Posts Tagged ‘Trash’

Complex 90 Now On Kindle!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

After an inexplicable screw-up has finally been resolved, the new Spillane/Collins Mike Hammer novel, COMPLEX 90, is available as a Kindle e-book.

This week’s blog entry will be very short, because my son Nate was in Georgia over the weekend with his wife Abby, at a wedding, and will still be on the road when normally he would post this. So I am making his life (and, well, mine, a little) easier with this brief entry.

I will be starting the sixth and final Mike Hammer novel (of the substantial Hammer manuscripts in Mickey’s files), KING OF THE WEEDS, today. I was supposed to do that last week, but more galley proofs came in as well as some other unexpected writing chores. Chronologically, this is the penultimate novel in the saga – it was conceived to be the last Hammer, until 9/11 inspired Mickey to put it aside to write THE GOLIATH BONE. It is, in some respects, a sequel to BLACK ALLEY, the last Hammer published during Mickey’s lifetime.

Again, for those of you who want to see more, the best way to make that happen is to encourage other readers to pick up COMPLEX 90 (in whatever form) and post reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There are three more significant (if shorter) Hammer manuscripts, all from the 1950s, that could be the next three novels.

By the way, the offer of advances proofs of WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER saw the ten copies disappearing quickly, ditto the five offered review copies of ANTIQUES CHOP. Of the former, I am trying to get another five or six copies to fill the requests that trailed in. Many thanks to those of you who offered to read and review these novels – the books are going out today.

Reviews of COMPLEX 90 continue, like this A-plus one from Pullbox Review.

Finally, the very sharp UK reviewer, Mike Carlson, is less effusive but mostly positive about COMPLEX 90 here.


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).


San Diego

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

We arrived in San Diego to typically lovely weather, rented a car and drove straight to El Indio restaurant. I am a Guy Fieri/Diners, Drive-ins and Dives disciple and fully expected to be blown away…and wasn’t. We have much better Mexican food back in Muscatine (the guacamole was an outrage). We made up for it with a visit to Ghiradelli’s for hot fudge sundaes, normally a treat that occurs only on Comic Con visits.

Speaking of which, having visited San Diego for the Comic Con for countless years, seeing the exterior of the convention center populated by a handful of businessmen and not hordes of superheroes and zombies was weird. Ditto for the Gaslamp District. We only know San Diego as Comic Con-ville, and Barb and I felt like we’d wandered into one of those post-apocalyptic movies where only a handful of humans had survived.

The signing at Mysterious Galaxy went extremely well. We hadn’t been to this MG location and were mightily impressed by the mix of science-fiction. horror and mystery. What a great bookstore! Friendly, smart staff, too. We had a great turnout, and a group that appeared to have come for Heller got very interested in the ANTIQUES novels, because Barb presented herself and our series very, very well. Some Spillane interest, too. We just talked and took Q and A and had a delightful time.

A gentleman named Fred told us of a wonderful encounter with Mickey Spillane on the 1994 Comic Con trip that preceded Mickey coming to Muscatine with me for his role in my indie film, “Mommy.” Mickey was very, very sick, and I tried to talk him out of coming back for the shoot — we could bring him in at the end, I told him, after he’d recovered from a serious infection in his leg. Fred told a story of Mickey having to cut short an appearance promoting the MIKE DANGER comic book because of his illness, but then the next day (still sick!) recognizing Fred from the audience of the truncated appearance, and taking him aside for some personal time, signing Fred’s books. Typical Mick.