Posts Tagged ‘Tie-Ins’

New Antiques

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Antiques Knock-Off

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF is supposed to be coming out March 1st, but I am getting reports that it’s already out. I am pleased to report that Barb and I have had rave reviews from both Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly for this entry in the “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” series. I’m getting increasing positive feedback from readers of my usual hardboiled fare that they are digging this cozy series, which Jon Breen aptly describes as “subversive.” If you don’t laugh at these, check your pulse – you may have passed away.

One of the interesting things about the net is that reviews of older books show up. This week some really perceptive reviews popped up of various not-current works.

With ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF just hitting the shelves (our best “Barbara Allan” yet in my opinion), it’s fun to see ANTIQUES MAUL, the second book in the series, turn up on a Kindle review site. I love it when a reader “gets it” – particularly a reader who blogs. Reviewer Joe M. points out that ANTIQUES MAUL is on sale for Kindle at under five bucks!

Indian Book Reviews has a very nice review of MORTAL WOUNDS, the collection of my first three CSI novels. I’m very proud of those novels, written in collaboration with my NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU co-author Matt Clemens. We did eight CSI novels and two CSI: MIAMI, all of which are among the most successful non-science-fiction TV tie-ins of all time. Matt and I are waiting to hear if the Harrow series will continue at Kensington – if you buy copies (real books or Kindle) you will help the cause!

The fun blog Not The Baseball Pitcher has a review of my 1981 Nolan novel – FLY PAPER! Pretty decent review, too. Speaking of Nolan, I am working on a deal to bring Nolan and Jon back into print (books #3 through #8 – the first two are still available as TWO FOR THE MONEY). They will be trade paperbacks, not initially available on e-book.

Finally, I’ll mention we had a very successful two-night stand at the Riverside Casino here in Iowa. We appeared with Denny Diamond, an excellent Neil Diamond tribute act, and had great response. We are in talks right now possibly to appear at the St. Louis Bouchercon. That would be our third Bouchercon appearance, and we hope it happens, because the other two were a blast!

M.A.C.

Please, Sir, More Sex & Violence

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I did a guest essay for the new Mulholland Books web site. It’s called “Sex and Violence, Please” and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Here’s a short, smart QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE review.

And here’s a tepid BIG BANG write-up, an example of the kind of review that always has me scratching my head – someone who begins by saying he doesn’t like Spillane/Hammer, then reviews the book in that context. Would you send a restaurant critic who hates Chinese food to the Ming Gardens Buffet? Just asking.

If you want to read a really lousy review of BONES: BURIED DEEP, it’s here. I post it as an example of a review by somebody who doesn’t understand the process of writing a tie-in. This novel, written before the show hit the air with only a rough cut of the pilot episode to guide us (Matt Clemens and me), gets beaten up because we are not faithful to the way the characters developed over the many years of the series. BURIED DEEP may not be a great novel, but it’s a better conceived novel than this is a review. And I plead guilty to not being psychic.

On the other hand, at least that site is reviewing tie-ins – mostly they get ignored. I am always surprised by how many “big fans” of mine do not read my tie-ins.

Oddly, some obits of the great actor Kevin McCarthy (who my buddy Ed Gorman knew very well) credit him with appearing in my indie movie MOMMY. I wish I’d had him in any film of mine.

Last week, Matt Clemens and I spent most of the week on the new J.C. Harrow proposal. We like it. And we shipped it. We’ll see.

Barb and I took a quick day-trip getaway to Des Moines on Friday, and on the way talked plotting for both Antiques Disposal (she’s doing her draft right now) and for the Nate Heller JFK novel, which I continue to research. Feels like I’m zeroing in on the plot, the shape, of what George Hagenauer calls “a monster.”

M.A.C.

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.

M.A.C.

G.I. Joe & Red Sky in Morning

Monday, August 10th, 2009

GI JOE: ABOVE AND BEYONDGI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA

By the time you read this, G.I. JOE will have hit theaters, and I’ll have seen it, and so will some of you. This is one of the most eagerly awaited — and vilified — movies of the summer. I have no idea whether it will be good or bad, but I’m fairly confident it will be entertaining. I have written four other novels for Stephen Sommers movies, and none of the screenplays have seemed liked masterpieces to me, and yet they all made entertaining movies…and books.

My two G.I. JOE novels have been out for quite a while, but they should get a boost from the film’s release. I think the books are fun, and am particularly happy with the prequel (which Matt Clemens helped me with). Creating a novel out of an action-heavy, stuff-blows-up screenplay is harder than, say, adapting and expanding THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE or AMERICAN GANGSTER, which are more suspense and character-driven. But getting to do a prequel helped the novelization work better.

Ron Fortier, a terrific reviewer, really got what I was going for in his dual review.

One of the complaints about the film (from people who hadn’t seen it yet, though some had read my novelization, which generated web interest) is that the rebooted G.I. JOE organization is international, not American. The very American term G.I. Joe comes from World War Two and may have been coined by David Breger, who did a cartoon under that name and another called PRIVATE BREGER (which had a long post-war civilian run as MR. BREGER). The film script addressed that problem by making two American G.I.s the central characters, and my prequel novel emphasizes those characters (Duke Hauser and Ripcord Weems) even more.

Red Sky in Morning Paperback

While we’re on this military note, I should point out that my World War Two naval thriller, RED SKY IN MORNING, based on my father’s experiences in the Pacific, is out in paperback with a handsome new cover.

I will use the occasion to reveal that the “Patrick Culhane” penname was not my idea, and was to a degree forced upon me, and I have no plans to use it again. I regret that my real byline is not on this very personal novel, or BLACK HATS for that matter, which is one of my most commercial. And while RED SKY IN MORNING is a title I came up with, my original title — U.S.S. POWDERKEG, which I liked very much — was rejected. One of the great frustrations of the writing life is having a title that you have lived with and woven into a book spurned by an editor (or a sales force). I would be thrilled to see the book reprinted at some point with my preferred title and my real byline…but for now, you need to look for the Culhane byline on this one.

Till next week….

M.A.C.