Last Words

LAST WORDS cover reveal

Here’s the cover for my crime novel LAST WORDS, which Camel Press will publish Oct. 1. It was great fun seeing the different design options for the cover last week and having my say. What do you think of it? All comments welcome below. This is my first cover reveal. My first novel to be published, for that […]

Deal for Last Words, three more Taylor novels

I’ve been offered a four-book deal by Camel Press in Seattle for my mystery series, beginning with the completed novel Last Words. The other three will also be based on the protagonist Coleridge Taylor and will be part of what the publisher is calling The Taylor Chronicles. I don’t have a pub date for the […]

Cover reveal for ‘Chronicles of Kerrigan’

Fellow writer W.J. May is taking the great leap into the wild world of independent publishing. I’m pleased to be part of her cover reveal this weekend. Blogs across our great nation are publishing the new covers for the novels in her YA fantasy series “Chronicles of Kerrigan.” You’ll see here the covers for the […]

Stalking memories

Let’s face it, before the DVD and Amazon, if you had fond yet hazy memories of a four-decade-old TV show, they would stay just that, particularly if the show only lasted a season. I just learned that can be a good thing. One of my TV touchstone memories was of the 1974-75 series “Kolchak: The […]

Max Headroom and Ray Bradbury

The tagline for the TV series “Max Headroom” was, famously, “20 minutes into the future…” This future was cyberpunk, gritty and a battleground dystopia where TV networks would do anything to win ratings. Made in 1987, it lasted just 14 episodes. Any science fiction writer will tell you the most dangerous story to attempt is […]

Crime fiction and literary punishment

Finishing “The Paris Review Interviews, Volume II” this week got me thinking about the separation—chasm really—that grew between literary and pop fiction in the middle of the last century. The thoughts bubbled up, in fact, after reading the interview with the late Philip Larkin, giant of 20th Century poetry. Larkin was asked what he read. […]

Music of the Times (and the spheres)

Most days, it’s pretty easy to guess what the New York Times will lead on. That’s because most days, it’s the Democrats yelling at the Republicans yelling at the Democrats… Well, you get the point. And if it’s not that, it’s the obvious big economic report of the day or the obvious major unrest in […]

‘…book paper catches fire, and burns’

I failed to do my job that night. Didn’t even try. I was supposed to be chasing scraps of gossip and bits of deal news that HBO executives might dole out to a neophyte reporter from a C-list trade publication. That was not my excuse for not trying. No, mine was three amazing hours spent […]

Cutting 20,000 words, the easy way

Here’s an observation on revising a manuscript. I finished a rewrite last week of my crime novel, cutting 20,000 words in the course of a two month front-to-back revision. This was so I could hand the draft—it’s either the fifth, or maybe the seventh; I’ve lost track—off to my agent Dawn Dowdle for her edit. […]

Bad blogger! Bad!

I have not been a good blogger. Here’s my fiction update. Writing is like erosion. It takes a really long time before it looks like you’ve made any progress. Two weeks ago, I finished a second-draft on the first third of my work-in-progress so I could set that aside and do the fifth (or is […]