Dec 072014

This week we welcome our newest DEAD GUY! Every other Sunday you'll be hearing from Cynthia Chow, branch manager for the Hawaii State library system, who'll be offering perspectives on pretty much everything from her viewpoint. And you're going to love it. Trust us.

By Cynthia Chow

Comic books have been around for decades, but it has been a long journey for them to be accepted as legitimate forms of literature.  The eighties had their WatchmenPersepolis,and Maus, but even those groundbreakers were still considered to be part of a niche market.  That is finally changing.  Comic book superheroes have become a part of pop culture, with millions of “average” people - whose previous experiences with comics may have extended only so far as to the perusal of the Sunday newspapers (what are those?) -  being able to list off characters from the AvengersGuardians of the Galaxy, and X-men.  Now that Hollywood has realized just how much money we are willing to spend to see our icons brought to life, there is a virtual smorgasbord of superhero movies scheduled all the way through 2028. Turn on the television virtually any night of the week and you will see some version of a comic book; the broodily overacted-without-Batman-Gotham, the very fun Flash, the how-could-they-not Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the cigarette-smoking-but-probably-going-to-be-cancelled-anyway Constantine, and my favorite, Arrow (more shirtless training montages, please).  These shows take their comic inspirations seriously and are as far from campy as you can get, unlike various incarnations from the past, when Adam West apparently couldn’t be bothered to do a sit-up.  These superheroes do not wear tights.

My love of comics began decades ago, when I was stealing into my brother's room to rifle through his Batman and Spider-Man collections. It seems only fitting that my first summer job was working in a failing bookstore/comic book store, and I managed to become one of those people who collected comics sealed in plastic bags. I still have the black armband included in the Death of Superman promotion (spoiler, he's not dead). 

Comics – loosely defined as graphic novels when published together as a continuous story arc- are also what led me to my actual career.   I was a new Young Adult Librarian who actually saw value in putting them in my library, and when a teen loves one comic he/she will only want to read more. 

And graphic novels have gotten GOOD. Just like any genre, some writing is better than others, but now established and "respectable" writers have entered the playing field. I thoroughly recommend that you give these a try:

  • BatwomanQueen and Countryand Whiteout by Greg Rucka. Although he has always had roots in comics, the author of the Atticus Kodiak and Jad Bell thrillers is incredible at crafting kick-ass female heroines.  He has created a wonderful Batwoman – don't mistake her for Batgirl – series.  Rucka’s Queen and Country series features an awesome female spy agent and led to a series of novels expanding on the same storylines.  His graphic novel Whiteout is essentially a locked-room mystery that has a U.S. Marshall trapped in the Antarctica with a murderer. 
  • DC’s Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer.  The bestselling mystery and thriller writer depicts how a criminal act enacted on a superhero’s wife, and the Justice League’s response, completely divides the team.  It’s absolutely brutal - in a good way.
  • Wonder Woman: Love & Murder by Jodi Picoult made waves - and received mixed reviews - when the fiction writer took over an entire Wonder Woman storyline. 
  • Castle: Richard Castle’s Derek Storm.  Yes, he’s a fictional author on ABC’s Castle writing fictional mystery novels, but ABC produced thrillers that are actually enjoyable and the graphic novelizations of the Derek Storm books are very fun.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8.  Joss Whedon continued his awesome television series in comic form, freeing him from studio production and budgets.  It gets wonderfully weird.
  • These are just the graphic novels written by authors specifically to be comics.  Janet EvanovichPatricia BriggsRichard Stark/Donald Westlake, and Laurell K. Hamilton have all had their series turned into pretty impressive graphic novels that take their novels into illustrated realizations.

    It's never been a secret to teachers and librarians that comics are the gateway drug to getting reluctant readers to read.   My suggestions here are just the tip of the iceberg, but I hope that these graphic novels written by skilled mystery and fiction writers will tempt adult mystery lovers into delving into the world of comics.  Never let it be forgotten that Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, was the secret identity for a truly heroic occupation. In her “real life,” Batgirl was… a librarian. 

 Oh, and if you doubt my love of comic heroes…That’s me as a very green Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. Gamora




Oct 272014

Jeff Cohen

I'm going to get into so much trouble for saying this.

The fact of the matter is, I did not grow up as a fan of mystery books. I didn't dislike them or anything, but they weren't my driving force, my obsession. I did not devour Christie and Hammett and Chandler without stopping for lunch. I didn't envision myself as the next great mystery author when I grew up (which turned out to be an ironic term).

Most mystery and crime fiction authors, when you ask them about their childhoods, will regale you with fond memories of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. The more ambitious will mention Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple or Poirot. They'll explain their love of the form, the neverending search for the responsible party, the thirst for justice, the desire to see the guilty punished and the righteous rewarded.

Not me.

I was--and remain--a comedy geek. My mind was blown the first time I heard a Bill Cosby album. I saw Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein more often than I met my own Cub Scout leader. Some kids looked up to Dr. J., I had Bugs Bunny. 

When we reached adolescence together, many of my friends went off on quests for spiritual elightenment because they'd heard Ravi Shankar or other kinds of enlightenment because they heard Pink Floyd. I sought the secret of life from another source after the first time I discovered the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers.

Some people's lives were changed when they first encountered a book by J.D. Salinger or a thriller by Ken Follett. My existence has never been the same since the time I found a copy of The 2000 Year-Old Man by Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks at Vogel's Records in Elizabeth, NJ for $2.67. I still have it (although I have digitized the album, like all my vinyl records, in case of catastrophe).

My wife finds it... limiting that I rarely want to see a movie with no sense of humor at all. I figure I have a limited amount of time to spend in this existence and can easily get depressed on my own with no help from filmmakers, writers, actors, playwrights, musicians and especially politicians. Give me a laugh or give me a nap, I say.

No doubt none of what I've said will come as a shock to anyone who's read my work. I get a good number of emails from people pointing out that there are occasional gaps in the plot logic of some of the Aaron Tucker books. Once in a while a timeline error might make it past the virtual army of editors who work on my writing, and it is always my fault. I do sometimes have to scramble for a character's motivation, although the effort is always there and we do try to tie up all the loose ends.

But for me, if you smile or laugh when you're reading my work, I've succeeded. My favorite communications from readers are those where a particular line of dialogue or side comment that made the person laugh is cited. I love hearing that; it makes me feel like the effort I put in was worthwhile.

In THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD (you knew I'd bring it up, right?), the challenge was more complex than ever. Samuel Hoenig, the main character and narrator of the book, has Asperger's Syndrome and sees things in what might be considered an unusual way. He is not trying to make the reader laugh.

But I didn't want to be exclusively serious, so finding the humor was a little bit more work than usual, and not as obivous (one hopes). But the challenge was--from a writer's standpoint--exhilarating, and doing it again for next year's Asperger's mystery was better. I'm never as happy as a writer as when I'm painting myself into a corner.

So please, if something I wrote makes you laugh, don't hold back. Let me know. As my mother used to say (and probably still does), "It just encourages him."

Oct 252014

Marilyn Thiele

I want to thank Dani, my intrepid assistant, for filling in for me here last week and for keeping the shop running efficiently in my absence. As to the blog post, when one says to an employee “Will you?” one is never sure that it’s not being heard as “You will,” but either way I think she enjoyed the opportunity to write about her convention after listening to all of the mystery fans here go on about Bouchercon. I’m sure she also enjoyed being free of me for nine days.

The holiday was our annual trip to London to visit our son, who lives and works there. Dedicated Anglophile that I am, I am happy to have this excuse to get to the UK regularly. Kevin and his partner, Claire, always manage to plan a “little” side trip that turns into an exciting excursion. They could have careers as travel planners if the energy industry begins to bore them. Last year it was Scotland, and the opportunity to meet our own Lynne Patrick on the way. This year it was Provence, as Claire wanted to show us her country. Having just arrived back two days ago, I am still full of the sunshine and warmth of southern France, and could go on about the scenery, the ancient hill towns, the beaches, and finding in Claire’s mother a fellow book and mystery lover. I knew there was some reason those two found each other. I got clued in to several French mystery authors, so you may find a switch from the Scandinavians in my future posts.

One pleasant surprise was arriving in London on October 15 and learning that October 17 was the opening of an exhibit at the Museum of London: “Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die.” There was time to see this exhibit after our return from France, so instead of boring you with the glamor of the Cote d’Azur, I will linger a bit in Victorian London. Sherlock Museum Poster

The best term to describe the exhibit is “atmospheric.” In addition to some of Conan Doyle’s original manuscripts and the original lithographs of Sidney Paget’s illustrations, there were photos and paintings from the period, depicting the “dense yellow fog settled on London.” One began to feel the shadowy world in which Sherlock’s villains operated.

Entering a door numbered “221B,” one is treated to examples of the forensic tools available to Mr. Holmes, with appropriate references to the stories: an early typewriter, for the unique imprint of each letter; newspapers, open to the crime stories and personal ads through which sinister plots were uncovered by the genius detective; hats, shoes, and clothing of the times which the master of disguises used to go undercover; and chemical apparatus for determining the origin of clues such as mud or ashes. A display of codes was particularly fascinating; included were examples of Pitman shorthand, with the English Book of Common Prayer “translated.” Commentary about the army of young women who found employment through typing and shorthand skills was food for thought. There were also the requisite violin and drug paraphernalia, along with other evidence of a Bohemian existence.

One section was dedicated to the stage, film and television versions of the Great Detective, ending, of course, with Benedict Cumberbatch’s incarnation of Sherlock. Throughout the entire exhibit, there were screens with clips from early films alternating with clips from the current BBC interpretation. Seeing Basil Rathbone in the role again, I was reminded of the late nights I spent while young watching the Sherlock movies. It occurred to me that at the time there were only three stations to choose from, but always something good to watch. Why is it that now, with hundreds of choices, I can never find anything that I want to see?

Sherlock Holmes could not have gotten around London without the hansom cab. At one point, there are three maps of London with moving arrows showing his route in a particular chase or investigation. Next to each is a screen showing the same route from a car-mounted camera in today’s city. The city is brighter and cleaner, but no less crowded.

In a section on Arthur Conan Doyle’s life, there is much made of his admiration for Edgar Allan Poe, and of the fact that Doyle tried to kill off Sherlock because he felt it was distracting from his “serious” writing. My thoughts went to recent posts here about Wilkie Collins and Anna Katharine Green. I had to admit to myself that Collins and Green may have been the pioneers of the detective novel, but it was the short story writers who really got the genre going. And that, even then, the “fun” writing was belittled by many, including its creators. But it sold! Doyle ultimately had to resurrect Sherlock.

The subtitle of the exhibit is “The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die.” As I left the museum, I realized that I felt for the first time as if Sherlock Holmes was, and is, a living person. It’s time to reacquaint myself after many years. Basil? Benedict? The stories? Where to begin?

Note: The exhibit is on until April 12, so if anyone of our readers is in London during that time, I would highly recommend a visit. Even if you get to London after this show, the museum is well worth a visit. The history of the city from its primitive beginnings to today is displayed over several floors. On my first foray, I got only to the Great Fire. This time it was Sherlock Holmes. I want to go back to again … and again.  


Oct 202014

Methinks there's dirty work afoot...

"On the Saturday morning at twelve o'clock he left England, on the wildest chase that any man had ever undertaken. And behind him, did he but know it, stalked the shadow of death."

Cue the organ music. Get the monsters and misfits ready offstage. Could that melodramatic bit of writing have originated with anyone other than the master of the early English thriller, Edgar Wallace? Of course not. It is, in fact, a key development in the rather confusing but thoroughly entertaining plot of The Door With Seven Locks, first published in 1926, and a fine example of the kind of book which made Edgar Wallace one of the most popular novelists of his day. The Door with Seven Locks is the subject of today's audio review on the Classic Mysteries podcast, and you can listen to that full review by clicking here.

The plot is difficult to sum up in a few well-chosen words. It begins with a Scotland Yard detective who is about to retire from the force. He becomes involved with a small-time crook, an expert at picking locks, who tells him about a recent lock-picking job that has made him quite nervous. Before he can pass along details, the lock-picker is murdered. Next, our retiring detective gets involved in a couple of seemingly unrelated incidents – the theft of an obscure book from a lending library (whose librarian, a young woman, will be the heroine of the story), and an assignment to go chasing around the world after a very rich and very elusive young heir who is rarely seen. That assignment leads to the departure I quoted at the beginning of this post.

In the midst of all this chasing about, we discover that there is a desperate search under way for seven individual keys which, when all used together, can open a mysterious door in a family's tomb. We meet a doctor – clearly an unsympathetic and sinister character – who is suspected of carrying out unethical medical experiments, to say the least. And we get glimpses of some powerful and dangerous creatures who may or may not be linked to the doctor. Add in our heroine’s unfortunate habit of getting herself into dangerous situations and you have a very fast-moving, easy-to-read and easy-to-enjoy – if not very easy to summarize - thriller. The Door with Seven Locks is certainly Wallace in fine form.

Wallace's popularity has endured, by the way: more than 160 movies have been made from his work, more than have been made from any other author's books. In fact, this book was made into a movie which was given a new but entirely appropriate name: Chamber of Horrors. They don't write 'em like that any more, do they?

The Challenge

As part of my continuing commitment to the Vintage Mystery Bingo Reading Challenge under way at the My Reader's Block blog, I am submitting this to cover the Bingo square calling for one book that has been made into a movie. For details about the challenge, and what I'm doing for it, please click here.

Oct 062014

Jeff Cohen

Not to belabor the point, but the fact is that THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD , the first Asperger’s Mystery from Midnight Ink, will be published Wednesday, and you should buy it. In order to better entice you to do so, please consider the following list of dire consequences that might—just might—occur if you choose to skip this book and wait for the movie.

Quick side note: The MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE is set for Wednesday, the publishing day for THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD. Take a picture of yourself with the book or the title page on your e-reader and post it. For everyone who does on Wednesday, $9 will be donated to the Autism SPectrum Education Network (ASPEN) helping families touched by autism spectrum disorders. So don't forget to post that photo!

Possible—Just Possible—Consequences

  1. There isn’t going to be a movie. Buy the book.
  2. You might be the only one in your book group who hasn’t read it, leading to ostracization (that is, you can get ostracized) and possible expulsion.
  3. You might fail to catch the first adventure of Samuel Hoenig, the borderline genius with Asperger’s Syndrome, and Janet Washburn, his newfound associate. This could lead to terrible feelings of regret when Book #8 in the series is published and you have to catch up.
  4. Your bookseller, who knows your taste, might look at you funny.
  5. It’s possible you won’t be laughing enough. That’s bad for you.
  6. You won’t be helping to contribute to the MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE, and will therefore miss out on getting $9 contributed to the Autism SPectrum Education Network (ASPEN) without spending any extra money yourself. So you don’t want to help support families touched by autism, huh?
  7. Your local bookstore might need to sell that one more book to make the rent this month. You want that on your head?
  8. If you don’t buy the book, I might have to get a regular job. At my age? Please.
  9. That short leg on the kitchen table? This book is the exact right thickness to prop it up level. If you don’t buy it, you could drop hot soup in your lap.
  10. You might very well miss reading a book you’ll like a lot, that Publishers Weekly called “delightful and clever.” Do you really want to skip something that’s “delightful and clever”?

 But hey, no pressure.

On the other hand, here are a few things that might happen if you do buy a copy of THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD this Wednesday (or even now on your e-reader!):

Benefits of Buying the Book

  1. There’s the slimmest possibility it will change your life. Preferably for the better.
  2. Maybe if enough people buy the book (like, for example, you), there will be a movie!
  3. Smiling is good for your face.
  4. You could get a slightly better understanding of what it’s like to be a person with an autism-spectrum disorder. You might treat such people better afterward.
  5. As previously noted, the MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE will see to it that for every person who posts a picture of themselves on Wednesday holding THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD in some form, $9 will be donated to ASPEN, and it won’t be your $9, but you can claim responsibility for it.
  6. You could be seen reading Question of Missing HeadTHE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD on the subway. Someone whose attention you might want to attract could see you’re reading an intelligent, witty (or "clever and delightful") book and strike up a conversation.
  7. You might learn something about cryonics or the probability of hitting a ball fair out of Yankee Stadium. But it won’t feel like work.
  8. If you figure out who the culprit is, you’ll feel smart. If you don’t, you’ll be delighted when the culprit is revealed. It’s a win/win.
  9. Reading helps keep your mind agile. Even reading this post is good, but THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD is much longer, and provides more benefits over time.
  10. Let’s face it: You want to know what question could be asked regarding a missing head. What better way to find out?

So there you have it: Scientific evidence that you should buy and read THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD. Do you want to argue with Science?

Sep 292014

Jeff Cohen

Note: For an update on the MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE, see below. You'll want to read this.

Seriously: Have I ever given you any indication that I know how to get thousands of people to look at a blog piece? On a good day, I get 200 people to visit here.

You're a little ticked off now, right? Think I misled you?

But marketing is a necessity to the author. (Don't ask, "The author of what?" Just go with it.) It's not about trickery and it's not about lying to the reader. Do those things and you might get someone to take a look. Once. What are you going to do now that you've annoyed them? What have you accomplished?

I can't claim to have the magical formula that will bring the thundering hordes to your blog post, your Facebook page, your web site or your front door. Anyone who tells you they know for sure is lying or mistaken. But I can tell you what certainly DOESN'T work, and I can say so with confidence, since I have tried each one and watched it fail in a spectacular fashion.

  1. Promising a visitor something you can't deliver. (See above.) This is especially good at getting people mad at you. Because the intelligent ones will realize immediately that you're a fraud, and the less intelligent ones will try what you advocate, fail, and blame you.
  2. Making general statements based only on your experience. If you want to blog about yourself, that's fine. I do it sometimes, and posts about my daughter, my dog and my wife have attracted some of the larger audiences I've gotten here. But don't try to extrapolate your experience and make the reader think it will definitely apply under any circumstance. You don't know, because your experience is just that--yours.
  3. Stating something without doing the research. If you want to make a statement, make it. But be sure you're right. I have gone off on a tear at times here and made statements that, when I was typing them, felt great--only to find out I was astonishingly wrong. Colossally wrong. I mean, wrong. Check first.
  4. Politics, religion--what could go wrong? Everything. Write about the "forbidden" topics if you want. That's your right. But go in knowing for sure that your opinions are definitely going to piss some people off. And maybe you know in your heart they're just wrong, and what the hell--maybe they are. It won't convince them of anything and it won't make them less mad. It's fine to do if that's the kind of blog you want, but don't be naive about it--you're going to annoy. Be prepared to deal with the consequences.
  5. Making your post a flat-out sales pitch for your book. I have done this one (see two weeks ago, sort of) and I promise you I will do so again. That's perfectly fine--this is a forum about crime fiction and I write crime fiction. The reader is always free to click elsewhere. But doing nothing BUT hawking your book is just going to bore and irritate. The fiction you write isn't the only place you have to worry about entertaining an audience. And by the way, I have a Question of Missing Headbook that came out last Wednesday and another coming in less than two months.

This week's reminder: The MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE is now extended to this Wednesday, October 15! Before then, buy a copy of THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD by E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen and take a photo of yourself with the book (or title page of the ebook). Post said picture on Facebook or Twitter for all (especially me, so tag me on it) to see. For everyone who does that on  I will donate $3 to ASPEN, the Autism SPectrum Education Network, and our own Josh Getzler's HSG Agency will match the donation. And our own Terri Bischoff's Midnight Ink will match THAT donation. And our very own Marilyn Thiele will add $1 each, to bring the total to $10 per picture! That pledge is good for the first 100 people to post--be one of them! 

Also: I'll be at the Barnes & Noble in East Brunswick, NJ on Tuesday (Oct. 14) at 7 p.m., talking (because try and get me to stop), signing and taking MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE pictures with anyone who has a copy of the book. Come by if you can--Cathy Genna of the B&N there really knows how to put on a show!

Sep 232014

Have you seen it yet?

Here’s the scoop— A Walk Among the Tombstones, starring Liam Neeson, written and directed by Scott Frank, and based on the tenth Matthew Scudder novel, opened Friday, September 19, throughout the US and UK and most of the world. (But some of y’all have to wait a while. The opening’s set for mid-October in Australia and Taiwan—which seems odd, doesn’t it? You folks get daybreak twelve hours before we do, but you have to wait an extra month for a movie. Well, the opening in Germany’s not until November, so go figure.)

craiglynnemoiLynne and I saw AWATT Wednesday at a special screening, and here we are in a photo with an unidentified stranger. (The stranger’s latest venture, Celebrity Name Game, premieres this evening on a TV channel near you.) All three of us loved the film unreservedly, as did the rest of the audience and most of the critics. And so did a great many of you, as I’ve been assured by a tidal wave of emails and tweets and Facebook posts. It’s a genuine rarity these days, a suspense thriller made by and for actual grown-ups, with a solid script and wonderful actors and a cinematographic vision of New York City that manages to be down-and-dirty and, at the same time, genuinely beautiful. Liam just plain IS Matt Scudder, and embodies the character even more perfectly than I knew he would. What a treat!

I’m very likely preaching to the choir here, as most of you have either already seen AWATT or placed it high on your To-Do list. Either way, I have a couple of suggestions. If you’ve seen the movie, and if you loved it, please spread the word. Word of mouth is what makes the difference, and I hope you’ll enlist your mouth in the cause. Tweet, post, blog, send emails—and, if you’re sufficiently retro to have actual conversations with folks, on the phone or even (shudder) in person, well, you know what to tell them, loud and clear.

And if you’re planning to go see AWATT, sooner is better than later.

Why? Well, you’ll be shocked to learn that I have an agenda here…but it’s one I hope you share. See, if enough people buy enough tickets soon enough, the Powers That Be will greenlight a sequel and we’ll all get to do awatt-tie-in 2this again. Scott would love to write and direct another one, and Liam would welcome a return  engagement as Matt, and you can probably figure out that I’m on board. So if you’d like to see a sequel—well, enough already. You get the point.

Moments before they lowered the house lights Wednesday night, an email informed me that Hard Case Crime’s mass-market edition had just landed on the New York Times Best Seller List; it will debut there this Sunday, September 27, in the #19 slot. That means a whole host of sales in airports and supermarkets, but it’s becoming clear that the paperback’s also a strong seller online. (And, while we’re not able to offer this edition in LB’s eBay Bookstore, David’s got a good supply of autographed copies of our Trade Paperback edition @ $14.99.)

Now on to other matters. I know I’ve tipped you to Defender of the Innocent, the 12-story Ehrengraf collection coming September 30 from Subterranean Press. You can pre-order it now—and I’d recommend doing so, as AudioCover2_Block_DefenderInnocentthe publisher routinely sells out his entire printing, and prices tend to climb on the aftermarket. I self-published the book in audio, with the little lawyer expertly voiced by Don Sobczak, and you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to download it; it’s available right this minute at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

Emily Beresford voiced our audiobook of Jill Emerson’s erotic novel in diary form, Thirty; it’s been getting a good reception from listeners and reviewers. She’s just finished narrating Jill’s first book, a sensitive novel of the lesbian experience with the unfortunate title of Warm and Willing. “Beautifully written as usual,” Emily messaged me. “I really loved this story. You write so believably from a woman’s perspective, more so than many women authors I have read.” I’ll let you know when Warm and Willing goes on sale; I can let you know now that Emily’s on board to narrate Jill’s second novel, Enough of Sorrow. (And the title, from a Mary Carolyn Davies poem, is a whole lot better than Warm and Willing.)

My friend Brian Koppelman, best known as a screenwriter and director, does a weekly podcast called The Moment on, and I sat down with him recently for an hour of conversation, most of it about Matthew Scudder. (Brian’s a big fan of the books, and wrote a lyrical appreciation for The Night and the Music.) The podcast goes live sometime tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/23); if you get there ahead of time, his chat with Gilbert Gottfried is a killer. As if he hasn’t got enough to keep him busy, Brian made time to write a story for an anthology I’m editing, and it’s a honey, set in a Kazakh-run NYC barber shop. I’ll tell you all about that project a little later on.)

And that would be enough for now, but I have to keep David happy by mentioning a couple of items in LB’s eBay Bookstore. Actually, I’ll let him do the mentioning:

Okay, sure. Step by Step, LB’s racewalking memoir, price xxxed to $9.99. Tanner’s Tiger, Subterranean hard cover, way too cheap at $9.99. The Mundis book on breaking writer’s block, don’t recall the title, price reduced to $4.99, or a 10-copy lot for $29.99 postpaid. Grab bag lot of 8 Burglar paperbacks, six lots left and then forget about it, $49.99 postpaid. And I’ll be adding titles if we can get the new scanner to work. That okay? You can edit it, fix it up nice.

I suppose I could, but I think I’ll leave it as it is. It’s got its own crude charm, and gives the folks out there an idea of what I have to put up with.



PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of interest. And, if you’ve received the newsletter in that fashion from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to with Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.

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 Posted by at 1:01 am