Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

TheAngryGuns: THE ANGRY GUNS Jason Duke

NY Restaurant Figures Out Surprising Reason for Customer Complaints

NY Restaurant Figures Out Surprising Reason for Customer Complaints  

Hat tip to Art Scott, who says this may be a hoax, even though it seems all too believable.  

Larry McMurtry Interview

Larry McMurtry: By the Book 

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Books Are For Squares: Finished: "Compound Murder" by Bill Cider


Drunk woman rides stolen horse to rob store  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Croc Update (Croc on a Plane Edition)

Escaped crocodile in the cabin ‘caused aircraft to crash’   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review 

Song of the Day

John Fogerty - I Will Walk With You.wmv - YouTube:

Babe Ruth, in His Own Words (or more likely, his ghostwriter's)

The Early Life and Career of Babe Ruth, in His Own Words

Today's Vintage Ad

Better Late than Never?

10 People Executed, Convicted, or Ridiculed That Were Vindicated Too Late 

Forgotten Hits: The Saturday Surveys ( 07 - 12 )

Forgotten Hits: The Saturday Surveys ( 07 - 12 )


Elliot Paul, The Mysterious Mickey Finn, Avon , 1950

Kasey Lansdale Update

Rising country star visits Hazard: HAZARD—Kasey Lansdale, a young, rising country music star, made a stop at Hazard’s WSGS radio station on Thursday, July 10. The singer-songwriter has been on the road for most of the year, promoting her album, “Restless,” and its first single, “Sorry Ain’t Enough.”

Who Knew?

Flavorwire: Kenny Braun’s Black-and-White Photos Capture the Drama of the Texas Surfing Scene

I've been looking for a new rug

Alligator Rug 

Soon to Be a SyFy Movie?

Giant Worm is Straight from Your Nightmares 

Soon to Appear on Jerry House's Wednesday Blog

11 Jokes From the World's Oldest Jokebook

Dave Legeno, R. I. P. One of the villains from the "Harry Potter" movies -- British actor Dave Legeno -- died while hiking in Death Valley  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Tommy Ramone, R. I. P.

Variety: Drummer and producer Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the influential New York punk quartet the Ramones, died Friday at his home in the Ridgewood area of Queens, New York. He was 62 and had been in hospice care following treatment for bile duct cancer.

Pursuit to Algiers


Friday, July 11, 2014

Strand Magazine Critics Awards

Mystery Fanfare: Strand Magazine Critics Awards

Gabriel Hunt Update from Charles Ardai

Some of you will recall that in 2009, flush with the success of Hard Case Crime in the mystery genre, we launched another series, this time in the genre of high adventure – the sort of two-fisted, action-packed yarn popularized by authors like H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, pulp heroes like Doc Savage, and movie heroes like Indiana Jones. The first few books in the series did very nicely, with the debut title (James Reasoner’s HUNT AT THE WELL OF ETERNITY) even getting selected as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. But the line was a victim of terrible timing, as our publishing partner on the project, Dorchester Publishing, went into very public death throes in 2010. The result was that the fifth book in the series barely made it out to stores – and the sixth and final volume, HUNT THROUGH NAPOLEON’S WEB by acclaimed suspense novelist Raymond Benson, never shipped to stores at all!

Well. I’m very pleased to announce that five years later we’re bringing the Gabriel Hunt adventure novels back – including the never-available-in-stores final volume, which will receive its first proper publication ever this August. (The first four Hunt titles are back in stores now, having been reissued one per month starting in April, and the very rare fifth volume hits stores on July 29.) 

We’re very proud of these books, which are meant to be the prose equivalent of adventure movies, all adrenaline and velocity, thrills and peril and breathless escapes, a summer’s worth of perfect summer reads. If you’d didn’t read them the first time around and would like to sample one now (or all of them!), let me know. And if, having sampled them, you find your heart racing and your hand reaching for the nearest popcorn bucket, I hope you’ll take a moment to let your readers know about the books first.  You can find them at your favorite local store or online bookseller, and fans of this sort of fiction will gobble them up. 

Lou Allin, R. I. P.

Meanderings and Muses: Lou Allin - RIP

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton at the party for her single 'Come Alive'  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

A Good Walden Is Hard To Find

A Good Walden Is Hard To Find | Thoreau Farm

The Wizard of Oz FAQ: All That's Left to Know about Life According to Oz -- David J. Hogan

This is a flat-out amazing book.  I'm in awe of the amount of research, time, and effort that were required to produce it.  Not that the book is some kind of heavy academic tome.  It's smoothly written and easy to follow.  And it's massive, over 400 pages of fairly small print, plus an appendix, a bibliography, and an index.  Lots of B&W photos, too.  If there's any fact about the movie that's missing, it's going to take a nitpicker with a microscope to find it.

Not that the book is about only the 1939 movie, in spite of the cover.  There's lots of other material on early stage and film versions and on L. Frank Baum himself.  There are chapters on casting the movie, on the directors, the writers, the stars, and everybody else.  Want to know what else was playing in 1939 when the movie came out?  It's here.  Sound effects?  Covered.  The crew?  You bet.  And there's a more.  A lot more.  There's even an Oz timeline, beginning in 1939.  When the subtitle says "all that's left to know," it's not kidding.

It's going to take me a while to get through everything in the book.  It's best not to try to absorb something like this all at once.  If you're a fan of The Wizard of Oz, the book or the movie, even a casual fan, this is the book for you.  If you're not, the book might make you one.  If you want to know what making a movie was like in the late '30s, you'll find all kinds of interesting facts and stories on every page.  This is fascinating stuff.

Or Maybe Not

10 Fashion and Beauty Items That Are Older Than You Think 

Song of the Day

These Aren't the Droids (Neko Case, Ellie Kemper, Kelly Hogan) - YouTube:

Is Our Children Learning?

A Whole Bunch Of People On Facebook Thought Steven Spielberg Killed A Real Dinosaur

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Man utters 'karate-like battle cry' before kicking police horse  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

20 Recent Movies That Clearly Hoped For Oscars But Failed

20 Recent Movies That Clearly Hoped For Oscars But Failed

Today's Vintage Ad

Forgotten Hits: 50 Years Ago This Weekend

Forgotten Hits: 50 Years Ago This Weekend (7-11 and 7-12)


E. W. Hildick, Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies, Berkley, 1969

Cult Novels: An Essential List

Cult Novels: An Essential List 

Rick Santorum Warned Us This Was Coming

Mexican mayor marries crocodile 

And I Thought Sweden Was a Free Country

The Local: A man in western Sweden faces charges for illegal weapons possession after building a crossbow to protect himself from vampires.  

Link via Boing Boing.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Criminal Genius of the Day

Long Island motorcyclist tries to give cops bogus name, can't spell it   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Another Forgotten Book

Black Gate: The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers

FFB: A Touch of Death -- Charles Williams

You want femmes fatales?  Charles Williams has you covered.  Not all his books feature fatal women, but quite a few of them do.  One of those is A Touch of Death, which I believe is the first book of his that I read.  I read the second Gold Medal printing, and I was so taken with it that I went out and got all the other Williams titles I could find.  And eventually I found several other printings of A Touch of Death, along with the British paperback, which was titled Mix Yourself a Redhead.  

I've never understood why Williams never developed the reputation that some of the other GM authors did.  He did a lot of things really well, and yet his books never got the acclaim they deserved.  He had quite a range, too. He could write comedy as well as tense noir tales, and his sea novels were excellent.  I said a few words about some of these things in this blog post for Mystery*File.

But back to the fatal femme of this post.   Madelon Butler is her name, and when she encounters down-on-his-luck former pro athlete named Lee Scarborough, little does he know what he's in for.  It's a complicated caper, having to do with a dead husband, big bucks, and several other people who want in on the action.  Scarborough always thinks he's one step ahead of Butler, who appears to him to be just a drunk and, after all, a woman.  He narrates the story in first person, so we discover along with him [SPOILER ALERT] how wrong he is.[END SPOILER ALERT]

We're a bit into James M. Cain territory here, and while I don't want to give away too much of the ending, I'll just say that Scarborough's final words are quite chilling.  

This is the novel that Charles Ardai choose to reprint in the Hard Case Crime series, so it's a lot easier to find than it used to be, which is a nice thing for anybody who's interested in femmes fatales.

Big Business Girl


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Eileen Ford, R. I. P. Eileen Ford, who co-founded Ford Models with her husband Jerry in 1946 – essentially inventing the modern modeling business, and exerting enormous influence on the world's views of human beauty – has died at 92.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Possible Interest

Bridgeport Brawler (Fight Card) - Kindle edition by Jack Tunney, David White, Paul Bishop, David Foster. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Chicago, 1953…Patrick ‘The Hammer’ White – the Bridgeport Brawler – is on top of the world. He is the current heavyweight champion confidently getting ready to defend his crown. All the early training from Father Tim at St Vincent’s orphanage has come full circle, and Pat isn’t figuring on being toppled from the championship mountain anytime soon. 

Having seen his shares of ups-and-downs, Pat believes the ‘downs’ are behind him. However, he has forgotten boxing’s dark side. When mob boss Carmen Amello squeezes Pat’s trainer into forcing the champ to take a dive, the ‘downs’ come back with a vengeance. 

In the aftermath of disaster, with only bad choices in front of him, the Bridgeport Brawler is going to have to dig deep if he is ever going to hammer his way back to the top…

Borderline -- Lawrence Block

Borderline is what's being called these days "mid-century erotica," returned to print by Hard Case Crime.  It was originally published as Border Lust in 1962 by Don Holliday, one of the pseudonyms that appeared now and then on books published by Nightstand and others of Bill Hamling's imprints.  This book is obviously from early in Block's career, but it's so well done that it's likely to make many veteran novelists (or at least one: me) envious.

The new title is perfect for the book, not that the other one didn't fit.  It certainly did.  But this one is better because the book is about people who are crossing borders.  The setting is El Paso and Juarez, which were different cities in 1962 from what they are now.  (By coincidence, I just read Sam Hawken's Tequila Sunset, and if you want to see the cities now, check it out.)  The reason the new title fits so well is that the borders people cross in this book aren't just the physical one that separates Texas from Mexico.  They're crossing them in lots of other ways.  '

Meg, recently divorced from a boring husband, crosses the border to Mexico and crosses the border from wanting sex of all kinds to having lots of it.  Weaver is a killer.  He's killed one girl, and now he's decided that since they can only execute him once, he might as well kill as many has he can before they get him.  He crosses the borderline easily, and it's scary how well Block was writing about a serial killer before such killers became a crime fiction cliche.  Marty's a gambler who lives an ordered life.  He keeps to himself and does things his own way.  He meets Meg and crosses the border into irrational behavior.  Lily is a runaway.  She'll do what she has to as long as it pays.  She crosses the border into using whoever is handy.  They think they're using Lily, but they're all wrong.

Naturally these four characters are going to come together, and I was reminded of John D. MacDonald's The Damned, which is set farther south in Mexico but which also has a cast of disparate characters.  In fact, the opening chapters in both books are quite similar, except in the MacDonald book the point of view is a man's, while in Block's novel it's Lily's. 

But Macdonald's novel isn't noir, and Block's certainly is.  Things aren't going to end well for Block's characters, not any of them.  If you can take graphic sex and even more graphic violence, this one's well worth a look.  And there's bonus material as well, two short stories and a novella.  Ed London's the narrator of the novella, a nicely done p.i. yarn.  The first story's narrated by a rapist.  Very violent.  Be prepared.

I Miss the Old Days

Remembering Paul Newman's Breathtaking TV Debuts 

Song of the Day

Crispian St Peters - The Pied Piper - YouTube:

Johnny Cash Reads the Entire New Testament

Johnny Cash Reads the Entire New Testament and you can listen.  

Link via mental_floss.

Today's Vintage Ad

Here's the Plot for Your Next Psycho VampireThriller

WCAX.COM: Investigators say Vafeades allegedly used fake teeth to appear like a vampire and sometimes filed his victims' teeth. The trucker made deliveries across the country for decades

And of course Vampire Truckers WBAGNFARB.


Mart Crowley, The Boys in the Band, Dell, 1970

Dick Jones, R. I. P.

50 Westerns From The 50s.: Dick Jones passed away this week. He’ll be remembered by most as the voice of Pinocchio (1940). But Westerns fans, we’ll remember Buffalo Bill, Jr. and The Range Rider on TV. And, of course, a string of appearances in Gene Autry movies and his TV show. He’s seen above with Gene in The Strawberry Roan (1948).  

Hat tip to Maurice Powell.

FINALISTS: 2014 World Fantasy Awards

FINALISTS: 2014 World Fantasy Awards

Soon We'll Have No Rights Left at All

Jacksonville teacher suspended, accused of twerking, drinking at soccer team party

I Miss the Old Days

The Band That Created the Summer of Love

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

TX robbery suspect sets himself on fire, then is shot by police: ‘He looked like a human torch’

Sharknado 2: The Second One — Sink Your Teeth Into the First Trailer

‘Sharknado 2′ Trailer — First Full Look At ‘The Second One’

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

KPTV - FOX 12: Man trashes mom's home, kills cat after being told to move out

Rosemary Murphy, R. I. P. Rosemary Murphy, an Emmy Award-winning actress long ubiquitous on television, stage and screen, died on Saturday at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Kid Glove Killer


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Brian Drake At Large!: Free Book for Reviews

Brian Drake At Large!: Free Book for Reviews

Now Available: Some Die Hard - Stephen Mertz

Rough Edges: Now Available: Some Die Hard - Stephen Mertz: Dead man flying! Ex-stuntman and private detective Rock Dugan faces the toughest challenge of his career. How was his wealthy client murdered while flying alone in a sailplane, in full view of all the suspects in the case? How will Rock survive when gangsters and crooked cops want him off the case? Which of the beautiful women involved in his client's murder can be trusted—and which may turn out to be deadly?

Hooray for the CIA

The CIA style guide goes online: now you can learn to write like a spy: They stand by the Oxford comma, for one thing.

This Does Not Apply to Readers of this Blog

15 Words That Don't Mean What You Think They Mean

25 Delightful Roger Ebert Quotes About Movies

25 Delightful Roger Ebert Quotes About Movies

Song of the Day

Yakety Yak-The coasters-original song-1958 - YouTube:

Yet Another List I'm Not On

10 Shocking Sides Of Famous Authors 

Today's Vintage Ad

Cursive Update


A Blog Post of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

“My Years in Prison” (by Bill Crider) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Leave a comment on the post if you're so inclined.


A. Merritt, Seven Footprints to Satan, Avon, 1942

Or You Might

15 Celebrities Who You Might Not Know Were In '90s TV Commercials

Live from atop the San Jacinto Monument

The Sand Jacinto Monument is 567 feet tall, and it's located on the Houston Shop Channel.  It sits near the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution.  Now you can get a live look at what's happening there from right up top.  Just click the link below.

EarthCam - San Jacinto Monument Cam

30 Writers Other Writers Loved To Hate

30 Writers Other Writers Loved To Hate

Or Maybe You Did

10 Sets of Co-Stars You Didn’t Realize Hated Each Other

Abebooks Most Expensive Sales in June 2014

Most Expensive Sales in June 2014: The international nature of book collecting is displayed on AbeBooks’ list of most expensive sales during June. France is strongly represented with a collection of French archaeological magazines along with a rare book about Paris’ great opera house and an art book by Andre Masson and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Masson was an interesting character who dabbled in Cubism and then moved to surrealism, before switching to the pen and ink style that included working under the influence of drugs and long periods of time without food and water to enhance his art.

Richard Percy Jones, R. I. P.

Mail Online: Richard Percy Jones, who served as the voice of Pinocchio in Disney's 1940 film, died on Monday at age 87.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Lineup


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Here's the Plot for Your Next Bio-Thriller

Forgotten vials of smallpox found in storage room

Check 'Em Out!

Music Vault Releases 13,000 Videos of Live Concert Footage to YouTube 

Read J.K. Rowling's new post for the latest Harry Potter 'gossip'

Read J.K. Rowling's new post for the latest Harry Potter 'gossip'

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Drunk Man Steals Chicken Wings, Bites Mall Cop

As If you needed another way to waste time on the Intenet

Google Maps | Smarty Pins: a geography game

Song of the Day

Tall Paul-Annette Funicello-original song 1959 - YouTube:

20 Vintage Photos of Brooklyn

20 Vintage Photos of Brooklyn 

Today's Vintage Ad

I For One Welcome Our New AI Masters

Louis Del Monte Interview On The Singularity  

Link via mental_floss.

This Is Easy -- Seepy Benton!

Who's the Greatest Mathematician of Them All?


J. M. Scott, Seawife (Sea-Wyf), Crest, 1957

Will the Persecution Never End?

20 Famous Hollywood Actresses Who Can’t Actually Act 

An Artist Is Illustrating Every Page Of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road"

An Artist Is Illustrating Every Page Of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" And It Is Everything Plus

Archaeology Update

Ancient ‘Pelagornis’ bird that lived 28 million years ago had largest wingspan ever

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

And keep off her lawn!

Texas grandma, 83, fights off home intruder with stick and boiling water  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Or Maybe Not

16 Rom-Coms From The '80s You Really Need To Reunite With

Overlooked Movies: The Big Easy

There were several movies that I thought would propel Dennis Quaid to stardom.  None of them did, which shows how much I know.  Anyway, this is one of them.

The Big Easy set in New Orleans, as you'd expect from the title.  Quaid plays a cop who likes his job, is good at it, and doesn't see anything wrong with taking a little graft now and then.  Ellen Barkin is an assistant DA who's looking into things.  Quaid is working on a mob murder and is suspicious that there might be some connections to the police department.  He and Barkin are such natural adversaries that naturally it's only a short time before they're in the sack, which complicates both their jobs.  And then Internal Affairs is shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that Quaid is on the take.  Even more complications ensue.

Quaid is really charming in this one, whether his Cajun accent is overdone or not.  Barkin is equally charming in her own way.   How could they not fall for one another?  Ned Beatty and John Goodman are just two of the fine character actors.  The city of New Orleans also stars in the movie, which gives you a glimpse of things pre-Katrina.  There's a lot of good zydeco music, too.  And then there's that explosion scene in the trailer posted above.  This movie's from 1986.  How many have you seen with that scene since then?  I doubt that this was the first one.   Don't let that stop you.  If you haven't seen The Big Easy, give it a try.  It's worth a look. 

The Big Easy

The Big Easy (1986) trailer - YouTube:

Monday, July 07, 2014

Has the Persecution Ended?

Paris Hilton In Malibu - Reality TV's sexiest beach bodies  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

No Comment Department

Sleeping Yankees Fan Sues ESPN For Defamation

In that case, sir, you are free to go

Truckee contractor's defense in 2 deaths: animal nest to blame

Hat tip to Art Scott

Call for Submissions


Pro Se Productions, a Genre Fiction Publisher known for reviving forgotten or obscure characters in new stories, announces an open call for an anthology centered on a movie cowboy from the 1930s. Herb Jeffries, singer and actor, portrayed cowboy crooner Bob Blake in three films. Known as The Bronze Buckaroo, the title of the second of the three Blake films, the character stands out as the first notable African American cowboy on the silver screen. Pro Se Productions proudly announces plans to build an anthology around Blake containing all new stories in The Adventures of The Bronze Buckaroo.

“The story of The Bronze Buckaroo,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief and Partner in Pro Se Productions, “could be told one of two ways. First, it could spotlight the creation of the character and the three films that featured him and focus on the fact that these were African American productions featuring African American actors and actresses at a time when that was nearly unheard of. Herb Jeffries came to be identified with the character so much that he wore the sobriquet the rest of his life. There’s a fantastic tale about those films and that time period waiting for someone to spin.

“Then,” continues Hancock, “there’s what Pro Se plans to do. Even though the three movies were B type Singing Cowboy pictures, the character of Bob Blake stands out as a classic character, the cowboy who rides into help someone and even when he finds himself in trouble, still manages to stay on the right side of the law. Jeffries pulled off this stock character as well as any of his contemporaries, including Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. And the fact that he is a series character adds to Pro Se’s desire to keep telling the tales of the Bronze Buckaroo.”

It is not lost on Pro Se Productions, however, the further significance of the character. “What we hope to do with the Buckaroo,” says Hancock, “is similar to the difference between the Hopalong Cassidy books and the Hoppy movies. We definitely plan to keep the continuity, what of it there is, the three movies establishes as well as the spirit of the character. He’s a strong, morally good character who is on the side of right. We also, however, want to be realistic. That is, Bob Blake is an African-American cowboy in the early 20th Century, so all that that entails should be utilized in these stories as the authors see fit Also, we’ll be looking for an authentic portrayal of Blake and other characters as cowboys, men of the range who lived by the gun and the saddle. Hats don’t stay clean and shirts pressed on the frontier. We hope to receive stories that pay homage to the Buckaroo movies, but are not pastiches of this really neat character.”

The three Bob Blake films were Two-Gun Man From Harlem (1938), The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), and Harlem Rides the Range (1939). Although they are considered westerns, the time period which they, especially the later two, take place in is somewhat murky. This was not uncommon in the B-westerns of this type. For the purposes of the collection, the stories may be set anywhere from 1935 until 1941, allowing that Bob Blake was cowboying at least a few years before the first film.

“This,” explains Hancock, “gives authors a really distinctive opportunity and offers something cool for readers as well. Because of the nature of the stories these films told, it’s possible to have gun slinging cowpokes side by side with gangsters and the more modern types of the 1930s. It's the wonderfully strange little world these B-westerns from that era created, a world where one side of the country was barreling toward the future in cars while the other chose to stay in the past on horseback. The possibilities with both are really promising for exploring either traditional western tales or stories that mix crime, intrigue, and mystery in with sagebrush and sixguns.”

Hancock also notes that for this collection, unless proposing authors indicate a reason otherwise, The Bronze Buckaroo will operate out of a ranch in California in the Apple Valley. This has a connection to the history of the films as they were all filmed at an African-American ran dude ranch in the Apple Valley.

A proposal of 100-500 words for inclusion in The Adventures of the Bronze Buckaroo must be submitted to by August 31, 2014. Accepted stories must be 6,000 to 10,000 words. Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals. When proposals are accepted and the collection filled, final deadline for completed stories will be determined and relayed to all accepted authors. 

The Adventures of the Bronze Buckaroo is planned, at this stage to be one of Pro Se Productions’ Event Anthologies, that being a collection longer than the company’s usual 30 thousand word digest novels and 60 thousand word trade paperback volumes. 

All three Bob Blake films starring Herb Jeffries are available on Youtube for viewing.

If you have any questions concerning this title or wish further information on Pro Se Productions, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se Productions’ Director of Corporate Operations at

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to and like Pro Se on Facebook at

Song of the Day

Turn Me Loose - Fabian - YouTube:

30 Beautiful Doors That Seem To Lead To Other Worlds

30 Beautiful Doors That Seem To Lead To Other Worlds

Texas Leads the Way with 4 Out of the 10

America's 10 Most Unique Libraries (PHOTOS)  

I used to go to movies at The Americana Theater.  That's where I saw 2001 and  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Today's Vintage Ad

Writing Process Blog Tour

This is a blog post relay that I was invited to join by Carol Gorman, the lovely wife of a guy named Ed Gorman, whom we all know and love and who would surely tell you that he was tremendously lucky to meet Carol.  Carol's an award-winning writer of books for young people.  She is, as I know for a fact, much less reclusive than Ed and can occasionally be seen in public.  I'm supposed to answer four questions before handing off to someone else, so here goes:

What am I working on?  I just turned in the manuscript of Between the Living and the Dead, a Sheriff Dan Rhodes novel that should come out in August of 2015 if all goes according to plan.  So I'm in between major projects.  I'm still writing, though.  I've written a blog post for Something is Going to Happen, the blog of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and it should appear soon.  I've started on my next "Blog Bytes" column for the magazine, a column that was begun by the aforementioned Ed Gorman, who handed it off to me six or seven years ago.  I'm about to start my "Short and Sweet" column for Mystery Scene, and I've begun a chapter for a volume of the continuing saga of Wolf Creek. This is an interesting series which contains some collaborative novels, and the story I'm working on will be a part of one of those.  Once all the writers turn in their chapters, based on an outline provided by Troy Smith, Troy will whip them into shape, and the Western Fictioneers will publish the novel.  The series has been very successful.  Check it out.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Well, it's by me.  Every writer's different, so even if I'm writing a mystery or a western or something else, my work isn't going to be like anyone else's.  My little quirks and obsessions are going to show up, no matter how I try to conceal them.  

Why do I write what I do?  I like writing a lot of different things.  I've written mostly crime fiction, but I've also written a lot of westerns, many of them under pen names that will likely never be uncovered; men's adventure novels, also under pen names; horror fiction, also under a pen name, but I can tell you that one of the (Jack MacLane; nobody will ever uncover the other one); books for young people; and many, many essays and reviews.  Oh, and the columns I mentioned above.  So I guess you could say I write what I want to.  I just like to write.

How does my writing process work?  I usually come up with a vague idea and then a first sentence.  Then I start writing.  I didn't know I was supposed to plan anything when I started out.  I thought I was just supposed to tell a story, so that's what I do.  Once I get started, the story usually becomes more clear to me, and by the time I'm halfway through the book, I know it all.  As for the actual writing, I worked full time for many years, so I wrote at night.  I'd set a goal of a certain number of pages, and when I got that many written, I'd stop, even if I was in the middle of a sentence.  I still write at night.  Can't break the habit.

I've invited James Reasoner and Livia Washburn to answer these same questions next week.  You all know that James is the author of approximately 7500 books, under more names than I can keep up with.  You can click on the link above and go to his website, where you'll get some idea.  Livia hasn't written as many books as James has, but she's written a lot of them.  Her website will tell you more, so take a look.  Both James and Livia have written in just about every genre there is.  They may even have invented a few.


Linda Michaels, Sleep-In Maid, Midwood, 1962

Or Maybe You Did

Lone Star: Things You Didn't Know About "The National Beer Of Texas"

Graffiti Update

World's earliest erotic graffiti found in unlikely setting on Aegean island 

New Poem at the 5-2

The Five-Two: Tom Brzezina: LEW ARCHER WRITES A POEM

Agree or Disagree?

You have to watch it all to express an opinion.

Yoko Ono’s Show At Glastonbury Is The Worst Live Performance Of All Time

Mystery Crocodile WBAGNFARB

Mystery crocodile confounds Crete cops

The Ministry of Fear


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Jim Brosnan, R. I. P.

The Washington Post: Jim Brosnan, who helped pitch the Cincinnati Reds to the National League championship in 1961 but was better known for two revelatory books, “The Long Season” and “Pennant Race,” that were the first inside accounts of a baseball team written from a player’s perspective, died June 28 at a hospice in Park Ridge, Ill. He was 84.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

C. J. Henderson, R. I. P.

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Goodbye to a Pal: C.J. HENDERSON; 1951 - 2014

For a Limited Time: Two Novels on Kindle for Under a Buck The Shannon Novels eBook: Dave Zeltserman: Kindle Store: From Shamus Award-winning author Dave Zeltserman comes these two gripping and intense thrillers unlike any you've ever seen. In BAD THOUGHTS horrifying murders are being committed in Massachusetts and everything seems to be pointing to one of two possibilities: Bill Shannon has gone insane or a killer has come back from the grave to torment him. In the sequel, BAD KARMA, Shannon has moved to Boulder, Colorado, and when he's hired to investigate the murder of two college students, he finds himself mixed up with deadly Russian gangsters, evil yoga studios, deviant cults, and worse!

18 Weird and (Sometimes Embarrassing) Habits All Cat Owners Are Guilty of Having

18 Weird and (Sometimes Embarrassing) Habits All Cat Owners Are Guilty of Having

Song of the Day

Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris (Trio) - Farther Along - YouTube:

49 Vintage Photos That Will Give You Goosebumps

49 Vintage Photos That Will Give You Goosebumps

Today's Vintage Ad

SFWA and the 'Science Fiction Hall of Fame' Anthologies

SFWA and the 'Science Fiction Hall of Fame' Anthologies


Lin Carter, The Man Who Loved Mars, Gold Medal, 1973

The Selfie Trend Is Everywhere

Dead grandmother sent me selfie: woman 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Noah's Ark