Feb 28, 2006

Professional Dress Codes?

I receive a large amount of Newsletters and group emails. One I got early this evening contained a piece by someone in the business in a discussion on how to dress professionally.

After reading the whole piece I would have to say that I disagree with most of what it said. They talk about dressing and presenting yourself as a business person, and they go on to suggest certian types of dress and even say that you should dress like this everywhere you go, including the grocery store. The whole piece is avalible on other sites so I won't reproduce it here. But it did get me thinking.

When I started going to conferences all I wore was Harley t-shirts, except to the banquet. Now as publisher I do dress a bit different, but I still wear t shirts and jeans. I do this more than anything else because that's part of who I am and I'm comfortable that way. I'm an adult (more or less) and I understand that sometimes I need to dress up more, and I do it. However, I'm also an individual and I'm not going to cast false illusions with my dress.

If someone decides not to read Crimespree because I was wearing sneakers and a tshirt, chances are they are probably not going to like the magazine anyway. I think clothes are an expression of who a person is and it should reflect that. If I saw Jason Starr wearing a three piece suit I would wonder who he feels he needs to impress. CJ Box wears cowboy hat because that's part of who he is. Writing is an expression and as such an author should wear what makes them comfortable.
And as adults most people in the mystery community are smart enough to dress appropriately for the situation, and also smart enough not to judge people on the way they dress. I think as long as someone is clean and groomed they are doing fine.

Another aspect is this. I wear a Kiss t-shirt a) because I like Kiss, and b) because it's kind of a barometer. If someone is going to look at my shirt and put up their nose and ignore me because of that, chances are I don't want to deal with that person. Would I wear a Metallica shirt to a meeting with the people in charge at Harper Collins? No. Would I wear it if I knew I might run into them at a bar during a convention? Yes.

It is important to look nice, but it's also important to be yourself. So don't wear a Mets tshirt to a business meeting, but go ahead and wear it to a signing. People want to meet you, not a false image of you.

We are planing to hook up for lunch during Bouchercon to talk about an idea for Crimespree to do something to help promote you. How would you dress?

Feb 23, 2006

Where the F&#K is Spring!??!

I'm a little sick and tired of cold and ice. I mean I love being inside and I'm not much of an outdoors kinda guy, but enough is enough! I'm ready for some damn sunlight and maybe tempratures that don't include me wearing long underwear.

On the upside I'm doing a lot of reading. I just read Peter James DEAD SIMPLE. A fun book about a boys night out gone bad. It was published in the UK first and came out here in February. It's got a great cop in it nd I love the victim, who surprisingly isn't a corpse at the beginning of the book.

I'm now reading the Michael Connelly book CRIME BEAT. So far it's pretty damn interesting.

And the new Simon R. Green should be out soon, SHARPER THAN A SERPANT'S TOOTH. Another tale from the Nightside. And it will have blurbs on the cover from Crimespree!

Brian Wiprud has two books coming out this fall, one on either side of Bouchercon. CROOKED comes out Aug 1st, and SLEEPS WITH FISHES comes out Oct 1st. SLEEPS WITH FISHES was originally an I universe book with a very very small run. A great book. Go Brian!

And.... I just had an interview published in a magazine from Czechoslovakia, it's an interview I did with Jonathon King. I got a copy today along with the Czech version of his first book.

And no I can't read it..... So I hope the translation is good. Laura Lippmann became Laury Lippmanove, and Harry Bosch is Harrym Boschem. And at one point Jonathon says Sorry Kamrade. Very interesting.

Crimespree was reecently written up in WISCONSIN TRAILS magazine and Ruth and I were interviewed for an upcoming issue of M Magazine. They even did a photo shoot in our room full of book.

A bonus Sean Doolittle picture from lunch at a Mexican joint called Jalisco's. Note the shrine behind him.....

Another author stopped by last week.... Steve rocks.

Michael Kortya was in town Tuesday, but the pictures are a bit dark, which is funny because that's the way Mystery One owner Richard Katz likes his books....

SO, spring is coming soon. And that means a flood of books coming and convention season.
Are you ready?
I am.

Feb 20, 2006

Another Serial Killer Book

I read a book last night that is coming out from Warner Books.
The Serial Killer Club is the first book from Jeff Povey and it's set for a June release.

I read it in one sitting while Mrs. Crimespree watched the olympics.

I loved this book. Funny and fast it reminded me a bit of Tim Dorsey except that the lead character isn't quite as carefree about his killing.

The premise is this:
A everyman kind of guy is attacked. He manages to ward off his attacker and in the process kills him. Being curious as any of us would be he looks in the wallet. He discovers that he wa about to become victim 6 of a serial killer. He also discovers what looks like an invitation to join a club for serial killers. Since his life is dull he packs up and moves to Chicago and joins the Serial Killer Club taking the false name of Dougls Fairbanks.
From this point on mayhem ensues involving an FBI agent, and a bunch of other wacked out killers.

Great fun. Look for it.

Feb 17, 2006

Good acting in a so-so movie.

Entertainment Editor Jeremy Lynch saw a showing of FREEDOMLAND last night and has this to report:

Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore), is a single mom who works at a day care at the Armstrong housing project in Dempsy, New Jersey. Brenda lives in the predominately white, blue-collar town of Gannon, which is connected to Dempsy. As the movie opens, Brenda is stumbling into an emergency room, dazed and bloodied. She says that she has been carjacked, and that the black man who stole her car managed to get away with Cody, her four-year-old son, in the backseat.

Samuel L. Jackson portrays Lorenzo Council, a veteran detective assigned to the case. Council believes Brenda's story may have some holes. Despite his skepticism, he begins an all-out search for the child. Making matters extremely difficult, however, is the fact that as the search for the carjacker grows ever more intense, racial tensions between the black residents of Armstrong and the primarily white police force threatens to explode into violence.

First the good news, Freedomland features some fine performances by an excellent cast. Julianne Moore delivers her usual fantastic job, and Samuel L. Jackson shows us a softer side that is a departure from his more typical badass roles. Edie Falco shines brighter than all others as Karen, the head of a group of mothers that search for missing children.

Unfortunately, the film feels a bit jumbled, as though there was simply too much to show us in too short a period of time. There are storylines that are tossed out there and never resolved. There is so much that the film wants to show us, but by putting too much out there, all of it is diluted.

The story of Brenda and what happened to her child on that fateful night ends up taking a back seat to the racial tensions that inevitably explode into violence. The clash between the police and the community felt clich├ęd and forced, kind of like the big car chase at the end of a thriller. It did nothing for me except lessen the impact of conclusion to the sad tale of a little, lost boy.

Joe Roth is better known as a producer than a director. His previous stints as a director were in comedies (America’s Sweethearts, Christmas with the Kranks). I find it admirable that he wants to turn his talents to the more serious side; I just think he might have been better off picking a less ambitious project. In the hands of more experienced director, this might have been a real tour de force that left you feeling troubled and wanting to talk about what you had seen. As it was, it was merely depressing.

Feb 13, 2006

Hellblazer # 216

I have copies of this to give away to people willing to send a postcard.

If you would like to check out the first issue of Denise Mina's Run on this series send a postcard to:

536 south 5th street
Milwaukee WI 53204

I'll need your address on the back so if you win the drawing I can send it out.

I'm doing half through this site and the other half through the next issue of Crimespree.

By the way, It's really good. Damn good.

Feb 9, 2006

Love is Murder - What To Read part 1

I moderated a panel this last weekend at Love is Murder in which a grop of us were asked to recommend auhtors we felt were under read or just not notcied enough. This will beupdated as the other panelists get back to me.

Larry D. Sweazy is a reviewer and writer and his reccomendations are:
James Lee Burke
Dennis Lehane
Ken Bruen -- anything by
Sandra Scoppetone -- This Dame for Hire
Thomas H. Cook -- Red Leaves
John Burdett -- Bangkok 8

What Young Adult Books You Should Be Reading

List by Amy Alessio
Teen Coordinator, Schaumburg Twp. Dist. Library

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Jude by Kate Morgenroth
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
The Perfect Shot by Elaine Marie Alphin
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

I asked to the panelists to mention a few people they read that are more mainstream to give people and idea wher they are coming from. The panel was lots of fun with some great names mentioned. Due to time we each only got to mention a few, but w may be adding some we didn't have time for.

My list is as follows:
George C Chesbro
Walter Satterthwait
Denise Swanson
Sue Dunlop
Adam Hall
Pete Hautman
Max Allan Collins
Richard Barre

Of course on any given day I could probably rattle off a bunch more, but these are the people I wrote down for the panel.

More to come....

Feb 7, 2006

Love Is Murder

Love is Murder took place this past weekend and I have to say it was one of the best events we've done in a while. We had a great time. Wonderful group of people, good panels, nice dealerroom, nice hotel for the conference and even good banquet food.

This years author guests included Kent Krueger, David Morrell, Judith Guest, Libby Fischer Hellman, and Barry Eisler. Many others in attenance. Morrell gave a great talk Friday night about the history of publishing and what has changed and why authors need to be more involved in thier marketing. Ruth moderated a panel on Sex and Jo Konrath hosted STUMP THE STARS which was a laugh riot.
We'll definitly be going again.

Thriller panel moderated by Sean Chercover who's first book will be out next January from William Morrow, Barry Eisler, Kevin Guifoile, Julie Hyzy, David Morrell, Michael Black and Robert W Walker

Stump The Stars with Libby Hellman, Judith Guest and Kent Krueger

Short Story panelists Libby Hellman, Michael Majors and
Joe Konrath

Joe Konrath was stumped when asked about the lack of cats in his books.

David Morrell, one of the coolest authors I've met.

William Kent Krueger wondering what's for lunch

Judith Guest and Kent Krueger on the sex panel listening to
Barry Eisler explain his research techniques.

David Ellis and Barry Eisler. Barry has taught me to
embrace my inner 12 year old. And he leads by example....

The wonderful Sue Peterson of Brain Snacks bookstore..

Awards were given to:
David Morrell for best thriller, Michael Black fo rbest suspense, Robert Goldsborough for best historical, DC Brod for best paranormal, Libby Hellman for best traditional, Joe Konrath, best procedural, Best series went to Barry Eisler.

Books Needed

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at
The Cincinnati Museum Center
Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati
16th Annual Scripps Spelling Bee for Literacy

Donations of books are needed to be given away at the Spelling Bee as prizes
for contestants, sponsors, audience members and volunteers. We will look for
groupings of books (for example: historical mystery authors, autographed
books published in 2005, a complete set of books by a particular author,
etc....) that we can bundle for prizes, in addition to giving away
individual books as door prizes.

Spelling Bee participants are from corporate teams (most of the local media
outlets have a Bee team), as well as companies like P&G, Chiquita, General
Electric, and University of Cincinnati. The Spelling Bee is one of the
largest fundraisers for the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati.

The Literacy Network acts as an umbrella agency for over 60 sites in Greater
Cincinnati where adults may go to improve their basic education and literacy
skills. The Network provides free Adult and Children's Basic Reading
Classes for people with profound reading disabilities and a Tutor Training
program for volunteers interested in working with adults. Also, the Literacy
Network offers the Cincinnati Reads program, which recruits and trains
reading tutors to work one-on-one with K-4th grade students in the
Cincinnati Public Schools.

Additional books not given away at the Spelling Bee will be used as
Appreciation gifts for the volunteer tutors. Contacts are being made with
local bookstores for additional book donations to be arranged year-round.

Local mystery author Jeffrey Marks and mystery author website specialist
Beth Tindall of CincinnatiMedia are arranging autographed book donations
from within the national mystery community. Donated books will have a label
on the inside of the book which state "Book donated by the author."

Books for the Spelling Bee prizes should be sent before March 1st, 2006.
Books are appreciated and welcomed other times of year, though! To donate,
send books (autographed or not, fiction/nonfiction, adult/YA/juvenile, ones
you've written or ones you've read!) to:


Feb 1, 2006

Manhunter - Street Justice

DC Comics has a new series out and the first trade collection is now available.

MANHUNTER: STREET JUSTICE collects the first 5 issues and sets up the series. Written by Marc Andreyko and pencilled by Jesus Saiz this is an ass kicking book.

Kate pencer is a federal prosrcuter in California and after loseing a case which sets free a maniac killer named Copperhead she decides that enough is enough. No more revolving door justice. She assumes the persona of Manhunter and takes to the streets hunting down the criminals who just won't stay locked up. Kate takes to being a vigilante pretty well, but it does cause complications in her regular life. Her divorced husband already has a problem with her being late and not spending time with her son, but this new gig could mean she loses all visitaion.

Andreyko does a great job writing this as more than just a superhero book. It deals with real problems and real and real drama, it just happens to be set in a world that has superheroes. Add to the fantastic writing an artist who is amazing and the result is spectalular. Saiz has a knack for realistic drawing and layout that makes this book a must have for any comics fan.

DC Comics has a winner on it's hand with this title.