Wednesday, July 20, 2011


When you're a small time author, like me, you take what you can get. Usually what you can get is a bent nose from all the doors slamming in your face, but once in a while you get reminded why you do this. Sure, each night you write something you actually like is a thrill and really is the gas on which the engine runs, but the jolt of Nitro we all need every now and then is knowing that someone is actually reading the stuff.

Enter Nigel Bird – writer, teacher, British person. He and I have exchanged pleasantries over each others short stores for a while now. He even beat me out in a contest and still I like the chap, in a cyber never-met-him way.

He likes our book. He read it on vacation (marking our first official entry into the summer vacation reads category) and he wrote about how he liked it. Reading an unsolicited opinion, where he has nothing to gain at all from writing about our work, is a real thrill. Of course any time someone uses the words "Masterpiece" and "Sublime" in talking about your writing, you're bound to think it's the best book review you've ever read.

Anyway, thanks Nigel. You've given me a real boost.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Noir at the Bar in the books

And it was a success! We had a great turnout for the inaugural Noir at the Bar L.A. and many requests to do it again so it looks like we're a hit. It was a ton of fun with some great readings including a brand new piece of Noir from our headliner Duane Swierczynski.

Check out the pictures below.

The story I read was a sneak peek of Safety which was published today over at Shotgun Honey. Proud to have another one up there. People seemed to dig it. They laughed in the right spots and were horrified at the other right spots. Check it out.

I also need to shout out to my pal Greg Bardsley for the sale of his book CASH OUT. He's a hell of a writer and has been slugging it out in the trenches for plenty of time. You'll be hearing more about him, mark my words.

My favorite shot I got of Duane. Love the Crime Wave title in the BG. I brought my DVD of old Film Noir trailers and we let that run on the projector all night. It made a great backdrop for the readings.

 I introduce the night's events.
Holly O'Neil West graced us with a reading from her unpublished manuscript. 
So cool to have a mix of styles. 

Josh Stallings gave us a taste of Moses McGuire from his newly published Out There Bad.

Josh read some seriously dark noir. The crowd loved it.

Full house!

Duane reads from Breakneck, an all new in-the-works project.

My co-conspirator Stephen Blackmoore reads his short story from Uncage Me 
against a hell of a backdrop.

We are so NOT badasses. (Me, Blackmoore and the Mystery Dawg!)

Holly gets a little help from Ida Lupino.

It was a great night. Onward to the next!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Packing heat

My goal all along in this writing thing is to have a body of work. More than just one novelty item in the bargain bins. (something I barely escaped in my music career.) And while I have said body lurking in files on my computer, the whole point is to get it out there.
I had plans to let loose a novella that I wrote a while back by doing it myself to Kindle like all the cool kids are doing these days. Then a new imprint popped up called Snubnose Press . It was started by the fine folks at Spinetingler , so immediately I knew it would be quality and I knew the style would suit my own. They called for submissions so I threw this 24,000 word piece at 'em and guess what? They liked it.

So I am proud to announce that Snubnose Press will publish the ebook of Dig Two Graves, a nasty revenge tale with a main character some people will hate, some will love and some with love to hate. I'm really proud to be in the rookie season of Snubnose along with some of my favorite writers and cyber pals like Keith Rawson and Patti Abbott who both have short story collections coming out.

More to come as the sumer progresses. Right now I need to get to work on revisions and add all the spit and polish to make this thing as good as it can be. But dang I'm proud and happy to be part of the Snubnose family.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Solstice update

Well, 2011 is half over. Is that pessimistic? Does it work with anything beyond glasses of water? Either way there is both nothing new under the sun and lots of tiny things to report.

First off I am proud to be co-hosting the launch of Noir at the Bar in Los Angeles. It's high time we brought this gathering of crime writers and readers to our fair city. We scrambled and snagged a bar that was willing to host us on Sunday the 17th of July so we could get everyone's favorite writer of pulse pounding thrills and off-the-wall speedball-laced prose, Duane Swierczynski to be our featured guest. Whether through guilt or just a lack of anything else to do in L.A. over the pending Carpocolypse weekend, Duane agreed to grace us with his holiness.

Also reading short bits of fiction will be my co-host Stephen Blackmoore, the up-and-comer Josh Stallings (who Elizabeth White is about to anoint with oils) and the as-yet-unpublished-but-give-it-time Holly O'Neill West and your truly.

So come on out and bring a friend. It's free!

I got a pair of rejections over the recent holiday weekend. I really don't mind them. I don't get depressed. It bothers me much more when things are out there and pending.

Of course it did help that mixed in with those No thank you's was an acceptance letter I am really psyched about. It's too early to talk about yet but contracts have been sent and revisions are underway based on the editor/publisher's notes. Watch this space for more.

My reading is keeping up for a record year of books under the old belt. I'm on Fun & Games right now and loving it, as I knew I would. I recently set aside a book I plan to come back to but it just wasn't holding me, surprisingly for this author. And with Duane's latest calling me from the top of the TBR pile I had to put that other book on pause.

Getting close to the big dump of all my anthologies this summer. More on that too as it comes in. All good stuff. 

I've long complained that the pace of publishing is glacial. Those big ass ice shelves might move slowly, but they move constantly. As long as I keep up a slow push seaward, I'm happy. Meanwhile, I tap tap tap away at night building the body of work. The next thing is always the best. And I always wish the days were longer. Words - words - more words!!!