Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Local Review for "Truth Always Kills"

This is only the second review I've seen for my next book, TRUTH ALWAYS KILLS, but it's still a bit early. I hope.

It comes out on December 11th and this review was printed in today's paper. A friend told me about it and I couldn't get it online so I bought a copy and scanned this. I post it here after just noticing I cut off the left edge but you can still read it. In any case, it's a nice review, and it's from the Littleton Courier, November 11th, 2015.

Click on the image to embiggen it....

And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Noir at the Bar Manhattan

Last Sunday's Noir at the Bar event in Manhattan went, I thought, very well. However, a competing MWA event at another venue, the Giants/Patriots game, and probably as well the very visible mourning for the attacks in Paris all conspired to keep attendance low.

It was a pity. A lot of good stories were read and though the crowd was small, the atmosphere was wonderful. I had a good time, a good crepe, and hope to get a chance to read there again in the future.

I keep telling people, these readings are a lot of fun, and I don't mean that just from the writers' perspective. They're good entertainment. Dickens had a second career, one that probably helped kill him, reading his work to massive crowds from a stage. That would have been great to see. Also Angie Dickinson. I don't know if she ever read any books or stories on stage but, yeah, I'd buy a ticket. I guess as long as your last name is close to "Dickens"....

But I digress. Noir at the Bar events are held in cities all across the country so there are lots of opportunities for people to see them. Not so many to see old Boz, and DVDs give us Angie, but still, live events have that energy and intimacy you can't get anywhere else.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Noir @ the Bar Manhattan

This Sunday, November 16th, I'll be part of this month's Noir @ the Bar group in Manhattan. It will be at Shade in Greenwich Village and run from six to nine at night. If you've never been, these events are always fun, filled with giveaways and interesting people reading interesting things.

I don't know who else is going to be there but I imagine it's up on a Facebook page somewhere. I'm also not sure yet what I'm going to read. I keep debating but right now I'm leaning toward something with humor. Since I tend to think I'm funnier than anyone else does this could be a dangerous decision. If you're in the vicinity, come on down or up or over and check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hey, a new blog post!

It's been a while, but you know how things are. They're the same with you.

Went to ThrillerFest in NYC for my first time a few weeks ago. It was a very nice time and met some new people like Dan Palmer and Robert Wilson (all the way from Portugal) and participated in a panel that went very well. The bookstore had a whole two copies of my book for sale and those were gone before my designated signing time, so that was, um, uneventful.

Had my knee operated on when I got back. It's now a giant purple balloon but two ligaments and a nerve were repaired, so that's nice. I can't walk, but what the hell.

Turned in "Truth Always Kills" to the publisher for release in December. It will miss Bouchercon but it had to get pushed back after I went rolling down the highway in my Jeep in late winter. Rolling as in side over side, not upright on the wheels. In fact, one of those broke off.

Next up is a Noir at the Bar event in Boston on August 27th at Trident Books and Cafe.

These things are an awful lot of fun and I think everyone who can come should make the effort. I promise you'll enjoy yourself.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Suspense Magazine Interview

I did an over the phone interview for Suspense Magazine today that was broadcast live over some number of channels:

I'm still fuzzy in the head from trying to fly Jeeps upside down and I hope this came out okay. It's only thirty minutes long so hopefully I won't put anyone to sleep. I'd listen to it but for the fact that unless I'm imitating Bobby Darin, I can't stand my own voice. And even then...

... I'm no Bobby Darin. But give it a listen and let me know what you think. Comments are good. Real ones, not those "Your blog is good excellent but my wife's cousin makes $85 dollars every fifteen minutes without leaving the small part of her bathroom" ones. Those are just the black flies of the Internet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crash Boom Bang, or, Jeep Wranglers Don't Fly Too Good

I rolled my Jeep on Sunday. I think I went around twice, possibly three times, though all I could really swear too is once. It's fairly disorienting flipping a car: there's the "Oh, crap" moment, and then there's the rolling and you know what's happening. I think the first flip was mostly an eccentric sideways-oriented rolling mostly in the air, then one along the ground.

And it was a soft top Jeep and no, I wasn't wearing a seat belt. (I think seat belts are a fine idea but I can't help but bristle at laws aimed at protecting me, like bike helmet laws, motorcycle helmet laws, and the like. I know it's stupid and indefensible, but if it weren't for the law, I'd probably be a seat belt wearer.) (I do make my kids wear the things, though. It's just a personal view.)

I refused the ambulance service because I had to get to the mountain and time a race. Fortunately it was a smaller one, and when I finally got to the ER, the stitched my left ear back to my face (there was about an inch gap), stitches over my right eye, and a really, really painful sprained neck.

I'm a bit worried about the neck but presumably I'll heal, not so for the totaled Jeep, which fortunately came to rest on its three remaining wheels.

Anyway, I hate cars. I hate their limited lifespans, their drain on the monthly expenses, the maintenance, being a slave to up and down gas prices, but damnit, if there's such a thing as just a fun, rugged car, it's a Jeep Wrangler. And it did it's job. The airbags didn't even deploy. Why? Because it's a Jeep, damnit.

Of course, the obvious problem is that I'm down an expensive automobile. More hardship. Oh, well. I could have been ejected and subsequently crushed, I could have slid upside down, any number of far worse things could have happened. I remember gripping that steering wheel, thinking, "Crap! I'm rolling!"

It made me think of all these silly movie scenes where people jump off cliffs or some such thing, bicycling their arms and legs, yelling "Whoooooaaaa!" Doesn't happen. I was a skydiver for many, many years with thousands of jumps. Stuff happens. You survive or you don't. I'm convinced that either you panic in these situations and just surrender yourself to the fates, or your mind instantly flicks to what's important. In this case, for me, that was holding onto that damned steering wheel. Beyond that I had no control of the situation whatsoever.

I think that's important for writers to realize: the mind goes to what's important for survival, not to making silly arm and leg motions and silly exclamations. There's plenty of time for saying, "Damn, my Jeep is totaled." As much as I could love a car, which actually isn't very much, I loved that Jeep. But hey, any crash you walk away from....

It was 6:30 in the morning, the roads were very slick, poorly plowed, and the tracks of the previous traffic pulled the "cleared" portion too close to the exit ramp. I think what happened was I caught the paint for the ramp, which meant I was more to the right than normal, sharpening the curve that 's right there--the police said that that spot was the biggest accident site in town--and the back end started to go. I tried to correct and go up the ramp as it was a straighter shot. But one of the front wheels caught the median and after that the Wright Brothers would have been embarrassed to watch.

I'd be shocked, pleasantly so, if this isn't going to cost me money, but I'm sure somehow it will. My head is bandaged like a turban and I look ridiculous. Add to that the Hawaiian style shirt I'm wearing--it's a button down I don't have to slip over the head bandaging--and I am officially ridiculous. But more alive than my Jeep. And I suppose that's a good thing.

And I didn't wave my arms and legs, didn't yell "Whoooooaaaaa!", didn't throw my arm in front of my face accepting the inevitable: I proved my point, and I've done it before, that when faced with situations like this, the mind goes to a place that's best for survival. The rest is Hollywood drivel. What's real is that Jeep's weren't meant to fly, and damn, does my neck hurt.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

If Time is the Fire in Which We All Burn...

...then I should be roasting much better in a few months after I catch up on a bunch of things that coaching high school sports (that stuff goes on every day!) and an over-full plate left me buried alive under way too many projects.

Now--or in a little while--I'll be able to devote more time to writing itself, and not to doing things to promote books. Other people's books, anyway. I'll still write introductory essays, I believe--next one for a July Peter Rabe release, a collection of his latter three Daniel Port books--and I'll have more time to write my own books.

My next one is called--at the moment--Truth Always Kills, mostly because I completely suck at coming up with titles, is due out in September. I have a short story to finish for an anthology based on a rock-n-roll band that grew up around the same time as I did in good old Minneapolis, an editorial gig for a very, very patient new author, a trip to Manhattan for ThrillerFest where I'll be on some as yet unknown panel, a trip to Bouchercon in Raleigh where I've been invited to be on a panel that is tentative until the schedule is finalized in a few months, and on and on.

There's a piece on my father's passing that I'd like to finish, too. That one won't be easy for any number of reasons. Writing about one's family is probably not the smartest idea, writing honestly about one's family is probably a terrible idea, writing honestly about my own family is probably a Titanic-sized "Oh, the humanity" sort of disaster. Still, there are things to be said and I'd love to place it in a literary magazine where no one my family knows, let alone my family, would ever discover it. Still, there's a risk, but you can only absorb so much enmity before your cup runneth over and the rest is just so much spillage. And there's no guarantee of anyone publishing it anyway.

Is the National Enquirer still around? Do they pay anything if you don't include a Kardashian photo? I could wear a meat dress for my author photo.

I hope to actually put time here again, as well as work on my perpetually unfinished web site. Anyway, here's a post, stuff's going on, and if anyone cares, feel free to comment. It gets lonely out here sometimes.