Posts Tagged ‘The Hindenburg Murders’

Supreme Giveaway

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

[Note from Nate: This just in — M.A.C. is on The Huffington Post with a new article (and a very cool video list): “The Case of the Aging Sleuths and the Dying Detectives.”]

Supreme Justice

Yes, the time has come to offer up a dozen advance reading copies of SUPREME JUSTICE, the political thriller Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer will be publishing in June…I mean, July…I mean…

Okay, here’s the deal as I understand it. Members of Amazon Prime will have the opportunity to select SUPREME JUSTICE from an offering of four new novels on Kindle, a month before official publication. Prime members can pick one book free and order any others of the four at a vastly reduced price. I’m very lucky to have SUPREME JUSTICE selected for this program, because books in it have tended to do very well. It sort of jump-starts them.

What this means is a couple of things. First, if you’re in Amazon Prime, you can get the book on Kindle as early as June 1. (If you aren’t, you have to wait till July 1, when “real” books become available.) It also means that reviews for SUPREME JUSTICE can appear as early as June 1, if you’ve received one of these twelve advance reading copies.

All I ask is that you post a review at Amazon if you are one of the dozen getting these ARC’s. Reviews elsewhere and on blogs are also appreciated. These tend to go quickly. [Note from Nate: And they’re gone! Thanks for your support!]

This will likely be the last of these giveaways this year. I know some people have the idea that I write a novel a month or something, but the reality is closer to four novels a year, which I admit is a fair amount. But keep in mind a number of these books are collaborations. I work from Spillane manuscripts on the Hammer novels, and with Barb on the ANTIQUES mysteries. SUPREME JUSTICE is a collaboration with Matthew Clemens, although his name isn’t on the cover (he gets a full page credit inside, however).

But because each of these books is for a different publisher, they put them out when they feel like it…and now and then a cluster of novels comes out. ANTIQUES CON, KING OF THE WEEDS and SUPREME JUSTICE are within a couple of months of each other, and THE WRONG QUARRY wasn’t that long ago, either. This tends to discourage reviewers at places like Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal from reviewing all of them.

That’s one of the reasons why I have started this effort to get advance copies into the hands of readers who might post Amazon and other reviews for the books. Amazon reviews are important, as I’ve said before, because the number of reviews impacts how the books are viewed (and sold) there. Speaking of which, if you received advance copies of ANTIQUES CON and KING OF THE WEEDS and haven’t reviewed them yet, please do. Positive reviews are appreciated but not mandatory.

Also, if you are one of the unfortunate souls who don’t get a free copy and (choke!) have to actually buy one, I would be grateful to you for posting reviews, as well. I know I’m a broken record (remember those?) on this subject, but reviewing my books and those of any author whose work you enjoy is very important in this publishing environment. I talk not just of Amazon but Barnes & Noble and your own blogs.

SUPREME JUSTICE is a rare political thriller from me, although there many be more if this does well. Matt and I have a trilogy in mind for these characters, ex-Secret Service agent Joe Reeder and FBI agent Patti Rogers. We hope to do a thriller based around each branch of government. This one, obviously, is about the Supreme Court.

Advance reviews have been mostly very good, but I am sensing that my perceived liberal politics may be hurting the novel with some readers. This surprises me, because Matt and I strove mightily to keep that out of it; to hit the ball right down the center. Reeder is a sort of JFK liberal, but he spends the book trying to protect conservative justices. Where some conservative readers/reviewers appear to be having trouble comes from the novel depicting an America a few years hence in which Roe V. Wade has been overturned and the Patriot Act expanded. This was intended much less as a political statement than a plot motivation, setting up an America where something extreme might be attempted to reconfigure the Supreme Court.

First and foremost, SUPREME JUSTICE is a thriller with a modern-day Holmes at its center, and politics is the backdrop, not the point of the yarn. Now and then I get slammed over Mike Hammer’s right-wing politics from the other side of the aisle, and a writer can get whiplash that way. My politics are probably what you’d describe as center left. I say to my friends farther right and left than me: lighten up. These are just stories. And if they make you think a little bit, well, that’s just a mint on the hotel pillow, isn’t it?

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KING OF THE WEEDS continues to get some lovely reviews, like this one from Swiftly Tilting Planet.

City of Films has a nice KING OF THE WEEDS review, too.

So does Geek Hard.

And Geek Hard also interviewed me on their podcast last week.

Two weeks in a row (!) The Daily Kos “Monday Murder Mystery” reviewer has looked at one of the Disaster novels. This time it’s THE HINDENBURG MURDERS, and the reviewer likes that one, too.

Finally, a brief but nice THE WRONG QUARRY review has trailed in here (you have to scroll down a bit).


Bloody House

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
IMPA 2013

In Des Moines over the weekend, Barb and I attended the 22nd annual Iowa Motion Picture Association awards banquet. My screenplay “House of Blood” was nominated for Best Screenplay (Unproduced), and won the Award of Excellence.

The IMPA is an organization I was extremely active in from the mid-90s until maybe five years ago. I am a three-time president, and Barb and I ran the award shows (with me hosting and Barb giving out the awards) for maybe half a dozen years. I was on the IMPA board for ten or twelve years, and this required a monthly drive (about a three-hour one) into Des Moines, which finally wore us down. But I made a lot of friends there, some of whom I got to see at the Saturday night event – we had the fun of sharing a table with screenwriter Shirley Long, the “godmother” of the IMPA, and documentarian Kent Newman, also a multiple past prez of the organization. The evening of course brought to mind my late friend and prized collaborator, Mike Cornelison, who won numerous IMPA awards himself. A number of people spoke to me about Mike. Being on his home turf brings the loss sharply into focus.

The organization has hit some rough patches in recent years, reflecting the film industry in Iowa getting tarnished when an ambitious tax-credit program went belly up in a haze of scandal and buck-passing. I don’t know what really went on, but I do know this multi-million dollar program was run by one man in an OFFICE SPACE-style cubicle at the Department of Economic Development. This was a huge government bungle, and is responsible for me having to seek doing my indie film work in Illiniois and Louisiana (and California, of course). There is talk, among some legislators, of the industry making a comeback in this area, and a new Film Office chair person will be named soon. I am guardedly hopeful.

The “House of Blood” screenplay that won was the feature film version. It now looks like I will be converting the script into a one-hour TV anthology format, bringing it back closer to its original form as a 45-minute Fangoria’s Dreadtime Stories radio play. Serious talk is afoot for both a series, which I’d be heavily involved in, and a slate of four movies, which I have been told would include two M.A.C. properties, possibly with me directing. I’ll keep you informed.

The keynote speakers – very informal and funny – were Darryl and Darryl from Newhart – Tony Papenfuss and John Voldstad. I spoke to John and he was a very sweet guy, and a fan of ROAD TO PERDITION. He was one of the many great comic actors in one of our family’s favorites, STRIPES.

On the way to and from Des Moines, Barb and I listened to the Brilliance audio of THE LONDON BLITZ MURDERS. That novel, which I was quite proud of at the time, received little attention when originally published, and has received some harsh reviews at Amazon and particularly Amazon UK. So I was a little gun shy about listening to it. But I was pleasantly surprised – I think I did just fine, writing a true-crime story set in the UK with Agatha Christie as the detective, even if some of the Brits at Amazon UK think I was about as convincing as Dick Van Dyke in MARY POPPINS. My credibility takes a huge jump thanks to the reader, British actress Anne Flosnik, who does an incredible job. To my ears, she really brought Agatha and the book to life. After hearing her (and Simon Vance on THE HINDENBURG MURDERS), I would be tempted to have all of my books read by actors with English accents. On the other hand, I can’t imagine a better Nate Heller than Dan John Miller. (Unfortunately, Brilliance won’t be doing the forthcoming ASK NOT – another company will be, TBA – but I will certainly recommend Dan.)

If you are a longtime reader of my work, I think you might have a really good time revisiting my novels in audio form. Brilliance has done a fantastic job with the Hellers, the “disaster” novels, the Mallorys (Dan John Miller again), and assorted others (REGENERATION, BOMBSHELL, MIDNIGHT HAUL).

Speaking of Amazon reviews, let me remind readers that a great way to support the writers you enjoy is to write and post a review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and other sites. A two- or three-line positive review at Amazon, and nice high star rating, takes little time and is most helpful to authors. There are some dumb readers out there, and nasty ones, who do authors damage, and you can help. I speak not just for myself, but for any author whose work you enjoy. Those star ratings are important, because they are averaged. And so often the bad ratings are not for the book, but for perceived bad service, or in my case now and then, a reader angry that ROAD TO PERDITION or CSI: SERIAL turned out to a “comic book.”

End of telethon, although your continued contributions would be appreciated.

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Here’s a nice SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT review from Blogcritics, which got lots of play on the Net.

And another one from BookSteve’s Library. The reviewer has some problems with the front end of the novel, because he’s so familiar with the history already, but gets on board when the mystery kicks in. It’s been interesting to see how many readers really love the front end of the book, with its fairly detailed account of the comic-book witch hunt, and how many others prefer the mystery portion that kicks in half-way. This reviewer falls into a small but distinct category of readers who are a little bored by encountering history they’re already familiar with.

Here’s a very nice and flattering review of the new edition of NO CURE FOR DEATH, from a Kindle site. This was my second novel (well, third if you count MOURN THE LIVING) and it’s a relief to see a reviewer liking it at this late date.

Finally, here’s a terrific review of ANTIQUES CHOP from Bill Crider (himself a helluva writer).