Dark and, at times, amusing fiction from award-winning author Dave Zeltserman

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why I wrote The Caretaker of Lorne Field

"I became a Zeltserman fan after I read his superb noir trilogy SMALL CRIMES, PARIAH and KILLER. When I heard that he'd written a darkly funny horror (for want of a better genre definition) novel, I was curious -- of course -- but doubted it could top the trilogy. I was wrong. THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD is a masterclass in character development, suspense and reader manipulation. Frightening, funny and poignant, it blends the cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft with the down-homey terror of Stephen King at his best. CARETAKER is one of my books of the year."--Roger Smith, author of Mixed Blood and Wake Up Dead

Before writing Caretaker, I had written a lot of short crime fiction and five crime novels. So why write a book that's somewhere between an allegorical fable and a horror novel? Well, here's the reason. My wife and I had moved to a house where we had a black locust tree with this root system that spread all over our front yard and the side of our house. Hundreds of these little weeds would pop up every day from this root system, and they'd grow like crazy. If you didn't pull them out, within days they'd be about six inches, and within a week they'd start to develop thorns. If you didn't take care of it, you'd have a forest of black locust trees. So every day during the summer I'd walk back and forth across our lawn pulling out 100s of these suckers. After a couple of years of this I told my wife I was going to write a book about these weeds. She told me I was nuts. So that was why I had to write Caretaker!

The Newsday review for The Caretaker of Lorne Field is now up on my publisher's blog.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"A dark, lightening-paced read"

The above quote could be for any of my books, but today's it's for Outsourced as it gets nicely reviewed in the Financial Times.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Caretaker of Lorne Field Day

My 8th novel, The Caretaker of Lorne Field, is available at bookstores everywhere today. I can make two guarantees about Caretaker:

(1) this book is going to surprise anyone familiar with my crime fiction

(2) this will be the best allegorical fable/horror novel dealing with weeds which might or might not be world-destroying monsters that you'll read all year!

Below is some of the early response to Caretaker. I hope folks check this one out.

"Superb mix of humor and horror" Publishers Weekly, starred review

"delicious horror-ish novel" Newsday

"superbly crafted horror story" Booklist

"Harrowing. Zeltserman colors it black with the best of them." Kirkus Reviews

"a very darkly funny dark fantasy" Locus Magazine

"Crime writer Zeltserman has produced a nail-biter...The narrative is straightforward and gritty, reminiscent of works of Dashiell Hammett...gripping and actually 'horrifying,' this title is recommended for horror fans and readers who may relish unpleasant surprises." -- Library Journal

"The Caretaker of Lorne Field is a fabulous amusing tale that grips the reader with a need to know whether the monster is real, a centuries old con, or generational lunacy" -- Midwest Book Review

"If Stephen King had a true Noir calling and Peter Straub added contemporary horror... and Dean Koontz threw in his fine depiction of ordinary life on the edge of the unknown... then bring the specter of James M. Cain to write the narrative, you'd come close to describing the whole effect of this stunning slice for the zeitgeist wondrousnovel and the writing is... pure dark bliss."-Ken Bruen, author of
London Boulevard

"The Caretaker of Lorne Field is a magnificent novel, with truly believable characters and suspense that keeps building to an explosive climax. There it is, plain and simple." -Seymour Shubin, Edgar Award finalist, author of Anyone's My Name

"The Caretaker of Lorne Field is a wonderfully weird, gritty, and pitch-dark legend, perfect for New England. Weaved in the compulsively readable narrative is a heavy dose of our current society's meanness, unease, and ambiguity: kind of a nightmare-noir zeitgeist. The thing of it is, the reader is never safe in Dave Zeltserman's hands. I love that. You should too." Paul Tremblay

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On Dangerous Ground -- Finally!!!

Sometime around 2006 as an offshoot of an issue of Western noir stories that Ed Gorman and I did for Hardluck Stories, we put together an anthology deal with Cemetery Dance for a book of western noir stories. For the last couple of years I started to have my doubts whether this book would ever see the light of day. Well, this weekend I received an advance uncorrected poof for "On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir", which is being edited by myself, Ed Gorman and Martin Greenberg. While I don't have a firm publishing date, I'm being told it should be out sometime this fall. It's been a long time coming, and I'd really like to thank our authors for their patience in this, and I think everyone's going to be happy with the end result, which is really a hell of a noir anthology, You thought HBO's Deadwood was noir? Well, wait until you see the stories in this anthology. This is the real deal. Hard, brutal and black-hearted stories taking place in the old west, and as noir as it gets. If you have even the slightest interest in noir you're going to want to read these 404 pages.

Our Table of Contents:

Introduction by James Sallis

Hell by Bentley Little
All Good Men by Terry Tanner
Burl Lockhart's in Town by Steve Hockensmith
Canticle by Desmond Barry
Colt by Ken Bruen
Piano Man by Bill Crider
Desert Reckoning by Trey R. Barker
Lucky by Harry Shannon
Going Where the Wind Blows by Jan Christensen
The Old Ways by Ed Gorman
In Some Countries by Jerry Raine
The Cartoonist by Jon L. Breen
Durston by Norman Partridge
Emma Sue By Dave Zeltserman
Hell Hath No Fury by T. L. Wolf
Vanity by Jeremiah Healy
Cowards Die Many Times by Robert J. Randisi
Lead Poisoning by Gary Lovisi
The Conversion of Carne Muerto by James Reasoner
Last Song of Antietam by Patrick J. Lambe
Through the Golden Gate Bridge by Terence Butler

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Me + Paul Tremplay: Dover Library Tonight

Paul Tremblay and myself will continue our act tonight at the Dover Library at 7 pm. Paul will be reading from The Little Sleep & No Sleep Till Wonderland (both favorites of mine), and I'll be reading from Killer and The Caretaker of Lorne Field. Afterwards we'll take questions about all things crime fiction, and if time give a Kung Fu demonstration (I understand Paul has recovered from the demonstration we gave last week in Waltham).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Morning Star -- Lives up to the Hype!

Sunday's edition of the London newspaper, The Morning Star, reviewed Outsourced:

"A group of New England software engineers who have been discarded by their employers due to outsourcing decide the only way to continue living up to the "American dream" is to use their skills to rob a bank.

It all goes wrong when innocent people are shot and the safety deposit boxes that they rob belong to the Russian mafia - who now seem obligatory in any US crime novel. Add into the mix a hangdog local cop, friction with the FBI and the US mafia, and the ingredients are there for a great story.

Bodies mount up as the double dealing and revenge gather apace. The blurb on the book describes it as a "fast-paced, edge-of-your seat crime novel," and it really does live up to the hype. Add this to your holiday reading list for a piece of escapism."

And so the streak continues!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

hope this streak continues

I've been on a good streak the last 3 days. Thursday a Shamus nomination for my novella, 'Julius Katz', Friday about as good a book review as you can get for "The Caretaker of Lorne Field" in Newsday, and yesterday a short but very good review for Outsourced in the London Times.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

London Times on Outsourced

London Times today reviews Outsourced among a couple of Vampire thrillers:

"Back in the “real” world, Dave Zeltserman’s Outsourced is a dryly witty take on the heist caper genre with a gaggle of reluctantly redundant software engineers planning the perfect bank robbery. He brings together crazed hitmen, Russian mafiosi, Iraqi antiques smugglers and domestic angst in a fast-paced action romp that has the inestimable advantage (or not) that its characters are actually human." Peter Millar, London Times

Friday, August 13, 2010

Newsday: 'delicious horror-ish novel'

Newsday had published a terrific review written by Ed Siegel for The Caretaker of Lorne Field. Here's a small part of it:

Zeltserman is the author of increasingly accomplished crime novels, distinguished by spare and crisp prose, believable dialogue, imaginative plot twists and tightly wound characters who don't wear out their welcome.

He may be even more suited to the fantasy/horror genre than to a literary life of crime. Without slowing the action, Zeltserman wryly sprinkles in sub-themes about belief vs. logic, sacrifice vs. selfishness, and one generation against another. Perhaps the most interesting characters in the book are the older people who believe in Durkin and who, knowing how underpaid and unappreciated he is, treat him like a local hero rather than the fool on the hill.

Of course, this is literally a dying breed of citizenry. The question is whether we'll all be a dying breed of humanity if Durkin isn't allowed to keep weeding. Me, I'm not saying anything except, keep reading. Durkin may or may not be a loose caboose, but Zeltserman is fully in control.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In Some Fine Shamus Company

2010 Shamus Award Nominees for Best PI Short Story are:

“The Dark Island,” by Brendan DuBois (from Boston Noir, Akashic)
“Deadline Edition,” by S.L. Franklin (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2009)
“Blazin’ on Broadway,” by Gary Phillips (from Phoenix Noir, edited by Patrick Millikin; Akashic)
“Suicide Bonds,” by Tim L. Williams (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2009)
Julius Katz,” by Dave Zeltserman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2009)

I'm honored to be nominated among such a fine group of writers, especially Brendan DuBois who I've enjoyed reading for years. Now if you want to read 'Julius Katz', I've got four ways of you doing it:

1) Track down the Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Elleru Queen
2) As a $0.99 Amazon kindle download
3) As a free PDF
4) Wait for the release of 'By Hook or By Crook and 30 more of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year', edited by Ed Gorman and Martin Greenberg.

Archie's reaction to the news.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Waltham Library tonight with Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay and I will be at the Waltham Library tonight reading from our respective books, with Paul reading from his terrific "No Sleep Till Wonderland" and probably also giving a preview of his upcoming short story collection, "In the Mean Time". I'll be reading from Killer, my very soon to be released, The Caretaker of Lorne Field, and maybe also a little from "Archie's Been Framed", which is in the current Ellery Queen. Program starts at 7 pm.