Category Archives: What Goes On?

What Goes On? King, Laity.

dana wgoDana King.

Quite a bit, actually. So much so I’m hoping to take most of the summer off. To wit:

My newest Nick Forte PI mystery, A Dangerous Lesson, launched May 15 in print and Kindle editions, both available through all finer Amazon outlets. In this, the fourth of the Forte stories, Nick is investigating an heiress’s new boyfriend when he becomes tangentially—then deeply—involved with a serial killer. Frankly, I’m not a fan of serial killer fiction, but this story appealed to me as a way to get into Forte’s increasingly dark character. They say two people in a relationship will tend to sink to the level of the one who’s most fucked up, and that’s certainly the case here.

I recently finished the outline for my next Penns River story, tentatively titled Small Town Crime. Based on said outline, this will be my most ambitious book and will force me to try to stretch my abilities. Light a candle for me if you’re so inclined.

“Wait,” you say. “The ‘next’ Penns River book? There are others?” Damn right. Two of them have been released previously, and, thanks to Down & Out Books, all four of the Penns River books currently residing on my hard drive will become available over the next couple of years. D&OB will re-release Worst Enemies and Grind Joint this fall, with the third (and new) book, Resurrection Mall, to become available in the spring of 2017. Contracts have yet to be signed, but we also have a handshake agreement to release the fourth PR book—PR-Two—in the spring of 2018. Everyone at Down and Out has been great to work with and I’m jazzed about the whole process of working with them, as well as the quality group of writers I can now call peers without seeming presumptuous. (You’d have to ask them how crazy they are about that prospect.)

I’ll also be at Bouchercon in New Orleans September 15 – 18 and the Creatures, Crime, and Creativity (C3) Conference in Columbia MD September 30 – October 2. Anyone at either of these events, please stop by and say hello. You don’t need to buy a book. I’ll sign anyone’s book, you want me to. Hell, I’ll sign their name in their book if the line’s too long for you to wait. That’s the kind of reader-oriented writer I am.

(Thanks to Paul Brazill, author, raconteur, and bon vivant, for providing this forum. Truly a gentleman. Hell of a writer, too.)

Bio : Woody Haut, writing in the LA Review of Books, named Dana King’s novel Grind Joint as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. His first PI novel, A Small Sacrifice, received a Shamus Award nomination that same year. A short story, “Green Gables,” appeared in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash. His newest book is A Dangerous Lesson.

Dana’s blog, One Bite at a Time, resides at danaking.blogspot.com. He lives in quiet near seclusion with The Beloved Spouse.

K A Laity

Chastity_Flame_boxset-KALaity-1800HRI was amused by a tweet from Radio 4 wondering — at this late date  — whether it was time for Jane Bond. I think Peter O’Donnell and I both would have the same eye-rolling reaction to that. Not least because my sexy spy thriller Chastity Flame has resurfaced from her adventures for a shiny new opportunity: Thanks to Smashwords, Wattpad and Tirgearr Publishing, we’re serialising the first book of the trilogy. That’s right, you can read the book for FREE that’s been called ‘50 Shades of James Bond’ and ‘a highly addictive, fast-moving, clever, sexy and funny globe-trotting, spy romp’ by Mr B himself.

Head over to Wattpad to start reading one chapter a day! Be advised, it’s smoking hot so not for the prudish. James Bond gets a run for his money in that department. Can’t wait that long? Jump over to Smashwords (the alternative to Amazon) and pick up the book or all three in the trilogy.

Over on the Graham Wynd side of my life the exciting news is that two anthologies I’m in are up for Anthony Awards: my story ‘Life Just Bounces’ is in Murder Under the Oaks edited by Art Taylor and my tale ‘Mesquite’ appears in Protectors 2: Heroes which Thomas Pluck edited. Lots of great books up for the awards—tough choices for those voting in New Orleans!

Meanwhile I’m trying to wrap up a novella called Love is a Grift and figure out who I should send it off to. I think the tag line will be, ‘One woman, four cities—and a string of bodies.’ How’s that sound?

I wouldn’t usually bring up academic stuff here, but I’m working on an essay about Dorothy Hughes’ The Expendable Man for a special issue of TEXT on crime fiction and the creative nexus. The more I write about Hughes the more I admire her writing. If you haven’t yet read the novel In a Lonely Place grab it. Then go get the Criterion release of the film. What a gorgeous piece of messed-up noir with glorious Gloria and a surly Bogart. You will not be disappointed.

K. A. Laity is the award-winning author of White Rabbit, Dream Book, A Cut-Throat Business, Lush Situation, Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, Chastity Flame, and Pelzmantel, as well as editor of Respectable Horror, Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir. She also writes historical fiction as Kit Marlowe and crime as Graham Wynd. Dr. Laity teaches medieval literature, film, gender studies, digital humanities and popular culture at the College of Saint Rose, where she is also the director of the Digital Humanities Initiative. She divides her time between upstate New York and Dundee, Scotland.

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What Goes On? Hilton, Bratkovič

 

After a successful ten books run with a major publisher (Hodder), I’m about to embark on a scary new route with my Joe Hunter thriller series. Although I have amicably split with my publisher, and a few smaller publishers were keen to pick up the reins, I have decided to bite the bullet and use my own indie publishing arm to publish the next Joe Hunter thriller. It is called ‘No Safe Place’, and this time sees Hunter in the familiar role of protector, but he also gets an opportunity to exercise his detective skills this time out. After a violent home invasion, where his mother is killed, young Cole Clayton is now under threat by hostile forces, and Hunter agrees to protect the boy. But it’s soon apparent that Andrew Clayton, Cole’s father, knows more about the killer than he’s letting on, and his silence soon places the boy in the killer’s sights. The book will be released simultaneously in hardback, paperback and ebook on 31st May 2016.

Up next will be the second in my Tess Grey and Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere series, due for publication by Severn House Publishers on 28th August 2016, and this time finds the mismatched pair hunting for a missing woman who – while trying to avoid one danger – has fallen into a worse situation.

BIO: Matt Hilton is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series, including his most recent novels ‘The Devil’s Anvil’ – Joe Hunter 10 – published in June 2015 by Hodder and Stoughton and Blood Tracks, the first in anew series from Severn House publishers in November 2015. Joe Hunter 11 – No Safe Place – will be published by Sempre Vigile Press May 2016; Tess and Po 2 – Painted Skins – will be published by Severn House in August 2016. Matt’s first book, ‘Dead Men’s Dust’, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph. Dead Men’s Dust was also a top ten Kindle bestseller in 2013.

Renato Bratkovič

it's all trueWell, my first book in English for your kindle is out. It’s All True (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CX7EH24?*Version*=1&*entries*=0) is a collection of eight transgressive and noir stories. Three of them (The Tie, You’re Not Sitting On Two Chairs! and High Midnight) were previously published in my first collection Ne poskušajte tega doma (Don’t Try This At Home, 2012) in Slovene, and later appeared in English: High Midnight in VegaWire Media’s Noir Nation 3, The Tie and You’re Not Sitting On Two Chairs! as bilingual singles, so called Artizan Doubles on Amazon. Dorian From The Pictures also exists as a Double on Amazon. The Tribe was published in Exiles: An Outsider Anthology (your Blackwitch Press) and Washed In Blood was my contribution at the first Alibi workshop. Fat Fatale and Bicycle Thieves are the freshest and have not been published yet, except online.
Dorian From The Pictures: A woman hires a detective to follow her cheating husband. He knows her husband. He knows hi too well.
The Tie: An advertising writer is fired and gets a tie as a reward for his contribution. Unfortunately this is not the worst thing that is going to happen to him.
Fat Fatale: An overweight teen confesses her unusual sexual practices to the social worker – she wants to try one more thing.
You’re Not Sitting On Two Chairs!: A writer has a writer’s block, plus his wife finds out he’s been cheating on her. He denies everything, of course.
The Tribe: The professor’s activism causes the rise of the wall around The City and he ends in the psychiatric hospital, but his followers haven’t abandoned him. A policeman has to get as much information from him as possible.
Washed In Blood: He said the first time was the hardest. To kill a guy, for instance. The second time it becomes routine.
High Midnight: A modern version of Oedipus Rex, written as a test, how far I dare to go writing in the first-person singular. Pretty far, I guess.
Bicycle Thieves: What happens when a guy rides a bike to rob a post office and finds out his bike was stolen in the meantime? Well, visit Amazon and find out. 🙂
Well beside lagging humbly behind Conrad, Nabokov, Hage and Hemon I have a couple of publishing projects. Drunk On The Moon (http://www.amazon.com/Lune-pijan-Drunk-Roman-Dalton-ebook/dp/B01CXC67ZE?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0) has just been rereleased as an Artizan Double on Amazon, and this autumn, the Slovenian version of Apostle Rising by the Dark Lord Godwin is finally going to see the light.
And yes, the Alibi (http://alibi-fest.com) is happening this year again, so some of my energy is invested into the second edition of the festival.
Bio: Renato writes for the Swiss-owned Med-Tech company, blogs at Radikalnews.com, and writes fiction whenever he can. He lives in Slovenska Bistrica (Slovenia) with his family.

What Goes On? Edgerton, Bird

Les Edgerton

Bomb!2What goes on, eh? Well, lots of things I guess. Looking back on the year so far, the biggest thing that pops into my mind is that we seem to live in a golden age of literature. I read an average of from four to six novels a week and the age of eBooks has ushered in a time of almost embarrassing riches. I’ve read more good and great novels in the past year than I can ever remember having access to.

Ebooks have ushered in an era unparalleled in history. We have more books available to us than at any time in mankind and they are relatively cheap, compared to former times. Man! I just wish I was younger so I could have more time to read. I feel like a hog in thigh-high slop! The landscape of the mind has never been richer.

Just this past year, and glancing at my Kindle, I’ve been able to read work by you, by Anthony Neil Smith, Joe Lansdale, Tony Black, Christopher Moore, Dietrich Kalteis, William Kent Krueger, Liam Sweeny, Chris Pavone, C.J. Box, Linwood Barclay, Jesse Sublett, David Baldacci, Gregg Andrew Hurwitz, Steve Weddle, Court Merrigan, Dave Jagger, Tess Makoyesky, Chris Pimental, Garreh Spark, Reed Farrel Coleman, Sam Hawken, Reavis Wortham, Martin Stanley, Jeffrey Deaver, Hubert Selby, Jr., Neely Tucker, Sherman Alexie, Jonathan Kellerman, Robert Crais, Ed McBain, Ian Ayres, Michael Punke, Joseph Finder, Lewis Grizzard, John Sandford, Robert B. Parker, Gar Anthony Haywood, Owen Laukkanen, James Lee Burke, Bill Crider, John Connolly, James Guiliani, Michael Connelly, James Grippando, Diane Lefer, James Sallis, Ace Atkins, Jean Genet, Pearl S. Buck, Jack Bludis, Bruce DeSilva, Richard Price, John Fante, Craig McDonald, Eryk Pruitt, Dave Barry, Lee Child, Richard Kalich, Matt Hilton, William E. Wallace, Milton Burton, Trey R. Barker, Mark Ramsden, George Weir, Darcey Steinke, Don Winslow, John Rector, Janey Mack, Maegan Beaumont, Patti Abbott, Max Booth III, Tom Piccirilli, John Roane, Jack Ketchum, Dante, Patrick Shawn Bagley, William Gay, Graham Wynd, Andrew Vachss, Rob Pierce, Bill Loehfelm, Harrison Scott Key, Walter Tevis, Tim Dorsey, Jeff Abbott, Matthew Stokoe, Martin Stanley, Dennis Lehane, Harlan Coben, Larry Brown, Ken Bruen, Benjamin Sobiek, Duane Swierczynski, Ed Lynskey, Benjamin Whitmer, Allan Leverone, John Banville, Elmore Leonard, Bob Trulock, John Milton, John Bunyan, Josh Stallings, Carl Hiassen, Brian Evenson, Nigel Bird, Charlie Louvin, Declan Hughes, Tim O’Mara, Richard Thomas, Walter Mosley, Rob Brunet, Jake Hinkson, Jack Getze, Joe Clifford, Tom Pitts, T. Jefferson Parker, Anonymous 9, Allan Guthrie, Ian Rankin, William McIlvanney, Scott Alderberg, Richard Stark, Larry McMurtry, Judy Kelly, Grant Blackwood, Craig Furchtenicht, Richard Godwin, Ryan Bracha, Darren Sant, Nate Flecker, J.M. Taylor, Marjorie Brody, George Pelecanos, Mark Matthews, Ed Kurtz, Dana King, Frank Bill, Jedidiah Ayres, Jim Thompson, Charles Portis, Ro Cuzon, Michael McGarrity, Scott Alderberg, Scott Phillips, Craig Johnson, Rob Boley, Matthew Louis, Nic Pizzolatto, Don Carpenter, Charlie Stella, Alan Russell, D.B. Corey, Dana Kin, Keith Nixon, Tom Franklin, C.J. Howell, Frank DeBlase, Derek Raymond, Thomas Cobb, P.F. Kluge, Jenny Milchman, Jim Nisbet, J. David Osborne, Warren Moore, Henry Rollins, Howard Owen, David Sedaris, Donald Ray Pollock, Thomas Mullen, Steve Hamilton, David Housewright, Carl Hiassen, Robert Rotstein, Lee Goldberg, Ruth Jacobs, Dave Bushi, John Gilstrap, Adam Gittlin, Alan S. Evans, Martha Powers, Mark T. Conard, Garnett Elliott, Carole Mallory, Urban Waite, Jason Starr, Sara Gran, Honore De Balzac, Robin Martin, Johnny Shaw, Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Dostoevsky, Terrence McCauley, Robert Olen Butler, Jack Tunney, David James Keaton, Ryan Sayles, Brian Panowich, Kevin Lee Helmick, Patricia Highsmith, Kaira Rouda, Ambrose Bierce, Rick Bylina, Eric Beetner, J.L. Abramo, Simenon, Sean Dolittle, Carl Brush, Chris Rhatigan, Gerald Brennan, Charles Wileford, Jackson Meeks, Gil Brewer, James Crumley, Matthew McBride, Lesley Ann Sharrock, Pearce Hansen, B.R. Stateham, Julia Madeleine, Ray Banks, Edward A. Grainger, Ed Lynskey, Don Bruns, Luca Veste, Keith Rawson, Danny Gardner and, and, and… Actually, there’s more and I’m leaving off several I’ve read this year but just running out of room.

The ones named, I’ve not only been privileged to read their work, but in almost all cases have read all of their books.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. Oh, and I had a new book come out myself, titled BOMB!, from Tom Pitts, Joe Clifford and the gang at Gutter Books. Working on a couple of new novels and just returned from Iowa where I was interviewing folks for a new version of a baseball book I wrote several years ago on the history of Perfect Game USA. Working with an established screenwriter on a joint effort.

Getting ready to head down to San Antonio in May to do an annual 8-day workshop/retreat, the long-established Writers Retreat Workshop, led by Jason Sitzes and Gail Provost. Really looking forward to that as Joe Lansdale is going to be in attendance this year unless he has to fly off to Hollywood, which is entirely possible. Gonna do a Noir @ the Bar hosted by legendary Scotty Montgomery who runs the Mystery People portion of Texas’ biggest indie bookstore, Book People. Gonna get drunk up in there!

My biggest honor of the year (and probably ever) is that Anthony Neil Smith (Doc Noir for his friends) dedicated his fantastic novel, HOLY DEATH to me. That counts as my life’s biggest honor and I’m truly humbled by it.

Thanks for this, Paul. And, I’m going to feel bad when I realize I’ve left off somebody from the list of those I’ve read this year. Those were just the eBooks on my Kindle, most of them.

Blue skies,

Les

Math Bird

WhistSandCovI recently released my noir novella THE WHISTLING SANDS. Usually, my stories are set in northeast Wales, along the English- Welsh Border;  however, THE WHISTLING SANDS is set in West Wales, although the main protagonist, Ned Flynn is from northeast Wales and has all the cultural and social baggage that usually accompanies that. The novella is an homage to Jim Thompson and James M. Cain, a modern take on the classic noir tale featuring the femme fatale.  It’s also about obsessions, lies, trust, deceit, the stories we tell each other, and more importantly, the stories we tell ourselves. Like so much of my work, landscape plays a vital role in the novella; especially how place affects us, remote rural and coastal settings triggering our darker impulses. There’s also an homage to M R James and the psychological effects of the unknown.

Now that I’ve completed my Ph.D., I’m writing a new set of novels entitled WELCOME TO HOLY HELL. These are a noir, crime, hardboiled mix. Three separate tales set in northeast Wales in the 1970s,1980s, and 1990s. The first novel is set during the drought and long hot summer of 1976. I’m enjoying researching and writing it, as it’s something I’ve wanted to write for a while.  It draws its influences from Barry Hines’s KES and Jim Thompson’s  THE GETAWAY, and of course, the influence of place, and regional identity play a key role. After that, I want to write a few more Flynn novellas as his story isn’t over.

 I’m taking a break from short stories for a while to concentrate on the above novels and novellas.

Although, having said that, I’ve recently placed a short story in the forthcoming PLOTS WITH GUNS, which I’m very excited about. It’s a noirish coming-of-age tale, again set in the long drought of 1976 in northeast Wales.

 I’m also compiling a short story collection which I’ll be pitching to any interested parties shortly

BIO: Math Bird lives with his wife and family in northeast Wales. His stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, and Radio Wales, and published in various magazines and anthologies.

Recent stories can be found in: Shotgun Honey, Plots With Guns, Plan B Mystery Magazine, All Due Respect (7) and his Pushcart Nominated StoryThe Devilfish’ is available in Pulp Modern (9).

What Goes On? Zandri, Richardson.

Vincent Zandri.Zandri-WhenShadowsCome-21762-CV-FT-5b

What goes on? What isn’t going is more like it. And that’s a good thing I guess. The year started with the launch of my new stand-alone from Polis Books, ORCHARD GROVE. It’s a full-length down and dirty piece of New York noir that Booklist (Starred Review) called “A riveting story..oh, what a story it is: grisly, surprising, and page-turningly suspenseful. A terrific old-school thriller.” It’s available in hard-cover in both brick-and-mortar and digital stores all across the globe.

Also newly released is the Italian edition of MOONLIGHT SONATA from Meme Noir. I spent much of November and December touring the book in Italy with the Meme crew. We had a blast.

Next up is WHEN SHADOWS COME, a Hitchcockian style suspense thriller published by Thomas & Mercer. It’s scheduled for release on April 12 in all formats.

The newest in the Chase Baker action/adventure pulp series is now available from my own imprint, Bear Pulp. It’s calledCHASE BAKER AND THE DA VINCI DIVINITY and it’s already hit the number one spot in Occult on Amazon Kindle.

Currently I’ve just completed a new stand-alone called The Detonator and the fourth in the Jack Marconi series, THE CORRUPTIONS. Polis will be bringing the latter out in Jan. 17 in hardcover.

I’m also working on the sequel to my No. 1 Overall Amazon Kindle bestseller and Amazon “Editor’s Pick,” THE REMAINS. It’s tentatively titled, THE ASHES.

Look for a new Moonlight PI novel this year and also a short story or two. In mid-May I’ll travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories to research the next Chase pulp novel, CHASE BAKER AND THE TRUE CROSS. I’m bringing my ballistic vest.

MoonsonataItaliancover (2)_FInalOtherwise, I’m living the good life. Lifting my weights, shooting my guns, getting in the crucial roadwork, tipping a few beers at the bar, and enjoying a nice red with a big fat juicy steak. Life’s good.

Thanks for having me Paul. As always, it’s an honor.

To purchase Zandri books, go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

BIO:  Winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel, Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 20 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” Zandri’s list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times. He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri’s, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the Best Books of 2014. A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular “lit blog,” The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy. For more go toWWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

K A Richardson

escapeWell my short story Escape, has just been published by Caffeine Nights on Amazon, Kobo etc which is incredibly exciting! I’ve even had my first ever 5* reviews!

Escape is the prequel to my upcoming novel, With Deadly Intentwhich is due out in April 2016. It’s my debut novel and I’m both excited and nervous in equal measures. It’s a crime novel set in North East England, and features Crime Scene Manager Cass Hunt, Detective Chief Inspector Alex McKay, and of course the bad guy who I can’t say too much about as wouldn’t wanna give away any spoilers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following their stories through and getting to know each and every one of them.

Here’s a little extract from With Deadly Intent:

Her gaze moved to the victim. A female, her face coated in a sea of red, her lifeless eyes staring out like small islands. Squinting as her eyes adjusted between artificial light and darkness, Cass guessed the woman’s age to be around mid to late twenties. A large laceration spread across the woman’s forehead, consistent with an impact on the steering wheel. Her face showed bruising to the right-hand side, and Cass furrowed her eyebrows, concentrating on the bruising.

It didn’t seem plausible that it was caused by the crash. It looked more like someone who had been beaten.

She carefully moved the torch down towards the neckline of the victim, and that’s when she saw it: a wound, heavily disguised by the amount of blood but there nonetheless. A neat but obviously deep laceration over the jugular area, which most definitely explained the additional arterial blood presence on the windscreen.

Cass pulled back quickly, retracing her steps to where the sergeant waited patiently.

‘Harry, you need to get this road closed off and outer cordons put up immediately. We need a major incident log starting and the Murder Team down here, now.’

with deadly intentBIO: KA Richardson lives in North East England with her patient husband, Peter, and her dog, Tala. She started writing with a view to publishing in 2011 when the first 20,000 words were used as the dissertation for her Masters degree, and she’s just kept writing from there.

She’s currently working on her fourth crime novel, again using the backdrop of the North East of England – her books are a series linked by overlapping characters though she uses different main characters in each one.

She’s appearing on a panel at Crimefest in Bristol in May 2016 with some other fantastic authors, and will be attending Newcastle Noir and Harrogate Crime Festival – no pressure there though as no panel appearances.

As well as writing, she works full-time for a large police force, and has experience in Crime Scene Investigation. She enjoys reading, people watching, and spending time with her friends and family, especially her lovely mum, Jeannet.

Web address – www.kerryannrichardson.com

Facebook – KA Richardson

Twitter – @kerryann77 or @karichardson77

 

 

What Goes On? Rob Pierce

vernMy novella, Vern in the Heat, has just been released by All Due Respect. Vern’s the opposite of an enforcer; he’s the muscle whose job on illegal exchanges is to make sure things go smooth. Until someone tries to rip off a drug deal he’s working and he gets blamed. Now both gangs involved are after him, including the one he works for.

Needing a place to hide before he goes back out and makes things right, Vern turns to an ex-girlfriend, Deria, a bartender who never liked his violence. Things don’t go as planned, and they wind up driving away from trouble. Here’s a scene:

***

“We get off at 98th,” Vern said. “98th to East 14th.”

Deria held her arms rigid as she clutched the wheel. 98th Avenue was deep into East Oakland. Stretches of it were nasty, dangerous even by Oakland standards. East Oakland, where a night without gunshots was a surprise, where every morning there were sirens before sunrise.

They got off the freeway, got onto 98th. East 14th Street had been renamed International Avenue years before, in an attempt to scrub the city clean by renaming one of its most crime-riddled stretches. No one was fooled. Locals still called the street East 14th.

International was just a mile down the road, and the road wasn’t busy.

“Right on East 14th,” Vern said. “Then a left at 92nd.”

The streets weren’t crowded with cars, but there were plenty of people on the sidewalks. Hookers and far more dangerous criminals, and people looking for hookers and far more dangerous criminals. Partners in crime, most of them not all that violent. Most.

Vern looked straight ahead. “A couple more blocks,” he said to Deria. “Take a right on G, then drive real slow.”

A couple of blocks down G Street and they reached 89th. The block was supposed to be residential but there wasn’t any sign of residents, or even sidewalk, which, if it existed, was covered with so much trash it looked like garbage trucks had unloaded. At least two feet high, as much as six, the garbage stink seeped into the car even with the windows rolled up. This was a dumping ground, probably Oakland’s worst, although there was competition. A lot of crime on nearby blocks, but gangs didn’t bother straggling over here, they dealt and robbed and killed where the stench wasn’t so obvious.

***

Rob’s bio: Rob Pierce wrote the novel Uncle Dust (2015) and the novella Vern In The Heat (2016). Editor of Swill Magazine and an editorial consultant with All Due Respect Books, Rob has been nominated for a Derringer Award for short crime fiction and has had stories published in Flash Fiction Offensive, Pulp Modern, Plots With Guns, The Big Click, Near To The Knuckle, and Shotgun Honey, among others. He lives and will probably die in Oakland, California.

Tentative plans are for All Due Respect to publish Rob’s short story collection, The Things I Love Will Me Yet, this summer, and the sequel to Uncle Dust, which is currently titled With The Right Enemies, in the fall. So there’s a lot of writing going on.

Also, Swill Magazine, which Rob edits with Sean Craven, will have its eighth issue available for purchase shortly, and he’s an executive consultant with All Due Respect. So, there’s a lot of editing going on.

This wouldn’t seem to leave a lot of time for his full-time paying job, or time with family, or leisure. The main thing it leaves little time for is sleep.

What Goes On? Ayris, Godwin

Ian Ayris

jason deanWell, the reissue of my Kindle novella – One Day in the Life of Jason Dean – has just been released by the brilliant Near to the Knuckle, and April Skies – the sequel to my debut novel – Abide With Me – is due for publication in both paperback and Kindle versions on the 7th April. It’s taken me the best part of three years to write, so it’ll be a fantastic feeling to finally have it out skating in the ether. April Skies carries on two years after the end of Abide With Me, following John as he attempts to navigate the perils of adult life. He does his best, bless him, but everyone has a history. And with a history like John’s, the past is never far behind.

Here’s a little extract:

The bloke next to me’s readin the back pages. Looks over the top and asks me if Thommo’s mental. I says he is.

‘Always been like that, has he?’ the bloke says, puttin his paper on his lap.

‘Not always,’ I says. ‘Glue. Fucked him right up.’

‘He want a sweet?’ the bloke says.

I tap Thommo on the shoulder.

‘You want a sweet, Thommo?’ I says.

APRIL SKIES coverThommo don’t even turn round.

‘He’s all right, mate,’ I says. ‘Cheers, anyway.’

The bloke opens up a pack of Refreshers, chucks half of em in his mouth in one go, picks up his paper, and carries on readin.

I’m watchin Thommo lookin out the window, the fields goin by like they was movin faster than the train. And I’m wonderin if Thommo knows this time tomorrow he’ll be back in the nuthouse with the screamin and the bangin and the walls, and that the fields he’s lookin at now won’t even know he was ever here.

It’s still an hour before kick-off.  We’re up at the Holte End, me and Thommo, this massive fuck off terrace behind the goal. There’s Hammers comin in all the time, fillin it right up.

Thommo’s lookin at me with this stupid grin on his face. It’s the same grin he had as a kid, but it don’t mean nothing no more. It’s just his mouth doin a shape.

Apart from the writing, I’m also teaching novel writing for a second year on an Arts Council funded project for Barking and Dagenham Council, entitled Pen to Print. The idea is to take adults through the process of writing a novel.

It’s brilliant fun, and unbelievably rewarding.

So, that’s me 🙂

Bio: As well as being the author of One Day in the Life of Jason Dean, Ian has forty short stories published online and in print. His debut novel – Abide With Me – was published in 2012 by Caffeine Nights Publishing, and its sequel – April Skies – is to be published in April 2016.

Ian is a qualified counsellor, a creative writing tutor and runs his own editing business.

At weekends he works in a care home for adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues, whilst also indulging in his lifelong passion for the Mighty Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.

Ian lives in Harold Hill, Essex, with his girlfriend, Karen, his three children, Mollie, Charlie, and Summer, and two guinea pigs by the name of Sanchez and Bob.

Richard Godwin

savage highwayMy novel Savage Highway was published this January. It is about abductions in Arizona, lawlessness, the criminal mind and revenge. Here is some Blurb.

Women are disappearing on the highway, a drifter hunts the men who raped her, and a journalist discovers law has broken down in the area.

On a remote highway in Arizona women are disappearing at truck stops. Journalist Johnny Sullivan travels to the area to investigate. He encounters hitchhiker Patty, who is being hunted by violent trucker Red. Patty tells Johnny of the local myth of the maniac trucker. Johnny also meets Valentino de La Cruz, a mysterious Mexican who is looking for his missing sister.

Valentino is having an affair with Natasha, the wife of recently murdered businessman, Theodore Mills, whose wealth funds the corrupt police force in the area. The local Highway Patrol is run by sexually sadistic Sam Roche and Franklin Norman and they want to put an end to Johnny’s snooping. Marshall Simmons knows a lot about the goings on in the area, and has a young woman captive in a house. He is reprogramming her identity. Meanwhile Johnny discovers that years previously serial killer Donald Lake disappeared in the area while in transit between prisons. And it seems he had police help. But what is being done to the women? And who is running the criminal organisation that controls the area? Savage Highways is about lawlessness and the hunt for justice in a no man’s land. Pedal to the floor all the way, the narrative speeds towards its stunning and unforeseeable conclusion.

If you are interested you can buy it here in the US

http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Highway-Richard-Godwin-ebook/product-reviews/B01AL7AC0O/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#R2FXA2C1ZUNEOI

And here in the UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Savage-Highway-Richard-Godwin-ebook/dp/B01AL7AC0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453201099&sr=8-1&keywords=Savage+Highway+by+richard+godwin

And you can listen to me talk about it on You Tube here

Richard Godwin Discusses His New Novel SAVAGE HIGHWAY

The year has really started with a bang and looks to continue that way, with the publication of my tenth novel, Ersatz World this month. It is about the age of surveillance and the rise of the digital revolution and how that may be eroding identity and be part of  a wider and more sinister social engineering programme with the ultimate goal of cloning humanity. Here is some Blurb.

Samuel Verso is an ordinary, old-fashioned publisher trying to resist the lure of e-books. As his wife fills the hallway with prosthetic limbs and his business partner is replaced with an exact replica he realises that his problems run deeper than books on a computer screen. But it is only when he is serially abducted, beaten and accused of terrorism that he understands it isn’t that he’s paranoid – it’s that he isn’t paranoid enough.

You can read more about it here

Guest blog: ERSATZ WORLD by Richard Godwin.

If you are interested you can buy it here in the US

http://www.amazon.com/Ersatz-World-Richard-Godwin/dp/1530025826/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455956822&sr=8-2&keywords=Ersatz+World+by+richard+godwin

And here in the UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ersatz-World-Richard-Godwin/dp/1530025826/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455957051&sr=8-1&keywords=ersatz+world+by+richard+godwin

ersatz worldNext month my novel, The Pure And The Hated is published. It is a Vermont based novel, a state I know well, and is about the nature of forgiveness in a corrupt world, redemption, the extent to which we can know anyone, even in a family structure, and moral compromise, something I think is definitively Noir and two words I think about a lot when writing Noir.

In June my novel Disembodied is published. It is narrated in four different genres and is about surveillance and espionage.

I will have up to eight novels released this year. In October

Buffalo And Sour Mash is published. It is about a man called Murphy Stubbs, who wants to bring the Wild West to Surrey. He organises an all-female rodeo show as part of his own dark and Southern psychosis. Coming all the way from Oklahoma, he brings with him a level of anarchy that rips through the tidy lives of the locals. Then there is Rhonda, his rodeo star and the woman who shakes it up. High drama in Surrey as it is transformed into a Southern state by a lunatic. It is a novel full of hustlers and low lifes. I am currently writing a sequel to both Wrong Crowd and it, involving the central characters of each novel.

My first novel Apostle Rising, is being translated into Slovenian and will be published in Slovenian in August or September.

I will also have a literary novel called The Artist published at some point.

Bio: Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash and Locked In Cages. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. You can find out more about him at his website www.richardgodwin.net , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.

 

What Goes On? Vater, Bird, Tomlinson, Miles.

TCBDcoverfinalsmaTom Vater

I’ve just republished THE CAMBODIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, the first in the Detective Maier Mystery series, with Crime Wave Press (www.crimewavepress.com) as a Kindle. The second book THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN MIND will be out soon as well.

After the demise of Exhibit A Books, the original home of the Maier series, the rights of the two books reverted back to me, so Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based imprint I part own, was a natural platform to republish the books with.

THE CAMBODIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD follows  German Detective Maier as he travels to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s ramshackle capital, to find the heir to a Hamburg coffee empire.

As soon as the private eye and former war reporter arrives in Cambodia, his search for the young coffee magnate leads into the darkest corners of the country’s history and back in time, through the communist revolution to the White Spider, a Nazi war criminal who hides amongst the detritus of another nation’s collapse and reigns over an ancient Khmer temple deep in the jungles of Cambodia.
Maier, captured and imprisoned, is forced into the worst job of his life – he is to write the biography of the White Spider, a tale of mass murder that reaches from the Cambodian Killing Fields back to Europe’s concentration camps – or die.

In the second Maier Mystery, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN MIND, Julia Rendel asks Maier to investigate the twenty-five year old murder of her father, an East German cultural attache who was killed near a fabled CIA airbase in central Laos in 1976. But before the detective can set off, his client is kidnapped right out of his arms. Maier follows Julia’s trail to the Laotian capital Vientiane, where he learns different parties, including his missing client are searching for a legendary CIA file crammed with Cold War secrets. But the real prize is the file’s author, a man codenamed Weltmeister, a former US and Vietnamese spy and assassin no one has seen for a quarter century.

I’ve just finished a first draft of a third Maier Mystery, THE MONSOON GHOST IMAGE which is set in Thailand.  I’m very happy to bring this Southeast Asian trilogy to a close with a big bang. Maier 3 is set in 2003 and revolves around the CIA renditions program in the wake of 9/11. Maier is sent to Bangkok to find a famous German war photographer who died in a boating accident but surfaces, very much alive, months later in the Thai capital. Turns out the photographer snapped a frame that everyone wants to get their hands on – the CIA, Maier and a third mysterious party who has put a price of 2 million dollars on the elusive photo.

So I will be editing for the next couple of months.  I really enjoyed writing this one. The character has become familiar and Thailand was a natural choice for the book’s main location, after Laos and Cambodia. As with the first two books in the series, I had a solid historical backdrop on which to build my story and the time I spent with Thailand’s sea gypsies in the late 90s served as rich material for part of the story. It’s been mad fun.

Bio: Tom Vater is a writer working predominantly in Asia and the co-owner of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based English language crime fiction imprint.
He has published three crime novels, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu, The Cambodian Book of the Dead, The Man with the Golden Mind.

In twenty years as a free lance journalist, he has worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Geographical, Penthouse and countless other publications.  He has published several non-fiction books, including the highly acclaimed Sacred Skin and he is co-author of several documentary screenplays, most notably The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature on the CIA’s covert war in 1960s Laos.

Website: www.tomvater.com

THE CAMBODIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD:

http://www.amazon.com/Cambodian-Book-Dead-Tom-Vater-ebook/dp/B008GDT8QU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456420016&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cambodian+book+of+the+dead

12767826_10154076935386614_1135455332_oNigel Bird

One of the strange things about writing is that it happens in a solitary space. It’s not like building a house where you can watch the foundations being dug, the walls go up and the roof go on.

I say this because on the surface it may appear that I’ve done little over the last year or two. I can confirm that, though my graceful self has been gliding away on the smooth surface of the pond, I’ve been kicking my legs like crazy beneath the water.

I recently put out my new novel, The Shallows (US). In a nutshell, it tells the story of a sailor who goes AWOL and quickly lands his family in a whole heap of trouble. It’s a noir love story with undertones of a police procedural. I hope it touches on a few contemporary issues and some aspects of life that are universal and ever-present.  This is new territory for me in some ways, but I hope that the strength of the story and the characters will have readers hooked until the very end. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope that it will be equally fun for you guys.

I also have a string of books in the hands of Blasted Heath to continue the Southsiders series. Book two, Jailhouse Rock, shouldn’t be long and three and four should appear later in the year.

My current work is out of my comfort zone. It’s the reworking of a short story of mine that I’m hoping will become a rather exciting New Adult Paranormal Romance of sorts. Suffice to say, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with this one, but it’s been one hell of an experience trying.

Other than that, I’m juggling my life as a teacher and father as best as I can.

Nigel Bird is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short story collections including Dirty Old Town, In Loco Parentis and Smoke.

l a nocturne collection (2)Katherine Tomlinson

After living in Los Angeles for decades, I moved to a small town in the Pacific Northwest last year. My new home is a beautiful place with urban waterfalls and haunted cemeteries and a genuine sense of community. To meet people, I started a mystery lovers’ book club that’s hosted by Village Bookstore, a great indie store that is very supportive of local writers as well as readers, and of the community in general. Dogs are welcome to come into the store with their owners, and there’s a little coffee place upstairs that looks out over the Bay, one of the best views in the city.

Ironically, I’d no sooner left Los Angeles than I started getting movie and TV work. I co-wrote a television pilot that’s going to shoot in Berlin, working with Icelandic playwright Jon Atli Jonasson and a group of Icelandic, German, and American producers. I did a quick (uncredited) rewrite of a fantasy movie and then, responding to a CraigsList ad, I ended up writing a science fiction movie called One Under the Sun. the movie, directed by Vincent Tran, has an international cast and is in post-production now. The filmmakers are shopping it to the film markets now, which is really exciting.

I’m not writing quite as many short stories as I used to because I’m trying to get longer works out there. I am writing noir-tinged stories about Hollywood for a website called “Hollywood Dementia” that’s run by legendary blogger Nikki Finke. During the 2007 writer’s strike, Nikki Finke was the Writers Guild’s best friend, and just about the only reliable source of information about what was going on. I’m thrilled to be one of the writers on the site because she’s got huge names—Eric Idle, Michael Tolkin—contributing.

Increasingly, I’m writing a lot of fantasy and science fiction and romance under my pseudonym “Kat Parrish.” (Parrish is my middle name so I’m not making a secret identity out of it.) The fantasy romance is what’s selling best for me at the moment, and I’ve become enamored of the idea of rewriting fairy tales with a modern spin. My first novelette in that series, Fashionista, was published at Christmas; it’s a retelling of Cindrella. Hunter’s Kiss, a retelling of Snow White, will be out next month, as will two more fantasy novellas, Starcasterand Tears of Idrissa.

Other than the writing, I hope to do more traveling this year. I went to Tucson for the Gem & Mineral Show there—like Comic Con for jewelry makers—and will be going to Portland for the Rose City Convention. I also hope to visit Iceland this summer when those cheap fares to Europe kick in.  What’s up with you?

Bio: Katherine Tomlinson was born in Washington DC and has lived in seven different states and two different foreign countries (so far). A former reporter who prefers making things up, she writes crime and horror fiction under her own name; fantasy, romance, and science fiction under the name “Kat Parrish.” Her short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and her story “Water Sports” was a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. A collection of her urban fantasy stories, L.A. Nocturne Collection, was published in February.

route12bigMarietta Miles 

Thanks to Mike Monson, Chris Rhatigan and Rob Pierce my debut book, Route 12, is now available. Route 12 is actually two novellas. One is set in 1970s Appalachia. It’s the story of a broken, angry, young man, and the vengeance he brings to a small town in the chilly, isolated mountains. The second novella is Blood and Sin and follows a lonely pregnant teen, a charismatic preacher, and a woman who is much more than she appears. With brutal, tragic consequences, their paths converge in a small white church deep in rural Carolina.

“Whether it is meant to be or not, Route 12 is poignantly, compellingly important.”– Greg Barth, Selena. Kind words from an incredible writer.

April 26 I will be hosting Authors on the Air, Dames of the Dark podcast. The show will feature established female writers as well as up and comers in the dark and dangerous genres. Laura Benedict, author of The Bliss House Series featuring the newest Cold Alone, will be joining ua. As will Jessica Hillier of Freak, The Butcher, and Wonderland fame. Nancy Cole Silverman, of the Carol Childs Mystery series, will be on hand as well. Nicky Murphy will join us to read her punch to the gut story, Daddy’s Girl. My special co-host will be Michelle Turlock Isler. Often called Godmother by authors of the crime, mystery and noir worlds she is an expert on all things thrilling. Gonna be fun. April 26, 9:00pm

Bio: Marietta Miles has published stories with Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama and Revolt Daily. She has been included in anthologies available through Static Movement Publishing and Horrified Press. Please visit www.mariettamiles.blogspot.com  or Facebook for more stories and further information. Her first novel will be available in spring 2016 through All Due Respect Books. Born in Alabama, raised in Louisiana, she currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.