Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good Agents vs. Bad Agents

My agent, Chip MacGregor, recently posted a blog entry wherein he answered a number of questions about how to identify a bad agent ... and the resulting furor led to a series:

New Talk About Agents
Talking Agent Trash
A Bit More Agenty Thinking

In a related note, author Lee Goldberg also posted a reminder that You Don't Pay Agents.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Linda Lou's Book Trailer Park

Author Linda Kozar (Misfortune Cookies, Heartsong Presents Mysteries) has launched a new blog where she reviews video trailers for books. Check it out here!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Best Mann For The Job

TitleTrakk has posted the first preview from the upcoming weekly comic strip Best Mann For The Job, by my lovely wife, Erica, and me. It stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to serve as a small-town sheriff.

This series has literally been years in the making. (When I get a chance, I'll tell you the story -- but it's a long one.)

As the series unfolds, we'll be introducing some of the quirky residents of Hope Falls, Tennessee. So visit TitleTrakk every week for future episodes!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Heartsong ends the mystery club

It's public knowledge now: Barbour has canceled its Heartsong Presents Mysteries subscription book club. My three titles were scheduled to go out to mailboxes this spring and summer, but it's unlikely subscribers will see them at all now.

The good news: All the mysteries in the pipeline are apparently still intended to go to retail stores. My "Kentucky Geezers" mysteries are scheduled to be collected as one of their November 2009 mystery "omnibus" titles -- so there's still hope my book(s) will be published this year.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Keep Chip and the others in your prayers

Some of you may know my literary agent, Chip Macgregor. On many occasions, I have quoted his wisdom on this blog.

Last week, Chip and several others were in a horrible multi-car wreck. He was hosting a group of graduating college seniors on a field trip to visit some publishers, when they slid on a snowy road and collided with a semi. They were also rear-ended; eight cars were involved altogether.

Lucky to be alive, Chip's home recuperating. He's finally been well enough to share an update on his blog.

Please continue to keep Chip and the rest in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Publishing is a gamble

Even in the best of times, nobody really knows any surefire ways to make a book sell. But that doesn't keep publishers from trying to figure it out: The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller (NYT)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Because I'm just that great

I've finally broken down and launched my own "fan" page on Facebook. Click here and join!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Donald Westlake 1933-2008

Crime fiction great Donald Westlake passed away this past New Year's Eve. Over his almost 50 years as a published author, Westlake wrote than 100 books and 5 screenplays, receiving three Edgar Awards, the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America, and an Academy Award nomination for screenplay. The prolific author wrote several comic caper novels starring hardluck professional thief John Dortmunder, and under the pen name Richard Stark wrote a series about anti-hero and criminal Parker. Westlake was 75.

Tributes abound on the Internet, including Lee Goldberg's A Writer's Life, and Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind (which posts an entire page of links).

Related: Adapting Richard Stark's PARKER

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


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 Watch the trailer on YouTube.