Friday, July 09, 2004

Got Text?

I've started a another blog called Got Text?. The first post includes the prologue to the next Kent Harrington book. It is my hope that other authors will allow me to preview their work here. Let me know your thoughts.

Charlie Stella Checks In

Charlie Stella responded to my post on Mosley today and I would like to take this moment to point you to his interview with Al Guthrie on Noir Originals.

I enjoyed reading about Charlie's viewpoint on the publishing trade, which I share, and what he and his wife do to get the books out. It just further emphasizes the fact that unless you are next Da Vinci Code, its not likely that these guys are going put a lot of money behind you to help to promote the book.

Kent Harrington - One of the great unknowns.

Last week I finished reading Kent's manuscript for yet to be published Red Jungle. This is by far his best work to date and its hard to believe that it doesn't have a home yet. Earlier this year Plots With Guns ran a sampler of this fantastic work under the title of Strangeways. If you dig this little teaser, the rest is an absolute treat!

Many of you may know Kent from his earlier dark noir novels such as Dia de los Muertos, which has been finally published in paperback by Capra Press. Check out what I think is one of the best covers (the foreign covers are cool too) of the year with the original first chapter placed back in and one of the most kick-ass forwards that I have ever read by James Crumley. Thanks to Rich Barre (author and associate publisher/editor at Capra for the great job!)

Each one of Kent's books are different. He is one of the few authors who can write outstanding standalone books and keep you wanting for more. He started with Dark Ride published by St. Martins in 1996. In this book, Jimmy Rogers, the all-American boy falls prey to his boss's wife and well, you just have to read this ampped-up psychosexual hard-boil novel to find out the rest.

Next up was Dia de los Muertos published by Dennis McMillan in 1997. Here we meet Vincent Calhoun, a DEA agent in Mexico, who does things his way. This novel explores Vincent's unraveling in Mexico on the Day of the Dead. Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. Many consider this one of the best noir novel ever. You can now add Harrington to the list of Thompson, Cain and Goodis. Good company, ha?

The American Boys in 2001, is a thriller and we get to meet CIA man Alex Law. Law is old-time CIA, not at all like the younger guys who do their work via computers, he relies on the old tried and true methods of first hand knowledge. This thriller involves following Alex tring to save his dignity and to uncover the consiracy to kill the president.

Next Kent switches gear with his fourth book The Tattooed Muse in 2001. This is an homage to Alfred Hitchcock in a complex story with many twists and turns involving a writing group in which one of it's members attempts to kill someone and ends up committing suicide. This is not only a look at the world of writing, but more about what runs deep inside the soul of people.

Its been now 3 years since Kent has any new material, but he gave us a small treat in Dennis McMillan's anniversary opus Measures of Poison in 2002. This is a short story collection editted by Dennis featuring all the authors he has published in over 20 years.

The question to be asked is how long before we see Red Jungle in print? In talking to Kent he has several other projects in the works and it would be great to see how else he will entertain us in the future. Kent is one of the best working authors around today but it seems unfortunately the fate of too many talented authors lies in the hands of the large publishing houses who seem to looking for the next block buster rather than be interested in nuturing talent authors and getting their work out their for a wider audience to read. Kent has something important to say with his powerful style of writing and I for one don't want to miss any of his thoughts.

Kent has graciously let me upload the prologue from Red Jungle for you to read. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Los Tres Amigos

The new issue of The Thrilling Detective is now live.

This issue feature for the first time Los Tres Amigos de Cabana Chicos. Ray Banks has a new Cal Innes story called Take Down The Union Jack, Dave White has a new Jackson Donne Mystery called Darkness on the Edge of Town and Jim Winter has a new Nick Kepler story called Roofies.

With this issue we are fortunate enough now to view 2 of the 3 Amigos. We wait with eager anticipation for the unmasking of Ray Banks sometime soon.

Also included in this issue is Tim Wohlforth's Jim Wolf Mystery called The Port of Missing Men.

All these stories were edited by fellow Cabana mate, the talented Gerald So.

As a special treat Ron Miller has treated us with a special summer download of Velda, she is my favorite stripper turned PI!

Thanks to Sarah for the heads up.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Walter Mosley

I'm off to see Walter Mosley and get some of my back stock signed. Pictures at 11 PM (PST).

I liked Man in the Basement, but what I really want to read is the next installment of EZ Rawlins.


Here are a few pixs from tonight's signing at Vromans in Pasadena.

Mosley read from his new book Little Scarlet for about 30 minutes. He then answered questions from the crowd of about 200. He mentioned that this week he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree along with Bill Clinton from City College of New York. The following are pictures from their website:

He has two new books coming out next year. 47 is a historical from the mid 1800's with a science fiction bend to it and Cinnamon Kiss will be the next Rawlins novel.

Mr. Mosley had some interesting comments on becoming a writer. When a woman from the audience asked how to go about writing, he told her to write everyday for 30 minutes to 3 hours. Review the work in about a year. When asked if he speaks to high school students, he answered NO. "They don't like me when I tells them you don't need to read to be a good writer, you just need to write!"

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Interesting Pixs

Last week our computer crashed, the victim of virus attacks and other nasty things. Now we have reformateed the hard drive, new virus software and my wife and kids getting use to a personal firewall, I'm back in business.

While reloading software and file back on to the hard drive I came across the missing picture I took during the Reagan funreal procession. From our house you can see the back of the Reagan library as it looks out over the valley.

This one pix has been around on other website and screensavers here in town. The two gruesome ones on the left are my boys.

Here are a few more of the actual processional about 1/4 mile from the Reagan Library. The processional was traveling about 45 mph.

To be politically balanced, I went to the Clinton signings last Satruday at Eso Won books in Baldwin Hills, a town west of LA. I waited in line for 4 hours to meet Mr. Clinton and get a book signed. I was able to take my three sons with me,however, the Secret Service would not allow any cameras in the store. In fact they had us remove all objects, including pens, paper, etc from our pockets and proceeded to wand us down with a metal detector. We got about 45 seconds to speak to him and the boys enjoyed it.

Steve Hamilton Signing

Yes Jim, I did get to visit with Steve Hamiliton. Steve was at Mysteries To Die For to sign stock and I was fortunate enough to catch him. During our 30 minute discussion we talked about his next book, a stand alone, vacation plans and some guy name James R. Winter.

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