Feb 23, 2009

NYPD BLUE - the show that broke my heart

Recently the wonderful woman I share my life with and I ran across seasons i and 2 of NYPD BLUE on DVD for $20, a nice cheap price (Target). I haven't seen then since they first aired and I remember digging it a lot. After watching the first two seasons I now remember why I stopped watching. The first 2 are good, the decline really starts towards the end of season two.
I think there is a good reason why they stopped the DVDs after season 4

Reasons why the show lost me:

1 The show started to lose me for a few reasons. At first the cop speak was cool, Kelly and Sipowitz talked that way and it was a cool idea. But soon everyone did it and it got silly.

2 NYPD Blue started to get further and further away from cop stuff. I liked having two leads and secondary characters. I hated Medavoy and thought he was a spineless wimp who whined too much. Martinez started out cool, a rookie detective learning from a mentor. But he too started to get all wimpy.
"Greg, I think she likes me, should I ask her out?"
It was like a bad scene out of high school.

which leads me to my biggest problem
3 All the characters in the squad room dating each other. Come on! These people don't have contact with anyone else? They can only date each other? And why all the romance? Maybe following your two main lead characters is fine, but I don't want to know about the rest of them, it turns the whole thing into a soap opera, and at least Days Of Our Lives never pretended to be a cop show.

4 The interrogations. I understand that the bad guys aren't normally too bright, but there is no way they would all be stupid enough to fall for the tired old "help yourself out here" routine. I've not been in that position but I can tell you that I would be saying one line over and over to these bullies. GET ME A LAWYER. It went beyond unbelievable, it was a joke!

5 Sipowitz quits the booze and they bring in a second alcoholic story line right away, and done very lamely the second time. I understand it was meant to show Andy's growth asa character by having him be the mentor, but come on!

6 Forced nude scenes. Did every one on the show really need to show their ass? Really? Dennis Franz naked. Really?

I could go on but I'm just getting mad. This show really had such potential. But typical of Steven Bochco, he loses interest and the writers on the show flounder. It is hard to believe that someone as talented as David Milch was involved in this after the second season. "Deadwood" was amazing! His earlier work( Hill Street Blues , Murder One ) was great. Hell, this started out great.

And for the record, NYPD Blue has made it so I hate Kim Delaney so much I can't watch in anything!

This is a show that reall started out wonderful and so full of possibilities and then it just sat back and rode it's own glory after season two.

Too bad.

I'd look for the first two seasons though, they are great up till about the last disc of season two.

Buy here :
NYPD Blue: Season 2
NYPD Blue: Season 1
or get these great shows instead!
Hill Street Blues - Season 2
Deadwood: The Complete Series

Feb 21, 2009

re selling of books hullabuloo

I've recently seen a discussion on the web about reselling books. Some people seem to think this is a wrong practice. I disagree. I hear griping about used book sales and arcs being sold and it leads me to believe that people don't know as much about the business as they think. There are a lot of layers here and it's been going on for a long long time.

lets look at a few things.

I'd like to start by saying that if your book sales in regard to the numbers your publisher is actually selling are going top be hurt by a small number of used sales, you are not selling enough books to even really worry about this. Books being sold second hand are not what's keeping you off the New York Times best seller list. If there were only 5000 copies printed you are most likely not making a living solely based on your writing. And if there are enough being printed warranting a big enough advance to live on, then the small number in used sales won't hurt you anyway. The large numbers need to be truly successful are not hurt by used books, arcs being sold or books being loaned. What you really want is more readers. Readers will translate to sales eventually.

I don't hear people complaining about libraries. (and you shouldn't) But one book sold to a library could mean up to one hundred readers who didn't buy your book. Why does this not bother people when a book being read and sold does. One sale, maybe two or three readers.

Books being sold on Amazon got bought. Even being sold in the secondary Amazon market as new meant that someone bought it. A lot of them with the intention of reselling it on Amazon. It's still a sale. Some of these place actually order from the publisher and are book stores. They just happen to be selling on Amazon to do business.

Buying used books is as old as the publishing business. When the first books were printed with in weeks people sold them a second time.

Buying used books is a great way to find new readers. People will take a chance on a new author when the book is only 3 bucks. New reader digs author, starts buying books new. Percentage wise the amount of new readers generated by used book purchases is better than the number of new readers brought in by book trailers or blogs.

If you are an author you need to think about how screwy the publishing industry is. A lot of things don't make sense in any other business are done here because eventually they do generate sales and are good for business. Returns actually are good for business because stores will take a chance and order and display 50 copies of a book, no returns they may order one or two. 50 is better. Plus by selling returned books to the remainder market they can at least break even on a book instead of losing money. So maybe an author doesn't make money on the sale, at least the publisher may still be publishing you. With out that return sale money you could show a lose.
Sending an author on tour cost money and sales generated will not exceed touring costs. But by building a readership you build future sales.

If you want a safe financial future becoming an author isn't the path to take. It's an artistic journey, you write because you need to write. If you are successful, God Bless. If you still work a full time job, but once a year some one publishes your work and there is any kind of an audience enjoying it, be thankful. If you want to make a lot of money, build houses, design computer games, dance at a men's club or bus tables. Most authors don't make a living with just the writing. It's a cold hard fact. if you are only in it for the money, you are in for a disappointment. If it's a calling, and you NEED to write, and you'll do it even if only five people read your book? Then you are someone I admire, you are following your heart.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't try to sell more books and market yourself. It's crazy not to.

What I'm saying I guess is stop obsessing over things you can't and won't change. Write the next book, do some more promotion, persevere!

Concentrate on getting readers, not buyers. Eventually the work will pay off.

The Big Time

The Chicago Tribune ran an article about Ruth and I today.
The online version is here.

The print version has a really great photo of us, which I mention because it's rare when we both like a photo of us!

Vampire Lego Movie

I love this and the books

Feb 20, 2009

Crimespree 5 year birthday special

Greetings all.

The Mystery community has been great to us, so we want to be great back.

As part of our celebrating FIVE years of Crimespree with issue #30 we
would like to share the love and offer a 20% discount on advertising.
This will take us to our rates back when we started. The offer is good
till the deadline for issue 30, March 25th.

This means a full page ad for $300 instead of $380
1/2 page $150, 1/4 page $75

And we also do mailings with our magazine. normally $50, we'll do it
for $25 for one issue only.



And if you get the materials printed at
DIGITAL GRAPHICS, we'll mail them for free.

And even if you don't plan to do a mailing with us, Digital Graphics is top notch
for any printing you may need.

post cards of the best kind qty 1000 full color 2 sides $150.00
qty 5000 same as above $325.00 size 4x6

Bookmarks on thin card stock full color 500 1 side $95.00 2 sides $150.00
1000 $150.00 1 side - 195.00 two sides size 1.75x7

Arc reprints .06c per sheet of paper printed on both sides. example a
100 page arc is $6.00 unbound, add $1.00 for binding, plus shipping.

This is just a sample of items we produce, call 262 255 9273 to talk
with Rick about all the products and services we carry. Mention
Crimespree and receive a 10% your total order. Email your files to
print1000@sbcglobal.net and receive a free quote on your project.

We make it simple!

Feb 17, 2009

The Short Term Memory is Failing Me

Hi all,
Ruth is taking over the blog for a chat. So Crimespree is coming up on year five. THANK YOU.

What's up in our world? We just had a lovely Valentine's . Another Winter Storm Watch . Ruth's day job continues to be insane but everyone is trying to rally. Jon's day job is ratcheting at a steady pace as well . I haven't grocery shopped in five weeks but I did buy lovely new dishes for the take out that has become a fixture in our lives .

We're starting to fill our 09 Calendar. We'll be heading to Minneapolis for Once Upon A Crime's annual "Writes' of Spring" the last week in March. This April we'll spend Edgar Week in New York for our first time ever. Arriving on Sunday and leaving on Friday we hope to catch up with a lot of our New York and Mystery friends and family while we're in town. May brings Williamsburg for sure and hopefully St. Louis as well although we're still working on the dynamics. The summer will see us at Wizard World and spending time with family and we'll be there full throttle when Indy hosts Bouchercon. We'll be in the Bayou with our Bleak House Family for a very special Book Launch in October. We're also beginning prep work for Murder and Mayhem in Muskego .

I'm thrilled that a very good friend is writing a lot and I should have pages in my in box soon .

So tomorrow is crowded with work and chores and errands and a snow storm and everything is right in my world. I'm looking forward to all of the above as well as WATCHMEN (March 6),Libby (March 7th), Brian & Jill & Carrie &Josh (tbd), Morrissey (April 3rd) and Ken Bruen's Sanctuary (in twenty minutes).

And I'll end this little note (SANCTUARY is waiting) with a book review that I forgot to submit to the lovely Jen Jordan for the print edition of Crimespree and a few suggestions. Val McDermid's DARKER DOMAIN, S.J. Rozan's SHANGHAI MOON & Sean Doolittle's SAFER.

Carol O’Connell
December 2008

Carol O’Connell is the writer of the famous and infamous Mallory series. Few could write a series with a true sociopath as its central figure and manage to make us care. So we’ve picked at what works and what doesn’t but always we’ve realized that the writing which takes us out of time and space and draws us onto the page is amazing. Last year I pled with readers to not forget FIND ME when they weighed the best of the year. December releases are so easily forgotten.

This December, Putnam released a book featuring new characters, a new direction and the same outstanding sense of time, place and personality. BONE BY BONE begins as two dispelled citizens of the community of Coventry return home. Coventry has presented grand vistas for tourists for a hundred years and kept the secrets of its dwellers for the same amount of time. When the bones of the young Josh Hobbs are returned to his father one at a time twenty years after he’s disappeared, it is time to call the other son home.

Up on the cliff , man and wife oversee the unfolding events. A powerful lawyer and his alcoholic wife watch the past rear up to reach them through the voyeuristic lens of both binoculars and telescope. Their daughter is home for the first time in twenty years and is a part of the story.

As we read towards climatic showdowns at the Annual Birthday Ball for Mrs. Sarah Winston, Ms. O’Connell strips away the secrets and lies of a town full of people as deftly as the young Joshua did with the camera lens twenty years ago. Tragedy is not done in Coventry.

The talented O’Connell has written a remarkable work once again & I will not ask you to remember BONE BY BONE for awards most certainly due. I’ll ask you to remember to read this book and enjoy a captivating story by one of America’s fiction artisans. Craftsmanship like this should be shared amongst all who love our genre.


Feb 16, 2009

Crimespree Website up date

The website for Crimespree has been updated and all the book reviews and DVD reviews for Jan/Feb are up. There is also the George Chesbro tribute from the latest issue. Check it out here Crimespree Magazine

Feb 13, 2009

Michael Phelps - a lesson in growing up?

When I heard Michael Phelps was caught on video doing a bong hit I laughed. I smoked pot way back in high school and some after, though it has been years since I've touched it. In high school and in college of all the swimmers I knew, about 90% were stoners.

I have mixed feelings on people smoking pot, but for now it's illegal and that should be enough for people in the public spot light to be smart about what they do. Phelps is losing some endorsement money, he can't swim for a while. Good. Maybe he'll figure it out. What he did wasn't that wrong, but if you are a role model you need to live up to different standards. And Phelps put himself into that position. It's not going to ruin his life but it should cause him at least a little hardship. And the truth is if he can't compete or make money on endorsements I sure hope he was smart enough to have a fall back plan, you know, get an education while in school? He should have a great future in front of him and while part of that is sure to involve inspiring kids, I hope he planned for his own future as well.

I wish Mr. Phelps all the success in the world, he did an amazing thing. Ok, so he got high, I don't really care, but I hope he's figured out that he'll have plenty of time to behave how he wants to later.

This leads me to thinking about other people in the spotlight. I think people who seek the spotlight should be held to a higher standard. If you want to party and do silly things naked or with booze and drugs, cool, but then don't run for public office, don't get a job on TV. Or at least wait till you are out of the spotlight. It kills me how many people have careers ruined because they can't resist the urge to have sex, or drink too much or take drugs.

I'm not saying people shouldn't do these things, that's up to each person to decide, I just don't want to hear crying when it hurts them in their public life.

I fan favorite mystery author Mr. X decides to rub butterscotch pudding allover him self and roll naked in a bathtub full of clover and curry while having nerf darts shot ass his rear that's his choice and he should be free to do so. If he does it at a convention and then stands around the lobby of a hotel dripping pudding on the floor he should expect ridicule and backlash.

So I guess what I'm saying is, what you do is your business, where you do it can make it everyone else's . So party naked, but at home please......

Feb 12, 2009

Annette Meyers video on Forbes

Annette Meyers was interviewed on video for the Forbes website.
You can see the video here.

Feb 8, 2009

Tim Dorsey Nuclear Jelly Fish

The latest adventure of Serge is now available and it's great. Serge is touring Florida and showing off the real hotspots while getting into his usual mischief.

To Read an Excerpt: www.harpercollins.com
To Watch Videos: www.sergesfloridaexperience.blogspot.com
To Learn More about the Author: www.TimDorsey.com
To See Serge's Photo Album go here: http://picasaweb.google.com/FloridaSerge/NuclearJellyfish02#

And look for the March April Crimespree coming soon for a chance to win the book on audio and in Hardcover formats!
To subscribe go here: http://www.crimespreemag.com/subscribe.html

Feb 5, 2009

Crimespree Issue 29

We're putting the finishing touches on the Marc April issue and it's looking great.

We have a cover story with CJ Box interviewed by Ruth Jordan
Interviews with Linda Fairstein,Barry Eisler and Andrew Grant by Jon
Articles from Ayo Onatade, Alan Salter(Sam Reaves). Reed Coleman, Craig McDonald, Declan Burke, Michael Lister, Sandra Ruttan and Shirley Kennett.
Three short stories including one from Kat Richardson

and the regular book reviews, the buzz box, Crime and Idiocy, DVD reviews and Eye on Hollywood, and more.

We also have tons of free books to give away including graphic novels from DC Comics and Moonstone, novels by Ira Berkowitz, CJ Box, Cara Black, Tim Dorsey, Barry Eisler, Brain Wiprud, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Jordan Dane and Marcus Pelegrimas.
For details on how to win books you need to read the issue.

To subscribe just go here:

If you subscribe before March 1st and put the number 7 on the form or paypal notes we'll send you an extra issue free.