I’ve been writing blog posts for a very awesome blog hub entitled Campaign for the American Reader.
Even more news to come.
Well, here we go… the thing that writers always look forward to: author copies.
The third Mark Mallen novel is here, Innocent Damage.
And with their arrival, the journey begins again. Things are ramping up pretty fast:
-I’ve been featured in a very cool blog hub that leads to other very cool blogs. I seriously advise you to put these blogs in your bookmarks. You can’t go wrong.
-In June, I’ll be signing books at the American Library Association conference in San Francisco. Probably June 28th, at the Midnight Ink booth. More to come on that. When I know for sure, I’ll post it here.
-I did a short essay in the April Midnight Ink email publicity update. It’s all about what inspired me to write Mark Mallen (I can’t link to it directly, so here it is):
I was asked the other day what inspired me to write Mark Mallen. I can draw that inspiration all the way back to my mid-twenties when I discovered the pulp detective novels of Frank Kane, Henry Kane, Mickey Spillane and many others. Those author’s detectives were men who, even if it meant great sacrifice, would do whatever they had to do to solve a case. Those books were the ingredients that helped me to shape a detective that would harken back to that time, a detective that would be, as Raymond Chandler wrote in his legendary essay, “The Simple Art of Murder”: He must be a complete man and to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without a thought of it, and certainly without saying it.”
I wanted Mallen to fit that description, a character possessing a strong sense of honor and morality. Mallen is my white knight walking the dark streets, a part of his environment but yet still apart, a quality that enables him to make those hard, moral choices. He’s a character that will stick to his guns, no matter how hard the situation. This man, this detective, will always follow his moral compass, providing an example for others of how difficult it can be to do so.
But beyond that, I was inspired to create a character that I could admire for his integrity, his strength of will and his toughness.
And that character turned out to be Mark Mallen.
* * * * *
That’s it for now, but I will be back as there is a lot of other news brewing.
Finally finished this first draft, and this one nearly killed my liver. It’s a mess of a book, but just about all first drafts are messes. They’re supposed to be. The book is made in the editing phase. Now I go (after a couple days of rest) and break it down by chapter, tracking what happens where, what characters fall out of the book, etc…
… the fun part.
It’s a friggin’ joy to show you this, as it reinforces in my mind that the first draft is actually, finally done:
And in other news, that Suspense Magazine radio interview is quickly approaching, mid-April. April 18th, I believe.
I’ve also been invited to blog here, which is like a hub for a couple other awesome blogs. This will also happen in April.
And in other exciting news, I’ll have a blog post on a new crime fiction fan site. I can’t tell you which one yet, as it hasn’t gone live, but will in April. This post will show up in early May.
Also in May, May 5th actually, I’ll be giving a reading of Innocent Damage at the new Books, Inc. in Berkeley. On upper Shattuck, just a few doors up from Saul’s restaurant. (They’re moving from their old spot on 4th street in April)
And of course, Innocent Damage is only three weeks away.
Just had to update ya’ll on my trip to Bouchercon down in Long Beach! Almost went to the hospital very early that morning (like 2am) with some sort of back problem that had me crawling around on the floor like a dog, hyperventilating like a sick calf, but it went away in time to shoo off the paramedics and get a couple hours sleep.
Other than that? It was awesome.
Bouchercon rocks. Seriously rocks. The panel I was on, The Different Shades of Noir, was standing room only. I was pretty much delirious by that time, having been up for like fourteen hours, which at my age is like twenty-four. It went VERY well, thanks to the other participants, like Chris Holm and Jon Bassoff, (both writers you should get to know) and the great moderator, Chantelle Aimée Osman.
The other panels were fantastic, and I met a shitload of interesting and amazing people. Even received an offer to teach a class at some sort of writer’s retreat in the southwest. Nice offer, will see if it happens.
I of course made friends with the head bartender, natch, and reaped many rewards.
Oh, and a LOT of room service. Hell, I felt that if I was going to do this, then I was going to go all out.
Just a wonderful time. Also, we had a 15th floor room with an incredible view of the Queen Mary and the harbor. I’m still whacked-out tired, but haven’t had that much fun since Thrillerfest. SUCH a great experience. To spend that much time with other writers and fans? Incredible.
Would recommend this convention to anyone.