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BUILDING THE CRIME NOVEL
I'll be conducting a day-long seminar on how to build a crime novel starting at 10 AM Saturday, November 18
at the Loft Literary Center
at 1011 Washington Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis, MN. I've always maintained that the best mysteries have always been about more than who killed Mr. Body in the library with a candlestick. They help us explore the truth of our existence with as much validity as any so-called work of literature. In this seminar, we'll help students achieve this goal by examining the structure of the crime novel starting with the simple question — What is this book about? From there we will discuss what Hitchcock called "the McGuffin" — the reason the story takes place — followed by the importance of conflict in moving the story along and exploring the theme as well as a detailed discussion of the three parts of the crime novel—snare, joyride and payoff. We will also discuss the Voice of the Narrator. Bring a bag lunch; we'll break mid-day. Call 612-215-2575.
4:30 PM Thursday, Sept. 28 - I'll be taking part in an author event sponsored by the
Friends of the Rochester Public Library along with Julie Krammer and Chuck Logan.
The event will be held at Rochester Public Library, 101 2nd Street SE in Rochester, MN. Call 507-328-2300.
Thursday, October 12 - Sunday, October 14 - If you're in the neighborhood, join me at
Bouchercon 2017 held at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, Canada. I'll be a member of a panel entitled "Did I Write That" starting at 1 PM Saturday in Sheraton B where we will discuss “Characters that take on a life of their own.”
Friday, Oct. 20 - Saturday, Oct. 21 - I'll be the guest of honor at the Mystery Festival held by the
Lanier Library Association at the Lanier Library at 72 Chestnut Strett in Tryon, North Carolina.
7 PM Wednesday, Oct. 25 - I'll be chatting with the Anoka Book Club at the Rum River Public Library at 4201 6th Ave in Anoka, MN. Call 763-324-1520 for details.
4:30 PM Wednesday, January 3 2018 - I'll be the guest at the Totally Criminal Cocktail House sponsored by the Valley Bookseller at the Dock Cafe at 425 East Nelson Street in Stillwater, MN. Call 651-430-3385.
THE RETURN OF HOLLAND TAYLOR
- FOR REAL!
After a 16-year absense, I've decided to resurrect the Holland Taylor novels and
my good friends at St. Martin's Minotaur have agreed to publish them! Look
for DARKNESS, SING ME A SONG in November of 2017 followed by the fifth book
in the series a year later. I have to give some props to my man Otto Penzler for
talking me into releasing the original Taylor novels -PENANCE
TO DECEIVE, and
DEARLY DEPARTED - in ebook form through his
MysteriousPress.Com imprint. That, and so many fans buying so
many copies, is what inspired us to continue the series.
Friends of Rushmore McKenzie do not dispair. We will also continue writing
that series. In fact, you can expect another adventure in June of this year and
in 2018 as well.
JUST CALL ME "EX-PREZ"
Alas, my time as President of the
Private Eye Writers of America
has come to an end. The great Gary Phillips has replaced me. Now I join the legion
of ex-presidents including William Campbell Gault, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton,
Sara Paretsky, Ed Gorman, Linda Barnes, SJ Rozan and Steve Hamilton. Not bad, huh.
Meanwhile, my volume of short stories -
- is now available at fine
bookstores everywhere, as well as in eBook format. It's published by my pals at
Down & Out Books in Florida. They're
the folks who brought you THE DEVIL AND THE DIVA, the Minnesota Book Award
nominee that I wrote with Renee Valois (the main squeeze) and FINDERS KEEPERS,
my young adult crime novel (see below). The volume contains every short story I've
ever written to date, including a Holland Taylor adventure for Ellery Queen Mystery
Magazine and a piece for True Romance.
To my great joy,
HighBridge is bringing out all
three of my Holland Taylor novels in audiobook starting with
(that's the Edgar Award winner, folks). Veteran actor R. C. Bray is providing the
voice (he has also narrated books by James Ellroy, Joseph Wambaugh and Ross Thomas,
one of my heroes). I'm told the audiobooks for
PRACTICE TO DECEIVE and
will be available soon.
FINDERS KEEPERS - AN EBOOK
ORIGINAL FOR YOUNG ADULTS.
my first young adult crime novel about a 13-year-old boy who finds a suitcase
filled with cash and thinks all of his problems are over, is out! You can find
it in eBook format in all the usual places. Plus, my publisher,
Down And Out Books, is also releasing it in trade paper. You'll
be able to get it through your favorite bookstore any day now.
AN ADULT EBOOK
Meanwhile, sales for
THE DEVIL AND THE DIVA, a decidedly
adult ebook original I wrote with writer and theater critic Reneé Valois,
remain strong. A "gothic suspense thriller adventure romantic crime novel with
jokes," - think Beauty and the Beast in the wrong hands - is available in ebook
format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Sony, Diesel and others. It's also
available as a trade paper book through Print On Demand outlets, although my good
friends at Once Upon A Crime and
bookstores in Minneapolis are stocking it on their shelves as well.
VIDEOS, WE HAVE VIDEOS
(AND AUDIO, TOO)
Click on the various links below to watch my acceptance speech
2010 Minnesota Book Award, an interview with my pals at the
Minnesota Crime Wave,
and a radio interview with Heidi Holton on
Minnesota Public Radio.
WHAT SHOULD YOU READ NEXT?
According to Mary Lou Metzger, program specialist and librarian at Sterling Heights
Public Library in Sterling Heights, Michigan, it's the Rushmore McKenzie and
Holland Taylor mystery series. Heremail reports that both series will be included
in the SHPL's upcoming What Do I Read Next, Mystery III program. She says
the books are "hot ticket items." Yowzer! Check out
www.SHLP.net for details.
A CHAIR FOR ME?
It's true. Because they say I have visitied their store more often than any other
author, Jo Gilbertson and the good folks at Barnes and Nobel in Eden Prairie, MN
(3000 Eden Prairie Center) have tagged a very nice, blond-wood chair with the name
"House" in my honor. They pull it out for me every time I'm there. How cool is that?
A HISTORICAL NOTE.
The Anoka County Historical Society here in snowy Minnesota has recommended
to readers during I Love To Read
Month at the Anoka County Library (that would be February for those scoring
at home). After spending several paragraphs praising the book, it concludes
"While certainly not in the class of a book like War And Peace, Tin City
is fun and set among places we all know."
ANOTHER HISTORICAL NOTE.
Mary Anne Grossman of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has listed Tin City
among her Top Ten Mysteries written by Minnesota Authors in 2005. So I have that
going for me.
HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD.
Empire Pictures, an independent production house, has purchased the film rights
to my novel
PRACTICE TO DECEIVE. These are
the good folks who brought you Barry Levinson's film Bandits starring
Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchette and who released The Big
White starring Robin Williams,Holly Hunter and Woody Harrelson. I'm afraid
I can't give you any more details at this time, but watch for an announcement soon.
JABBO AND ME.
That's the title of a brief memoir I wrote for the Feb./March edition of
Crime Spree Magazine. It tells the tale of how as a young man
I met the great Jabbo Smith and became a jazz fan for life. You might also be
interested in a brief sidebar I added which features a list of eight classic jazz
albums from my personal collection. These are not necessarily my best albums nor
my favorite. But if you don't like these, you don't like jazz. The articles
will accompany a much longer piece exploring the birth of jazz by mystery author
David Fulmer (JASS).
A MAN OR MYSTERY.
That's what my high school alma mater - Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota
- calls me in the Fall 2004 issue of Traditions Magazine. Which was awfully
nice of them considering all the silliness if perpetrated when I went there.
IT'S A GREAT HONOR
to learn that my novel
PENANCE (that's the one that
earned the Edgar in '96) is being taught in the mystery writing class at the
Roseville Area High School in Roseville, Minnesota (where I now live).
BE SURE TO VISIT
my good friends at Once Upon A Crime bookstore for the latest titles.