(repeated from crimereaders.com) So I’m a mystery/humor writer and I take my inspiration where I can find it. My first book, Josh Whoever, started from a Steely Dan song, and my third book, Play Nice, came from watching my daughter playing soccer against bigger, rougher boys and being told to “play nice” (by the other teams’ parents, of course.) A couple of years ago I was writing in a library. Libraries are great places to write. They’re reasonably quiet places filled with books and polite, kind people who will help you look something up. And that’s all that I thought a modern library was. A couple of the nice, sweet librarians happened to have murderously tough last names. How funny. So I started writing a silly little book about sweet librarians who steal and kill and run all the crime in their city. Ha ha. But […]
So I like to think that I’m a writer, which means that I am, in fact, a writer, which means that everyday I get my butt into a chair to write so I can hide from the three-dimensional world that really doesn’t interest me as much as pages and screens do. Even if the story I’m working on is crappy and the characters won’t say anything remotely interesting, I’m there every day. Hoping for that one good line. Hey, it let’s me hide out from that messy three-dimensional world. Sometimes. Years ago, I spent a weekend with my three-dimensional father-in-law Bob. Bob told me enough stories about his young life as a merchant seaman struggling in post World War II New York that I plowed them into a two-dimensional story about an upbeat young sailor giving up the sea to come home and defend the woman he loves. “Male Leary […]
Well, almost free. I just got my advance copies for Play Nice, which will be released in June. What I will need in June are reviews on Amazon. So, if you will promise to post a review in June when the book comes out, I’ll be happy to mail you a free book. You can either post your mailing address as a comment here, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for helping!
Two weeks ago I got the word that all small-press writers dread: My publisher, Five Star, is dropping my entire category of mystery books. Thinking of what Five Star Mysteries has meant to me is like opening a scrapbook found in an abandoned house. There’s a page for my first published book, Josh Whoever. I see a picture of the look on Five Star’s legendary editor Deni Dietz’s face when she said, “I like that title.” First nice thing any industry big ever said about a book of mine. Another picture of me opening a UPS box to find books with my name on them for the first time, understanding at that moment how Pinocchio felt when he realized he was a real live boy. First time I admitted to myself how much I had wanted it. Book signings. Royalty checks (checks!). And the thrill of being associated with and […]
Mystery readers are always on the prowl for something new (other than dead bodies and serial killers.) We’ve got what you didn’t know you were looking for. Hank Phillipi Ryan called EIGHT MYSTERY WRITERS YOU SHOULD BE READING NOW “an easy way to find that next unputdownable read.” We’ve got stories and sample chapters from eight up-and-coming writers with a pile of awards and a bigger pile of great stories, each from very distinctive sub-genres: a crime-solving horse trainer and a couple of dark hard-boiled detectives, kick-ass funny Florida weird and a dark atmospheric Irish mystery about a matchmaker. Here’s our menu: Lisa Alber–Mystery with a smattering of psychological suspense and tons of atmosphere. Beautifully written, complex stories set in the Irish countryside. Reminiscent of Erin Hart, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Susan Hill. Rosebud Award and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Kathleen Cosgrove –Florida weird with a middle-aged woman returning home. Kick-ass […]
My good friend Irma Taylor posted this on Facebook. I think I’m going to print it, put it on the wall over my computer. When I’m writing and wonder, “Is this too dark, too over-the-top, too… What will my friend’s say? Should I write this?” I’m going to consult this guy and see what he thinks.
I didn’t win the Silver Falchion at Killer Nashville. Which was fine, because just being one of seven finalists out of 120 entrants was incredible. Here’s the only bad thing: If I’d won, I wanted to say this in thanks: “…and I’d like to thank one woman in two parts. The fictional part of her is the character Marci, who had a tiny part in my book JOSH WHOEVER. But Marci wouldn’t leave the stage, took over and made the book so much better. Kind of like the real part of the character, my wife Pat Leary Guillebeau, who took over my life and made it so much better. Thanks, Pat. Because of you, every book of mine will have a strong, sexy, funny girl at its heart. And the book, and my life, will be better for it.” I could just tell Pat this, but where’s the fun in […]
So I’m at Killer Nashville along with 500 other mystery fans and writers, including big names like Hank Phillipi Ryan and William Kent Kreuger. I’m running to lunch, look at the traffic, see an opening, make my dash and Bam! I’m across. Double bam, when the cop gives me a ticket for jaywalking. I love it. Arrested at Killer Nashville. Who was the doubter who said I couldn’t get arrested as a mystery writer? HA! Showed you. And, yes, I am going to say it again: My book JOSH WHOEVER is a finalist for the Silver Falchion award for Best First Novel: Literary Suspense up here. (The small cricket on my shoulder insists on this disclaimer. I didn’t get arrested. But I did get a dirty look. And people ask where mystery writers get their ideas.)
My First Triathlon By Detective Moses Palmer of Dollface. Other officers were probably thrilled to have Cilia Kaufmann as the department shrink. She frequently wore business suits with completely professional skirts that through no fault of her own left her movie-star attractive. I first encountered her after a shooting.