Mar 28, 2007

More on the Show of Shows

What made a group of renowned movie, theater and book people decide to try
CONVENTION? What made Blake Edwards and Sue Grafton commit to a
week in Kentucky promoting Crime and Theater?
Crimespree is all about the books. When given an opportunity to interview an
assortment of the folk involved I asked the organizers of TFAIMC to get
in touch with two of Mystery's elite, James Hall and Stuart Kaminsky. These
are two gentlemen who've not only provided the world of mystery with
impressive and excellent catalogs of their own work, but have also taught our
genre with such a passion that they have influenced, inspired and given many
of today's premiere crime writers their first taste of constructing the novel we
all hold dear. They both gave me the same answer, " Zev Buffman told me
about the project and asked me to become involved."

And Zev's motivation?
He took the time last week to sit down and answer a few Crimespree
questions. Here is the beginning of our conversation.

Ruth Jordan: What a daunting idea, What made River Center decide to attack
such an ambitious project?

Zev Buffman: 4 years ago, I was still living in southern California I had a
number of discussions with Angela Lansbury, William Link (creator of Murder
she Wrote, Columbo, Mannix), a couple of Broadway directors and a major
"super agent" of the William morris Agency (Samuel "Biff Liff"). The topic was
the near total disappearance of Stage Mysteries from Broadway, London and
Toronto stages. Mysteries, we agreed became an endangered species! I am
a veteran Broadway Producer with some forty productions to my record. I felt
that there was room for a New Mystery Writers Festival was overdue. Shortly
thereafter, I moved to a great performing Arts center in Owensboro, KY to
take over as President/CEO. One of the first announcements was that we
were going to launch this annual festival and include not only plays but
screenplays and Teleplays. Within the year of submissions we received
nearly 1000 new works! The AP ran a an initial story about the Festival and
was picked up by hundreds of newspapers around the world -- we knew then
we had a project whose time has come!

R.J.) I'm truly impressed with your list of judges and special guests, obviously
a lot of people agree with you that this is an event whose time has come.
What did it feel like when the yesses started coming in?

Z.B.)The Yesses were inspiring! Good/Great writers with bests seller history,
published in 20 countries and many languages, agreed to join -- not by name
only, but to "work" the Festival in many capacities. I felt liberated, I had a
whole team of leaders who would take on the most complex project of my
long and adventurous career.

R.J.) Because in the end, the play(s) the thing, discuss the logistics. How
many thespians & crew members are descending upon your town, and how
many folk are already in place working on this project?

Z.B.) This is the mind boggling part of it all. Imagine watching the Kentucky
Derby where 12 well trained horses explode out of the starting gate at the
same time, after months of training preparation, strategizing etc.;
Well, Think about 12 new works, never presented before, with 12 casts, 12
directors, 48 designers, 120 technicians All world premiering in the same
How many people? including marketing, hospitality, book Signing celeb
guests, the Classic outdoor movie mystery nightly showings, the master
classes, the 50 students working as interns, security, ushers, Set builders
Costume makers, I could on for a long time --- about 500 people will be
involved and work for pay, plus 250 volunteers! about 100 of us have been
"on it" for 5-6 months now, The numbers will continue to grow quickly as we
get closer to opening. Out of the 500 paying jobs about 350 are local and 150
are from out of town.
Every hotel room will be booked, restaurant filled, BBQ, BLUE Grass and
BOURBON enjoyed. a real mystery Happening! This is the Stratford, Shaw
and Sundance (with a dash of Woodstock) of MYSTERIES -- can you see it?
Do, you hear it? JUST BE SURE YOU DON'T MISS IT!!!

I'll echo Mr. Buffman, DON'T MISS IT!

Mar 22, 2007

In The Air and On The Calander

Six Nights of Live Theater
Six Days of Writing Classes
A New Mystery Award
Kentucky Bluegrass

This is the First International Mystery Writers' Festival.

Looking for a way to start your summer with a bang? Crimespree suggests any fan or writer of our genre with a week of vacation time and a urge for adventure head for Owensboro, KY. from June 12 through the 17th.

The RiverPark Center in Owensboro is one of our nation's newer treasures and the FIRST INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY WRITERS' FESTIVAL is their most ambitious project. Over six days and six nights CEO Zev Buffman will be reining in hundreds of talented actors, writers, producers, agents, publishers and critics.

Look for Crimespree's interview with Mr. Buffman next Monday. But make
your reservations now.

The Plays?
They include · “Final Curtain” by Ed McBain. · “Death by Darkness,” by
Elizabeth Orndorff. · “Columbo Takes the Rap” by William Link. · “Panic” by
Joseph Goodrich. · “Widdershins” by Don Nigro. · “If/Then” by David Foley.

The Teachers?
They include Sue Grafton, James W. Hall, John Jakes, Stuart M. Kaminsky,
Ira Levin, William Link, Samuel “Biff” Liff, Jeff Lee

The Award?
The "Angie". This award will be presented to and named after Angela
Lansbury by Kentucky's Governor Ernie Fletcher at a televised gala.

The Bluegrass?
Hey it's Kentucky. It's summer. It's everywhere!

Need more convincing? Check these sites
River Park Center
New Mysteries Website
Visit Owensboro

Mar 21, 2007

Write Of Spring - Once Upon A crime

Also just added to the list of authros coming this Saturday to Once Upon a Crime is Vince Flynn.

This is going to be a wonderful event at a great books store. Pat and Gary are truly wonderful people who love the mystery genre. They have a wonderful bookstore and are verybif supporters of the genre.

Come and support them Saturday and buy a few books!

We'll be there and giving out some free copies of Crimespree

Mar 18, 2007

Join us at the Fifth Annual Write of Spring.

This Saturday, Once Upon A Crime bookstore will hold the
Fifth Annual Write of Spring
Saturday, March 24, 2007
12:00 - 4:00
In addition to our esteemed Minnesota authors, also in attendance from Chicago we'll have an "honorary local," debut author Sean Chercover("Big City, Bad Blood" ), and from Milwaukee, Anthony Award-winning publishers/editors of "Crimespree Magazine," Jon & Ruth Jordan.
Here is the confirmed author schedule:

12:00: Robert Alexander, Laura Childs, Monica Ferris, Vince Flynn, William Fietzer, Erin Hart, Judith Koll Healy, E. Kelly Keady, Peter Rennebohm, Rick Shefchik, R.D. Zimmerman (Aka Robert Alexander)

1:00: C.C. Canby, KJ Erickson, Margaret Frazer, Brian Freeman, Bob Gust, Lori L. Lake, Jess Lourey, Michael Mallory, Marilyn Victor

2:00: Gary Bush, Chris Everheart, Pete Hautman, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, Quinton Skinner, Anthony Neil Smith, Deborah Woodworth

3:00: Harold Adams, Carl Brookins, Philip Donlay, Anne Frasier, Lois Greiman, Ellen Hart, David Housewright, William Kent Krueger

Once Upon A Crime
604 W. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-870 3785

As was listed above Jon and Ruth Jordan, the heart and soul of Crimespree magazine will be on hand. While I have to work in the morning, I will be joining everyone in the afternoon. If all goes well, Randy Otteson, Lee Crawford and my lovely wife, Jill, will be making an appearance.

If you are a lover of Mysteries, this is a must attend event.


Mar 10, 2007

Comfort food - comfort television

We all have a comfort food, something we eat that makes us feel good and makes us think everything will be right with the world.

Well, I think there is comfort Television too.

For me one of those shows is Law And Order. Just the sound of the theme song makes me feel good. I have always enjoyed the original, though now I can't watch the second half of the show becaus eol' Sam Waterson drives me nuts. He is jst to self rightous for me thanks. But the front half hour still rocks.

Law and Order SVU doesn't do much for me because the two lead people make me nuts. However, I love Richard Belzer and Ice T, a quandry...

But Criminal Intent rocks. I love the show. I love the quirkiness of Vince when he interogates people or questions them at home. And I love trhat the bad guys usually go to jail.

And I love the music....

SO, what' s you comfort Television?

Mar 7, 2007

Rockford Files Season Three

This is also up at the Cinema Blog, but I love this show so I'm putting it here too.


<>Universal Classic Television

Season three is the season that brought home an Emmy Award for James Garner. Originally aired in 1976-1977, the things that make this show work and make it a classic hold up. Jim Rockford doesn’t want to get in fights, he doesn’t want to make waves. But he will do what ever he needs to do to solve his case. Another real asset to the show was David Chase who wrote and produced Rockford Files.

Season three also sees the cast really mesh, not unlike a good pit crew on a racing team. Everyone involved with the show has hit their stride and as a result the entire season is great. The cases Rockford takes are a bit more meaty also, dealing with corruption and really helping people who need help. Stand out episodes for me are Feeding Frenzy which sees Jin helping his fiancĂ©’s father make an error from his past right, and Just Another Polish Wedding which features Isaac Hayes as an old prison pal. And there are a lot of great guest stars through out the season; Cleavon Little, Strother Martin, Ned Beatty, and Robert Loggia.

No special features this time out, but there is also a bonus episode from season 4 called quick Nirvana.

No doubt about it, shows like this, and especially seasons like this are the reason Television on DVD is such a good idea. This is extremely re-watchable.


Buy The Rockford Files Season Three Right Now!

Win a whole lot of books just by subscribing

Midnight Ink books has sent us a box full of books. To enter the drawing all you have to do is subscribe to Crimespree Maqgazine. If you are already subscribing you can renew early, or buy a gift subscription for someone else.

To subscribe just go here: Subscribe to Crimespree

Here'e a list of the books we have to give away, and they are all signed first printings.

Richard B Schwartz – FROZEN STARE

Richard B Schwartz – THE LAST VOICE YOU HEAR

Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore – THE LAST SECRET


Jess Lourey – MAY DAY

Candy Calvert – DRESSED TO KEEL


Kit Frazier – SCOOP

Sue Ann Jaffarian – TOO BIG TO MISS







Clyde Ford – DUECE’S WILD




Amy Patricia Meade – MILLION DOLLAR BABY

and either:

Clyde W. Ford – THE LONG MILE


Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore – THE GRAIL CONSPIRACY

This contest will be good till June 10th.

There will also be 5 runners up who will get a random arc of our choice.

New Short Fiction Magazine

Out Of The Gutteris out and it's great. It's full of ass kickiing stories and full of great contributers, such as:
D.Z. Allen, Dale Bridges, Billy Elizondo, Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti, Victor Gischler, Paul Grimsley, J.A. Konrath, Hana K. Lee, Joe McKinney, Todd Robinson, Sandra Ruttan, Harry Shannon, Charlie Stella and MLB.

I also really enjoyed the spoof ads. It's nice to have a bit of humor to break up all the ass kicking fiction.

It's perfect bound and will sit nicely on your bookshelf too.
I think you should subscribe!

Mar 4, 2007


This weekend Ruth and I watched the forst two discs of the first season of Torchwood. It's a spin off of the new Dr. Who starring Captain Jack . It's a wonderful show and and I can't wait for the third disc of this season to come out.

The premise is kind of straight forward. Torchwood is a secret outfit that deals with alien threats, they don't answer to anyone, and they are more concerned with protecting mankind than figuring out mysteries. The characters are great, especially Captain Jack, who as it turns out, can't die.
Fans of X-Files, DR. Who, Supernatural and Millenium will love this.

The down side is that it's only availble in the UK right now, so youwould need a multi region player to watch in in the US. Trust me, it's an investment you'll never regret.

Series two will start filming in Cardiff this spring and shuld start airing on BBC Two this fall.