Friday, September 30, 2011

Steve Brewer: Thank Facebook For This One

Noticed on the Mindjacker FB page a small thumbnail picture of "Lost Vegas" by Steve Brewer, letting me know our pages were similiar. I checked it because the cover was cool. Glad I did! Here's why.

 I am a huge fan of heists, both novels and movies. Love them. Well, after a bit of recon, it seems Steve is quite prolific in the heist / crime writing arena. Maybe others have heard of him. Can't believe I hadn't. He's got 20 novels out there, mostly heists, but also some PI and even a hillbilly noir. I read the first 2 sample chapters of  "Lost Vegas" on his blog, and I was hooked. My nook is going to be busy downloading at least 5 or 6 of the heist stories, based on the premise and covers. He's got some impressive credentials as well (listed below).

He's got a blog, where you can check out CH 1 of "Lost Vegas" HERE and CH 2 HERE

STEVE BREWER is the author of more than 20 books, including the recent crime novels LOST VEGAS, THE BIG WINK, CALABAMA and FIREPOWER.

His first novel, LONELY STREET, recently was made into a Hollywood comedy starring Robert Patrick, Jay Mohr and Joe Mantegna. BOOST currently is under film/TV option.

Brewer's short fiction appeared in the anthologies DAMN NEAR DEAD, THE LAST NOEL and CRIMES BY MOONLIGHT, and he's published articles in magazines such as Mystery Scene, Crimespree and Mystery Readers' Journal.

A writing coach, Brewer has taught at the University of New Mexico, the Midwest Writers Workshop and the Tony Hillerman Writers Seminar. He regularly speaks at mystery conventions, and was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe, NM, in 2011.

He served two years on the national board of Mystery Writers of America, and twice served as an Edgar Awards judge. He's also a member of International Thriller Writers.

Brewer worked as a journalist for 22 years, then wrote a weekly syndicated column for another decade. The column, called The Home Front, produced the raw material for the humor book TROPHY HUSBAND.

Married and the father of two adult sons, Brewer lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Get Plugged For Free @ C.A.P

Over at Declan Burke's fantabumundo blog, Crime Always Pays, there is a free, signed copy of Eoin Colfer's "Plugged" up for grabs. Stop on over and try your luck HERE

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Little Sumpin' Sumpin'

I've been trying to come up the main idea for a story (750 to 1500 words) that is due next month for Luca Veste's forthcoming story collection OFF THE RECORD. Had a few things come to mind, but nothing that really got the juices flowing. Then, I read Erin Cole's post about stories or partial stories that are in limbo, and sure enough, I went through 5 years worth of idea's I keep track of, and made my decision. Big Relief!

You think you had a bad day? Well, Matt Hilton's had a worse one HERE

Big congrats to Joelle Charbonneau over at Do Same Damage, who's latest novel has just came out. Her two novels are def going to be Christmas presents for some people I know. Details HERE

There's a few decent posts I found out there regarding writerly type of stuff.

- Dan O'Shea is talking about research HERE

- Cath Bore has an entertaining post on the importance and even style of notebooks HERE

You don't want to miss William Dylan Powell's story "Road Kill" thats showing over at FFO. It is just so damn good. Find it HERE

The latest installment of Paul Waters' The Day I Met series tells us about Padmini Natarojan's encounter with Indiri Ghandi HERE

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Beat On The Street

It was a weekend full of my kids sports activities, but I did manage to finish / submit a story I was working on, and submit another one.  Lot's going on in the world of web, so for anyone who did not catch some, or all of the below news, here you go.

- Peter Rozovsky has hit the 5 year mark of his excellent Detectives Beyond Borders blog. I found out about DBB, from Adrian McKinty's blog, and glad I did. Congrats Peter! You can read about Peter's recap of his 5 years in the biz HERE

- The Nerd of Noir friggin' kills me. Every time I read a review by this dude ( or, er, dudette? who knows?) I not only get the straight dope on the subject matter, but also laugh my ass off.  Check out The Nerds take on the movie "Drive" HERE and George Pelacanos' "The Cut"  HERE. This Pelacanos cat has got me all kinds of excited and I'm diving in, full throttle, starting tonight.

- Paul Brazill is doing the Chinwag over at Richard Godwin's place HERE

-Dave Barber is over at Nigel Birds, being grilled by his Two Blokes characters.  Check out the insanity HERE

- Speaking of Mr. Barber, he's also the editor of the Flash Fiction Offensive and there are two great reads I found there. "Robert the Arab Girl" by Stuart Matthew David HERE and "Lunch Break" by Trey R Barker HERE

- Chris Rhatigan really impressed me with what he was able to do with a 50 word limit over at the 50 to 1 site. Check out "Guy With the Barbed Wire Tattoo" HERE

- Over at Ashedit, there are some great pics from Bouchercon 2011 ( including, ahem, Christa Faust, be still my heart) Check them out HERE

- Found a new blog that I look forward to following. The host is Cath Bore, Liverpool writer. Enjoyed the posts so far. Stop in and check out Cath's place HERE

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contagion: No Antidote For This Piece Of...

Took the kids to see Contagion at Chunky's this weekend. It's one of those places where you sit in comfortable, leather chairs that came from big SUV's, order food from the pub style menu, and watch the show. Let's just say the meal was the best part of the experience, and the food ain't that great.

I was sceptical before I even went. I'm not a big fan of this genre- The Stand and The Andromeda Strain set the bar so high, for me at least, all else are also rans.

My biggest gripe, was the horrendous acting from this A-list cast, most of which I normally dig. Even Matt Damon, a Boston homeboy, gives a pathetic, emotionless performance. Same goes for Winslet, Paltrow, and even, dare I say, Fishburne (that hurts). But, it is Jude Law who really stinks it out. I do owe him some kudos because, I spent most of the movie, wondering what hat, or hoodie he was going to be wearing next to hide his hair loss. My patience was rewarded with a big reveal at the end, and it ain't pretty. I swear this was actually part of the script.

The film style was very reminiscent of Saw, as were the only for shock value blood, snot, vomit, foaming at the mouth scenes. I do give the actors credit for allowing themselves to be filmed very closeup, in all their "natural" glory. I didn't know Winslet and Paltrow were in it, and it took a while for me to recognize them.

Taking a queue from the Saw franchise and the most recent Planet of the Apes movie (which I did like) there is the big ending scene that answers the questions, and fortunatley, provided me the chance to leave the theater (like I was the one fleeing a pandemic)

The night was not a total loss. When we got home, Lord of the Flies was on. Which got me to thinking...If any down and out fly extra's are reading this, I  highly recommend Contagion as a five-star feast.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Noir At The Bar, Go Git It!

As mentioned in a prior post, I won a copy of Noir At The Bar from Patti Abbott's blog via a guest post by Chris La Tray.  Everyone has jumped on the ebook bandwagon, but this collection is a great example why we still need paper. The cover, blurbs, and foreward by Jedidiah Ayres had me laughing my ass off ( not easy to do) before I read a single story. When it arrived, I opened the package, wife and kids all anxiously waiting to see my winnings. The wife says 'you won a used book?' It is not used, but the cover is made to look like it. It's all part of the presentation, along with every blurb that basically shits all over it. Fucking Brilliant!!!

Every story is a keeper in this collection. I enjoyed everyone of them. I hate spoilers so I'm not going to go into details, but if I had to pick one story that is still stuck in my head for various reasons, it would be "They Take You" by Kyle Minor. Like I said, not a bad tale in the lot and this collection is superb.

You can get yourself a copy, as well as read the blurbs I was talking about HERE

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh Blackwater, Keep on Rollin.

No, Gerry Adams isn't talking about the results of his "enhancement"  test trial, but he is the latest subject of  the very entertaining "The Day I met..." competition over at Paul Waters' Blackwatertown blog. This is a good one, and incredibly, true. Had me laughing, and on the edge of my seat. So, stop on over and join the fun HERE

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Beat On The Street

Saw lots of 9/11 specials on the tube all week and yesterday. God bless everyone who died, survived, and sacrificed their time helping out before and after this trajedy. I'm damn proud to be an American!!

The NFL was on yesterday, but I watched the US vs Ireland Rugby World Cup match. What a great sport and these guys make NFL players look silly. Most of my mates on the cricket team I played for  also played Rugby, so I know how tough and fearless you need to be to play rugby. I think in my younger days, I would have been a decent Rugby player but... I still have all my teeth and the legs have avoided serious injury so far, so propably just as well. AND  BELOVED NOTRE DAME LOST TO MICHIGAN, They officially SUCK!

- Sanda Seamans beat me to the punch on some excitin news from John Kenyon, Check it out HERE

- Glenna is back in action with a couple of well done reviews, including Declan Burke's Absolute Zero Cool HERE

- R.S Bohn is giving away a print  version of her chapbook "Letters From The Egg". She's mulling over a couple options for the best way to do the random drawing. Maybe a reader poll is in order R.S? Check it out HERE

- Steve Weddle has a great post about writer conventions over at Do Some Damage and if you leave a comment you could win a copy of  "D*cked"  HERE

- Paul Waters over at Blackwatertown, has  link to a short film, "Attack of the Evil Muffins" by aspiring filmmaker Hannah Charles. Def worth a look HERE

-Big congrats to Gerard Brennan over at Crime Scene NI, whose forthcoming novella "The Point" has already secured some big-tme endorsements. Find out who HERE

- More big-ups and best wishes / hopes go out to Greg Grzegorzek, whose novel just went out on submission to publishers. Read all about it HERE

- And finally, Jodi Macarthur is back in action. This is great news from a way cool and talented writer. Details HERE

Friday, September 9, 2011

To The Victor, Goes The Free Shit

I am not a lucky guy in terms of winning stuff. As long as the kids and extended family are healthy, I don't ask for much more out of life. I have been fortunate to win some great writing related prizes over the past year though, like:

- "Three Seconds" by Roslund & Hellstrom from Declan Bruke's site

- "The Lincoln Lawyer" by Michael Connelly from Jed Ayres' site. He even included the movie poster.

- "Needle: Issue 2" from Stephen Blackmore's site

- $5.00 Amazon gift card from Laurita Millers' site

And most recently, courtesy of Chris La Tray,  the "Noir at the Bar" anthology and two Chris Farnsworth novel's are on the way to Massachusetts.

I sincerely thank all of you for hosting the contests, being such good writers, and most of all, whether you know it or not, teaching me the game.

When I received the Needle: Issue 2 a while back, the first thing I noticed was how cool the cover is and all the big-time names (at least to me) listed as contributers. I read a few stories, got side-tracked, and hadn't re- visited it until last night. I read the entire issue and there is not a bad story in the lot. If I had to go with one story that I dug the most (totally subjective), it would be Nolan Knight's "Tip The Barkeep".

Big time kudo's to all the players who run Needle and of course, the authors. It is a tremendous offering in every catagory (presentation, content, and editing). Can't wait order the back issues and future releases. What the fuck was I waiting for!

Now, I cannot friggin' wait for '"Noir At The Bar" to arrive.  Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Lyric By Any Other Name

Found the Be Here Now cd by Oasis while cleaning out a TV cabinet last week and have beeen listening to it alot. The song in the video clip is "My Big Mouth" and is my favorite on the disc There a line in it that goes:

"I'll put on my shoes as I'm walking slowly down the hall of fame". 

This song sparked a couple ideas for a story I'm working on now, mainly because I misinterpreted the above lyric as  "You can hold my shoes as I'm walking slowly down the hall of fame", which I think sounds even cooler. Lots of ideas came from that simple mistake. Lucky I have not blown out the speakers in my Jeep, listening to it, but this is one of those 'crank it up' type of songs.

Thanks to Sandra Seamans' blog, I found very helpful post by Alan Rinzler on how to publish your short stories to some new paying markets. It seems like the short is really making a comeback. Check it out HERE

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Writing Season

I wish I could cop to writing everyday, but I would be feeding you a line of crap. Truth is, if I was talking about Sept thru April (which Lee Childs does) I think I could honestly say I do write everyday. This is my "writing season" and the last few weeks have been the "pre-season". Getting back into the swing of things, training the mind, setting goals, and getting so damn excited about it. If last year is any indication, it is also when the blogs start getting busy as well. I love this time of year, the long dark nights, kids in school, and I can easily dedicate a few, although late night hours to writing.

Sure, I'll try and squeeze in a short story in the off-season if I can and I'm always thinking about ideas and making notes, but I'm talking about 'sit your ass in the chair with regularity' writing.

Do you write every day, or are you like me and have certain times you write?

It's a long weekend here in the US, so if you live here, enjoy the last Summer hurrah and if you don't, tell your boss, I gave you the day off: :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

With All Due Respect...

Over at the All Due Respect blog, C.J. Edwards makes quite an impact with his first published piece of fiction THE PEEPER I feel obligated to warn you that it is graphic, disturbing, will not be for everyone, but it is all about the writing, characters, and story. This delivered on all three. It's fiction, but MC's like Jimmy are all around us and C.J brings one directly to your computer screen and into your mind.

Here's a tip: Read his bio, AFTER you read the story, you 'll feel better ;)