Reading at KGB Bar 8/12

downloadI’ll be reading at the KGB Bar in Manhattan, one of the best literary hangouts in the city, with my fellow Mystery Writers of America authors Rich Zahradnik, Annamaria Alfieri, Lokke Heiss, Sterling Savage, and Sylvia Di Saverio. It’s a topically themed space with a fine selection of Russian beers that are hard to find elsewhere, on the Lower East Side near lots of great places to eat. It’s at: 85 E 4th St, New York, New York 10003

The readings begin at 6:30pm and end when James Bond kills us all with a swizzle stick.

I’m also up at Sleuth Sayers today: Sometimes a review is a plum, other times it’s the pits…

 

Farley’s Bookshop with Jen Conley, Saturday 8/5

Tomorrow I will be signing at Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania, with fellow Jersey author Jen Conley. If you haven’t read her excellent story collection Cannibals and Other Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens, I suggest you correct this oversight posthaste and forthwith and whatnot. She is a fine writer, one of my favorite short story writers. She has a great story in Protectors called “Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry” that she’s expanded into a middle-grade novel, seeking representation. I can’t wait to read it.

We’ll be signing from 1pm to 4pm. Farley’s is a great little bookshop in a quirky little town that is fun to visit, so make a short trip this Saturday and enjoy the lovely weather, and pick up a few books! It’s at 44 South Main Street. You can park by the canal.

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they also have a cat, so you have to come pet it.

If you missed it, I reviewed Lou Berney’s wonderful The Long and Faraway Gone over at Do Some Damage. It deserves all its accolades. Maybe you can buy a copy at Farley’s…

I’ll have Bad Boy Boogie and Blade of Dishonor and Protectors on hand, myself. And I might be persuaded to drop by Triumph Brewing afterwards…

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Poker, Television, and a visit to New Hope

Over at Ellery Queen Magazine’s blog, Peter Hochstein asked me and a few other crime writers about what makes poker such an interesting game. He also talks about a 57-year running game that’s had Lawrence Block, Don Westlake, and Otto Penzler at its table. An intriguing read…

And Libby Cudmore is at Crimespree talking TV shows, and asked several of us our favorites. I talk about how Crime Story influenced me, and many others discuss everything from Murder She Wrote to NYPD Blue.

What else is new?

I’ll be signing at Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania with my fellow crime writer Jen Conley on Saturday August 5th, from 1:00pm to 4pm. It’s one of my favorite bookshops, so drop by even if you don’t want to see us or have us sign your books. I’ll be stopping at the nearby Triumph Brewing afterwards for a refreshing libation…

And they have a kitty. Come pet the kitty.

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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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