Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Early Work

I'm talking about my first two novels with JB Kohl over at fellow Second Wind publishing author Pat Bertram's site. Jen and I talk about the origin of the stories for One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble. Give it a look. Then check out the books, of course.

Bouchercon is next week and I'm super excited to see some old friends and meet some authors I have read and admired this past year. Sadly, I did not get assigned any panels this year so I'll be wandering the halls with lots of free time.

Friday night, however, I am hosting a Cleveland edition of Noir at the Bar featuring fellow Snubnose Press authors Dan O'Shea, Jedidiah Ayres, John Kenyon, Les Edgerton, Jonathan Woods, and Josh Stallings. (Ryan Sales had to drop out) Anyone and everyone is invited for an hour of readings and fun followed by a live band and a good hangout. It's at a place called Wonderbar 2044 E. 4th St from 7-8pm. They were very kind to work with me on very short notice. Snubnose fan Sabrina Ogden helped spur the whole thing to life. And she's making up buttons with the SP logo on them. So come find me or her and we'll give you one.

And speaking of Noir at the Bar, our next L.A. event is going to be epic. It's on October 21st and features a host of out-of-towners I'm very excited about. Johnny Shaw will be there from Portland with his new book, Big Maria. His Dove Season was one of my favorites of last year.

Greg Bardsley caved to my pressure and is coming in from the bay area with his debut, Cash Out

Owen Laukkanen gave in after a year of asking. He's coming down from Canada! His debut, The Professionals was another favorite read of last year. His new one is slated for release early next year.

Rounding things out is local author Katherine Tomlinson and a reading by little ol' me. I'll be giving a reading from The Devil Doesn't Want Me in anticipation of the release the following Tuesday, Oct 23rd.

So if you're around in Cleveland or Los Angeles, come on down and come to Noir at the Bar. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Book Announcement

So as soon as the news broke last week I got hit with a horrible illness that had me laid up for five days of nastiness. But now that I'm bipedal again, I'm so very proud to formally say here that my new novel, The Devil Doesn't Want Me, will be out Oct. 23rd as an ebook original from Dutton's Guilt Edged Mysteries.

Here's the official description:

A hit-man with a crisis of conscience faces his biggest challenge yet: protecting an innocent victim against deadly forces during a desperate run for the coast in Eric Beetner's thrilling novel.

For the last seventeen years, Lars has been on a job for a prominent east coast crime
family. His task: kill Mitch the Snitch. Mitch is living in witness protection and has
eluded Lars for almost two decades. But changes are afoot in the family back east, and a
young gun named Trent has been sent to replace the aging gun for hire.

With his old boss gone, Lars realizes he has lost the desire to kill his long-time target. When things come to a head with Trent, Lars must go on the run with Mitch's teenage daughter Shaine, trying to stay one step ahead of angry and vengeful mobsters as well as his own dark past. 

With Trent, FBI agents and even more hired muscle on their trail, Lars and his new sidekick must
stay one step ahead of their pursuers by any means necessary, creating a cross country
trail of wreckage and mayhem from Albuquerque to L.A.

It is exciting to have the release so quickly and also to be out on the Guilt Edged imprint. If you don't know, Guilt Edged was an imprint of Dutton from 1947-1956 for their more hardboiled detective and crime fiction. They were the original publishers of Mickey Spillane in hardback as well as Fredric Brown and his novels like The Fabulous Clipjoint and Lionel White and his novel Clean Break (the basis for the Kubrick film The Killing)

This will be my seventh published book (not counting anthologies) and that blows my mind. Almost as weird is that it will be my first full-length novel written solo. I really look forward to getting it out there and hearing what people think.

Pre-orders are available now. Oh, and it'll only be $3.99 which is a hell of a deal. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Deadness by Molly (age 6)

My daughter Molly has a fascination with zombies. She has never seen a zombie movie outside of some brief appearances by fake zombies in Scooby-Doo. There may have been a humorous zombie in a book here and there. I don't know how she became fascinated, but she did. Last Halloween we both went as zombies. She made me do the makeup and then added gobs more green to her face – and more blood.

She also loves books more than almost anyone I know, except maybe my sister. So when she saw me reading a zombie novel – This Dark Earth by John Horner Jacobs in case you're wondering (very good, by the way)– she wanted to know all about it. I, of course, would not read her anything from it so as not to scare her.

So what's a poor zombie-fascinated six-year-old to do? Write her own zombie story, of course!

Now, Molly knows I write. She has never read a word of it though. I'd be put in jail, I think. But she respects writing and every time she sees a new book in my hand she asks if I wrote it, which I find adorable. So I encouraged her to write her own story and offered to type it while she dictated.

Below is her story – all 1,171 words of it. She jumped in with both feet. After it was over she announced this was only chapter one in a larger piece. Know two things – she is six and can read only those level 1 readers from the library. She can write all her letters and simple sentences. She didn't let that stop her wild imagination.

The other thing to know is that I did not help her, guide her, edit her, make suggestions or comments in any way. I was stoic and did nothing but type. I didn't fix her grammar or give her any ideas. So when she came up with a zombie story with a credible plot, some genuine suspense (a lot of things happen "suddenly") and weird twist where things go completely over-the-top like an early Joe Lansdale story with a giant zombie assembling out of the parts of other zombies, I was amazed. She is my daughter so I'm prone to amazement, but for her very first story I am both encouraged and terrified for the writer she might become.

For your enjoyment:

by Molly Beetner

All the zombies started to jump out. All the mothers ran away, their babies couldn’t run so the mothers had to hold them tight. It was scary for all the children. Then, the judge of all the good guys started to sit down and talk about how they are going to kill all the zombies. The judge said, “Get in your spots in the house.” And they started to talk about it.
Some of them started to take their guns out. All the people are still out waiting in the darkness. It was really scary. They’re still trying to figure out why all the zombies are going to come. 
Suddenly, and they didn’t know this, there was a zombie right behind a man’s chair. When the judge was done talking, the man with the zombie behind him – when he left – the zombie suddenly started to jump out. He was frightened, but he was one of the guys who had the guns. He was lucky he did not get killed and he did not turn into a zombie. 
He started to run away before the zombie could get him. When he started to run away, a lot of zombies came out. He ran as fast as he can. His heart was beating fast. Then suddenly, he caught up to his friends who were going to fight the zombies with him. Then, when the zombies came running, all the men started to run. They told the judge that there were zombies coming after them. The judge looked behind them and the zombies were gone. They did not know what happened, but the judge started to not believe them. But the men were trying to tell him the truth.
Although the judge still didn’t believe them, then they forgot about it. And then, a man found a clue. It was a bone. Blood was all over it. Some of the mothers pointed out to him, “Put on a glove.” He put on a glove and he carried it. He wanted to show all of them. He knew it was a clue. 
But right when he got there, it felt like the bone was still in his hand. Then one of the zombies jumped out and grabbed it and replaced with a shiny silver bone. Then he told all his friends. And when they looked, the silver bone was there, but not the white one with blood all over it that he thought it was.
He tried to put some glasses on to see if it looked better, but it still looked the same. Suddenly, zombies came in the room. The men were frightened. A lot of them got their guns out. They started to shoot. 
The zombies started to get closer. The men were still frightened. Suddenly, some of the people stared to come in and told them some of the stuff that they saw. There are zombies all out there. The whole family told them. And then, a zombie jumped out at the baby the mother was holding. He caught the baby. 
The judge shot a gun at them. They were all so lucky that the baby didn’t get killed. The family was lucky. The family said, “Thank you.” But it was a little too early for a thank you because they still had to figure why the zombies were coming.
It sounded like thumps were coming from the ceiling. There were zombies opening the doors all over the place. Suddenly, they heard a big crack. The ceiling started to crack open. All the people were on the roof, at least the people who were still alive. It started to break. The people wanted to go in there because the zombies were trying to catch them. Then it was all crowded in there. 
The zombies started to climb up the house. It got heavy because also the zombies were crawling up to get up there.
Then, it was so squishy that the roof fell down and the walls started to break. 
When the house broke, in the whole area, all the zombies were circling them. The judge said, “Get into your places.” The men did.
They all shot their guns at them as fast as they can, shoot by shoot by shoot. 
All the zombies ran away as fast as they can. The zombies couldn’t run too fast so it was easier to shoot. But suddenly, more and more and more zombies started to come. The people who are in there and the people who weren’t shooting, they were very scared. It was the scariest ever. 
The zombies kept on coming closer and closer. And then, some zombies came close and they saw the biggest zombie ever. And the short zombies started to come closer. A man turned behind him and he knew the little zombies can get closer and closer and he thought about them and he turned around.
He started to shoot at them. Then a couple more men started to shoot at the little ones. Some of the men had to fight the hardest part – the big zombie. 
The zombie had six arms, three on the side and then three on the other side. He had lots of bones. He had blood coming out of him. His face was all green. And the little zombies could put themselves onto him. And the heads were so gross. The zombies could put their heads on the big zombie, some of them already did that. The big zombie had eighty heads on him, that’s how many zombies there were. But there were more out there.
It was a good thing the people were in the middle because the little zombies couldn’t get on. And then the judge had a good idea. If they got some big guns and then shoot their guns at the same time, they could kill the whole zombie. And they tried to do that.
And it worked.
But, they still had to fight the little zombies. They had to shoot. All the people were getting tired of watching all the men shoot. They wanted to do something else. The mothers held their babies as tight as they can. The fathers came close to the mothers. Some of them take Karate lessons so that was good. The men were still shooting and shooting.
And suddenly, they got really close and they can shoot the gun as hard as they can. Some of them had lots of ideas going around in their head. A man was thinking about getting closer and closer and to shoot as hard as they can with the big guns. 
They did the man’s plan. B3ut some of their zombies were putting their heads on other heads. It was getting freakier and freakier. They were putting their heads on one zombie to make it big. 
They used the big gun to shoot it. They had to shoot three times. And then it worked.
All the zombies were gone. At least they think . . .