week for Nate Heller and I’m very pleased.

Also a big week for Hard Case Crime. THE CONSUMMATA has received some terrific advance reviews, like this one.

And QUARRY’S EX, which is in bookstores now (I saw it myself in a Barnes & Noble) has been racking up sweet notices, like this one from Craig Clarke.

And here’s more love for QUARRY’S EX from a military web site, getting off on the hitman’s Marine Corps ties.

Here’s one more great QUARRY’S EX notice.

In addition, Charles Ardai has announced Hard Case’s acquisition of the final unpublished James M. Cain novel, THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS. A long while back, I convinced Otto Penzler to publish two of the three unpublished James M. Cain novels remaining in the great author’s files, and he did (CLOUD 9 and THE ENCHANTED ISLAND, at Mysterious Press). Then when Charles looked me up (to reprint the first two Nolan books) in the earliest stages of trying to get Hard Case launched, I told him about the THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS. He tracked it down, but couldn’t convince the Cain estate to let him publish it. I kept after him, cheerleading for one of my favorite authors, and Charles kept in the game, stayed doggedly after the prize. Finally he has pulled it off, and last week the news was all over the internet and elsewhere, too many places for me to provide here. But check out a couple of important ones, like this one at the Huffington Post.

And this one at the New York Times (Charles always gives me credit – thanks, Charles!)

And Ed Gorman was nice enough to write about my upcoming Heller collection, CHICAGO LIGHTNING, commenting on the success of TRUE DETECTIVE on Kindle.

A few days later, Ed reported on a meeting we had in the parking lot at Half-Price Books in Cedar Rapids, where I told him how much I hated the movie DRIVE. He discusses this, then in the comments section I provide an acid little review…read all the way down, though, to get a correction I made.

Finally, here’s a really cool theater-centric review of Barbara Allan’s ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF from a guy. I wrote him with my thanks and it turns out he’s a big M.A.C. fan from way back. I knew you guys are out there – I can hear you breathing!


St. Looie Postscript

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Bouchercon was a blast. Among many friends I got to see and spend time with were Bob Randisi, John and Barbara Lutz, Christine Matthews, Ted Fitzgerald, Jeff Pierce, Ted Hertel, Dick Lochte, Christa Faust, Deadly Pleasures editor George Easter, EQMM editor Janet Hutchings, Mystery Scene editor Kate Stine, agent Dominick Abel, editor Michaela Hamilton, Strand editor Andrew Gulli, and so many more. I can say with no humility whatsoever that the two times I signed I had huge lines, damn near rivaling the guests of honor — Barb and Matt Clemens signed with me, so I can’t take all the credit. I was part of two lively panels — one on comics, another on the future of the private eye genre — on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

Crusin' at Bouchercon 2011

Along the way, I gave “shite” (my new favorite word courtesy of my new favorite pal Ali Karim) to my shy and retiring buddy Gary Phillips both on and off the comics panel, jawed with Sara Paretsky, and with Crusin’ backed our guest artists Bob Randisi, Joelle Charbonneau, Bryan Gruley, Mark Billingham and Guest of Honor, Val McDermid. Everybody was great — Bob has a fine voice and gave Elvis a run for it on “Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love,” Joelle (a stunning redhead in a green gown) had the pipes to do justice to “Be My Baby,” Mark and I did a raucous “Saw Her Standing There” while the charismatic Val joined Mark for a stirring Orbison/k.d. lang-style “Crying.” Finally Bryan blew the roof off the dump with a “Gloria” that Van Morrison might have envied.

In addition, the performance (on Saturday night) found Crusin’ very well-received with dancing from the start and applause after every tune. A rough load-in at the Renaissance Grand (as my late friend Paul Thomas said, “The ass end of a hotel is never pretty”) was the only mote in the eye of a wonderful night.

Bill Crider (with whom I also jawed, his lovely wife Judy, too) was nice enough to post a pic from the dance with some comments from attendees thereafter.

The Shamus awards on Friday were fun at the Busch brewery, where some have accused me of eating two pieces of a cake that was not quite big enough to serve the entire group. This is a libelous notion, but perhaps my losing the short story Shamus was karma….

I was honored to read Ed Gorman’s acceptance speech for receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye. Much deserved, and a graceful, modest acceptance from Ed, who had to remain in Iowa at the bat cave (it’s not Batman’s cave, it’s just a cave full of bats).

Some very nice web attention has come up for various of the new MAC books. KISS HER GOODBYE got a strong write-up from the L.A. Review of Books, for example.

Sons of Spade gave BYE BYE, BABY a short but very enthusiastic and insightful review here.

A very flattering review calling me the James Brown of the mystery writing game (my apologies to Gary Phillips, but after all I am the hardest working man in show business now that James is gone) appeared at Bookgeeks.

And I got a nice recommendation from Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego for BYE BYE, BABY.

Finally, the Library Journal had wonderful things to say about THE CONSUMMATA.

My apologies to anyone at the con I didn’t mention. There were so many friends and friendly faces that it was a very pleasant blur. Also great for Barb and me was spending time with son Nate and his girl Abby, who came to the Crusin’ dance. I am in fact still in St. Louis as I write this on the Monday after the great Bouchercon weekend, spending more time with my fantastic son (he’s fantastic even if it was his idea to go to the horrible psuedo-noir “Drive” yesterday).

Finally, a big shout-out to Jon and Ruth Jordan, the brawn and the beauty.


See You In St. Louie

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Here is my schedule for Bouchercon:

PANEL: UNNATURAL VICES-Thursday, September 15th – 2:30PM
Comics and crime fiction (Location – Majestic D)
Cullen Bunn (M), Max Allan Collins, Gary Phillips, Jason Starr, Duane Swierczynski

PANEL: I’M ALIVE AND ON FIRE- – Saturday, September 16th – 10AM
Rumors of the private eye fiction’s death have been greatly exaggerated (Location – Majestic A, B)
Ali Karim (M), Max Allan Collins, Barbara Fister, Robert J. Randisi, Linda Richards

Saturday night, presumably in a ballroom at the hotel, Crusin’ will be playing from 8:30 till midnight, with special guest vocalists joining us in the last set.

Also, Matt Clemens will be doing a panel on collaboration on Friday, but I don’t have the details. Check the schedule when you get there. Or if you aren’t going, pour yourself a glass of wine and start reading BYE BYE, BABY…another good way to spend the weekend. Beer also works. Coke Zero, too.

Ron Fortier has written a great review of THE CONSUMMATA. Ron is a terrific writer himself and his comments are always welcome.

The nifty Sons of Spade web site has posted a short but I think pretty good interview with me. The guy knows how to ask questions.

And Hard Case’s rebirth continues to get some really nice attention, such as J. Kingston Pierce’s write-up on the Kirkus blog.

Finally, here are a couple of pictures from our signing last week at one of the Chicago area’s best bookstores, Centuries and Sleuths.

Max with longtime fan and friend Mike Doran at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park.
Barb signing ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF at Centuries and Sleuths.


Decatur Book Fair Report

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
How I can get away with talking to a good-looking young blonde: sign ANTIQUES ROADKILL to her with Barb snapping the pic.
Who says I’m not an outdoorsman?
What Barb does at a book fair.
Pontificating in public with Persia Walker on noir panel.
Jim Traylor of GA and MAC of IA work on their upcoming collaboration, SPILLANE ON SCREEN (for McFarland).

The Decatur Book Fair was a lot of fun, and felt more like a mini-vacation than a book tour stop. Barb and I met some wonderful readers – new and old – at the event, and the panel with Persia Walker was well-attended, with great audience questions. Persia is as lovely as her writing style, which is plenty lovely, and her subject matter is historical noir, so we were a good fit. Barb was not on the panel, but there were Trash ‘n’ Treasures fans afoot and we signed several copies of the paperback versions. Also, if you go the Atlanta area, try Fox Brothers for barbecue. The only barbecue we’ve had that rivals or possibly tops Pappy’s in my son’s St. Louis haunts.

The Titan relaunch of Hard Case Crime is getting lots of web attention, including Publisher’s Weekly itself.

Online venues are excited about Hard Case’s return. Check out this nice write-up.

Even the Associated Press noticed the Hard Case revival, and went so far as to interview an obscure Iowa author for a quote or two.

And THE CONSUMMATA already has several nice reader reviews at Goodreads.

As I’ve mentioned here, I am one of the writers for the new Fangoria radio series, DREADTIME STORIES. I’ve done three scripts for the series so far, with the first set to air next week (“Reincarnal,” which I’m also going to be adapting into a film script, possibly for my long-awaited…by me, anyway…return to film directing). Check out the first show here (and see the announcement for “Reincarnal”).


[Nate speaking: Just a quick reminder — Max and Barb are appearing at the Centuries & Sleuths bookstore in Chicago this Thursday (Sept. 8) at 7PM for a signing and Q&A.]