Posts Tagged ‘Tie-Ins’

Message from M.A.C. – July 7, 2007

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Antiques Maul

First off, the paperback of ANTIQUES ROADKILL has just hit the stands as I write this. The hardcover did very well — sales and reviews — and “Barbara Allan” (that’s Barb and me) hope the paperback will boost the series further. The second novel in the Trash ‘n’ Treasures series, ANTIQUES MAUL, will be out in September in hardcover. Barb is working on the rough draft of the third, ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET, right now, and I’ll be getting to my draft in the fall.

We have just signed with VCI home video for ELIOT NESS: AN UNTOUCHABLE LIFE to come out very soon on DVD — September 25, to be exact. Phil Dingeldein and I are putting together bonus features right now, including a new short noir film that emerged from another workshop (a la “Three Women” which became part of the SHADES OF NOIR DVD). When we have artwork, we’ll post it here. The film (recording for posterity Michael Cornelison’s definitive Ness) was entered into two regional festivals and won BEST FEATURE at both, as well as BEST DIRECTOR and BEST EDITING at one.

The mini-book tour for BLACK HATS and A KILLING IN COMICS was quite successful, with particularly good turnouts at the Muskego Public Library (where Ted Hertel and Gary Neibuhr expertly grilled research associate George Hagenauer and me) and at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park. Barb and I have been discussing cutting way back on such personal appearances, but these well-attended events were encouraging. We also did very well at the new Mystery Cat bookstore in Cedar Rapids, a used/collectible shop that is a real delight, and worth a trip for midwesterners.

The brevity of the tour had to do with my heavy schedule this year, even heavier than usual. Already this year I’ve written three novels, a nonfiction book and a screenplay.

The nonfiction book is a return to the pin-up world, a biography of my late friend Earl Mac Pherson; Collector’s Press (who did just a wonderful job on HISTORY OF MYSTERY) had a coffee-table book essentially ready to go and asked me to contribute a full 10,000 word bio on Earl. I contributed more art and photos from my own collection, as well — don’t know exactly when this will be out.

The screenplay is my own adaptation of ROAD TO PURGATORY, which we are in the early stages of attempting to mount right here in the midwest with me directing. I’m partnered with some very good people, including longtime crony Phil D., and it’s an exciting venture — if we can pull off the fund-raising, it will be the most ambitious project I’ve ever attempted in any medium. The script was submitted to the Iowa Motion Picture Awards and won the Award of Excellence for Unproduced Screenplay.

AMERICAN GANGSTER, my movie tie-in for the Ridley Scott film starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, will be out in November along with the film. It’s a fact-based early ’70s druglord tale and the screenplay was first-rate; this is my first novelization (dreaded word) since THE PINK PANTHER and I’m proud of it. TOR is publishing.

I have also completed a long-contemplated novel based on my late father Max A. Collins Sr.’s experiences in the Navy during World War II, when he was one of a handful of very young white officers in charge of a large body of black sailors loading ammo in the Pacific. The book is essentially my CAINE MUTINY (albeit with a murder mystery at its heart) and I believe it came off very well. My title is USS POWDERKEG, and I hope it will remain such, but you never know — my editor at Morrow may have another idea. Matthew Clemens got involved in this one, doing extensive research and helping develop the plot. This may be published as the second “Patrick Culhane” bylined novel, but that’s up in the air – the jury’s still out on whether the Culhane byline was a good idea or not. Should be out in the fall of 2008.

Criminal Minds: Jump Cut

As you may know, I am no longer doing CSI novels. Instead, my researcher Matt Clemens and I are doing at least three novels based on the hit show, CRIMINAL MINDS. We have completed the first book, JUMP CUT, and it came off very well — working with profilers rather than crime scene investigators was liberating, because a lot of Holmes/Wolfe-style speculation can come into play. The novel will be out in November.

Next up for me is the second Jack & Maggie Starr mystery for Berkley Prime Crime, probably called STRIP FOR MURDER. It’s based on the Al Capp LIL ABNER/Ham Fisher JOE PALOOKA feud. Terry Beatty will again be providing comics panels for chapter headings as well as a “challenge to the reader” comics chapter toward the end of the novel. The response to the first novel, A KILLING IN COMICS, has been very gratifying — after a limp review from Publisher’s Weekly (complaining that the book was not a Nate Heller), online reviews have been overwhelmingly favorable, even glowing. Readers seem to “get” the retro fun of a Rex Stout-ish mystery in the context of the world of post-war comics.

The biggest news I’m saving for last: I have signed with Otto Penzler’s Harcourt line to complete three Mike Hammer novels begun by Mickey Spillane. I am working from substantial partial manuscripts — at least half of each book already written by Mickey. That I will be collaborating with Mickey on at least three Hammer novels is thrilling to me beyond words. This is highly unusual, because I am working not only with his wife Jane’s blessing, but Mickey’s own: he asked me to complete these novels. First up: THE GOLIATH BONE, the final Hammer chronologically. (Other novels will be given time frames according to when they were begun by Mickey.)

Mickey’s file of unpublished material was extensive — another trio of Hammers can follow, if these three do well. This is a very big deal – there are only 13 Mike Hammer novels, and adding another three (or six) to the canon is unheard of for so famous a mystery series.

Dead Street

I have already completed Mickey’s last crime novel, DEAD STREET, for Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime; it will be out in December – I edited the existing eight chapters and completed the last three from Mickey’s notes. I am not taking a byline on DEAD STREET, however, though will be sharing byline with Mickey on the Hammer novels. (My afterword explains the process.)

Also from Hard Case is DEADLY BELOVED — the first ever Ms. Tree prose novel. This came about as an offshoot of the current MS. TREE TV option (with Oxygen Network), though no film has yet been made. MS. TREE co-creator Terry Beatty has done a lovely cover – among the best Hard Case has done, and that’s saying something — and I spent a lot of time revising and polishing, trying to make DEADLY BELOVED a novel that would work equally well for longtime fans of the graphic novel series and readers unfamiliar with the character/series. Look for it in December.

Barb and I may go out on another mini-tour late in the year to promote ANTIQUES MAUL, the ELIOT NESS DVD, AMERICAN GANGSTER, CRIMINAL MINDS: JUMP CUT, and DEADLY BELOVED. But if we don’t have time, I bet you’ll understand….

M.A.C.

Message from M.A.C. – February 9, 2007

Friday, February 9th, 2007

My New Year’s Resolution is to provide updates on a more regular basis. With my son Nate back from Japan after a year of study there, I may get prodded enough by him to actually make it happen….

Two new novels are coming out soon.

Black Hats

BLACK HATS will be released in late March by William Morrow in hardcover. It’s the first novel under my “open secret” penname, Patrick Culhane. This byline will be used for standalone historicals, and the second Culhane standalone is in progress right now. BLACK HATS is my long-promised Wyatt Earp novel.

Here’s a brief rundown:

The Prohibition era has just begun, the Wild West a fading memory, when Wyatt Earp — spending his golden years as a detective in Los Angeles — goes east to help the son of his late friend, Doc Holliday. Wyatt’s onetime deputy, Bat Masterson — now a bigtime sports writer — joins the defense of young Holliday and his hot new nightspot against a new breed of badmen — mobsters led by Brooklyn’s brash, brutal young Alphonse Capone. As the ’20s (and machine guns) start to roar, the lawless lawman enter a glittering world of beautiful showgirls, ruthless gangsters and highrolling gamblers — in one last glorious stand signaling the end of their legend and the beginning of Scarface Al Capone’s.

BLACK HATS is an historical thriller in the Nate Heller/ROAD TO PERDITION mode, but it’s also a lot of outright fun, sort of THE GODFATHER MEETS THE STING. I may be doing a brief tour supporting the novel, if my writing schedule allows. Stay tuned.

A Killing in Comics

A KILLING IN COMICS will be out in May from Berkley Prime Crime. With the “disaster” series coming to a sort of logical end with WAR OF THE WORLDS MURDER, I was asked by my editor to replace it with “something to do with comics.” KILLING is a prose novel but has comic art integrated within, making it a kind of hybrid, thanks to wonderful retro comics illos by my longtime MS. TREE partner, Terry Beatty, who has also done a stunning cover.

The book’s hero, Jack Starr, is not unlike Nate Heller, but his adventures with his ex-stripper stepmother Maggie Starr (who runs the small newspaper syndicate that Jack is chief troubleshooter for) are slightly less hardboiled — more Archie Goodwin than Mike Hammer. A KILLING IN COMICS is a fictionalized take on the creators of a certain superhero who were screwed by a certain comic book company. This one’s a lot of fun, too — I haven’t a better time writing a novel since I was in college.

Antiques Roadkill

The second Trash ‘n’ Treasures mystery, ANTIQUES MAUL, by “Barbara Allan” will be out in September. If you haven’t read the first one, ANTIQUES ROADKILL, it’ll be out in paperback from Kensington in July. Barb and I have had wonderful positive reaction to Brandy Borne and her eccentric mother Vivian. And the novel has received some glowing reviews, a book club sale, large print and (early stages) television interest.

Matt Clemens and I have a short story collection out together from a small press in Chicago: MY LOLITA COMPLEX AND OTHER TALES OF SEX AND VIOLENCE. We’ve had some very nice reviews, and it’s nice to officially share byline with Matthew. Matt was my assistant on the CSI novels as well as DARK ANGEL and BONES. What looks to be our final CSI, SNAKE EYES, has been out for a few months; though we’re no longer writing novels for CSI, we’re involved with other licensing for them — we’re writing two jigsaw puzzles right now, and not long ago I finished the dialogue and co-script for another CSI video game. We’ve been approached to do another novel series for a major crime TV series…we’ll see….

As I write this, a Quarry movie is being filmed in Louisiana — although the character has been renamed Price. Why? Because this is a one-shot film — I didn’t want to license the series character, in case I want to make a Quarry movie myself, or license it to Hollywood. The multi-million-dollar indie film is directed by Jeffrey Goodman, who helmed the award-winning short film A MATTER OF PRINCIPAL (available as part of SHADES OF NOIR on my DVD boxed set, BLACK BOX) and the feature version’s script is by me, although another writer did a draft after my two drafts. I also did a last minute polish, and wish the filmmakers all the best. Tom Sizemore is playing “Price.” It’s called THE LAST LULLABY, and officially is based on the short story “A Matter of Principal,” although it contains many elements of my novel, THE LAST QUARRY (which is based on my original screenplay for the film, as opposed to the revised version being shot).

On the horizon are a number of Mickey Spillane projects. Mickey had a number of books in progress at the time of his death and he told his wife Jane to give them all to me — “Max will know what to do with them.” We have a major Mike Hammer deal — involving three new Mike Hammer novels! — that will be announced in detail soon. And I’ve finished up DEAD STREET, a non-Hammer novel Mickey was working on.

This is an unusual situation. Rarely has a major mystery writer left behind so much unpublished material. Although unfinished, all of these projects have substantial Spillane material — usually half or more of each novel was written (the last Mike Hammer Mickey was working on, THE GOLIATH BONE, was 2/3’s finished). In addition, notes and sometimes endings were among the manuscript pages. Also, Mickey spoke to me about most of the stories, talking about where he was heading with them, sharing endings with me, and getting my assurance that I’d “wrap up” anything he wasn’t able to. No greater honor has ever been paid me.

M.A.C.

Message from M.A.C. – January 6, 2006

Friday, January 6th, 2006

We enter a new phase of FOMAC now, as Nathan will be spending at least the next nine months in Japan, doing post-grad study in Japanese and getting suitably immersed in the culture (after graduating with honors in Japanese and Computer Science from the University of Iowa).

Road to Paradise

He will be maintaining the website long-distance but, of course, we don’t know how easy or hard that will be just yet. So this is the final stateside update he’ll be posting for me.

We’ll post the last few ROAD TO PARADISE events above. Barb and I travelled to Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities and Des Moines during December, and it’s a rough time to promote a book. Things went well, though, and readers seem to really like Michael O’Sullivan’s final road trip. We’ve had some great reviews.

For those of you in the midwest, a big fun event is coming up on Friday, February 3rd: the world premiere of the film ELIOT NESS: AN UNTOUCHABLE LIFE at the Rocket Theater in Rock Island, Illinios. I will be hosting the event, and actor Michael Cornelsion (Ness himself) will be on hand, as well as my collaborators Barbara Collins, Phil Dingeldein, Mark Johnson and many others. Full details are above.

This is part of my author’s residency with Quad City Arts, and another event will be the Quad Cities premiere of my Alley Oop documentary, CAVEMAN, Thursday, Feb. 3. Check below for details.

Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life

Also check below for the final dates in the ROAD TO PARADISE tour. There’s a chance I’ll extend the tour into March, and may be doing some events on the West Coast. Check back.

The other big news is that the Neo-Noir boxed set of my DVDs, BLACK BOX, debuts at the end of January (we’ll have some at the NESS premiere!). This includes the new 10th anniversary editions of MOMMY and MOMMY’S DAY; REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS STREET MARKET; and SHADES OF NOIR, which includes the short “Ness” demo film, “Three Women,” Quarry in “A Matter of Principal” and (finally!) my documentary, MIKE HAMMER’S MICKEY SPILLANE.

Nate will provide a link for those of you who would like to buy it on line from our friends at Send Me Movies; they have it at a great sale price for those who pre-order.

In other news, I’ve just completed a novel with Kathy Reichs based on her TV series, BONES. It’s called BONES: BURIED DEEP and Matt Clemens assisted me on it — should be out early this year, and it’s really very cool.

Barb is at work on her draft of the second “Barbara Allan” bylined novel — watch for ANTIQUES ROADKILL this August! — and I’m working on two new novels, more about which later….

Also in August will be THE LAST QUARRY from HardCase Crime — an expansion of “A Matter of Principal,” featured on the SHADES OF NOIR DVD. It’s all storytelling.

That’s it for now, and we’ll see you back here soon. Sayonara!

Max