Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What If GHOST RIDER Got Saved?

Critics are divided on whether you should see the Feb. 16 box office release Ghost Rider -- based on the Marvel comic book about a stunt motorcycle rider named Johnny Blaze who makes a deal with devil (and becomes a superhero). Whatever you think of the movie (we didn’t see it), we just wonder how things might have turned out if comic book writer Tony Isabella got his way.

In the May 2007 issue of trade pub Comics Buyers Guide, Isabella shares at length about his time as writer for the comic in the mid-1970s -- during which he planned something that would have changed the concept entirely: “I’d written a story wherein, couched in mildly subtle terms, Blaze accepted Jesus as his savior and freed himself from Satan’s power forever.”

According to Isabella’s account, the story arc took two years to unfold, and was approved by several editors. But when the story reached the big twist -- and a certain mysterious drifter was going to be revealed as Jesus Christ -- an assistant editor “took offense” and intercepted the issue right as it was about to go to the printer and completely rewrote the story.

“To this day,” Isabella writes, “I consider what he did to my story one of the three most arrogant and wrong-headed actions I’ve ever seen from an editor.”

So now you know.

Just Say Yes ... And Then, Um, No

Superman Brand Peanut Butter


Never Say Yes To a Cigarette

Monday, February 26, 2007

The man behind ROCKFORD FILES

Mystery novelist and TV writer Lee Goldberg shares anecdotes about meeting TV producer Roy Huggins, who created such series as MAVERICK, THE FUGITIVE and ROCKFORD FILES. Lee also links to a video interview he conducted with Huggins shortly before his death: Interview with Roy Huggins

Related: Mystery TV Themes: The Rockford Files

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

From serial to novel: THE OVERLOOK

Recently, the New York Times Sunday Magazine wrapped up Michael Connelly's serialized crime thriller, The Overlook. Now the full-length novel version is coming to stores:
An execution on the overlook above the Mulholland Dam entangles Harry Bosch with F.B.I. Agent Rachel Walling and Homeland Security. THE OVERLOOK was originally serialized in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. The novel will include material not published in the magazine, including new characters and more obstacles in Harry Bosch's path. THE OVERLOOK will be released in the USA and Canada on May 29th, in Australia and New Zealand on June 8th, and in the UK and Ireland on June 13.
Read an excerpt.
Read a Q&A comparing the two versions of the story.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Outrageous verdict for Eric Volz

For those who have not heard about this, Nashville native Eric Volz was falsely accused of murder in Nicaragua. The update from his family:
With the heaviest heart we inform everyone that the judge just pronounced Eric "GUILTY". We are in a state of total shock and disbelief. It is incomprehensible that we find ourselves dealing with what may come next.

Our understanding from the Embassy is that Eric will be remanded back into the penitentiary system. We are, as we were before, extremely, extremely worried about his safety.

Please contact your Congresspersons immediately!!!

Go to the Friends of Eric web site to “Congressional Contact” to find the link to your Congressman as soon as possible to register your outrage at this judgment.

The prosecution presented no evidence that Eric is any way connected to, or guilt, of this crime. We strongly believe this may be a politically-based decision.

www.friendsofericvolz.com

Thank you for your prayers and hope -– the vigil continues.

Eric’s family
News links:
Verdict leaves Volz’s family, officials in state of shock (Nashville City Paper)
American guilty in Nicaragua (San Antonio Express)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Coming to a bookseller near you ...


Get your own countdown at BlingyBlob.com

8000 THRILLER READERS -- AND GROWING

News from International Thriller Writers: The "150 Thrillers" contest and now closed, and the Grand Prize winner of 150 signed books by ITW authors is Peggy R. The three runners up, winning a copy of the THRILLER anthology, are: Judith S, Mike O and Kay B. Congratulations to all!

The contest -- created to grow the subscribers to the ITW Thriller Readers newsletter -- received approximately 5300 entries. The newsletter, now being revamped and integrated into the new ITW website, now boasts over 8000 readers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

KILLER Q&A: MARC LECARD, PT 2

Concluding our conversation with crime novelist Marc Lecard, member of the KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007. Marc grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, New York. He gave up a "promising career as a circular delivery person" when he left the East Coast in 1976 for California. He has worked in one form of publishing or another, on everything from computer manuals to environmental magazines.

His debut suspense novel, Vinnie's Head (St. Martin's Minotaur), hits shelves in March. Duane Swierzynski calls it "savagely funny." Ken Bruen raves, "Debuts don't come any better than this."

* * *

PART TWO.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Write a lot of words. I think writers age in words, not in years. It doesn’t matter if much of what you write seems to be crap. If you know it’s bad, that means you can fix it. Get used to throwing out most of what you produce. The delete key is your best friend. Take chances. Write more than you think possible.

WHAT DO YOU WISH NON-WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That I am not my characters, even though all my characters are completely autobiographical.

WHAT DO YOU WISH OTHER WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
I think other writers understand only too well.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT PUBLISHING THROUGH THIS "KILLER YEAR" CAMPAIGN?
That there’s visibility in numbers.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF?
More than I like.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOUR CRAFT?
That I still have a lot to learn.

KILLER Q&A: MARC LECARD, PT 1

* * *

Thanks to suspense novelist Marc Lecard. Find him online at MarcLecard.com, and at his blog, Hearing Voices.

You can also find more at the Killer Year website, the Killer Year blog and the Killer Year MySpace page.

* * *

Related links:
KILLER Q&A: GREGG OLSEN (A Wicked Snow)
KILLER Q&A: PATRY FRANCIS (The Liar's Diary)
KILLER Q&A: ROBERT GREGORY BROWNE (Kiss Her Goodbye)
KILLER Q&A: MARCUS SAKEY (The Blade Itself)
KILLER Q&A: SEAN CHERCOVER (Big City, Bad Blood)
KILLER Q&A: SANDRA RUTTAN (Suspicious Circumstances)
KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007
Adopting Killer Year

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Monday, February 12, 2007

KILLER Q&A: MARC LECARD, PT 1

We turn the spotlight on suspense novelist Marc Lecard, member of the KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007.


His debut suspense novel, Vinnie's Head (St. Martin's Minotaur), hits shelves in March:

Long Island petty criminal Johnnie LoDuco snags his best friend’s head while fishing for flounder, and attracts the attention of some very unpleasant people. Is it the head they want ... or Johnnie?



* * *

PART ONE.

AS A NEWBIE NOVELIST, WHAT’S SCARIEST FOR YOU?
That I might have to stand up and speak in front of a crowd, I dread crowds -- to me, a crowd is more than three people. But, given the average turnout at readings and book signings by unknown authors, this may not be a problem.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO COMBAT YOUR FEARS?
Thought about hiring a body double. Also under consideration: anti-anxiety medication in major doses, cross-dressing and imposture a la JT LeRoy; Vocoder and mask a la Darth Vader.

HOW HAVE YOUR "KILLER YEAR" CLASSMATES HELPED YOU THROUGH THIS CAMPAIGN?
Given the vast number of books that come out every year, it’s very difficult for a single book to stand out. Being part of Killer Year has allowed us all to attract more attention -- as a group, and as individual authors.

It helps that the others in Killer Year are fantastically interesting people and accomplished writers. I cruise along quite happily in their wake.

Also by meeting my Killer Year compadres online, I was able to talk to at least a few of them at the recent Bouchercon in Madison. (They were very friendly and helpful.) Without them, it is very possible that I would have gone through the entire conference without speaking to anyone.

WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING HABITS?
I like to get up early in the morning -- 4 or 5 am -- and write before the day gets started. I tend to establish a sort of rat’s nest of books and papers in a corner and burrow into it. I do not come equipped with self-discipline, and depend absolutely on habit and routine to get anything accomplished.

I also have a few items of power on my desk, talismans that are the source of my abilities. I can’t tell you what they are. Just trust me.

AS A READER, WHAT MAKES A BOOK INTRIGUING TO YOU?
The first thing I look for if I’m coming to a book cold, with no foreknowledge of story, is a voice. It doesn’t take long to hear a novel’s voice -- sometimes just a paragraph or two, sometimes the very first sentence.

Beyond that, I look for good prose, attention to word and phrase, a sense of measure and the rhythms of the writing. I like to be surprised. I love to be frightened and made a nervous wreck by mounting suspense. But I need to be convinced -- fooled, lulled -- by the writing first.

KILLER Q&A: MARC LECARD, PT 2

* * *

Thanks to suspense novelist Marc Lecard. Find him online at MarcLecard.com, and at his blog, Hearing Voices.

You can also find more at the Killer Year website, the Killer Year blog and the Killer Year MySpace page.

* * *

Related links:
KILLER Q&A: GREGG OLSEN (A Wicked Snow)
KILLER Q&A: PATRY FRANCIS (The Liar's Diary)
KILLER Q&A: ROBERT GREGORY BROWNE (Kiss Her Goodbye)
KILLER Q&A: MARCUS SAKEY (The Blade Itself)
KILLER Q&A: SEAN CHERCOVER (Big City, Bad Blood)
KILLER Q&A: SANDRA RUTTAN (Suspicious Circumstances)
KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007
Adopting Killer Year

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Creating HOLLYWOODLAND

Out on DVD this week, the film Hollywoodland digs into the mysterious 1959 death of George Reeves. Was it a suicide? Was it murder?

Comics site Newsarama interviews screenwriter Paul Bernbaum and director Allen Coulter.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Screaming Room

This April, our friend novelist Thomas O'Callaghan has a new thriller in stores, The Screaming Room (Pinnacle):

Lieutenant John Driscoll has laid the ghosts of his past to rest. He’s ready to start over -- both personally and as a New York City homicide detective. But it seems that a serial killer has other plans for him.

The victims’ bodies are found, brutally mutilated and carefully arranged. Someone has displayed the corpses for the world to see: on a Ferris wheel; in a dinosaur diorama; on a bridge -- grotesque visions to all except for the depraved killer, who considers them masterpieces. These blood rituals spell out a message to Driscoll. And they are just the beginning...
Tom's debut, Bone Thief, garnered quite a bit of praise, from the likes of Peter Straub, Gayle Lynds, and P.J. Parrish.

Related link:
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Final MICKEY SPILLANE crime novel

Later this year, Hard Case Crime will publish the last crime novel Mickey Spillane ever wrote, Dead Street. An ex-cop discovers his girlfriend's death 20 years earlier in a botched abduction may not have gone down quite the way he thought -- and that she might not be dead after all.

Click here for sample chapter and more info.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

KILLER Q&A: GREGG OLSEN, PT 2

Concluding our conversation with crime novelist Gregg Olsen, member of the KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007. Gregg is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books. As a journalist and true crime author, he has been a guest on Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, Fox News, 48 Hours, and other national and international programs.

His debut suspense novel, A Wicked Snow (Kensington), hits shelves in March. Best-selling thriller novelist Allison Brennan calls it "a tightly-plotted, gripping police procedural made even more terrifying by Olsen's straightforward storytelling and eye for detail."

* * *

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
This is easy. Never give up. Write everyday. That’s it. That’s the key to making it.

WHAT DO YOU WISH NON-WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That this is a job. It always surprises me when people say, “Oh I could write a book.” Try it.

WHAT DO YOU WISH OTHER WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
You cannot define your success by the bestseller lists. It has to be more about the work that you’re doing and the satisfaction you get from your craft. I get that. I’ve been on the national and local lists with my true crime, but the book that defines me to myself was so-so commercially.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT PUBLISHING THROUGH THIS "KILLER YEAR" CAMPAIGN?
That writers are not cut-throat.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF?
I have never been a joiner. But I really have enjoyed being a part of a group.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOUR CRAFT?
This is obvious, but after reading thrillers by the scads, it hit me. That there a million ways of approaching the same story and each writer brings a unique perspective to whatever they are doing. Plots can be similar but the execution of the tale by the writer supplies the magic.

KILLER Q&A: GREGG OLSEN, PT 1

* * *

Many thanks to crime writer and suspense novelist Gregg Olsen. Find him online at GreggOlsen.com, at CrimeRant.com, and StarvationHeights.com. You can also visit his MySpace page.

You can also find more at the Killer Year website, the Killer Year blog and the Killer Year MySpace page.

* * *

Related links:
KILLER Q&A: PATRY FRANCIS (The Liar's Diary)
KILLER Q&A: ROBERT GREGORY BROWNE (Kiss Her Goodbye)
KILLER Q&A: MARCUS SAKEY (The Blade Itself)
KILLER Q&A: SEAN CHERCOVER (Big City, Bad Blood)
KILLER Q&A: SANDRA RUTTAN (Suspicious Circumstances)
KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007
Adopting Killer Year

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.