Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011 everyone

Courtesy of Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, the greatest New Year's song ever:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kirkus Best of 2010

Kirkus Reviews has named GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER one of the best books of 2010. Here's a link to their original review.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"15 Songs" - The Covers

Here's a sneak peek at the custom individual covers for the five random CD mixes I'll be sending out this week as part of the "15 Songs" giveaway contest. Deadline to enter is this Thursday (12/16) at 5 p.m. To be eligible, just stop by my official FaceBook page and post the title and artist of the first album you ever bought. I'll pick at least seven (and maybe more) winners at random.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER trade paperback

The trade paperback edition of GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER - with a slightly tweaked cover (click above for larger view) - will be published by St. Martins/Minotaur Jan. 4, 2011. It's already available as a pre-order via Barnes & Noble, and will likely show up on Amazon and other sites before long as well. And, of course, the Kindle and Nook versions remain available.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The "15 Songs" giveaway

My friends know me as an inveterate mix-tape maker and frustrated DJ. I've put together mix tapes and CDs for more than three decades for friends and acquaintances, sometimes thematically assembled to mark certain events (weddings, birthdays, etc), or holidays (I made an Xmas music compilation for seven years). I even compiled a CD to mark the publication of my novel GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER.

A recent FaceBook exchange with author David Corbett got me thinking about this "15 Song" chain e-mail making the rounds. The rules of the game are simple: "(1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer. (2) Go to SHUFFLE mode. (3) Write down the first 15 songs that come up - title and artist. First rule - be honest! Don't keep shuffling forward for "cooler" songs. This is a 'getting to know you' exercise. NO editing/cheating, please."

So here's the idea: Go to my official FaceBook page and Like/Join it (if you haven't already), then post the title and artist of the first album you ever bought. In return, five respondents will get a free personal mix CD from me of 15 random songs automatically generated by the "Shuffle"function of my iTunes library, with a unique cover and complete track listing. In keeping with the spirit of it, the five winners will be chosen at random as well, and each will get a separately generated mix. In this case, iTunes will play DJ, and I'll adhere to the rules above. Everyone's eligible.

The selections will be suitably eclectic. However, be advised I have a huge CD collection. There are more than 4,000 songs in my iTunes library at the moment, and I'll be adding more this week. The selections may range anywhere from rare live Springsteen to Tom Waits outtakes to Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass film music, Wynonie Harris jump blues, Charlie Haden jazz and surf guitar instrumentals. In short, they could be anything. But I guarantee it'll be a fun listen.

I'll choose the winners next Thursday (12/16) at 5 p.m., burn the discs that day and mail them out shortly afterward in time for the holidays. Happy listening.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Kirkus review

(Click for larger image)

RT Reviews review

RT Reviews (formerly Romantic Times) reviews the very unromantic COLD SHOT TO THE HEART:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

TOWER raffle/Bad Thanksgiving contest

I'm raffling off a brand-new copy of Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman's brilliant (and Anthony-Award-winning) crime novel TOWER over at the official FaceBook page. Just join the page (if you haven't already) and list the *worst* place you ever spent Thanksgiving. I'll choose a winner at random this Friday (11/19) at 5 p.m.

UPDATE: Some of the responses so far have been so good - in a painful kind of way - that I'm also going to add a signed first-edition of the long out-of-print hardcover of THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE to the mix.

RED BAKER review - 7/22/85

From the vaults, one of the first things I ever published: A review of RED BAKER by Robert Ward. From the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, July 22, 1985 (click for larger - hopefully readable - image).

Monday, November 08, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Panic in Philly

Next Saturday (11/6) at 4:40 p.m. I'll be joining David Corbett for a panel discussion on "Reality & Noir: The Everyday Quality of Evil" as part of NoirCon 2010 at Philadelphia's Society Hill Playhouse. Other attendees include George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, Daniel Woodrell, Megan Abbott, Reed Farrel Coleman and many, many others.

(extra points to anyone who gets the allusion in this post title)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday night in New Brunswick

For all MWA members: I'll be guesting at the NJ-NY Chapter meeting this Wed. - Oct. 27 - at 6 p.m. at Tumulty's, 361 George St., in New Brunswick, talking about books, newspapers and other dying art forms. Dinner included. Cash bar. (732) 890-3581 or for details. I'll also be giving away books, including a brand new ARC of COLD SHOT TO THE HEART. All of this just blocks from my alma mater (or one of them anyway, I had a checkered college career).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alias Simon Quinn

In addition to being one of the great (and best-selling) thriller writers of the last 30 years, Martin Cruz Smith, as it turns out, is also a good sport.

I moderated a panel he was on at the BoucherCon World Mystery Convention in San Francisco last week (along with fellow panelists Andrew Klavan and Joseph Finder), and though we talked at length about his classic GORKY PARK and many other books (the most recent being THREE STATIONS), I also asked Smith about a paperback men's adventure series he had pseudonymously written in the early '70s.

Titled THE INQUISITOR, and written under the pen name "Simon Quinn," it followed the exploits of Francis Xavier Killy, a spy/assassin who works for the Vatican, the twist being that he's required to do penance every time he kills someone. Though obviously written quickly while Smith worked on other projects, the books were fun, and very well done, head and shoulders above most of the similar series of the time. They also had some great titles: THE LAST TIME I SAW HELL; HIS EMINENCE, DEATH; THE MIDAS COFFIN.

Smith seemed slightly surprised - and amused - at the end of the panel, when I actually produced my battered, somewhat dog-eared copy of the first book in the series, 1974's THE DEVIL IN KANSAS. However, he graciously signed it (below), though preferring to stay with his nom de plume.

Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime has been after Smith for years to let him republish THE MIDAS COFFIN, one of the best of the series (so far, he's declined). After the panel, I went as far as to jokingly suggest he should write a new one, tied to the recent scandals in the Catholic Church. He just laughed.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Almost a book

Out from St. Martin's/Minotaur Jan. 18.

Friday, October 08, 2010

It took a while ...

... but yes, finally, I'm tweeting.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A trio of heavyweights

For those attending BoucherCon in San Francisco next month, I'll be moderating "A Collection of Eagles," an all-star panel of best-selling thriller writers Sat. Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m. (room to be determined). Joining me will be (clockwise from top left) Martin Cruz Smith, Joseph Finder and Andrew Klavan. It'll be a rare chance for readers and fans to interact with three of the most seasoned pros in the business.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Green fields, blue skies, Spitfires

Some pictures from the Battle of Britain airshow at Duxford airfield in the U.K. Sept. 5, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Photos by me, video by someone else (click on photos for larger images).

The flightline: 16 Spitfires, wingtip to wingtip. All flew.

The Spits up close.

Four of the last six airworthy Hurricanes in the world. A fifth, from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, did a flyby.

A Hurricane up close.

Hurricane pilot and staff member.

Sally-B, Europe's only airworthy B-17, seen in the film "Memphis Belle."

Sally-B in the air.

"Ferocious Frankie," one of two flying P-51 Mustangs at the show.

Spanish-built Buchons,German Messerschmitt BF-109s, with modifications.

Rare two-seater Spitfire trainers.

Spitfire taxiing.

Spitfires in formation. The 16 took off in groups of four, then joined up to circle the airfield.

Spits in formation.

On the horizon: NYC Public Library 1/19/2011

Friday, September 17, 2010

New cover art

Due out Jan. 18, barring the unforeseen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Writers on Writing #1

"Again, I say, one dreams in fire and works in clay."
- Arthur Machen
From "Precious Balms" (1924)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From the vaults, new old Bruce

And speaking of "Darkness on the Edge of Town" outtakes. Here's one, just previewed today, that's not only unreleased and unheard, but never even rumored about up until now. It's one of 21 outtakes on the new Darkness box set out in Nov., which will also include the original recordings of "Fire" and "Because the Night."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mayhem at Moonstone

This Saturday, Aug. 28, Dennis Tafoya and I will be appearing at the Moonstone Mystery Bookstore in historic Flemington, N.J., from 2 to 4 pm. Dennis is a terrific writer and his WOLVES OF FAIRMOUNT PARK, though only his second book, is one of the best-reviewed crime novels of the year. His first, DOPE THIEF, was called "an impressive debut" by the hard-to-please Kirkus Reviews,and Publishers Weekly deemed him "a writer to watch." We'll be signing books and dispensing CDs, baked goods and bad advice. Stop by and say hello.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Elvis - The Way It Might Have Been

Two songs that would have revitalized Elvis Presley's career - and probably saved his life - if he had recorded them.

Springsteen reportedly did try to get a demo of "Fire" to Elvis's people, but nothing came of it (it was originally written for his "Darkness on the Edge of Town" sessions, but left off that album, as was "Because the Night," later covered by Patti Smith.) Neo-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon recorded "Fire" in 1978 for his album "Fresh Fish Special" (another Elvis reference) and the Pointer Sisters had a huge hit single with it later that same year.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Amazon and B&N sale

Not sure why, but as of this morning - though I'm guessing for a limited time - Amazon and Barnes and Noble are both offering GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER for a special price of $13.74. That's 45% off the original cover price. It looks like one dropped the price, and the other did the same to match it. Doubt it will last though. Amazon's prices tend to fluctuate quite a bit.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stone Pony, Asbury Park 7/23/10

One of the great things about summer at the Shore.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ellroy, Hammett

Two more vintage pieces, newly corrected, adjusted and illustrated. Reviews of James Ellroy's MY DARK PLACES and SELECTED LETTERS OF DASHIELL HAMMETT: 1921-1960.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Block, Nevins, Woolrich

Another vintage interview, tweaked, corrected and illustrated: Lawrence Block and Francis M. Nevins discuss the 1987 completion of suspense writer Cornell Woolrich's novel INTO THE NIGHT. The piece can be found here.

More on Woolrich here.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Writers on writing

I've been updating and sprucing up some of the existing features on my web site, and this weekend I've made corrections and added artwork to the three "Writers on Writing" features, namely interviews with Stephen King, Clive Barker and James Lee Burke. These extensive, in-depth Q&As – focusing on the mechanics of writing and story telling – were originally conducted for Writer's Digest and the Asbury Park Press back in the early '90s, but appear here in a more complete form. King would later expand on some of his comments in his invaluable ON WRITING book a few years later, but this interview - the cover story in the March 1992 WD - was the first time he spoke at length about his writing methods.

Coming soon (I promise), the second part of the James Lee Burke interview. All I need to do now is locate the transcript.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Only four hours to go ...

... in the 2010 Edgar nominee Paperback Original auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Auction ends at 8 p.m. ET Wed. 6/23. Thanks to everyone who's bid already.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Maybe my favorite YouTube mash-up since RAGING FRED (takes a little while to load):

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Edgar PBO auction

Beginning tonight, I'm auctioning off all five of this year's Paperback Original Edgar Award nominees, in one lot, as part of an eBay Giving Works auction, with all proceeds benefitting the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. All books are in like-new condition, with original cover prices ranging from $11 to $15 each. The books are BODY BLOWS by Marc Strange (the winner); BURY ME DEEP by Megan Abbott; THE LORD GOD BIRD by Russell Hill; THE HERRING-SELLER'S APPRENTICE by L.C. Tyler and HAVANA LUNAR by Robert Arellano. The auction, which ends June 23 at 8 p.m., can be found here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


This week, I take a look back at veteran director Phil Karlson's violent 1975 redneck noir FRAMED, over at Steve-O's great Noir of the Week blog.

The ad above is from the Wed. Oct. 1, 1975 issue of the N.Y. Daily News (Page 1 headline: ALI TKOs FRAZIER & KEEPS TITLE). It's a little time capsule from the golden era of 42nd St. double-features. Never did get around to seeing BUG though.

(If you're a fan of "How did they do that?" stunts, check out this ridiculously dangerous car/train collision from FRAMED, co-coordinated by legendary Hollywood stuntman Carey Loftin).

Dennis Hopper: 1936-2010

For those who haven't seen it, a video essay by my friend Matt Zoller Seitz:
The Middle Word in Life

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inside Jersey magazine ...

... has a brief profile on me in its new "Down the Shore" issue. It can be found online here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mayhem at Bookhampton

This Saturday (5/15) I'll be joining an all-star gathering at the Mayhem at Bookhampton festival on Long Island. My panels will include "Reading the Murder Scene" (with Alex Berenson, Carol Higgins Clark and others) at 1 p.m. at the East Hampton store, "Tough Guys" (with Reed Farrell Coleman, Berenson and others) at 5 p.m. at the Southhampton store, and "Noir at Dark" (with Coleman, Alafair Burke, Duane Swierczynski and others) at 9 p.m. back in East Hampton. Other attendees at the festival will include S.J. Rozan, Nelson DeMille, Tasha Alexander, Andrew Grant, Linda Fairstein, Chris Grabenstein and many, many others. A full schedule can be found here.

Monday, May 03, 2010

May updates

+ A nice - if brief - review of the audio version of GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER in today's Publishers Weekly.

+ And a song that should have been on the GTN CD mix, but somehow got left off.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Summer's (almost) here and the time is right ...

... for parting with some books, in order to make room for new ones. A great culling of my personal library has begun (for space reasons), and as a result I'll be auctioning off a number of rare, out-of-print crime, suspense and horror novels and collections over the coming weeks. I've kicked it off with some horror titles (including the one above, and others of special interest to zombie fans), and a handful of those auctions are already up on eBay, where they can be found under the seller account nightside7. Some auctions will benefit charities, some won't, but there'll likely be a steady stream of them over the next few weeks, hopefully a new one each day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

GTN unabridged audio download

The Audio Book Store and are offering a special price of $7.49 to download the unabridged Tantor Audio version of GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER (that's 6 hrs. and 54 mins.), read by actress Karen White. The physical CD version - 6 discs - is also available, from Amazon and other sites.