DON'T GET CAUGHT with Kurt Dinan

Annnnnd we're back! It's been difficult to keep up with the blog as of late, but I have some plans to keep it going, beginning with a series of interviews of some friends and colleagues with books coming out this spring. We're kicking things off with KURT DINAN and his YA debut novel, DON'T GET CAUGHT, which hits the stands on April 1st - tomorrow! Nice marketing trick for a book about pranks, eh? Well played, SourceBooks.

Kurt Dinan

You may recall Kurt giving me the third degree on his blog a few months ago. Here I return the favor, though I gotta tell you - it's tough when a book is so great. Yes, Kurt is a fantastic writer and a good friend of mine, so I'm biased...BUT prior to cracking DON'T GET CAUGHT I hadn't read much (if any) YA and just a few of Kurt's short stories, so I felt pretty good going in blind. Kurt kills it in his debut. You should grab this book because it's a ton of fun, but also for Kurt's use of voice, handling of an ensemble/team and tight plotting. Early reviews are excellent (especially over on Goodreads, where the book has been on fire for months.) But enough of this sweet praise. Read on!

Don't Get Caught

Chris: YA fans are over-the-moon for DON'T GET CAUGHT. What's going on here? Give a quick pitch and sell the rest of us on this big debut.

Kurt: The quick pitch: DON'T GET CAUGHT is a fast-paced, funny, and prank-filled caper novel about a group of outcasts out for revenge.  Or if you want the Hollywood elevator pitch, it's Ocean's 11 meets The Breakfast Club, but with a lot more dick jokes.  At least that was my intention when I wrote it.

Chris: Mmmmm, I smell a movie. Speaking of which, the voice of the narrator, Max Cobb, (my favorite aspect of the book) screamed film voice-over in the best way, taking me back to movies like The Sandlot and Stand By Me, among others. How did you go about developing it? Balancing the innocence and teenager hijinx. Did it naturally roll off onto the page?

Kurt: Oh man, I'm glad to hear that because I struggle with voice so much.  I honestly don't think it was until the 4th or 5th draft where I finally heard his voice and could write it.  If I remember correctly, I think it was writing, "This is a terrible idea.  It's stupid, irresponsible, and borderline suicidal.  But I'm going anyway"  as my opening lines where everything clicked.  Now, those lines don't start the novel in the final draft, but something in there made Max come to life.  After that, I had to go rewrite the whole novel to fit that voice, but it was fun work because I finally had it.

Chris: That's some serious persistence! Was fine tuning the voice part of the process of finding your footing writing YA fiction? What was it like moving from Horror to YA? Or were you always writing both?

Kurt: The move from horror to YA was easy because if I'm being honest, horror wasn't a good fit for me.  Like a lot of people I know, I spent my high school years reading Stephen King.  So when I started writing I wrote what I knew best.  I had some success with a few horror stories, yeah, but I learned that I'm not really that dark of a guy by nature, and it's hard for me to get myself in the right place to write that way.  YA though?  Writing smart-assed, euphemism-slinging, antiauthoritarian teenagers?  That's much more natural for me.

Chris: Speaking of smart-assed, euphemism-slinging, antiauthoritarian teenagers - you feature quite a few pranks in this book. What was the process like inventing them? Any you had to scrap during the editorial process?

Kurt: I did a lot of research on pranks, and then steroided them out to make them bigger and better.  The fun part was figuring out how to make a team pull the prank off, and then write it in such a way that the reader doesn't know exactly what's being done until the very end of the chapter.  I like to think of myself as a problem solver, so it was a fun exercise with each prank, thinking, "Okay, how exactly would you make such and such happen?"  I did scrap one prank from an early draft in which the Chaos Club had turned around the first ten rows of seats in the auditorium so that everyone faced each other like in a subway car.  I ditched that scene just to get the novel moving faster.  And at one point Wheeler had a different prank than the one he pulls in the novel, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.  I do know that I wrote the prank he pulls on the football practice field on the writers' retreat where you and I met.  My only goal that weekend was to write that chapter, and I was worried I wouldn't get it finished.  I was in such a prank planning mode though that I knocked it out in a few hours, a first for me.

Chris: That was a great writers' retreat! I'm glad to hear you got some serious work done...unlike myself. It's all about the social interaction though, right? I'll keep telling myself that. Any retreats/conventions/tours lined up for this year? I saw you hit the big time at the American Bookseller Association's Winter Institute in Denver back in January.

Kurt: I just found out my book release party is on April 6th here in Cincinnati, so I'm looking forward to that.  I'm also a guest at the Ohioana Book Festival in April, and the Pickerington Teen Book Festival in June.  There are a couple of others in Ohio I'm hoping to attend as well.  But yeah, the ABA Winter Institute was big time, and I spent most of my time looking over my shoulder worried that the book police were going to arrest me for slumming.  I know you're supposed to "act like you've been there" and all of that, but putting me in a signing room with Richard Russo and Kwame Alexander is a bit ridiculous.

Chris: Getting back to the kids for a moment - I was on a panel the other day at Boskone and we were discussing the idea that every character in a story is a hero, that they have their own story where they are they hero, even if it isn't the main narrative. I think this idea applies to DON'T GET CAUGHT in how you really developed the whole cast. They have their own struggles, problems at school/home in addition to the group's goal/conflict throughout the book. How did you go about developing each story? Do you have a favorite?

Kurt: It's funny you brought this up because I gave each of the five characters an arc thinking I had to.  It wasn't until I got into revising that my agent and editor both told me I didn't have to go to that length.  But I love ensemble casts and used The Breakfast Club as a template.  By the end of that film you know a good amount of each of those characters.  I wanted each member of the Water Tower 5, the kids looking for revenge in the novel, to each have his/her motivation for doing what they do.  Of those five, I think I like Wheeler's arc the most.  I like the idea of the classic screw-up deciding to turn things around while still not changing who he is at his core.  Like Wheeler says, he upgrades who he is, but doesn't do a new install.  So he can be more responsible without being completely responsible, which no one would like.

Chris: I love that line about upgrading versus a new install.

It wasn't until I got into revising that my agent and editor both told me I didn't have to go to that length.

I find this statement fascinating as it reads to me like they said the book was good enough as is and that you didn't need to go the extra mile. Could this be attributed to the YA market/readership? Can you expand on this a little? Terrible plans, eh? Keeping them in high school? Do you envision ever taking these characters post high school?

Kurt: In an early revision note, I'd been asked to make Stranko, the vice principal, and sort-of-antagonist in the novel, a little less moustache-twirly.  I humanized him some, and then wondered if I needed to do the same with the other four characters in Max's crew.  I'd given them all arcs on purpose, but wasn't sure if I'd gone far enough.  I was told, yep, you're fine.  Actually, giving those characters arcs is what helped me figure out the pranks.  Adleta, the lacrosse player with the terrible father, had to have a sports-related prank, and Malone, with her sexting scandal, had to get revenge on the girl who sent her picture around.  It really was pretty helpful.

Keeping anyone in high school is torture, for sure, but as much as I dig these characters, I'm not planning to write about their post-high school lives.  I would at least like to mess around with them during the senior year though.

Chris: You know every interview is going to bring up the sequel(s). Anything outlined/planned out? What's next?

Kurt: I have the basic idea for a sequel, and know a few of the pranks that will be pulled and why.  I've started an outline and even some of the writing, which is a fun task because I like these characters so much.  Hopefully I get approached to write a sequel soon because I have terrible plans for all of these characters.  I mean, there have to be repercussions for the pranks they pulled, right?  Do any of us really ever truly get away with anything?

Chris: Do any of us really ever truly get away with anything? - now that's a hell of tag line for a sequel. I'll let you have the final word!

Kurt: The last word?  Okay, I can do that.  Look, reader of Chris' blog, I get it, you read a lot of crime, and, like Chris, maybe you don't read a lot of YA.  But here's the thing, I read a lot of crime, too.  In fact, I pretty much bow at the altar of Donald Westlake, the master of the comic caper novel.  DON'T GET CAUGHT is in that vain, just with high school kids and a lot more dick jokes.  If you happen to read the novel and not like it, Chris promises he'll refund your money.  What a good guy he is!

Get your copies of DON'T GET CAUGHT

LOCAL

AMAZON

Post a review of SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE and be entered to win a copy of BURN CARDS!

sitv-header Happy Wednesday, folks.

As you all know, reviews are a difference maker when it comes to visibility for books, doubly so for small press and lesser known authors.

In an effort to drum up some reviews, 280 Steps has put together a little promotion:

Post a review of SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE on Amazon or Goodreads by 3/31 and be entered for a chance to win one of five copies of BURN CARDS.

***AND paperback copies of SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE are currently 34% off on Amazon***

It's madness, I tell you!

Check out the details HERE - good luck and thanks as always for your support.

Back to work!

RECAP TIME! On to 2016

Bent Eight I've been neglecting the blog a bit as of late. Between the holidays and kicking off the new year with a new book, I've let things slide. BUT IT'S NEVER TOO LATE, KIDS. NEVER!

Here we go!

2015 was pretty rad.

My second novella, BURN CARDS, dropped in April from 280 Steps, followed by my debut short story collection, SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, in November, also with 280 Steps.

SitV-wraparound BURNCARDS

On the comics front - my first full-length issue, CHARRED KRAKEN, based on my short story, "Charred Kraken with Plum Butter," hit ComiXology in December. I also did a small print run, which turned out really well (and which you can still hit me up for!) I wrote a lot more...but it's all still in development or on the DL. Fingers crossed for some progress this year.

I highlighted some of my favorite reads of the year over at Spinetingler Mag.

Speaking of 'best of' lists...

Ian Rogers picked BURN CARDS as a favorite novella of the year.

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE landed on lists from Paul Tremblay, Gabino Iglesias and Scott Adlerberg.

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE also recently received two wonderful reviews - one from Papercuts J.P. over at Literary Hub, and the other over on Crime Syndicate Magazine.

And I kicked off the year chatting with Pam Stack on Authors on the Air, and the crew over at Miskatonic Musings.

I can't thank you all enough for the support and kind words over the past year, especially when it comes to SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE. It still feels a bit unreal to see how well people connect with the collection, and the variety of stories that are singled out as favorites.

NEXT UP!

2/19 Noir at the Bar Boskone! Cohosting with Errick Nunnally, featuring Dana Cameron, Christopher Golden, James Moore, John Langan, Sarah Langan, Paul Tremblay, and Melinda Snodgrass.

2/20 Boskone Panels

Hidden Heroes 10:00 - 10:50, Harbor III (Westin)

Sometimes the hero of a story isn't its true protagonist. A commonly accepted example is Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings, who more and more centers the action as the story concludes. What other examples occur to us? Why might an author choose to focus on someone other than the hero? Can the hero ever be the antagonist?

How Story Works 11:00 - 11:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton claims in his TedX talk that "the fundamental promise of a story is that this tale will lead somewhere that is worth your time." Is there more to story than a well-told promise? What is story? How is it constructed? What compels us to consume story in all its forms?

2/26 Reading at KGB Bar in Manhattan 7:00 - 9:00pm

Prime Time Crime - heading down to NYC for a reading with Scott Adlerberg and Jason Starr.

Hope to see you guys out there!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more posts on books, WIP updates, interviews, and more as I get back into gear.

LIVE on Authors on the Air - TONIGHT

First off - I'm WAY overdue for a blog update (it's coming this week...promise) interview

BUT in the mean time, you can find me live with the wonderful Pam Stack tonight on Authors on the Air Radio. Stream the interview HERE, and if you'd like, you can call into the show at 347-633-9609. We'll talk SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, books, crime fiction, you name it.

Should be fun! I've listened to many of Pam and Tom Pitt's interviews and they are all excellent.

More soon!

December Giveaway! aka Got Reviews?

IMG_8762 I love small press. I can't say enough good things about 280 Steps and their support for SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE over the past few months. It's been a lot of fun and I hope some of the momentum carries over into 2016 and beyond.

But as writer and proprietor of Broken River Books, J David Osborne, described so honestly in his recent blog post - Money Money Money Money (Cha-Ching) - there's only so much a small press can do. It's also on the author to drive sales and promotion of their work.

So what works? How does one do this effectively? I'm not sure anyone really knows. I'm repeatedly followed, unfollowed, and followed again on Twitter by "best-sellers" with thousands of followers in an attempt to make a quick buck. Then there's the relatively recent trend on Facebook to treat it as an impersonal selling tool as well, becoming 'friends' with as many strangers as possible in hope of increasing one's audience. I'm not sure how successful either of these strategies are, but they are too hard a sell for me. Everyone draws a different line in the sand. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have people who won't market at all and criticize those who do. It's impossible to please everyone, especially when there is no clear answer to the question - what makes books sell?

Reviews help, that's for sure. Online, in print, word of mouth - all drive algorithms and discussion that can only boost a book's signal. With that in mind, I have a deal for you:

Leave an honest review for SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE by 12/13 and be entered to win a copy of WHAT HAPPENED HERE: Year One at Papercuts J.P. - a compilation of exclusive works by authors who visited Papercuts J.P., Boston's newest independent bookstore, in its first year - featuring my story, "The Push," a pseudo-sequel to "Digging a Deep," (from Safe Inside the Violence) as well as work from Paul Tremblay, Jennifer Tseng, Rory Flynn, Catie Disabato, and many more. 300+ pages of pure AWESOME.

Where? On a blog, newspaper, Amazon, Goodreads, the palm of your left hand in permanent marker. Be creative, I don't judge. Tell your people and spread the good word!

On Monday, 12/14 I'll randomly pull a name and announce the winner here.

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Thank you all for your continued support!

Kicking off the Holiday Season and Keeping it Local

Happy Holidays! (too early? yeah...it's too early) BUT, this year I'm doing a little something special so I'm getting the word out in advance. I'm a big proponent in buying locally, especially books, and this year I finally put my money where my mouth is and purchased 99% of my books (a lot...seriously) from independent bookstores in and around Boston (most from the excellent Papercuts J.P.).

In an effort to expand this momentum, I have a deal for you!

If you purchase SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE from an independent bookstore between now and the end of the month, I'll mail you a *free* limited edition chapbook featuring four stories that didn't make the cut (due to length or theme, really) and killer artwork by my friend Joe DellaGatta.

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Joe did the piece above a few years ago (as you can see by his signature block) for a time when I almost self-published my story "Bet It All On Black" - but I gave it one more shot and it was picked up by Thuglit. (hooray!) So now I can finally put this fantastic piece (and another for the back of the Chapbook) to use!

SO HOW DOES THIS WORK?

1) Purchase/Order a copy of SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE from your local, independent shop.

2) Take a photo and toss it somewhere on social media, or send me a PM. (But really, who doesn't like to share?)

3) I'll hit you up for your address and sometime between now and December 24th you'll have a chapbook in hand to read to your loved ones on Christmas morning/Annual Secular Story Time morning. (See, I got you covered)

But Chris! What if I have no local bookstores? That's a huge bummer, but luckily Brookline Booksmith has a plethora of signed copies AND SHIPS. Boom.

But Chris! I already bought a copy from my local bookstore. Well, you're awesome - more awesome than most. So why not buy a second copy as a gift? A book for a friend, a chapbook for you. Sounds like a winner to me.

Now go out there and support your community!

PS - I'll be at Papercuts J.P. on 11/28 from 3-4pm for Small Business Saturday to push copies of SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, AND an awesome selection of books by some of my favorite authors. See you then!

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Week One Recap

Whew! Made it through a whirlwind of a release week. Thank you all so much for your amazing support, especially to those who came out to the launch party (packed house!) last Friday at Papercuts J.P. I couldn't have wished for a better night. Here are a couple pics from the event (by Jabari Asim)

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and another by Papercuts J.P.

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In other news, SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE received two incredibly kind reviews last week. I'm still pinching myself (and dreading...in a good way, the novel I need to rewrite this winter):

From LitReactor, where the reviewer called the book "a collection everyone should read — particularly if you’ve ever dreamed of writing this kind of fiction."

And MyBookishWays: "In his short story collection, ‘Safe Inside the Violence’, Irvin provides more proof that he may be the best new writer on the crime scene today."

Reviews have started to trickle into Goodreads and Amazon as well (thank you!) It's exciting to see the variety of stories readers report as their favorites, or those that stuck with them. Like all authors, I greatly appreciate the time and effort it takes to leave a review. I'm not sure anyone is certain how they function in the algorithms of these sites, but they certainly give books a boost. Thank you for spreading the word.

Hope to see you Wednesday at Brookline Booksmith!

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Pub Day!

SitV-wraparound It's alive!

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE is now available through Amazon and your favorite independent bookstores (Give them the title or one of the ISBNs and you should be good to go.)

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE ISBN-10: 8293326700 ISBN-13: 978-8293326700

Alex Segura interviewed me for his newsletter, Stuff & Nonsense. You can check out the interview HERE, but I also recommend subscribing. His weekly interviews (every Friday) cover a wide range of creatives and are always worth checking out. Do iiittttt.

I also received a bit of local coverage in the JP Gazette.

Here's my updated schedule through the holidays, including new stops in Libertyville, IL (north of Chicago) and Columbus, OH.

11/13 – Launch Party at Papercuts J.P. @ 7pm

11/18 – Reading event with Jason Starr at Brookline Booksmith @ 7pm

11/27 – Black Friday Signing at Dreamland Comics, Libertyville, IL @ 1-3pm

12/3 – Mystery Night signing event at the New England Mobile Book Fair @ 6-7pm

12/21 – Noir at the Bar Columbus at Kafe Kerouac @ 7pm (more details coming soon!)

As always, thank you all so much for your support and spreading the word. The run up to the book's release has been wonderful, and I hope you enjoy the collection. Thoughts/comments/reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are much appreciated!

See you on the road.

One Week!

One week until SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE hits the shelves! safe-inside-the-violence

A pair of early reviews - Karen on Goodreads and Scott Adlerberg on Out of the Gutter - have some incredibly nice things to say about the collection.

It was fun doing interviews for FEDERALES and BURN CARDS, but no one really put the screws to me with difficult questions - forcing me to reflect on my style, where the material comes from, my process, etc - until now. SW Lauden and Kurt Dinan do just that.

Check out the conversation with Kurt on his Oftentimes Un-Updated Blog, and my interrogation by SW Lauden, 13 questions on 13 stories, at his site, Bad Citizen Corporation.

Updated list of events:

11/13 - Launch Party at Papercuts J.P. @ 7

11/18 - Reading event with Jason Starr at Brookline Booksmith @ 7

12/3  - Mystery Night signing event at the New England Mobile Book Fair @ 6-7

Thanks again to everyone for their support. See you in a week!

15 minutes of Reddit Fame

I'm settling into work this morning when a friend posts a link to the below photo on my Facebook wall: Safe_Adlerberg

Hey! It's a wonderful photo of Scott Adlerberg and his son reading together in NYC...and he's reading my book! Pretty cool, I think. Then things get a bit surreal. The photo (as of this posting) has now been viewed over 1.3 million times on imgur.com, spawned multiple threads on Reddit - BIG and small - even trending to #1 on the site.

The comments run the gamut of love and hate, speculation as to how Scott has a book that hasn't been released yet (BEAR IS DRIVING! HOW CAN THIS BE?) and arguments over whether or not the photo should have been taken and/or posted (over 1,000 comments as of this posting on the larger of the two threads.)

Scott's a friend and a terrific writer. He plans to touch on these events over at Do Some Damage in the near future, so I'll let the star of the show tackle his internet fame and use the rest of this space to clue you in on his books:

Check out his novella, JUNGLE HORSES, and forthcoming novel GRAVEYARD LOVE.

Jungle Horses is a hell of a tale that will take you on a mind-bending trip, and while you have to wait until early 2016 for Graveyard Love (I had the privilege of recently reading an ARC) you're in for something special. I won't spoil an ounce of plot, but there are echoes of both Les Edgerton's THE RAPIST and Tom McCarthy's REMAINDER in the best possible ways. Grab 'em while their hot and tell your friends.

Until next time.

Never a dull moment.

Bouchercon Bound & MORE

Greetings! I've been a bit absent from the blog (a new baby will knock it to the bottom on the list of priorities...) but I'm gearing up for Bouchercon and a busy fall with the release of my debut short story collection, SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, so here goes a quick update:

BOUCHERCON!

No panels or readings for me (yet?) but I'll be dropping off a huge stack of ARCs and milling around the convention/bars for the long weekend. Thursday night's Noir at the Bar hosted by Eryk Pruitt is a must, as well as Tom Pitt's interview of Les Edgerton and Jack Getze on Friday. Looking forward to seeing a lot of great friends. Crime writers are the best.

I'll also have some copies of CHARRED KRAKEN for sale. $5 for 28 pages of kick ass weird noir with art by Artyom Trakanov, colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letters by Thomas Mauer!

Charred Kraken_layout

Still want a copy but not going to be at Bouchercon? Got you covered. The following weekend I'll have a table at...

MICE

October 17-18 - FREE comic con at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'll be hanging at table D12 (Doucet Hall) with my buddy Joe DellaGatta. A lot of fantastic creators on the list this year. Come out and say hello!

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And last but not least...

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE TOUR

The Goodreads page is GO and pre-order is up on Amazon for paperback and e-book. Want to order from your local independent? Not a problem - they should be able to order it now as well, if not in the next week.

In the pipeline:

10/22  Noir at the Bar Boston V at Trident Booksellers & Cafe

11/13  Launch Party at Papercuts J.P.

11/18  Brookline Booksmith - author event with Jason Starr

I'm hoping to do a little Black Friday signing in the Libertyville/Vernon Hills area north of Chicago, and a Noir at the Bar Columbus (Ohio) close to Christmas. Stay tuned!

WHAT HAPPENED HERE

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One of the most exciting additions to Jamaica Plain in the last year has been Papercuts J.P.

Not only have they won recognition from the Boston Globe Magazine as Best of the New, from the Improper Bostonian as the Best Book Nook, and hosted a fantastic selection of authors, both local and from across the country - they've also been incredibly supportive of my writing. (See you in November!)

What better way to kick off a one year anniversary than with an exclusive collection?

WHAT HAPPENED HERE: Year One at Papercuts J.P.

Papercuts J.P is using Inkshares to publish an exclusive 300+ page collection of new and collected works from the authors that supported the store during its first year. I'm excited to be contributing a story in support of such a wonderful store - one that gave a serious booster shot to both my reading and writing. The story ties to a new piece I wrote for SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE (more on that later...) so it's safe to say if you are a fan of my previous work, you'll definitely want to consider pre-ordering a copy - not to mention for heavy-hitters including Abigail Thomas, author of A THREE DOG LIFE, and Chris Hedges, New York Times bestselling author of WAGES OF REBELLION.

Speaking of pre-orders - if you click the link above you'll see that the way Inkshares operates is by pre-order:

What this means, simply, is that this book will only be published if we can collect 1000 preorders of our book. We believe we can do this with your help! We have identified a strategic plan to get buzz building around our project and know this can happen if we work together, from the ground up. Publishing through Inkshares allows readers (you!) to decide what gets published—not editors or agents. We need your help to make this happen and we will do our damnedest not to disappoint.

I hope you give WHAT HAPPENED HERE a shot, and be sure to stop in Papercuts J.P. when next in Boston/Jamaica Plain!

 

Protectors 2: Heroes

PROTECTORS 2: HEROES is now available for pre-order. I'm proud to be a part of a project supporting such an essential organization.

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I hope you guys check it out!

From editor, Thomas Pluck:

Here’s the full table of contents, from legends to rising stars to emerging writers, all who support PROTECT’s cause, protecting children from all kinds of abuse and exploitation. 100% of the proceeds are donated to Protect’s lobby. If you’re unfamiliar with PROTECT, they are the political lobby of the National Association to Protect Children, whose victories include the Circle of Trust act and the HERO Corps, which hires wounded veterans to assist law enforcement in hunting online predators.

Table of Contents: When!? by Linda Sarah The Questions by Alison Arngrim City Water by Allison Glasgow Black and White and Red All Over by David Morrell Silvia Reyes by P.J. Ward Plan B by Andrew Vachss Gatekeeper by Richard Prosch The Night Watch by Susan Schorn One Night in Brownsville by Gary Phillips Silverfish by S.J. Rozan Parental Guidance by Scott Adlerberg Superhero, With Crooked Nails by Rachael Acks Angel by Terrence McCauley Mr. Nance by Linda Rodriguez Something I Said by Bracken MacLeod El Puente by Rios de la Luz Mesquite by Graham Wynd Level 5 by C.R. Jahn On the Road to La Grange by Karina Cooper Reprisals: Enmity by John A. Curley The Whistler in the Graveyard by Chad Eagleton (illustration by Dyer Wilk) Solar Highway by S.A. Solomon Jibber Jabber by Reed Farrel Coleman Doll: A Poem by Jyl Anais Ion (illustrations by Jyl Anais Ion) Doggone Justice by Joe R. Lansdale The Occurrence of the Black Mirror by Teel James Glenn Sister Cecilia by Hilary Davidson Croatoan by Harlan Ellison® Little Howl on the Prairie by Thomas Pluck Things Held Dear by Neliza Drew 49 Foot Woman Straps It On by Laird Barron Moon Over the Midwest by Elizabeth Amber Love Sixth Floor by Albert Tucher Adamsville by Clare Toohey Point of View by Will Graham High Meadow Storm by Wayne Dundee Out of Context by Joelle Charbonneau Lone by Alex Segura (illustrations by Dennis Calero) Love and Valour on ‘the Victorian Titanic’ by Gill Hoffs Just Pretend by Martyn Waites Freak by Charles de Lint The New Heroes of the Old Fairgrounds by K.L. Pereira When the Hammer Comes Down by Josh Stallings Stretching Fifteen by Angel Luis Colón Bounty by Jerry Bloomfield Light-Bringer by Laura K. Curtis Hercules and the Spawn of the Titans by Michael A. Black How to Paint Your Dragon by Andrew D’Apice Don’t Fear the Ripper by Holly West Two Views by Tim Daly A Hundred Pearls by Errick Nunnally Snapshots by Christopher Irvin Deceit by Joyce Carol Oates The Perfect Weapon by Zak Mucha An Open Letter to the Children of the Secret by Dionysios Dionou Behavior is Truth by Gwyndyn T. Alexander Pigeons for Protect! by Linda Sarah

Friday Reads: The 280 Steps Sampler

Catch a sneak peek of SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE in the 280 Steps Sampler, as well new works from Ed Brock, Jonathan Ashley, Eric Beetner, Joe Ricker, and more.

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FEATURING...

Fall 2015

Safe Inside the Violence by Christopher Irvin Out of Mercy by Jonathan Ashley Thieves' Market by A.I. Bezzerides Long Haul by A.I. Bezzerides You Can Kill Anyone by Leonard Fritz Dirty Water by Marc E. Fitch To The Core by Josh K. Stevens Pale in Death by Ed Brock

New Releases

Delving Deeper by Josh K. Stevens Walkin' After Midnight by Joe Ricker HASHTAG by Eryk Pruitt Rumrunners by Eric Beetner Scratch the Surface by Josh K. Stevens Burn Cards by Christopher Irvin

Selected Backlist

The Cost of Doing Business by Jonathan Ashley Stumped by Rob Kitchin The Red Right Hand by Joel Townsley Rogers Music for the Dead by Luis Gutiérrez Maluenda A Night for Screaming by Harry Whittington The Shooting Gallery by Hugh C. Rae One-Eyed Jacks by Brad Smith The Carrier by Preston Lang Portrait in Smoke by Bill S. Ballinger Tough Luck L.A. by Murray Sinclair

Cover Reveal!

safe-inside-the-violence SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, a collection of short stories, available November 10 in Trade Paperback and eBook from 280 Steps. I'm very proud of how this book turned out - it's some of my most personal work - and I can't wait to share it with everyone in the fall. Stay tuned for more info!

Bonus - my first radio interview with Steven Nester on PRX for Poets of the Tabloid Murder went live this week. Steven is an excellent interviewer, and I had a lot of fun discussing BURN CARDS, noir, writing, and more. Check it out *HERE*

 

April/May Noir Catch-All

It's been a busy couple of months! Between travel and scribbling away furiously as deadlines approach, the blog has taken a backseat. Here's a short recap: Noir at the Bar Crew[Left to Right - Dale Phillips, Connie Johnson Hambley, Errick Nunnally, Chris Irvin, Tony McMillen, Bracken MacLeod, Mike Miner, Stona Fitch, Patrick Shawn Bagley]

Noir at the Bar Boston II was a great success. Nine authors read some stellar fiction in front of a big crowd. Beers were drank, books were raffled, good times were had. Here's a recap courtesy of Dale Phillips. Stay tuned for news on the next event - June 15th, 6-8pm at Trident Booksellers & Cafe.

papercutsjp

Speaking of fun, Independent Bookstore Day at Papercuts J.P. was a blast. Paul Tremblay and I read some of our favorite fiction by other writers that has inspired us (Shirley Jackson, Nathan Ballingrud) and had a great chat about crime and horror. Be sure to snag Paul's A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS when it drops in June!

Here's a shot Paul took of me talking to myself...err...my doing my thing..

Papercuts

Essay

Write The Individual - a short bit on me writing from a female first person POV, the Andrew Smith debacle and advice from Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Interviews

Terribleminds: Five Things I Learned Writing BURN CARDS

One Bite at a Time - Twenty Questions

Chatteriffic

Reviews

My Bookish Ways: Read This

Bracken MacLeod - I like my Noir dark, thank you very much!

Just A Guy That Likes To Read

Chris Dikes - Despair runs deep...

Goodreads

BB3_2

Locked and Loaded: Both Barrels 3

The third volume from Shotgun Honey is out! This baby was a ton of work and took a couple of delays to come together, but I'm proud of how it turned out. Give it a look - there is some fantastic stuff within.

Featuring 25 stories of crime:

“A Boy Like Billy” by Patricia Abbott “Border Crossing” by Michael McGlade “Looking for the Death Trick” by Bracken MacLeod “Maybelle’s Last Stand” by Travis Richardson “Predators” by Marie S. Crosswell “Twenty to Life” by Frank Byrns “So Much Love” by Keith Rawson “Running Late” by Tess Makovesky “Last Supper” by Katanie Duarte “Danny” by Michael Bracken “The Plot” by Jedidiah Ayres “What Alva Wants” by Timothy Friend “Time Enough to Kill” by Kent Gowran “Copas” by Hector Acosta “Yellow Car Punch” by Nigel Bird “Love at First Fight” by Angel Luis Colón “Traps” by Owen Laukkanen “Down the Rickety Stairs” by Alan Orloff “Blackmailer’s Pep Talk” by Chris Rhatigan “With a Little bit of Luck” by Bill Baber “As Cute as a Speckled Pup Under a Red Wagon” by Tony Conaway “Chipping off the Old Block” by Nick Kolakowski “Young Turks and Old Wives” by Shane Simmons “The Hangover Cure” by Seth Lynch “Highway Six” by John L. Thompson

cover

Bouchercon!

It's official - I'll be crashing Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, NC come October. AND my buddy Joe Clifford is up for TWO Anthony Awards - LAMENTATION (Best Novel) and TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND (Best Anthology or Collection) - the latter of which is extra-awesome as it features my story, "Death to My Hometown." Hope you see you there.

Until next time...thank you to everyone for your support of BURN CARDS. Can't wait to announce what's coming next.

BURNCARDS

 

 

Tonight! Independent Bookstore Day @ Papercuts J.P.

papercutsjp Today is Independent Bookstore Day AND Free Comic Book Day - so get out there and support some local biz!

I'll be at Papercuts J.P. tonight at 6:00pm with Paul Tremblay, reading some of our favorite short stories by other authors that inspire us, and talking crime and horror. Both of us will be hanging around afterward for the late night festivities. Check out the full day of events planned for Papercuts J.P., beginning at 11:00am with free muffins from neighboring Blue Frog Bakery and live music.

Papercuts J.P. will also have free copies of the EXPATRIATE zine Ricardo and I put together last year - updated with stunning colors by Mat Lopes. Grab 'em while they last!