Forsooth, I say Sleuth! My first post at SleuthSayers: A Change of Place

I am honored to join the crew at SleuthSayers, a crime fiction crew that consists of Robert Lopresti, Leigh Lundin, O’Neil de Noux, Art Taylor, Angela Zeman, and many more.

My first post draws on my vacation this month in Germany and the surrounding countries, and how a change of place inspires some of us to write, while many can spin a vivid tale of cities they’ve never visited. Here it is, A Change of Place. Please drop in and comment, I’ll be responding all day.

 

Boogie on into the MysteryPeople Top Ten!

If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I’m currently touring Germany, Luxembourg, Salzburg, Belgium, and the Netherlands (and yes, there will be a novel or two inspired by this trip). Firecracker and I are having a great time, but was topped by finding that Scott Montgomery not only gave Bad Boy Boogie a stellar review which you can you read here, but also put it among his top ten books of 2017  with The Force by Don Winslow, She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper, and Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman!

Peruse his list for some great reading. The Force is amazing, and Shotgun kicks off with a blast… Paper Moon meets Pulp Fiction.

Scott’s Top Ten of 2017 (So Far)

I may celebrate with a beer… Prost, Scott!

 

Buried Under Books reviews Bad Boy Boogie

Buried Under Books reviewed my Jay Desmarteaux crime thriller BAD BOY BOOGIE:

“Jay is a complex man and the author truly brings him to life, this ex-con with a hard outer shell that’s slightly penetrated by the life he finds on the outside after 25 years on the inside. There’s a considerable amount of graphic violence, including sexual, here but it’s understandable although this man’s sense of justice is often very different from yours and mine. This is a book that could have resided in the old black & white, hardboiled days just as well as today and I suspect I’ll remember Jay and his story for a long, long time.”

Read the full review at Buried Under Books.

Joey Ramone on my Atari!

When I was thirteen, me and my friends Jeff and Lonnie started a software company. Not Apple, Microsoft… we were Eclipse Software Productions, and we wrote software for Atari personal computers (not the game consoles, the 800, 800XL, ST, etc). We started by creating images for Broderbund Software’s The Print Shop, which let you print greeting cards, flyers, and so on, on your noisy dot matrix printer. By the end we were writing primitive Word Processing and Check Balancing programs for cheap, selling them all on a floppy disk for $10 when the professional versions cost $49.99 each.

We made a few hundred bucks over a year or so, but we didn’t stick with it, and went our separate ways. As I dive into ’80s nostalgia for a book project, this all came back to me, and one of my favorite memories as a computer nerd in that time was when my hero Joey Ramone appeared in K-Power magazine, a rag for Apple, Atari, TRS-80, and Commodore 64 users and programmers. He gave them an unrecorded demo called “S.L.U.G.” and the staff wrote a BASIC program that would play the tune in all its 8-bit glory, while the lyrics blinked in time to the music. I keyed it in and was overjoyed! The Ramones! on my Atari 800XL! Totally awesome! (that’s ’80s speak for “OMG”). The song is hilariously silly, a love song about a slug, in the ’50s doo-wop vein. It would go really well with a viewing of Slither.

Here are the pages from the magazine with an interview with Joey. If you want the programs to try out on an emulator, the whole issue of K-Power is archived here. Click to embiggen:

Listen to the 8-bit version. But what did it sound like, really? When the Ramones released their “All the Stuff, and More” collections in the late ’90s, the original demo of “S.L.U.G.” was included:

And here’s a video of Joey singing it live in 1998, a few years before he died.

Joey was a hero of mine, a gangly goof who became a legendary rock star by being true to himself and singing about what he wanted, not what was expected of him. And he’s buried in the same cemetery as my grandmother:

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Writer Types Podcast: Summer Reads

While I was in California, Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden, the crime fiction duo behind the Writer Types podcast, were kind enough to interview me. If you’re not into podcasts, Eric and Steve are both professional editors, so they know how to cut the chaff. They do a great interview, and we had lots of fun. Also in this episode are Meg Gardiner, John Rector, Jordan Harper, and Angel Luis Colón. Listen to it here.

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A Sense of Wonder: Wonder Woman and Sincerity

Over at Do Some Damage, I talk about Wonder Woman, and director Patty Jenkins on sincerity. I loved the movie, let me tell you why.

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Panel at the New York Public Library, 6/8

What are you doing next Thursday? I’ll be on a panel with one of my favorite writers, Laura K. Curtis, discussing the Decision to Self-Publish, at the New York Public Library’s Ottendorfer Branch, at 5:30pm.

I know, I lost you when I said “Ottendorfer.”  The Ottendorfer Branch isn’t a secretive government agency, despite how it sounds. It’s the original branch of the New York Public Library, donated in 1884 by Oswald Ottendorfer, who ran a German-American newspaper. And holy cats, look at those muttonchops. They’re practically full-grown sheep:

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Oswald Ottendorfer

The panel is titled Self-Publishing: Is it Right for You? and Curtis and I will be discussing that decision and answering questions, as we have both had our books published traditionally and self-published them:

Have you considered self-publishing as an outlet for your work? Can’t decide whether to do it yourself or wait for an agent or a publisher to help you? Laura K. Curtis and Thomas Pluck, who have written short stories and novels in multiple genres, and who have both published independently and with traditional presses, discuss the pros and cons of self-publishing. What questions should you ask yourself before deciding to send your work out into the world yourself? What strategies will give it the best shot at success? They’ll answer all your questions about the brave new world of publishing!

As these debates get “lively,” it should be a good time. I’ll have copies of my traditionally published crime thriller Bad Boy Boogie, and my self-published adventure novel Blade of Dishonor on hand for taste tests.

Where:

The Ottendorfer Library, 135 Second Avenue, Manhattan

When: Thursday June 8th, 5:30pm