Monday, April 21, 2008

"Stunning Stuff"

"Powerfully tense, reading this is like watching a car crash happen, as Joe thrashes like a landed fish trying to survive in a world seriously stacked against him. The characterisation and mental torment are reminiscent of the insightful psychological thrillers of Jim Thompson. Stunning stuff." from Cath Staincliffe's review of Small Crimes at Tangled Web.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hardluck's not dead yet...

It just looks that way right now. Ed Gorman and I still have the 30s pulp noir issue, and it's shaping up to be one of our best and a fitting way to end Hardluck. The problem today with the Hardluck site is related with how my web hosting company managed the domain name renewal, but should be cleared up by tomorrow with the site, archives and email back online then.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

synchronicity with the Universe

There are these times when things happen... A few of these...

First and only time I'm driving through Winslow, Arizona and as I hit downtown the Eagles song, "Take It Easy" (the ones with the lyrics: Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see), comes on over the radio. Now it's possible that song was played on that station every half hour to catch travelers, but still it made me smile.

Years ago my wife and I are driving through Cambridge, MA. My wife's behind the wheel, takes what turns out to be an illegal left-turn (sign is way up in the air and obscured by tree branches), and a cop pulls us over. At the time my wife's driving a beatup VW Rabbit and it probably doesn't look like we could afford a ticket (and at the time we couldn't). The cop tells my wife that he's guessing she took that illegal left turn because she must of got lost. My wife, who can be stubborn, starts arguing that she didn't see the sign because it was hidden in the trees. The cop interrupts her, telling her how it doesn't look like she can afford a $100 dollar ticket (or whatever it was) so she must of got lost, at which point my wife agrees that she must of got lost. First song that starts playing as we drive away is J. Geils Band "Must of got lost"--and that was the first time we'd heard that song played on the radio in years.

I went to the University of Colorado for my undergraduate degree, and every 3-4 years my wife and I travel back to visit friends, hike Rocky Mountain National Park, etc. I'd lost touch with a close friend of mine out there, and didn't know how to reach him to let him know that I was going to be in Boulder. Every morning while we were out there, my wife and I are waking up around 8:30 or so. One morning I drag her out of bed at 7, and then drag her to the Trident Coffee House & bookstore for breakfast (first time that trip we went there). Waiting in a line outside the Trident Bookstore is my friend. He's living in Denver at the time, and it was his frist trip in months to Boulder.

Anyone have any of their own moments of synchronicity with the universe they'd like to share?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My first podcast and other news

My first podcast, Dark Crime Fiction, Volume 1 can be found as an MP3 at:

and at the iTunes store at:

This first volume is made up of my three bogusly autobiographical "life in writer's hell" stories: More Than a Scam, Flies, She Stole My Fortune! -- and is about 40 minutes long. Each future volume will be made up of equally dark crime fiction, both previously published and original. What I've learned doing this is (1) I need a better microphone (2) there's definitely a learning curve to this stuff, especially in building the rss file that iTunes needs (and in knowing that you need a professional microphone!). If anyone has suggestions on where and how to advertise crime fiction podcasts, please let me know!

Now for some news--Five Star will be publishing the sequel to Bad Thoughts, Bad Karma, Fall of 2009. While Bad Thoughts is kind of a grim and odd mix of horror and crime, Bad Karma fits squarely in the hardboiled PI genre, although with a new age twist. I think it's a fun book, my wife's favorite, and the one that I've been saving to dedicate to her.

Other news--I just had my first novella accepted by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. More about this later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Small Crimes contest winners

Two winners were selected for the best Bad Thoughts movie casts

Mark Sullivan, Maryland

Bill Shannon: Dean Winters
Susan Shannon: Marisa Tomei
Elaine Horwitz: Molly Ringwald
Winters: Daniel Stern
Joe DiGrazia: Vincent D'Onofrio
Pig Dornich: Dennis Franz

Colman Keane, United Kingdom

Bill Shannon: Joaquim Phoenix
Susan Shannon: Rachel Weisz
Elaine Horwitz: Lauren Ambrose
Winters: Tim Roth
Joe DiGrazia: Jack Black
Pig Dornich: Steve Buscemi

And my own dream cast would be:

Bill Shannon: Ryan Phillippe
Susan Shannon: Rose Byrne
Elaine Horwitz: Cate Blanchett
Winters: David Morse
Joe DiGrazia: James Gandolfini
Pig Dornich: Robert DeNiro

Autographed copies of Small Crimes are in the mail. Thanks for playing!