Monday, August 30, 2010

New blurb

It's never too late for a blurb on a book, even if it's been out for 9 months. Author Stephen Jay Schwartz was impressed enough to write up this little ditty:

"A powerful tale of vengeance, rife with pounding action and colorful, complex characters. One Too Many Blows to the Head is a first-round knock-out!”
Stephen Jay Schwartz, LA Times best-selling author of 

Not too bad considering Boulevard is a heck of a read. The sequel, Beat, is out at the end of September and it sounds like the action surrounding Detective Hayden Glass is being ratcheted up even more so look out for that. Stephen will be signing at the Myster Bookstore on Sept. 30th and holding a launch party the Thursday night that Bouchercon starts up in San Francisco.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New story up

I entered the Title Fights last round. It's an interesting concept. They throw out a theme of titles, this time around it was Jimi Hendrix song titles, you enter, they assign you one and that's all the inspiration you get. The title I drew was Dolly Dagger. Needless to say I was psyched. I had never heard the song (not a big 60s music fan) so I ran with it totally uninfluenced by anything but the title.
I was pleased with the outcome but reading it back on the site I noticed a typo and it makes me crazy that I can't proof my own crap better than that. It's amateur hour and I should be better. I get too caught up with too many projects and I don't focus enough and it makes me angry at myself. Not a big deal in the long run but if I want to be taken seriously I need to present myself seriously. Any excuse to beat myself up, I guess. I got plenty of 'em.

Speaking of being too busy, I just finished a short-ish work. Novella length. No idea why. I have one outlet to submit it to but it may have been only an exercise and the only way to get the idea out of my head.
I'm also joining a group of writers from my publishing company who will be doing a mystery novel in blog form over the next year featuring seven different writers all contributing to the story. It's at the very start but it should prove to be an interesting experiment indeed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A winner! (and other junk)

I can't even seem to post when it's good news but I am very excited and honored to have my story, My Asshole Brother chosen as the top seed in Jason Duke's Red Hot writing contest. Duke is a hell of writer and can be heard doing an amped up SFX-laden reading of his own Phoenix Nightlife over at He pulls no punches.
It was quite a crop of stories so I am really proud to have made the cut. The good news is that it got my writing out in front of some influential people which is always a good thing. It is TBD what comes of it but at least getting the name out there is a plus.
The story, while already available online, will be published in issue #5 of Crimefactory. Another honor, indeed.

We have sent off Borrowed Trouble, the sequel to One Too Many Blows To The Head, off to the editor so we'll see just what an alarming number of errors can slip through even four editing passes by Jennifer and I.  News of publication is still a question mark. You'll know when we know.

I'm almost done with a project of mine I've wanted to do for a while. I'm sure nothing will come of it but it's been fun to write. At the very least if no one wants it I'll post it here or it may make my first foray into Kindle-only publishing which, according to some, I am an idiot if I don't do it and I'll be raking in the cash hand over fist. Doubtful.

There's a new collaborative book project I just signed on for that sounds like a real hoot. More on that as it comes along but it is going to be an ongoing novel written online with a new chapter each week until it concludes at which point it will be published as a book. Jen and I are writing together again so we'll have one chapter ever 6 or 7 weeks. It's still in the infancy stages but it's going to be a blast.

Finally, on another note, something I wanted to post about but wasn't sure how. The other day I made a life goal happen for someone. It was something that has been discussed for a long time, joked about, but I finally made it happen. That individual was very happy as was I. Is it bad that the main reason I did it was that I don't know how much longer this individual will be with us? It made me wish I'd done it years earlier but then it wouldn't have been such an event. It was a really small gesture, it's a silly thing in the end but it made me think and reflect. It seems like the kind of thing a better writer would be able to turn into a story. Maybe I'm too close to it. Maybe it would just be one of those stories where the plot is in between the lines. Maybe it's just a private moment that wouldn't mean anything to anyone but me. Either way, I'm glad I did. I know she was happy. I hope we have much more time with her and I can do it again. If not, it is just one of hundreds of memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Round up

I know I seem to start every post with, "It's been a while..." but my excuse is I've been writing, so there.
Here's the round up. Just finished The Cold Kiss by John Rector and it blew me away. This book was so up my alley! A simple story simply told. It unfolds in almost real time with completely relatable characters in a completely messed up situation. I tore through it on my lunch hours and, faced with the prospect of waiting until Monday to finish, I brought it home and polished it off after I put the girls to bed. Highly recommended! And just in time. I came off three duds in a row then this breath of cold air hit me.

Next, I seem to have made my way to the finals in Jason Duke's Red Hot writing contest with my story My Asshole Brother (see link in the list to the right) I am very honored to make the cut to the final two seeing as the judging panel was a prestigious list of writers and agents whom I respect. Fingers crossed for the win. The other story selected, by Michael J. Solender is a cracker too. Tough choice Duke has on his hands.  Oh and Duke's version of Phoenix Nightlife is up to pt 3. Good stuff.

I finished my final draft of the sequel to One Too Many Blows To The Head, titled Borrowed Trouble. Now it is in Jennifer's hands and she'll let me know what she thinks of my half. Her half is brilliant so I hope I can keep up. She dropped a few brilliant lines in her stuff. The book rocks (I think) and next step is figuring out what to do with it. Stay tuned.

I have to mention (honesty I keep thinking, "oh that would make a good blog post" then I get caught up at work or two kids and never get to it) but I have to say thanks to the many authors who donated books for my little sister's charity auction. All I did was put it out on Facebook and in no time I had over a dozen signed editions for the auction from Brett Battles, Kelli Stanley, Gary Phillips, Sophie Littlefield, Rebecca Cantrell, Gar Anthony Haywood, Stephen Jay Schwartz and Marcus Sakey (and me and Jennifer of course). At every stage I have been blown away by how kind and generous and giving the crime writing community has been.
Just this week I've been asking a lot of advice of some of my writer friends with much more experience than I and everyone has been so kind about giving up free advice. It does not go unnoticed, even if all I can do is buy your books but then the real winner is me again.

I am vowing to make a stronger push to get myself (and the books) out there in preparation for the sequel to come out. I've got Bouchercon coming up in October as well as the day-long Men of Mystery on Oct 30th but I am going to try harder to get in to book stores I haven't made any headway with. I need to stop being so shy because no one is going to do it for me.

I do have other things that are almost like real blog posts which I will save and try not to wait another month and a half between posts.