Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Busy Hamster

Now and again I need to remind myself that my idea of being busy isn't always the same as other people's. I've had several friends and coworkers seem genuinely confused that I find time to get things done like write books. These days I remind people that I don't have band practice twice a week any more and the usual response is, "Yes, but you have two kids." Touche.

In our recent interview with Jed Ayres at the Ransom Notes blog my co-author Jennifer even said, "He has more energy than a thousand hamsters on a thousand wheels."

So when I've been taking time to actually enjoy a week off from day-job work and any writing work last week I felt like a slacker. Then to come back to this three-day weekend made me feel even worse.
Tonight though, I wrote chapter 1 of the new book with Jennifer. Step one on a very long road but I am grateful to once again be making the trip with my travel partner.

I also took a little time to poke around the web and found this REVIEW by the wonderful Elizabeth White, or as she calls herself the All Purpose Monkey. She likes Borrowed Trouble and that makes me happy. She is a voice I trust since she likes a lot of the same things I like. And now I can quote lines like, "the story virtually leaps of the page with vivid details."

Also did my requisite reading of The Rap Sheet and linked through to Cullen Gallagher's always entertaining Pulp Serenade for his list of 50 great Gold Medal book titles to find that he gave a shout-out to my piece for Mulholland Books site. Did I mention that here, even? Can't recall. Either way Cullen's list makes certain my eBay watch list will grow a bit longer. Since having kids I have curtailed my Film Noir poster collecting but hunting down cheap pulp titles is truly my kind of sport. I set low price cutoffs for myself and still have managed to find some real gems. Even the crappy books look great on the shelf.

Also this week issue #6 of Crimefactory was welcomed into the world. It features a TON of stuff (200 pages worth!) including my story My Asshole Brother which is not new but finds a wonderful home at the factory. Soon to be in print!

Our Summer Sale on Kindle versions of the books is coming on June 1st and as soon as I have confirmation that the price is adjusted I hope people will help spread the word. 

Now I have a story due on the 5th I need to write. A novella to put up on Kindle. A solo novel to finish outlining. A call due to my agent. Revisions on a completed manuscript. Yeah, it's a slow week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why I love pulp fiction

And here's why I love reading vintage pulp fiction on my lunch break:

"The house had once been imposing. Now it was a shabby house surrounded by a shabby yard in a beggarly section of town. Grimy warehouses and factories had pushed up around it like weeds, leaving a tragic relic, pathetic as a bridal gown in a garbage can.
A board walk led to a sagging porch, where the door gaped open like a dead man's jaws. I rapped on the doorsill and peered into a dim room from which issued the bad breath of decay."
The Kiss-Off, Douglas Heyes, 1951

Another great book found through Friday's Forgotten Books (courtesy of Bill Crider who seems to have read everything). If you aren't checking out the weekly posts, you're really missing out. You'll never be short of what to read again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

summer sale a-coming!

I've been out of town for a whole week. That's five plane trips so far this year, which is unusual for me and I must say I'm over it.
But, back home and back at it. We did a great little interview with Jed Ayres over at the Barnes & Noble site on his great mystery blog Ransom Notes. Jed does the best interviews. Fun, quirky questions. Check it out.

The big news is that Second Wind has graciously agreed to let us run a sale on the Kindle edition of both books for June. From June 1 to June 21 One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble will both be only .99! Three weeks of ultra cheap ebooks!
And that's after Amazon dropped the price to $4.99 to stay inline with the Nook and iBooks price. It essentially means we are forfeiting all profits for that period but that's okay if we get people to sample the books and tell a friend. Word is a few other Second Wind authors may get in on the fun and people can sample a slew of SW books.

Not that anyone reads this blog but if anyone does and y'all want a free ebook in exchange for a review of said book, let me know. If .99 is just too steep for you (or someone you know) let me know and all we ask in return is that you write up a review and post it where other people can see it. If you like it, that is. If you hate the books, keep it to yourself. Unless you hate them so much you feel the world must know to stay away. That would just be funny.

I've been reading some great books lately too. I need to do a wrap-up of those. Some great old-timey pulps. Read my first Gil Brewer and felt like an idiot I hadn't gotten to him sooner. Just got a few in the mail today including Fast One by Paul Cain, an mysterious and enigmatic pulp writer from the 1930s
and I have the first two Mike Hammer novels in vintage paperbacks so I can get off my ass and read some vintage Spillane.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May already?

So Blogger was down for a while. It was the talk of the web for a day or two. I wouldn't have known of course since I'm so slacker-y about posting.
But now here I am with actual content to post. First, I submitted my story for the upcoming Pulp Ink anthology which is going to be a phenomenal collection. Out later this summer. Really looking forward to reading what the others come up with for that one.
Getting closer to the release of the Grimm Tales anthology as well. Some great stories in that as well. And to round out a summer of anthologies, I've seen the proof copy of D*cked and, dang I'm proud to be in that one as well. My piece plays as more of a trifle but people really ran with the concept on that one (All stories centered around Dick Cheney).

Tony Black has brought Pulp Pusher back from the dead. His excellent e-zine was a real loss when he shuttered it last year but now he's back and he's begun posting archived stories which means my story My First Crime has a home again. So excited because I always liked that one and I love being published by Pulp Pusher.

The next step has been taken in bringing out my first direct-to-ebook thingy, a novella called KNUCKLES. Watch this space for details to come on that one. A summer release, not sure when though.

Jen and I have started on a new collaboration and so far so good. It's a new one, not Ray and Dean again.

And of course I'm still waiting to hear anything on the manuscripts flouting out there in the world. My mantra has become Stay Patient. I am not good at it.

Lastly it looks like the publisher is going to go for my crazy idea to drop the price of the Kindle editions of One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble to .99 for the month of June or at least most of it. Not sure why I would work to stage a sale that means we forfeit all royalties but I just want people to read the books. Forward thinking of me or shortsighted and dumb? Remains to be seen.