The nice folks over at Mulholland Books—one of today’s best crime fiction publishers, from my view (you know, outside my imprint)–invited me to do a guest blog post for them. So I wrote about the top 10 cliches in crime fiction.
Here are the top three:
1. The deep and intense relationship with alcohol.
Has there ever been a private investigator or a hard-boiled protagonist who didn’t drown his or her feelings in a bottle? Bonus points if that alcohol is amber and smoky. Vices are fun, but too often, they’re overused as a defining characteristic.
2. The deep and intense relationship with music.
A lot of authors name-check musicians. In crime fiction it’s almost always jazz or the blues. Again, amber and smoky. Where’s the polka? The Norwegian death metal? It would be great to see some characters with a little range.
3. The uptight female character as potential sex toy.
If a prudish but pretty woman meets the male protagonist in the first 50 pages of a story, you know they’ll end up having sex. It’ll be liberating for her, a moment of vulnerability for him—and the author will get to work out some deep-seated sexual fantasy. Everyone wins!
Go here to find the rest!
So, this is cool: A few months back some dude asked me to blurb his book. I didn’t know him, but the plot summary was pretty cool, and I was in a good mood when I got the e-mail, so I figured, hell, let’s try this thing.
And I really liked it! Which would have been awkward if I didn’t, no? If the book sucked then I don’t know what I would have done. Written back with a blurb that read: “This is in fact a book.”
Instead, this is the blurb I came up with:
Toxic Garbage is like that perfect punk song: Dirty, propulsive, immediate, infused with anarchist spirt. And it’s carried by a rag-tag central cast that, despite their flaws and scars, clearly care for each other. The balance Losack strikes between light and dark is killer.
And he put it on the cover! Which is awesome. (It’s not on this version of the cover, but it is on the version over at Amazon, where you can buy it.)
Go read Toxic Garbage. If this is Kelby Losack’s debut, I’m excited to see what he has coming up next.
The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella, a thing I wrote that, until now, was only available as an eBook, is not anymore limited to a single format.
Wow, that sentence.
Anyway, The Last Safe Place is available as a paperback! And it’s only $5.69 at Amazon. Not bad. Cheaper than lunch in Manhattan. Cheaper than a life-size replica of the Iron Throne. I don’t go to Starbucks but I imagine it’s cheaper than most of their faux-coffee sugar drinks.
Go get some!
Hey writer-types: Tomorrow I kick off another round of my marketing class at LitReactor. Sell Yourself runs two weeks and we cover everything from social media to bio-writing to websites. Click the class banner above for more info, and let me know if you have questions!
This Sunday: Noir at the Bar! I’ll be reading a story I’m writing that isn’t exactly done yet, so we’ll see how that goes. Festivities start at 6 p.m. Shade is on the corner of Sullivan and W 3rd. Be there.
Reloaded, Both Barrels Vol. 2, is available to buy!
This anthology is published by One Eye Press, the folks behind Shotgun Honey. It’s full of stories by some really fantastic writers. It also includes my short, “A Blow to the Head.” The first volume was fantastic, and I’m thrilled to be included on this one.
Here are the links to get a copy:
This Monday, September 9, I’ll be signing Kwik Krimes at The Mysterious Bookshop, along with a number of the anthology’s contributors.
This is the first time that I’ll be signing books for actual people, so I’m super excited but also a little nervous and wondering if I should change my signature for signing books so no one can forge checks in my name. Is this the kind I’m supposed to think about? I don’t even know.
Also appearing at the event are:
Otto Penzler, Erik Arneson, Albert Ashforth, N.J. Ayers, Peter Blauner, William Chambers, Reed Farrel Coleman, Bruce DeSilva, Gerald Elias, James Grady, Lyndsay Faye, Jim Fusilli, Chris Grabenstein, and Parnell Hall.
So it’s a stacked lineup. And it’s going to be fun. And there will be booze, in case you needed that added incentive.
Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. The bookshop is located at 58 Warren Street in Manhattan. Be there!