Safe Inside the Violence nominated for an Anthony Award

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In a bit of belated blogging news...SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE has been nominated for an Anthony Award for Best Anthology or Collection! Couldn't be more thrilled, humbled and honored to see it listed alongside such a fantastic line up of nominees - especially Protectors 2, which features my short story, "Snapshots."

BEST ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION Safe Inside the Violence - Christopher Irvin [280 Steps] Protectors 2: Heroes-Stories to Benefit PROTECT - Thomas Pluck, editor [Goombah Gumbo] Thuglit Presents: Cruel Yule: Holiday Tales of Crime for People on the Naughty List - Todd Robinson, editor [CreateSpace] Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon Anthology 2015 - Art Taylor, editor [Down & Out] Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds - Kenneth Wishnia, editor [PM]

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Check out Bouchercon 2016 for the full list of Awards.

Art Taylor quickly pulled us together last week for a little chat on short fiction. Check it out at SleuthSayers and give these books a look!

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See you in New Orleans!

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.

REVIEW: Dead Animals

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C.S. DeWildt's new collection of short fiction, DEAD ANIMALS, boasts a mix short stories and flash fiction - 34 tales ranging from a paragraph to several pages in length. As a fan of his previous work (see my review of his novella, CANDY and CIGARETTES) I'd been looking forward to DeWildt's next release. The 'Rural Noir' vibe of DEAD ANIMALS drags the grit and dust of the Southwestern United States under a magnifying glass. Dark vignettes that make you think and tales with shades of neo-noir that have you cringing as you turn the page to see what's around the bend. DEAD ANIMALS is bleak, twisted, and not afraid to take risks. It's a haunting journey with surprisingly real characters - sometimes wonderfully odd, almost bizarre, but believable. DeWildt's work is a great mix of "writing what you know" and pushing the boundaries of what readers will accept. Overall, DEAD ANIMALS delivers some of my favorites moments in short fiction that I've read this year (and I've read A LOT.) Recommended for fans of dark fiction and neo-noir.

Some of my favorite stories were: The Bull, Bad Habits, A Favor Returned, Corbin's Dream Takes Flight, The Yard Sale, Tu's Chicken, A Bottle Room Can Save a Marriage.

E-book and soft cover editions of DEAD ANIMALS available here.