Pages

Monday, November 30, 2009

Walmart flash fiction challenge

I am happy to present my contribution to Patti Abbott's latest flash fiction challenge – to write an 800 word story inspired by the site People of Walmart. She has the full list of all the contributors this week on her site.
This will be my last update before I head off to China for 3 weeks and as a parting gift I also offer you this entry, Thankful (an honorable mention winner) in Michael J. Solender's flash fiction challenge. Take the time to read all the entries he has posted. Good stuff based on the inspiration of 'giving thanks'.
I love a challenge like both of these where you start with an inspiration. It narrows the field from just that of my imagination which can be either a dense and dangerous crowd like a Tokyo subway or a wasteland so barren and lifeless you'd expect Viggo Mortenson to walk through at any moment.
Enjoy and if you're a first time visitor to my blog, such as it is, take a look around. I've got videos to let you know about my new novel, co written with JB Kohl and links to many more stories if these two appeal to you.

________________


INSIDE MAN
by Eric Beetner

Let me give you a tip: Don’t trust my brother to be the inside man. 

This is, of course, advice I should have followed but I’ve never been considered the smart one; and after what J.T. did, that is not a bright reflection on me.

I waited in the car for a good half hour. How long does it take to empty a cash register at a Walmart? They got, like, fifty of ‘em.

So I go in. Let me just say this: Oh the humanity!

I knew it was bad but we’d never been that far down south before. There was a fat guy in head-to-toe camouflage, a fat lady in some sort of mesh top with her gut-and-a-half making a dive south for the border. I saw an old guy wearing what I can only assume was his wife’s jean shorts with lace trim and black knee socks pulled all the way up. A dude in a t-shirt that read ‘I eat pussy like a fat kid eats cake’, and a gal in garter belts, a tube top, two-inch fingernails and five-inch heels – and she was carrying a kid!

After my head got spun around by the scenery I remembered to look for J.T. I found him hanging out in the sporting goods aisle. He was poking around, not looking at stuff but pretending, y’know? All nervous and shit. Cold feet.

I walked right up to him, “What the fuck you doin’?”

“I’m biding my time.” Bet you dollars to donuts he don’t even know what that means.

“Well, what the fuck for?”

“The right moment.”

A geriatric rolled by on a rascal (fatter than shit, do I need to say it?) so I waited until he passed before smacking J.T. upside the head.

“The right moment is now.”

He got the message. He scratched at his crotch, put everything back in place, and slapped his own cheek – hard. Steeling himself for battle.

We’d done a dozen or so little jobs – mini marts, gas stations – on the way down south but this was big time. The store was big anyway. I told him the trick was to go to the ten items or less aisle. They get a lot more transactions and more in cash. Damn near everyone uses their damn debit card these days.

I should have followed him. I turned to go back to the car and by the time I got near the front, almost out the door – the old greeter dude was already telling me to have a nice day – I turned and he wasn’t there. I quick stepped it back to sporting goods and saw him. He left my little pep talk and went to nearest register which happened to be a little counter called, you guess it, the gun department.

Idiot.

He asked to see a gun and then when he had it in his hand turned it on the clerk and demanded all the money. Well, see, there are several problems with this plan. “Plan” is being generous. I had a damn plan, he just didn’t follow it.

First off, no gun they give you is gonna be loaded. We’d been working on a purely suggestive basis so far. No guns at all. No armed robbery charges for us. It’s all implied. Make them think you got a gun and you don’t need one.

Second, the dudes you’re robbing are surrounded by GUNS dickweed!

I swear I’ve never seen so many hillbillies pop up and move like someone called “Hike!”

All in all there were five guys behind the counter and they all went into defense mode like Osama Bin Laden just walked into their Walmart. Shotguns came off the walls, rifle bolts were cocked and loaded, a .357 magnum came out from the case. Those good ‘ol boys knew exactly where the ammo was too. This was a well oiled machine. Either J.T.’s level of dipshittery happens a lot or these Gomers had been waiting on this for a long time.

J.T. panics. I knew he would. Clicks the useless trigger a few times then turns to run. Every last one of those dumb crackers lets her rip. J.T.’s back becomes a collector’s case for every caliber of shell manufactured in the United States today. 

Once they got one shot off it was hard to stop I guess. They looked like the cast of Hee Haw and they aimed like it too.

A (fat) woman fell, a rifle bullet spoiling her denim on denim over fishnet stocking combo. Some guy wearing what looked to me like a Halloween pimp costume got dropped. I should mention this happened in July.

I couldn’t even feel that bad for J.T., the dumb fuck.

I made for the door. The old geezer must not have had his hearing aid turned on because he hadn’t even turned around at the gunshots that sounded like a leftover fireworks finale from last week.

“Have a nice day. Thanks for shopping at Walmart,” he said like a robot.

Thanks fuckface. Enjoy the cleanup on aisle ten.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Interview

We just did another interview at this great Noir inspired blog run by the exotic and wonderful DeeDee, a big time supporter of the Film Noir Foundation.
It is a really meaty interview with some great questions, just scroll down a bit to get to the start. Check it out and leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

That personal touch


Hand delivering signed copies of One Too Many Blows To The Head from Eric Beetner on Vimeo.

Pass this on! For people losing faith in the corporateness of publishing this is evidence of the little guy still making that extra effort.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Win free books!

Second Wind publishing is celebrating the release of three new thrillers - our book as well as Daughter Am I  by Pat Bertram and False World by JJ Dare - with a slew of new contests where you can win free books, both ebooks and real books.
Go check it out HERE .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New short

I swear I've been writing more shorts. Not a ton but a few. Two will debut on Nov 30th and one is set to run on Powder Burn Flash soon and two others are out to publishers but no response yet.
But a brand new flash piece is up now at the Flash Fiction Offensive. It is called Liar, Liar. Give it a gander and let me know what you think.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A little tease

We've posted the first two chapters of One Too Many Blows To The Head over at the Second Wind publishing blog . Check 'em out!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"I'm your number one fan..."

This is either a) hilarious, b) completely inappropriate or c) both.
I vote C but I still love it. Now that's a kid who is going to enjoy some great bedtime reading. Starting them young on a series is key to readership. Right here she is riveted by the account of that fateful bout between Rex and Delancey. Her eyes are wide at the vivid description of blood pouring to the canvas as the punches keep on coming. Her little face seems to say, "Why aren't they stopping the fight?!?"


And Linda from the Mystery Bookstore sent a photo of me signing the only copy of the book last Saturday, the proof copy I gave to the store staff. It will have to do because, for now, that's all there is.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Making lemonade

So my first ever book signing was on Saturday. I was looking forward to this for a while. The good, no GREAT, folks at the Mystery Bookstore hosted me and I thank them deeply for inviting a newbie in to their hallowed stacks of books where I have seen so many giants of crime fiction read and sign.
Small hitch...we had no books. There was a shipping snafu. Hard to get angry at Veterans Day but that one day of no mail deliveries apparently screwed us. So there I was with no books to sign and no books to sell. What to do? Solider on and do the event anyway!
I read a section from my proof copy and people placed orders for books which I will then sign when books come in on Monday, only one shipping day late.
Was I disappointed? Sure. These things happen. No sense looking back. Aside from being a little embarrassed it all went fine. People were very kind and very forgiving.
Now to make lemons into lemonade! When the books come in and I get the chance to sign them I will take as many as I can for those who are local and hand deliver the signed copies. You just don't get that kind of attention from the big time authors. If that's what it takes I am happy to do it. How cool would it be to deliver every single copy of the book myself and say thanks for giving it a try? I'd love it.

I hope to capture a little bit of video of the deliveries and maybe post it on here soon.
In the meantime here are a few shots from the event which was still a dream come true and hopefully only the first of many.
It is not too late to order an autographed copy from the Mystery Bookstore . If you place an order with them and specify you'd like it signed I will go by and sign it up for you any time, not just this week. Any time at all. I live close and any chance to go  in there and browse around I will take. I can't ever leave empty handed.

Bobby, Mystery Bookstore manager,  introduces me.


What to read? I went back and forth but picked a section that people seemed to like.


More people even showed up later. Marie baked cookies!


Reading my own book. Weird.


A lively Q&A followed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Something to say

An interview Jennifer and I did is up at Pulp Serenade, a great site for all things pulp fiction. We discuss many topics, not just blind shilling for the book which is what we're trying to do at all the stops on our blog tour. Check it out and leave a comment with your 2 cents.

Monday, November 9, 2009

First steps

A fun but addictive game is tracking your Amazon sales ranking. We have fluctuated from 537,000 to as high as 47,000. Not exactly Stephen King numbers but anything other than dead last is encouraging. We have done two interviews now that will be up soon on their respective blogs. Someone else offered to do a giveaway for us so that will be fun.
It's exciting to see our little creation make its way in the world. A lot of work, but exciting. Volunteers accepted now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And....done!

Just finished up draft #1 of the new novel. A brief deep breath and then back to the top to read it all and see what the hell I did and how much it sucks. I am NOT a fan of revisions. Very necessary process though, I know this. 
49,387 words so those NaNoWriMo people can suck it. I'll do it at my own pace, thanks anyway. (okay, too harsh. I actually respond very well to deadlines. If that's what you need to get it all out then great for you. A novel in a month - very doable. A good, finished novel in a month? NO way.)
The line I like today: "Blood burst out of the gaping slash like kids through the doors on the last day of school."
It's one of those lines that is so bad its good. To me anyway. May not make the final draft. We'll see if better judgement prevails.
I know this one won't: "Trying to staunch the flow of blood now was putting a wine cork on Old Faithful." 
That was one I left for later trimming/improving. If I put it here it will force me to come up with something better.




We've gotten a great and very appreciated response from our request for blog tour stops. One interview has already been conducted, another is being compiled. We are the "spotlight of the month" HERE . Very cool. A signed copy giveaway is coming soon associated with that one but I've been sworn to secrecy for the moment. I've already said too much.
Still looking for places to stop in and say hi, let people know about the book and how it will change your life, never leave your possession and you'll probably be buried with it in your pocket. How you'll tell people it is the best thing you've read since Cacher in the Rye. Make speculations that this would be what it was like if To Kill a Mockingbird had sex with Lolita while reading LA Confidential and gave birth to One Too Many Blows To The Head. Stuff like that.
(hey, if gross hyperbole is the way to get noticed in America then why not?)
So if you run a blog, know of a good one, know anyone who reviews crime/mystery books, know any agents who want a new client, know anyone looking to fund quirky indie films, know anyone who wants to sponsor a team of idiots who want desperately to enter a 24 hour road race in a $500 car or if you want to tell me all the ways you're going to contribute money you would have spent on buying a book to charity just drop me a line!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Order direct, save a few bucks

If you order the book directly from the publisher you can get 2 bucks off. How's that? So you can go get a coffee and enjoy it while you read. Just be sure when the person next to you says, "Hey, whatcha reading?" you say "This amazing new book. You really should get one. Or two."
Then when you spill coffee on your own copy, come on back and get a new one. (pushing too hard? Okay, I'll stop)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's alive!

Now I can officially say the book is RELEASED ! Order your copy directly from Second Wind  publishing or better yet, there is still time to call up the Mystery Bookstore and have them reserve a copy for me to sign on Nov 14th. Or, just order one through your local indie book retailer. Of course you could go the new fangled way that has already become old news and order it from Amazon .
Of course if you order from there or not a nice Amazon review is always a good thing. (hint, hint)
So happy to have it finally out in the world.  I hope everyone enjoys it.
On to the next one!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Buzz buzz buzz

So I think I can almost officially maybe say the book is kind of sort of released I think. I do know this: you can pre-order your very own copy through the Mystery Bookstore in advance of my signing on the 14th of November and I will sign it for you. from their website: You may email orders@mystery-bookstore.com or telephone us on our toll-free number, (800) 821-9017
Sadly it will only be me and not Jennifer but it gives you something to look forward to, namely hunting her down and getting her to make it a complete signed first edition. Does it count as a first if there is only one? Of course if part of your request is for me to forge her signature I'm not above that.
We put in the order for our author copies today and that means they will ship out to us, we will sign them, trade copies and then sign again so both Jennifer and my signatures are on them and then FINALLY we can send out our contest winners their books. Thanks for your patience Jimmy, Joyce and Robert.
I am setting up a blog tour right now so hopefully we will be popping up all over the web either in interviews, guest blogs or just endless postings of the cover art and book trailer. If you get sick of seeing and hearing about the book then I am doing my job.
Help spread the word! Know of any bloggers who would like to have us stop by? Know any reviewers? Know anyone in the books department of Entertainment Weekly? Oprah's book club?
Sure, you can get it on Amazon but wouldn't you rather request it from your local independent book store? They need your help just like us struggling authors. And when they get a request for a small book like ours it makes them think maybe it is worth stocking a few extra copies.
The new novel is in the home stretch and then it is back to shorts to blitz the web and spread the word more. This book is going to be like the swine flu of crime novels.

It's official

I've made the upcoming author events at the Mystery Bookstore website . I guess this thing is really happening. I also believe I will be posting news of an official release this very week! The super secret pre release is on now but you have to find it yourself. It's not official. Kind of like the Stones playing at a little bar down the street. You have to be in the know. (please note the qualifier "kind of")

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The pile grows

Two things happened today. First, it was my birthday so I got books. (thank you Amazon wish list for ending my history of bad presents!) I added said books to by TBR pile and it saddened me. Then, my latest in the Hard Case Crime book club came in the mail. Could you tell I was a club member? I'm still catching up from last year's $1.00 book sale. Lo and behold in with this month's book was the flyer for this year's book club. It is genius. For only a buck each I can catch up on old Hard Case titles I missed. They wrote this year's list just for me. Literally every single book in the sale bin, all 12 of them, were ones I don't have yet. So I get to call tomorrow and say, "Send 'em all!" *sigh* When will I find the time? Who knows. But for a dollar each I don't care if I wait until I retire. And that, my friends, could be a long way off. Sure I'm a year older and crossing the threshold of being aged out of my business but I need to work for many many more years. Such is the burden of being an independent freelance employee with no 401k, no matching funds to a retirement plan, no pension, no health coverage, can I stop? I'm getting sad again.

Getting older doesn't matter to me. The growing size of that pile is starting to concern me though....

Better Video

Book trailer One Too Many Blows To The Head from Eric Beetner on Vimeo.



Better quality version of the trailer. Still can't figure out how to put it over on the side there without it getting cut off. Anyone have tips?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The line I like today

"Las Vegas in the daytime is a steel and glass hangover."

I quite like that one. If you've ever been there you know it's true.

Just did our first interview for the book and it was a fun one. I'll link to it here when it comes out. Very unique way of doing a Q & A.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Easy

It is my considered opinion that the easiest thing in the world to write is a bad children's book.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The early years

The last time I was at my Father's house he dug up yet another old file folder of my school work. He saves this stuff for some unknown reason and from the dates on most of it these files have made it from Iowa to our first house in Connecticut to our second and then out to Ohio well after my sister and I graduated college. Well, I'm glad he did because in browsing this latest bit of suburban archaeology I found this, a story I wrote circa 1980. Much to my surprise, it is a crime story. I assume my first. It certainly doesn't appear to be written for any school assignment. This was just writing for the pleasure of it
There are several thing I love about this find. First, why the hell was a boy of such an age (10 or 11, not being able to pinpoint an exact date on it but doing a decent job of assuming based on the other layers of strata surrounding it in the file folder) why was I writing about guns and what appears to be loansharking? I have posted the clearer typewritten version, my sister takes credit for the typing, and the handwritten original draft – both with bonus illustrations! Just click to make them legible if you dare.
It goes without saying it is bad and shows no innate talent for the written word at all but some of the lines are classic such as my parenthetic aside when the female character stops off a clothing store "(It is usual for girls to do that sort of thing)" Wow. The ten-year old me was sexist I guess.
I also love my reluctance to try spelling out Minnesota so I instead use Minn.
It is not hard to stay humble of my own skills at writing but if I ever need to be taken down a peg or two I'll just read this and remember how little I knew then and how little has changed since.
And how did I know what a Luger was? Too much TV.







Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Proof (that it exists)

I am holding in my hand (makes typing difficult) an actual copy of One Too Many Blows To The Head. Our print proofs are in. It is very exciting to see it as an actual book. Now, one more time through with the fine toothed comb and we're off to the presses for real. Hooray!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back to work

After a nearly four week break I am back at work on the new novel. I started reading through what I've done so far last night and I was shocked to find I actually like it. I wasn't slacking in my down time. It was final revisions on One Too Many Blows To The Head, some new short work, articles for the Noir City Sentinel, the day job was a real grind – 3 weekends! – and a new story plus outline for a new contest thing that I think I will enter. Why not?
Anyway, back to it. I think I have settled on a title: The Devil Doesn't Want Me. It is a great line I heard in a Story Corps podcast. If you don't know story corps they are a documentary project run by NPR who go around and collect stories from ordinary Americans. It is fascinating to hear. I love regular people. This line was said as his own introduction by a 90 year-old man talking about his love with his wife of over 60 years. He said in a thick New York Jewish accent, "My name is (whatever it was) and I'm nearly ninety. Only reason I'm here is 'cause the devil doesn't want me." I heard that and synapses in my brain fired like a first kiss. Much better than my temp title of 17 Years. Bo-ring!
Anyway, I was thinking of doing a thing on the blog of putting up lines of mine that I actually like but it sounded too self-congratulatory . But I do like this one: "The air in the bar was stale. Equal parts nicotine and sweat. If bad breath had an address this was it."
I am easily entertained.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

3rd place winner! Jimmy Callaway

We gave him 1000 words, he only needed 220. What I really loved about this story was the rich backstory told in so few words. It makes the reader put together a few clues which is really engaging. Enjoy meeting Uncle Sal.



Uncle Sal
by Jimmy Callaway

            I whistled loud and sharp through the gap where my front two teeth used to be.  Down the block, Morty turned around, waved, and trotted up to meet me.
            “Hey-hey, Sal, howzit goin’?” Morty said.  His big buck teeth stuck out of his mouth like snow shovels, and his lips made dry smacking sounds as he talked.
            “Not too good,” I said.
            “Yeah?  That’s too bad,” he said, “The kids sick or somethin’?”
            “Kids’re fine.”
            “How’s the wife?  How’s she, uh, doin’?”  Morty kept his eyes locked on my shirt collar, no higher than that.
            “Marie’s fine,” I said.
            “Oh, that’s good.  Good, good, good.”
            “It’s my sister,” I said.
            “Yeah?”
            “Yeah.  She’s knocked up.”
            Morty swallowed.  “Oh, yeah, huh?  Well, huh.  How about that?”
            “Yeah,” I said, “How about that.”  A little whistle escaped through the gap in my teeth.
            Morty chuckled a little and said, “Hey, Sally, that whistle’a yours, I’ll tell ya.  I mean, I heard ya all the way down the block, man.”  He chuckled again.  “Where’d you learn to whistle like that, Sally?”
            I smiled.  “Marie’s brother taught me.”
            “Oh, yeah?”
            “Yeah,” I said, “It was an early wedding gift.”
            Morty frowned.  He said, “Wedding gif—” and then I cracked him one right in the fucking mouth.
            Now Morty can whistle real good, too.
 
BIO: Jimmy Callaway lives and works in San Diego, CA.  Please visit attentionchildren.blogspot.com for more shenanigans.  Thanks as usual to Cameron Ashley and Josh Converse.

Friday, October 16, 2009

2nd place winner! J.F. Juzwik

She had me at the title. What follows is pretty good too. Two sad suckers, not the best tough guy gangster types around – my kind of people. Enjoy what J.F. does with the fist portion of the challenge. It caught me off guard and was the only interpretation of its kind in the contest. Well done!
Eric


------------

Dim Tim and Jukebox Johnny - By J. F. Juzwik
 
 
Oh yeah.  This day's gone straight to hell.  Got to figure out how a simple 'go and get' went so sour.
 
Let me introduce myself.  Name's Jukebox Johnny.  Folks call me 'Jukebox' since these feet don't go near a joint unless there's a box of tunes in it.  And 'Johnny'?  Well, that's my name.  My partner?  He goes by 'Dim Tim'.  Before you get your nose out of joint, that ain't a put-down, like I'm saying he's a dummy.  He is a dummy, but he follows orders good, and he's got a punch like those rods the dicks use when they're raiding Mr. G's game parlors.  It don't hurt his feelings, since noone knows better than Tim what a low watt he is.
 
Let me tell you about Mr. G.  He's the man--really, and Tim and I work for him.  See, Mr. G don't like to get his hands dirty, so when somebody needs a lesson taught or a remind made, that's where we come in.  There's one other thing about Mr. G.  He has a different sense of humor and has to get the last laugh.  How?  Cross him, and he'll have your lips removed and put in a jar.  I heard he keeps the jars somewhere in his office.  I've never seen them, but my sources are good.
 
Back to figuring out how this day ended up so fucked.  The job was simple enough.  Mr. G hired a floater to pick up his cash.  Now, a floater don't belong to one crew; he just does for whoever.  Trouble with this one, Artsy Arty, he hadn't done much for anyone to build a rep, so he was kind of taken on cold--see?
 
Why 'Artsy' Arty?  No matter what the job, if some beatnick lumped up some clay or dripped paint on a bedsheet and set it up on a corner, Arty'd stop and scope it out.  Shows, they call them, but it's nothing but crap--really.  But Arty couldn't pass them up, so, he's 'Artsy' Arty.  And 'Arty'?  Probably just his name.
 
So, he decided to get Mr. G's cash, but not do the deliver part.  Word went around that this mo was going to skip with Mr. G's green, so all the crews did a hands off.  Until he could connect with some ijit who didn't have the sense God gave him not to help somebody who'd cross Mr. G, he figured he'd just stash the bills in a locker.
 
We were sent to get the cash.  Tim and me were having a cup of joe at the diner on Fifth, and, out of the storage place, comes Arty, balls of steel, like he's taking a stroll down the lane.  We came upon him and damn, if there wasn't a shitload of that fuckin' hippie crap all out on the sidewalk.  There was also a boatload of people, so Arty blends.  I went in one end and Tim in the other, thinking we'll meet up with Arty in the middle.
 
To be straight, it was tough to focus because the junk was all hands.  Yep, I said hands.  Pictures of hands, sculptures of hands, snapshots of hands--nothing but hands.  That tic in my left eye started to come back, when I saw Tim grab Arty and move him to the street.  Just then, this punk pushed his way by, jumped in a cab and yelled for the driver to get him to the airport fast.  Sorta wish I had a plane to catch about now...
 
Where was I?  Oh yeah.  We took Arty someplace quiet.  Couldn't figure him because he should've been pissin' his pants, but he kept laughing.  Laughing when Tim nabbed him, all the way to the warehouse, and while standing on a chair with a rope around his neck.  Tim and I both had frisked him good, but no key, and he wouldn't spill.  Went right from the storage place to the hand show to the chair.  So, what did he do with the locker key?
 
I guess I got kinda excited because I jiggled the chair too hard and his feet slipped off and, well..., bad news for Arty.  But, worse news for Tim and me--no Mr. G's money.
 
So, now, we sit, Tim and I, in Mr. G's office.  Trying to figure out what to say so we can save our skin--well, not our skin, exactly.  I touched my lips with my fingers so I'd remember them later, when I heard Tim laugh.  Now, I have as much a sense of humor as the next fella, but what the fuck was so funny?
 
I admit, there are times when I wish I wasn't so much of a sophisticate as I am, and was just a short stack like Tim.  Maybe then, I wouldn't be shaking in my fucking shoes.  He told me he remembered how he found Arty, all over a sculpture of a hand--like, feeling it up.  Sorry, I didn't get the joke, until Tim corrected himself.  Arty wasn't making his move on a hand.  It was a fist.  Okay then.  What the fuck...?
 
Arty was feeling up a..., a fist?  Fuck me until a week from Tuesday.  That's what he did with the motherfucking key.  He put it in the fist.  All we had to do now was go to the corner, slide the key outa the fist, and get the money.  I stood up, and was gonna say we needed to go before Mr. G. came, when Tim stated laughing harder.  Said he didn't understand people; like that chump who almost knocked me down.  How he grabbed the fist, threw money down, and jumped in that cab.  I sat back down.
 
Since I hadn't actually seen it, Tim made my day with one last gem.
 
"You know," he said, "on that statue of the fist, the middle finger was up."
 
I didn't say anything, but somehow I'd already known.
 
END
 
Bio:  J. F. Juzwik's crime fiction novel and stories can be found at DiskUsPublishing, Crooked and A Twist of Noir. Her thriller will soon be appearing in Mythica Publishing's anthology, Maybe Tomorrow.  Information on all her projects, and her blog, can be found on her website at jfjuzwik.webs.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We have winners!


Congratulations to Robert Crisman for taking the top prize in our little contest here with his story A Prescription For Nerves. You can find the story at A Twist Of Noir. He is now the proud owner of FIVE signed books including One Too Many Blows To The Head (y'know, once we have actual books) JB Kohl's debut novel The Deputy's Widow, Norm Brown's Carpet Ride, Christine Husom's Buried in Wolf Lake and Deborah J. Ledford's Staccato.
We got so many great submissions it was hard to choose but in the end the judges chose three very different stories that, taken together, I think make a nice little trio of the different interpretations of the 'Fist' theme.
Check this spot tomorrow for Winner of 2ND place - J.F. Juzwik's Dim Tim & Jukebox Johnny. J.F. is the winner of signed copies of One Too Many Blows To The Head and The Deputy's Widow.
Then come back for Jimmy Callaway's Uncle Sal. Jimmy wins his very own signed copy of One Too Many Blows To The Head.
Congratulations to the two of them for rounding out our top three.
And since this is a promotion after all, the latest update is that the book is at the printer! We are expecting our print proof Monday and then it is off to the races.
My first signing/launch party is November 14th at 5:30 pm at the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles. Come on down and say hi, get a book signed, punch me in the mouth. Y'know, whatever.

Monday, October 12, 2009



A little something while we wait for books to be printed. It's so close! If you're not already a Facebook friend, look us up!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Submissions are closed!


From where I'm sitting it is after midnight and that means submissions are closed for our little FIST contest. Thank you so much to all who entered. It has been a pleasure to read your stories as they came in. Now they go to our panel of mystery judges and the top 3 winners will be announced here and a A Twist of Noir on Oct. 15th which may well exactly correspond to our release date now.
One minor switch in the prize package. Christine Husom has sent us not her first book, Murder In Winnebago County, but a hot off the press version of her brand spankin' new sequel Buried In Wolf Lake. You'll be the first on your block to read this one. Then you'll just have to go back and see where it all started.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another writing spot

I guess I guilted Keith Rawson into giving in and taking a shot of his writing space. This sooooo fits. Writing at night? But of course he does. A laptop? You can't pin him down! And books to be read right nearby. Naturally. Writing, blogging, reviewing - Rawson does it all. In the dark, too.



Okay, folks. Guilt works. Let's put the pressure on your favorite writers to show us theirs!

Where the magic happens

I only got a few responses from my call for other writers to show me the space where they write but I thought I would share those kind enough to share with me. I am struck my how modest each space is. From such humble settings such flights of fancy occur. I'd still love to see more. Any writers out there send me a snap of your writing space. I did think that perhaps one reason why not very many people shared is that it is a very intimate space. I might as well ask you to send a picture of you in your underwear (which I won't say no to by the way. Call it curiosity) If anyone is too shy I'd love to hear that too. Or maybe your desk is just really messy. Yeah, well, join the club.
In contest news - the deadline for submissions is Wednesday! We've gotten some great stories. Amazing riffs on the fist idea. Brutal crimes, quiet menace, a ghost story, one story where I had to go back and re-read it to find the fist it was woven in so subtly (but well). I am inspired by you all and flattered that people took the time at my paltry request to create something new out of thin air. After Wednesday the stories will go off to our secret panel of judges. All I can tell you is that they are coming at them from the perspective of an average reader. We wanted the unvarnished reaction without the baggage that we, as crime writers, bring. I am so curious to see if they react to the same stories I did. Of course I reserve the right to overrule any decision they make:)
And finally, I just about five minutes ago got through the final chapter of One Too Many Blows To The Head's final edits. Super huge thanks to Deborah Ledford (author of Staccato one of our prize books!) for doing a pass and fixing many of my totally obvious (and yet overlooked) mistakes as well as playing grammar police which I need. I really need a whole swat team. As much as I liked the book before this gives it a real polish and makes me embarrassed that anyone read it before this stage. We won't make our Oct 1st date but soon. SOON!
On to the pictures:


From San Diego comes Jimmy Callaway's roll top desk. An antique? Hand-me-down? Found on the street with a sign that said "free"? This is obviously a multi-purpose space. Love the pink beer cozy and Jesus candle. And who still has that many cassette tapes? Much respect for a turntable though. My office has one too. I rue the day I need to find replacement needles.

From all the way Down Under comes Cameron Ashley's desk which doubles as an *a-hem* "entertainment" center apparently. You can tell he's a writer though because of the pen. Despite the distractions he manages to crank out some mighty fine crime fiction.

Finally is J.F. Juzwik's desk. Only knowing Joyce online she seems a contradiction. Sweet and friendly in her correspondence she turns dark and nasty in her fiction. And apparently likes toys. It is a Bionicle. I only know this because she identified it for me. This is a woman with secrets....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I hate hardcovers (and I don't care who knows it)

The following is a re-post from my monthly day on the Second Wind Publishing blog. There are some great musings on writing and other topics there from all the Second Wind authors so browse around a little bit while you're there. Enjoy!


--------------
Giving the Hardcover a Hard time
by Eric Beetner

What is the appeal of the hardcover novel? I just don’t get it. On the eve of having my name on a book out in the world I am glad to not have it be a hardcover. I want people to read it and therefore I want people to afford it.
Let’s run down the pros and cons: Hardcovers probably last longer if you don’t care for your books all that well. Last time I visited my Father’s house, though, he still has paperbacks on his shelf that predate me so I guess they’re doing okay.
Um...I’m out of pros on the hardback.
Cons: They’re expensive. They’re heavy. They have those annoying dust jackets on them that do nothing at all about dust and just get in the way, fall off, get torn (much easier than a soft cover book) and increase the printing costs. Did I mention they’re expensive? You can’t put it in your pocket. They weigh down a carry-on for the plane.
Wait - one more pro for hardcovers: they are much better for squishing bugs.
I am partial to trade paperbacks which are a little larger and don’t usually pass the pocket test depending on what pants you’re wearing, but the pros on soft covers: Smaller and therefore easier to tote around, stash away and you can fit more on a bookshelf saving the yearly purge of books that results in a Sophie’s Choice scenario of what to keep and what to give away. (never throw books away!) To me they feel more intimate. They aren’t as high falutin’ so I have less of a problem with dog-earing pages or cracking the spine a little. Wear and tear looks good on a paperback like an old pair of jeans.
And they’re cheaper. That’s the big one.
In this economy, and even before, hardcover books are too expensive. You can give me the keepsake, read-em-twice argument until you’re blue in the face but I say $25 is too much for a book. When movies crossed the ten dollar mark there was outrage. We’ve since come to accept ten bucks and more but imagine being charged $25 for a ticket? There would be riots in the streets.
And don’t get me started on children’s books. The vast majority of kids books seem to be hardcover and cost $12, $15, $20! And this is for a book with maybe 30 pages and 200 words. My 3-year-old daughter’s first interaction with a new book is to rip off the dust jacket and say, “I don’t want this.” Underneath? An exact duplicate image. Why do a jacket at all?
Molly has easily over 200 books. She has infinite patience for listening to them and is so excited for the day she can read them herself. Cheaper, more accessible books would mean she could maintain this love of the written word for her whole life. I hate to think of the day when she gets priced out of a love for books.
So given a choice, I will wait for the soft cover. Really I just wish everything would go straight there. I’d buy a lot more books. Would you? Am I nuts? Are there hardcover purists out there still sitting in the drawing room while listening to their turntables and watching their laserdiscs who think this is heresy?
You weigh in. You won’t change my mind though. The hardcover is a dinosaur whose time has past.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Proof

We got our proof copy of the book in yesterday. Time to get out the fine toothed comb and see if we can find any last little typos or grammar problems. I feel grateful to have a second set of eyes at this stage. I know I'm terrible at this sort of thing. The new novel has been put on hold for almost 2 weeks while I take care of all this other junk but I'm chomping at the bit to get back to it. I think I may read it through from the top to get back into it and see if I am just wasting my time or not.
I finally made it to the Mystery Bookstore's fall blowout sale and got some interesting stuff for super cheap including a signed SJ Rozan book for $4 which is cool. About to start up one from 1959 called The Smasher that I got and seems really pulpy vintage in that way that I love. Only 148 pages too. My mind is easily tricked into thinking that reading more shorter books is more of an accomplishment that reading fewer longer ones. I'm simple that way.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mug Shot

So I was asked by this anthology I am a part of - Harbinger*33, more details to come - to include a "mug shot" along with my author photo. I love this idea. It is a safe bet that all writers have a trusty mug by their side when they work. Mine, I should say, is never filled with coffee. I don't drink caffeine or alcohol. Never smoked cigarettes, never taken any drug. I know, I know I just got thrown out of several writer's groups. I am a shame on the art form. In any event, I liked the way the photo came out of my desk and mug where I write deep into the night. I'd love to see other writer's spaces. I'd venture a guess that none are spacious, most are crowded with papers and other books in towering TBR piles. Do you write in a closet? An office? The attic? A coffee shop? Show me your space! I showed you mine.



Bonus points for anyone who can ID the poster on the wall in the background. I have 9 posters and 9 lobby cards from old Film Noir movies decorating my office. (there's your clue) Very inspiring!

And completely without her permission I went ahead and stole a picture of JB Kohl, my co-writer, in her space. And she's holding a mug. Perfect!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2 down and 3 stars

I finished my stories for a competition I'm entered in and also an anthology I'm a part of. Whew! Feels good to have those done. Writing just for fun is...fun. Writing for a deadline and possible accolades can be nerve-wracking. It does jump-start the ol' creative juices though. I like both stories. Both very different.
And another story, Brotherly Love, a nasty piece of flash fiction I dashed off for the folks over at the Flash Fiction Offensive garnered my first online review in Keith Rawson's BSC review column.
3 stars. Not too bad. One more star to be had there but what can you do with a piece under 1000 words. Frank Bill's Flesh Rule got the full four and that is well deserved.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Stories...still more to do

I've got two new short stories making debuts this week. My first story for The Flash Fiction Offensive is called Brotherly Love. It's quite sleazy so consider yourself warned. Do I need to say it is a work of fiction? I doubt it but might as well. Yes my sister did peirce my ear once but that's about as far as it goes. I am not a purveyor of 'write what you know'.
Another piece, The Room Next To Room 5, is up at Thrillers Killers and Chillers. This is a short that became a novel. One that I need to get back into and do a serious edit/rewrite. It needs work. I sent it out and got a stack of rejections and then having not seen it in about a year I started to re-read it and realized that all those rejection letters were correct. I still think there is a lot of good in there so I am excited to get back to it...someday. There is a lot on my plate right now. I have two short stories due by the end of the month. I have started them but I'm not settled on them quite yet. Mostly because I need to just focus. I'm about 3/4 done with a new novel and it is hard to put it aside for fear of losing momentum. Oh what is a writer to do? This is just the kind of problem I like having though. Better than to have no one interested.
So, okay, back to work.

More Prizes!

As if it wasn't enough! Fellow Second Wind Publishing author Deborah J. Ledford has graciously given over a signed copy of her book Staccato hot off the presses! That makes the grand prize package a whopping FIVE signed books. You can sit back and hope to get snowed in this winter because you'll have plenty of reading material - if you win that is! Submission are accepted until the end of the month. Scroll down for all the rules.
Thanks to all the authors who have contributed books.


And of course any chance to pimp our hot cover...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Heating up

Submissions are rolling in. We got one all the way from the UK today. It is fascinating to see what people come up with when tasked with writing a story around a fist. Some great stuff so far.
We got a good mention on the BSC Review in Keith Rawson's new column on short fiction all over the web. It's great to have Keith doing a wrap up of noteworth stories.
I am honored to be among those chosen to submit a story for the 1st Watery Grave International contest being run by Corey Wilde over at his blog. I can only be so flattered though since the ten finalists were pulled out of a hat. Now I just need to come up with a story. I started on something the other night but I'm not sure it's prize-worthy so I'm going to keep ruminating on this one. It's is open to anything and I almost wish it had restrictions to narrow it a little. Sometimes the wide open ocean of ideas can be intimidating.
We're awaiting the proofs of the book any day now and then we'll see if we're still on track for an Oct 1 release. A pre-order page should be up soon after the proof is approved. Hopefully we can get some interviews and reviews once it is out and people have read it and hopefully like it. When I played in bands we always got the most entertainment from the bad reviews but it does bruise the ego a little bit. It is part of the risk of putting out something creative into the world. Once it is out of your hands - all is fair. I know not everyone will like it. Some may hate it. I assume the people that would hate it just won't even pick it up so I'm not too worried about getting angry hate mail. Reviewers can be fickle though. Oh well, fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Keep 'em coming!

The entries are rolling in on the contest. Others are still mulling over how to use that fist. It's going to be stiff competition. To let off a little steam (as in, procrastinate from writing the new novel) I did up a short story for laughs. It features some of my writing "friends" - those people who I've never met but love their writing and chat with on facebook, etc. - all re-imagined as actual criminal characters. I assumed they all had a good sense of humor and I hope I was right. Check out the story here. It's a hoot if you know the players involved. If you don't, it's still a bloody good time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Flash Fiction Contest!

Welcome writers! My co-author, JB Kohl, and I would like to invite you into our world. Our book, One Too Many Blows To The Head is about to be released. It is about the dark world of crooked boxing and the Kansas City underworld in 1939. We want you to read it. In fact, we're willing to give you an autographed copy. All you have to do is share a story with us. Here's how it works:
The working title of our book was FIST. We scrapped that short, punchy title for the much longer and hopefully more evocative one above. What we want from you is a short story, under 1000 words, that uses a fist as the inspiration. It can be a literal fist, a metaphorical fist, a fist used in a fight, a fist clenched but never used -- you're writers, you decide. We want to see what our seedy world inspires in you.
The top three stories that amaze us, shock us and make us suck wind like a shot to the gut will be prizewinners. It's that simple.

PRIZES:
First prize is a four-book pack including One Too Many Blows To The Head autographed by both authors, a copy of JB Kohl's first novel The Deputy's Widow, autographed by her, an autographed copy of Carpet Ride by Norm Brown a fellow Second Wind Publishing author and finally a copy of Murder in Winnebago County autographed by fellow Second Winder Christine Husom.
Second prize is a signed copy of One Too Many Blows To The Head and a signed copy of The Deputy's Widow.
Third prize is a signed copy of One Too Many Blows To The Head.
BONUS:
Also for the first prize winner, your story will be published at A Twist of Noir Much thanks to Christopher Grant for trusting that the quality of submissions will be high enough that he agreed to publish the story sight unseen.
JUDGING:
JB and I will narrow down the submissions to a top ten at which point they will go to a panel of judges, not us, for a final verdict. Votes cannot be bought by becoming a Facebook fan or blogging about our book to your readers or spreading the word about the Oct. 1st release date. Did I say cannot be bought? I meant can. (Okay, I can feel Jennifer frowning from all the way across the country so, no, I guess they can't be bought that way. We won't say no to the mention though)
DEADLINES:
Submissions are open right now and will be open until the end of Sept. Winners to be announced here and at A Twist of Noir on Oct 15th.
All stories, of course, remain solely the author's property and after the contest is closed you can do whatever you like with them. If you'd like to mention that it was written as a part of this contest we'd love it if you mention the book. We're not dumb. We want to sell a few copies to more than our parents.
Above all we want you to wow us. Blow us away. Tell us a story we never would have thought of.
WHERE TO SEND IT:
Copy the text of the story (no attachments please) into the body of an email and send to: ericbeetner@ca.rr.com with the word submission in the subject line. I will acknowledge receipt of your story and then you have to just wait it out until the results. Please include a short bio in the event that your story is published.

That's all. Hit us hard - we can't wait to see what you come up with. Please help us spread the word about the contest and the book and support your local independent bookseller and indie crime authors. Second Wind is a good place to start.
(Special thanks to Norm and Christine for supplying a copy of their book. That's four top flight doses of crime for the low low price of free. You won't be disappointed)

Coincidence or not?

I am reading a book now by a well established and highly respected author. It is fairly pulpy (in a good way) and I am struck by how casually circumstances pile up by sheer coincidence to help move the plot along. I always second-guess myself while writing, always striving for "realism". This may be foolish in the crime genre.
I myself don't mind a little artistic license to help a story along. An element of the fantastic is a good thing, I think. If this story wasn't spurred on by some amazing happenings then why write it down? For example, few stories are written about a caper gone right, only one gone horribly wrong. So, what of the blind luck that moves a book along from plot point to plot point? How forgiving are you? I give authors a lot of leeway, more than I give myself. I constantly revise to make things less dependent on coincidence. Organic and true are my mantras.
Should I loosen the reins a bit? It certainly would make things easier. And when a writer of renown and a forty-year career can get away with it, why not me? Ah, there's the rub. I think established writers are given a pass on that sort of thing. Maybe it's just the fact that a highly entertaining book can trump some wild coincidence but I think people scrutinize freshman authors much more over style and plot devices. It's not a bad thing. Having readers be on guard with a finely tuned BS detector is not a bad thing. But getting readers to go along with some suspect plot workings just because you are telling them one hell of a yarn would be even better!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Put off procrastination

I write at night. I work during the day, as most of us do. I am a TV editor and I'm currently working on a documentary series that is pretty intense trying to make it all work and make sense. In general I use a tremendous amount of my creative brain power during the day job and often find that there's not much left by nightfall. That's my excuse anyway to put things off.

Last night I didn't really feel like writing after I got out to the office around 10:00, answered some emails, checked around the blog world for anything I missed and worked on finishing the press release for One Too Many Blows To The Head. That put it around 11:15. Easy enough to call it a night but I soldiered on working towards my minimum goal of 1000 words a day on the new book. Not sure if I would write anything worthwhile or even get beyond 50 words or so I plunged in. I'm glad I did. I ended up with some nice moments and things I didn't know the story needed until I got there. I ended up with about 1500 words and I was really happy with it. Just goes to show you that sometimes all that is needed to get the creative juices flowing again is just to start the juicer. Just keep typing. Forward progress that needs to be heavily edited is still better than no progress at all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New novel

My wife hates that I never talk about my work while I'm working on it. Call it superstition but I've had enough ideas flame out during the writing. Since I started out as a screenwriter also, there is nothing more annoying to me than someone talking about the script they are "writing" I put that in quotes because 90% of all scripts that are being "written" are actually not. They are being thought about and being used to get into some girl's pants at a party. I actually wrote 17 screenplays. Many total crap. A few I actually got paid for. None of the movies ever got made but that's a minor detail.
But I digress. I'm working on a new novel. There. I said it. I hit the 19,000 word mark tonight so I think it's real. It has kept me from working on shorts which I know I need to get back to. Keep the name out there, you know.
I have a full outline of another that I want to get to and Jennifer and I are working on the outline for a sequel to One Too Many Blows To The Head but I vow to finish this thing before I let myself get too distracted. It should be able to wrap up by mid Sept at the rate I'm going and then it's back to the start with the old red pen to take out the crap bits and make it better in the only-slightly-crappy bits. At that point I will put up some selections and see if anyone thinks it is anything worthwhile.
So there you go. New novel is working. The old novel, The Room Next To Room 5, needs a re write. I hate rewrites. I bet I get through these other two books before I go back to that one. A lot I love in it. A lot that makes me cringe. Mostly the open. Why does it take so long to get going? What was I thinking? Take 10,000 words out. That would be a start. But for now, this new one is keeping me entertained so I know there must be something to it.
So I'm talking about my work. Now if I can just get someone to listen...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to the crime

Just finished a palette cleansing book. A sweet romance set in a sleep midwestern town. Now it's back to the crime! Where to start? Dig into my HUGE pile of TBR Hard Case or that Gischler that I haven't gotten to yet? Fighting the urge to go buy something new. I want to pick up A Bad Day For Sorry but can't justify the hardcover price with this much in my TBR pile. Also want to check out many books by new writer friends. Damn my hour long lunch break? Why can't I take 3 hours and just work harder the rest of the time?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Save the Date

We have a tentative release date of October 1st. Things could change but if all goes according to plan our little book will be released into the big wide world on that blustery autumn day. Soon we will have a pre-release order page so people can get copies hot off the press on the first day. There is a good chance that it will be only my Dad and maybe Jennifer's Dad too but maybe we can get a few pre orders and make us look good. You never know. I'll post a link once it is up.
I forgot to ask what the date is for the Murder on the Wind anthology I am a part of but it will be around the same time.
I wish we were bringing our daughter home from China that soon but a book will have to suffice until that happens.
In September I am planning to make this more of a real blog. I have two followers as of now (Hi Paul) and I know there is little to no reason to visit here very often but I'll try to change that and put various rantings and musings and stuff sure to get me in trouble.
Also coming in September will be a fiction contest. We will have autographed copies of One Too Many Blows To The Head to win along with perhaps a bigger prize for the top winner. More on that later.
So rest up and enjoy the summer for the remainder of August because September begins the big push to release day. We need everyone's help to spread the word.

1st blog-style musing:
Just got my copy of the latest Hard Case Crime book from the book club in the mail today. In a long line of excellent covers, this may be the best if only for the orientation. Bravo again HCC!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We have a cover!

I have been asked for a lot of favors over the years. I'm happy to do most of them, at least the ones for people I like. I still hate asking for favors of my own. It was with great hesitation that I asked one of my longest standing friends, artist Marc Sasso, to do a cover for our book....for free. This guy makes his living as an artist and gets paid bucks for it so it was really presumptuous of me to even ask for a favor like this hoping only that almost two decades of friendship would be enough. Then I had the audacity to art direct him. I sent him some reference photos, described exactly the image I wanted and took most of creative process away from him (I was trying to make it easy on him) I was even asking him to work in a style that is not really his wheelhouse. He usually does stuff with swords, demons and lots of muscles. He's done album covers for Dio and Rob Halford for Christ sake!
Well he did it, and did he ever. We love our new cover. Marc remains a dear friend, one who I now owe a huge favor.
Hell I loved the image so much I used it on the front AND back. I hope I didn't dork up the image with all the type that I laid over it.


FRONT COVER


BACK COVER

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In Other news...

Patti Abbott, wonderful writer and prolific blogger, did a little write up about my film Taking Your Life on her blog. She was very nice in her praise of the movie and hopefully some people will click through and buy a copy. Not that I made it for profit but a few bucks could help fund the next one.
Even though it has been a few years it is nice to still be proud to show the film and have people react to it positively.
In book news we got the first draft of our cover art and it ROCKS! I'll post the revised art here soon. It's getting closer to being real....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three swell dames

A great thing about living in Los Angeles is the proximity to great cinema. I had the pleasure of making my daughter's first movie in a theater a 35mm print of The Wizard of Oz. That was amazing. In a city like this we also get a visit by any and all major authors coming by on their book tours. Today I got to see and meet Megan Abbott, Theresa Schwegel and Laura Caldwell and hear them discuss their work. It's so great to be able to just pop over while Molly is napping and see this kind of thing, pick up a few books, get them signed and be able to thank Megan in person for her generous blurb of One Too Many Blows To The Head (more on that as we get closer to release)
With the closing of Kate's Mystery Books in Boston (where I used to live) I have a renewed appreciation for The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood and Mysteries to Die For out in the valley. Small indie booksellers are struggling, we all know it. Places like this offer the one-on-one that Amazon will never be able to. As much as it pains me to pay full price for a hardcover it is worth it to meet the author.
Wow, this sounds almost like a real blog post and not just my usual self promotion. Probably a sign of a lack of stories lately. I've been busy on a final edit of the book, plotting out the sequel with Jennifer, working on a new solo novel (or two) and having a real life in between. Plus I am trying to hold back and make a big push when we have a date for the book to make the little bit of heat coming off the published stories mean more.
Although now that I have mentioned it maybe a full-on post about my hatred of the hardcover is warranted. At least it might generate some hate mail...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meeting Seth

Had the great pleasure of meeting Seth Harwood, author of Jack Wakes Up and the man behind the fantastic Crimewav.com. Seth is a tireless promotor of his work and is setting a new template for how to get a book out there DIY style. Inspired by him I am looking into maybe doing a regular podcast of my unsold novel. A good idea? Too soon to tell. Mostly it's just going to be the logistics of it. I am not a web savvy guy so it may prove harder than I know. I've been stumped by two wireless routers in a row here at home so my batting average is not good. Seth offered help and support though which is all I have gotten from so many in the crime fiction community. Tops among them is the Mystery Dawg himself Aldo Calcagno who was also there at Seth's event at the Mystery Bookstore. Meeting Aldo was great to put a face to the guy I've been e-mailing with for so long. If I can actually sell a few books in my life it will be thanks to guys like this.


A little blurry but you get the idea. Me with Seth and Aldo. Thanks to Linda from the Mystery Bookstore for snapping a quick shot on her iPhone.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Story, New Site

Thrillers, Killers n' Chillers is a great fiction site out of the U.K. and I am honored to have my story Bleeding Out up there. On the same day Christopher Grant posted the sequel to his new creation Greta. It's great to see Chris' own writing after he has supported so many of us on A Twist of Noir.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My first sequel

It was suggested that my story Get Gone may be a good candidate for a sequel. I gave it a shot. I have to say it was fun. You can read it here. It does make me think about how much I am slacking in coming up with the outline for the sequel to One Too Many Blows To The Head but I have a lot of irons in the fire right now. Even just starting it is a great reminder of how fun those characters were to write and it is a pleasure to renew my collaboration with JB Kohl.
Our world class illustrator is working on the cover art. I have already made arrangements to do a signing at The Mystery Bookstore in LA and working on others including Phoenix and Chicago. It's moving slowly but becomes more of a reality every day. I will also be featured in an anthology called Murder is on the Wind. I quite like the story I wrote for that one. Very dark.
In July I am really looking forward to Seth Harwood's signing of Jack Wakes Up and Megan Abbott's signing of Bury Me Deep. I'm going to try to make it to Jason Starr's signing too.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Big Weekend

Well when it rains it pours I guess. I have a new story up at Darkest Before the Dawn which is a really great site for slightly longer stories and some that are a little more off the beaten path, which my story is. Two Left is a western. I still had a little Deadwood residue in my system I guess so I tried to get into that mindset with a little story of gold fever.
Also, and I'm really excited about this, I have recorded my first podcast. My story Past Due has been podcast as episode 39 on the amazing crimewav.com I love this site. It is so great to hear stories read out loud. I wish I could have had someone with a better voice or more dramatic flair read mine but I did okay. If you haven't been to this site take some time and browse around to listen to some of the stories. A really great experience. 
AND...my contribution to Six Sentences is up as well. This site is great and shows a huge range of storytelling all in only six sentences. It is amazing to see what people can do with so little. I realized my story had a typo in it and it made me feel like an idiot. I can't even proof a six sentence story. Sheesh! And it is no comment on our educational system. I had all the breaks, just lazy or ignorant or both. 
I hope I can keep up the pace for a year full of quality output (sans typos). News about the novel I co-wrote with JB Kohl is coming soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Starting them young




I wasn't sure where else to share these pictures of my daughter but why not here. She turns 3 next month but already has great taste in literature.