Posts Tagged ‘You Can’t Stop Me’

Little Death up for Big Audie

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The big piece of news this week is that my radio-style novel for audio, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 2: THE LITTLE DEATH, has been nominated for an Audie, the Academy Award of the audio book world. We are in the Best Original category, which makes it as much the writer’s award as anybody’s…but I am the first to salute the great cast headed by everybody’s favorite Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach, and my pal Mike Cornelison, and to applaud producer/director Carl Amari, the maestro behind the Twilight Zone radio series.

This would seem as good a time as any to remind you that THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER comes out…today.

As mentioned last time, to celebrate my birthday on March 3, we have arranged with Kensington for free e-books of ANTIQUES ROADKILL and YOU CAN’T STOP ME at any on-line retailers, starting today, March 1, through March 3. Actually, it’s more to celebrate the release of new books in the respective series represented by those two titles, ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

What do I want for my birthday? I want you to take advantage of this free offer and then, out of guilt or shame or generosity or whatever might move you, order the new titles and, this time, cough up the dough. [Nathan: and if you like the books, rate them!]

I have just returned from St. Louis, where Barb, Nate and I (and Nate’s girl friend Abby) celebrated my birthday (not yet a national holiday…we’re working on it). That town is evil where food is concerned – everything from barbecue to cupcakes – but between meals, we managed to see two excellent films, the Iowa-based (but not shot) CEDAR RAPIDS, a sweet dramedy (what an awful word) that was consistently amusing and fitfully insightful; and the utter delight that is THE ILLUSIONIST. The latter is a French animated feature from the great Jacques Tati’s final unfilmed-in-his-lifetime screenplay. Since Tati was a genius who only made a handful of films, suddenly having another one seems like a gift to the world. When THE ILLUSIONIST began, in black-and-white, and Tati’s magician character appeared, I was so stunned by the animator’s ability to restore Tati to life via his every facial expression and characteristic body movement that I damn near cried into my popcorn. Fortunately I am too much of a tough guy to do that, and anyway it was already over-salted.

Another terrific review for KISS HER GOODBYE has turned up. This guy gets it.

And the Library Journal has given ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF a favorable verdict.

Politics Daily talks about Mike Hammer’s favorite gun, and mentions both Mike and me.

Be sure to check out Matt Clemens’s new book piece on Ed Gorman’s blog about the painful birth of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Finally, a conservative website lists Mike Hammer in the number two slot on an array of right-leaning fictional heroes…and they think I am terrific! Do they know I voted for Obama?


[Nathan: Also, head over to the Download Page for a wallpaper-ized QUARRY’S EX cover!]

Hey Kids – Free E-Books!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The offer to send out advance copies of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, and KISS HER GOODBYE got plenty of responses. Books have been shipped. We ran through the Spillane title very quickly, though, and we were not able to fill requests outside the USA.

If you still would like review copies, and have a review blog or write reviews for a newspaper or magazine, you can write me at, and I’ll pass the requests along to the publishers. Be specific about which book (or books) you’re interested in.

BUT we have a brand new offer for free e-books…

…starting March 1 and going through March 3rd (my birthday), you can get a free download of the first Trash ‘n’ Treasures mystery, ANTIQUES ROADKILL at all e-book retailers. Those of you who have ignored these books because they are not hardboiled now have an opportunity to see what you’ve been missing, and for free.

AND…you can get a free download of the first J.C. Harrow “Killer TV” novel, YOU CAN’T STOP ME, also from March 1 through March 3rd (did I mention that was my birthday?). Again, those of you who ignored this novel when it was published, because it was a CSI-type book and not a Quarry or Heller, can get a free look. We had a great response on YOU CAN’T STOP ME, and the early reaction to the sequel, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, is even stronger.

Antiques Roadkill
You Can't Stop Me
Please take advantage of this generous offer from Kensington, and spread the word to any of your friends who read e-books. It helps spread the word about both series, and the last time a promotion of this kind was tried for us, it made a top five bestseller out of the first Harrow.

How can we do this, you ask? Volume, volume, volume!

Really, it’s the dope dealer ploy – first one’s free.

Last week there was a lot of Collins coverage on the net. Not so much in the last seven days, though a very fun write-up of my second, long-out-of-print MIKE HAMMER comic strip collection turned up at the fun blog, Davy Crockett’s Almanack. You can find this book and the first volume as well on e-bay without much difficulty.

The prolific reviewer Harriet Klausner has posted a very nice review of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF. Some people criticize Klausner for reviewing too much, but her write-ups get carried all over the net, and we’re glad to have her support.

See you next week. On March 1st. Two days before my birthday (not yet a national holiday in all states).


Now Hear This

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

No One Will Hear YouHere’s an advance look of the second J.C. Harrow novel, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, by me and Matthew Clemens. We thought Kensington did a fine job on the cover of YOU CAN’T STOP ME, but this one really knocked our socks off. I’ll let you know more later about this one, which both authors think tops the first book by a country mile.

Matt and I have been working on a proposal for the next Harrow for several weeks. We had a sample chapter ready and were tweaking the proposal when a better idea came up – not completely different, but a compelling alternative – and we junked what we had and started over. We have work meetings at the Muscatine, Iowa, Applebee’s, where our discussions of grotesque homicides routinely raise eyebrows and drop jaws. Matt and I are also working on several jigsaw puzzles – we did an NCIS and NCIS: LA not long ago, and are set to do a MENTALIST puzzle, as well. These are short stories that accompany a puzzle image, which contains the clues to a mystery (we did a number of CSI puzzles for this same client, a few years back).

Nate and his girl friend Abby (and Nate’s wonderfully crazy blue heeler, Toaster) visited over the weekend. We mostly watched the SHERLOCK BBC series on Blu-Ray (second go-round for Barb and me) and went to the entertaining if mindless RESIDENT EVIL 3-D movie…fun, but no PIRANHA 3-D (no kidding, that one’s terrific – almost Russ Meyer level over-the-top).

Nate and I continue to explore the e-book notion. Right now we’re thinking of doing new books of old material – i.e., a collection of my horror stories, a Barbara Allan short story collection (every story Barb and I have written together), two-fers of various novels (like two Mallorys to a book), etc.

Cop, writer, all around great guy Paul Bishop has one of the coolest web sites around – BISH’S BEAT – and recently he wrote what may be my favorite review yet of THE BIG BANG.

The film version of ROAD TO PERDITION has made it onto a very hip “best 10 mob movies” list. I am thrilled to be on there with some of my favorites, like GET CARTER and PRIME CUT.

I will be writing more RETURN TO PERDITION script this week and also doing my draft of the sample chapter for the next Harrow novel (assuming Matt Clemens delivers his draft soon).


The Year Nate Was Born (Both Of Him)

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

My old pal Alan Light (publishing guru who created THE COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE) has sent along some photos from 1982, the year that both Nathan Allan Collins (my son) and Nathan Heller (my literary offspring) were born. These are from a Consumer Electronics Show (at Chicago’s McCormick Place) attended by Alan, his friend Rick Best (who now is the honcho at WQPT PBS in the Quad Cities) and my frequent collaborator, Terry Beatty (looking astonishingly young in these photos).

Here is McCormick Place, with a jillion satellite dishes on its rooftop:

CES 1982

Here I am talking to two unidentified booth keepers about a DICK TRACY Crimestopper license for something having to do with auto security (I guess). I have no memory of this, beyond seeing Tracy’s image and stopping by to introduce myself as the guy who writes (wrote) DICK TRACY.

CES 1982

Here is a typically elaborate exhibit at the trade show, memorializing the now-defunct home video format that I dumped so much of my son’s potential inheritance into. I still own hundreds of laser discs, and watch two or three a year.

CES 1982

Left to right: Collins, Beatty, Best, lugging our bags of freebies from the show (outside McCormick Place).

CES 1982

Here is the real reason I am posting these: the late great Russ Meyer (the auteur behind VIXEN, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and so many wonderful wacky others) with yours truly.

CES 1982

Terry, me, Rick Best, taking a break from getting porn star autographs and free junk.

CES 1982

Does this really require a description? We yam what we yam.

CES 1982

A sign of the times. And it’s no different with the Internet, is it?

CES 1982

Left to right, Beatty, Collins and Alan Light (thanks for these, Alan!)

CES 1982

Driver's Ed MutinySpeaking of my son Nate, a while back he worked on an indie film in a number of capacities. That film, DRIVER’S ED MUTINY, is starting to hit the film festival circuit, and won Best Feature on Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. It was written and directed by Nate’s pal Brad Hansen, and it’s a terrific little comedy/drama – a road trip movie with memorable characters and some very crafty low-budget filmmaking (you actually see many landmarks on the classic Route 66). Watch for it.

Watch also for the current issue of VIDEOSCOPE (Spring 2010 #74), which has a great review of THE LAST LULLABY plus a lengthy article by me on the history of the Quarry novel series and the film that grew out of it. Required reading.

Craig Clarke, an excellent reviewer who has long been a booster of mine, has reviewed YOU CAN’T STOP ME. He doesn’t love it but you should check out what he has to say, anyway.

On the other hand, Jon Jordan loves the book – here’s an advance look at his review from the next issue (#36) of CRIMESPREE:

YOU CAN’T STOP ME is not only the title of this but also a mantra I said to myself whenever something threatened to interrupt my reading, and I’m talking the need to eat, wanting more coffee, or even smoking. I did not move from my chair till I was done.

YOU CAN’T STOP ME opens with a bang, JC Harrow is a smalltown cop just doing his job, but just doing it in spectacular fashion as he saves the President during a visit to the state fair in his county. Arriving home that night his world is turned upside down when he discovers his family murdered.

We jump ahead in time and see Harrow working on a reality show that hunts criminals. A case in Florida catches his attention and it appears to be the same killer who took his family away from him. The killer very quickly makes it known that he wants to be in the spotlight, and Harrow just wants him stopped.

History has shown that Collins can write unforgettable stories and he is a great writer. This book proves he is also a master of lightening fast books that make most thrillers seem pedestrian by comparison. And even though I finished reading, it clung to my brain like glue and it was while before I could start another book. I look forward to more stories with JC Harrow.

Here is Jon, from the current issue (#35) of CRIMESPREE:

Barbara Allan

My reading tastes are all over the board. While I do tend to read more hard-boiled or cross over mysteries, there are a number of great cozy or traditional mystery writers I love. The books by Barbara Allan are among them. Barbara Allan is actually the husband/wife team of Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins, and just as they are great as a couple, they are also a superb writing duo.

Brandy Borne is once again caught up in the whirlwind her mother Vivian creates and this time it’s a charity auction to help flood victims. Vivian has convinced a local woman to donate a Faberge egg for the auction, the last one made.

Almost as soon as the egg is sold, the winner is found dead as was the woman who donated it. Brandy steps in to find out what’s going on, but she does this pregnant, as a surrogate for a friend. She also just found out who her biological father is and it’s all she can do to keep it together.

Great characters are what drive this series, and the research about the antiques really adds to the story. Its fun reading and the mystery is terrific. I’ll keep reading this series as long as Kensington keeps publishing them.

That’s all for this update. There are a couple of new trade paperbacks I’ll tell you about next week.