Thursday, March 31, 2011

Awards (Updated)

First, a very big congratulations to the Derringer winners.

Second, I'm pleased to say the cover art for BEAT to a PULP: Round One is a nominee for a Spinetingler Award Best Cover. Of course, all credit goes to James O'Barr for the marvelous art and John Bergin for the graphic design. Thank you, both.

Update: Just got the word Round One has received a nomination for best antho. Also nominated were folks like Otto Penzler, Bill Crider, James Ellroy, Todd Robinson, Steve Weddle to name a few. Whew! That's cool company.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pulp Extract: The Drowning Pool

I turned on my back and floated, looking up at the sky, nothing around me but cool clear Pacific, nothing in my eyes but long blue space. It was as close as I ever got to cleanliness and freedom, as far as I ever got from all the people.
- From Ross Macdonald's THE DROWNING POOL featuring Lew Archer and first published in 1950. This series is a must for fans of the detective genre and readers who dip in for the crème de la crème. The Los Angeles Times said "Macdonald should not be limited to connoisseurs of mystery fiction. His worth and quality surpass the limitations of the form." Amen.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New 7Q

I have a new 7 Questions interview over at Gutter Books with Ed Lynskey. If you have the time, stop by and leave a comment. Gracias.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Birthday!

We've commandeered David's blog to surprise him this morning with a birthday wish for a wonderful day and a stellar year.

Wishing you a 'happy 39th.'

We love you,
d & Ava.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

BEAT to a PULP #117: Big Cat by Jim Wilsky

The latest Weekly Punch has arrived and it comes from Jim Wilsky. Mr. Wilsky's work has appeared in A Twist of Noir, Yellow Mama, Darkest Before The Dawn, Plots With Guns, Powder Burn Flash, Mystercial-E, The Medulla Review, Hardluck Stories and others, including several print anthologies. Here's "Big Cat" at BEAT to a PULP.

Next Week: Copper Smith's "Oedipus Shrugged."

Soon: Garnett Elliott's continuation of the Simon Rip saga.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mystery Week in New York

I received the following e-mail from Meryl Zegarek:

Mayor Bloomberg will declare the week of April 25th as Mystery Week in New York, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Edgar® Awards in NYC. The Edgars are presented each year in New York to the best mystery writers in books, short stories, plays, and TV teleplays. The Edgars are considered 'the Oscars' of mystery writing, and an Edgar is a coveted and prestigious prize.

Help us celebrate by telling everyone to mark their calendars for several days and nights of mystery and mayhem in NYC!

Monday, April 25th
8–10pm - FREE - Bar 82 at 149 2nd Ave. (near 10th St/St. Marks, train #6 to Astor)
Bar 82 Literary Series presents writers from Mystery Writers of America’s NY Chapter who will read from new & upcoming books. Featuring: Megan Abbott, Peter Blauner, Jane Cleland, Stefanie Pintoff, Charles Salzberg, Persia Walker

Tuesday, April 26th
6-8pm - FREE - The Mysterious Bookshop at 58 Warren Street, (train #2 to Chambers)
Mystery Writers of America launch party for their newest anthology, The Rich and the Dead Anthology edited by Nelson DeMille.
Mr. DeMille, several contributors will attend, as well as many of this year's Edgar nominees.

Wednesday, April 27
2011 Edgar® Week Symposium: 65 Years of Edgar: The Past, Present and Future of Mystery Writing (It is a full day of top-notch panels.)
Location: Lighthouse International, 111 E 59th St, – Auditorium, Lower Level (trains R, N, Q to Lex or #4, 5, 6 to 59th)
Advance registration required: members $90, non-members $125 - Tickets at

Thursday, April 28
The Edgar Awards - 65th Gala Banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, East 42nd at Lexington Ave.
The annual black tie gala celebrating the best and brightest in crime fiction, non-fiction, plays and television honors our Edgar nominees and winners, and also presents the Grand Master and Raven Awards.
Reception: 6:30 -7:30 pm • Dinner & Awards 7:30 - 11:00pm
Advance tickets required: $175 at

And more mysterious happenings to follow......

Pulp Serenade

Cullen Gallagher reviews one of the finest short stories you will read all year. Check it out at Pulp Serenade. Love that new header, Cullen.

Photo-Finish Friday -- Walton's Mountain

One day, while living in Virginia, my charmer took me on a surprise day trip to the Walton's home town of Schuyler. Like many others, I grew up watching the television show and John-Boy the writer was an early influence. So when we visited Walton's Mountain it was like going back in time in several different ways.

PFF is the creation of Leah J. Utas.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jodi MacArthur's Pillow Talk

It couldn't happen to a nicer person or more talented writer. Congratulations to Jodi MacArthur for her Spinetingler nomination announced earlier today. If you haven't had a chance to read her fine story at BEAT to a PULP, here's the link for Pillow Talk.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BEAT to a PULP #116: Old Wives' Tales by Dave Zeltserman

Last year, Dave Zeltserman's "King" was one of our most popular stories. Since then he has released several books, short stories, and became a charter member of the mighty Top Suspense Group alongside other giants like Ed Gorman and Max Allan Collins. This past week, Top Suspense released their first anthology which I can enthusiastically recommend to BTAP readers.

And Mr. Zeltserman, I'm very proud to say, returns to BEAT to a PULP with "Old Wives' Tale."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sundown by James O'Barr

James O'Barr did such an awesome job with the cover art for BEAT to a PULP: Round One, we'd like to share some of his latest work. James is pairing up with MotionWorks Entertainment to produce digital motion comics and graphic novels for app-based devices (smartphones, tablets, media players and app-enabled PCs), bringing graphic novels to life.

Here is preview of Sundown, "a gothic western set in the Post-Civil War chaos and at the height of the Indian Wars, a trio of unlikely characters (and a talking horse) band together in an epic journey across America's Badlands in search of answers for the misery they have lived through." You can check out the characters here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre

Yesterday I purchased this collection that features Bill Crider, Dave Zeltserman, Max Allan Collins, Ed Gorman, and Vicki Hendricks to name a few.

I'm happy to say one of the above writers will also be at BEAT to a PULP this coming weekend.

What is the current eBook that you're enjoying? I'm always looking for a good read.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Friends in Japan

Our thoughts and prayers turn to good friends Charlie Whipple (his "Line Rider" was at BEAT to a PULP last month) and Rebekah who Denise has known for almost fifteen years. Both are in Japan as this catastrophe continues to unfold. I asked Charlie if there was anything we could do and he said, "We just have to tough it out, David."

It is a helpless feeling watching this unfold on cable news. I for one, am going to make a donation toward the relief effort.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Pulp Master: Matthew P. Mayo

Maybe you thought I was joking (or missed the post or could give a rodent's arse :) when I mentioned that Matt Mayo and I spent an afternoon discussing Steve Austin and the Sasquatch. Well, Matt doesn't believe in letting a good idea linger because he wrote a story about the hairy man-ape called "Roadside Attraction" appearing in the soon-to-be-released Mondo Sasquatch. Matt is a prolific working writer who can type up several highly entertaining books in the time it takes me to tie my shoes. Here are a few links to some of his work:

Someone to Watch Over Me, BEAT to a PULP #85, July 2010.

Get Teague, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, issue #3, 2010.

Cowboys, Mountain Men & Grizzly Bears, 2010.

Kin, Out of the Gutter #5, 2008.

Maine Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State, 2011 (with Jennifer Mayo).

Half a Pig, A Fistful of Legends, 2009. This fine tale was a finalist in the Western Writers of America Spur Awards.

Friday, March 11, 2011

BEAT to a PULP #115: Rent Me by Cindy Rosmus

Cindy Rosmus was the first editor to publish a piece of my fiction and that story, "The Education of a Pulp Writer," still resides in the archive of the award-winning Yellow Mama.

The busy Ms. Rosmus wears many hats and I am happy she had time to put on her writer's cap for this week's story, "Rent Me," at BEAT to a PULP.

Next week: Dave Zeltserman returns with "Old Wives' Tales."

Photo-Finish Friday -- Reading to Ava

I can't imagine life getting any better. The sun rises and sets for her.

PFF is the creation of Leah J. Utas.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Stranger Song

I watched McCabe & Mrs. Miller again last night and this soundtrack gets me every time with those poignant lyrics.

Crimefactory Magazine Presents: Kung Fu Factory!

From the far East-to-the backwoods of the American Nightmare - Crimefactory Magazine Presents: Kung Fu Factory! Crimefactory's hardest hitting pulpfest to date! Featuring new fiction and features by Christa Faust, Anthony Neil Smith, Frank Bill, Cameron Ashley, Duane Swiercynski, Chad Eagleton, Chris La Tray, Matthew McBride, Liam Jose, Jimmy Callaway, Garnett Elliot, Bryon Quertermous, the Nerd Of Noir, Michael S. Chong, and Joshua Reynolds!
I just picked up my copy. And you should too, dear consumer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BEAT to a PULP: Round One on Kindle

I'm happy to report that BEAT to a PULP: ROUND ONE is now available on the Amazon Kindle for $5.99.

ROUND ONE was edited by David Cranmer and Elaine Ash. Foreword is by the venerable Bill Crider and cover art by legendary James O'Barr. Cullen Gallagher delivers the authoritative, A History of Pulp.

The mighty ensemble of writers:

Maker’s and Coke -- Jake Hinkson
A Free Man -- Charles Ardai
Fangataufa -- Sophie Littlefield
You Don’t Get Three Mistakes -- Scott D. Parker
Insatiable -- Hilary Davidson
Boots on the Ground -- Matthew Quinn Martin
Studio Dick -- Garnett Elliott
Killing Kate -- Ed Gorman
The Strange Death of Ambrose Bierce -- Paul S. Powers
Heliotrope -- James Reasoner
The Wind Scorpion -- Edward A. Grainger
Hard Bite -- Anonymous-9
Crap is King, a “Miles Jacoby” story -- Robert J. Randisi
The All-Weather Phantom -- Mike Sheeter
Pripet Marsh -- Stephen D. Rogers
Ghostscapes -- Patricia Abbott
Off Rock -- Kieran Shea
At Long Last -- Nolan Knight
A Native Problem -- Chris F. Holm
Spend It Now, Pay Later -- Nik Morton
Spot Marks the X -- I. J. Parnham
Hoosier Daddy -- Jedidiah Ayres
The Ghost Ship -- Evan Lewis
Anarchy Among Friends: A Love Story -- Andy Henion
Cannulation -- Glenn Gray
The Unreal Jesse James -- Chap O’Keefe
Acting Out -- Frank Bill

If you have already read R1, we could use (and very much appreciate) some reviews for the Kindle page. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The 38th Move

What to do next? For starters I shouldn't have advanced my Rook (I'm white) so far. Big mistake. And I'm betting my opponent will move their Knight next. For the chess players out there ... your thoughts? Btw I'm ranked about sixty points higher than my rival.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Pulp Master: Frank Bill

Frank Bill's CRIMES IN SOUTHERN INDIANA: STORIES is now available for pre-order. For the few who are unfamiliar with Frank's work, I have some links below and the talented author explains his evolution from working man to acclaimed writer in It's Been a Long Road. Frank Bill is the real deal, folks. Don't miss out.

Old Testament Wisdom, Thuglit, issue #28, Oct/Nov 2008

Rough Company, Plots With Guns, issue #4, 2008

Tweakers, BEAT to a PULP, #19, April 2009

The Need, BEAT to a PULP, #20, April 2009

Acting Out, BEAT to a PULP: Round One, Oct 2010

Sunday, March 6, 2011

That Was Fast

I finished a short story I’m calling “The Outlaw Marshal” and it’s the quickest I have finished a rough draft. I have several Cash and Miles stories in different stages of completion and hadn’t really planned on writing a new western in 2011. As it stands, “Cash Laramie and the Painted Ladies” will be at Crimefactory in a couple of months, then there are a couple other C&M tales already finished that will pepper the webzine landscape.

Why a new one? What happened was I had promised an editor friend a story and sent him an e-mail that I had one if he was interested. I later realized I had broken the cardinal rule by not reading his submission page first (geesh, I hate when folks do that to me) and found I was three thousand words past the limit. In that moment, I decided to write a brand spanking new story and "The Outlaw Marshal" popped out as if it had always been waiting. An hour later, I was done. Before sending it along, I will spend a few weeks polishing it up and then sit on it to see what it looks like a month from now.

What's the fastest you have written a short story? A novel? Do you believe something written fast can be good?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Passing of David Price

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of David Price on March 1, 2011 and have decided to re-run his "last story" (Angel of Mercy, first published in January 2010) as a tribute to him.

On March 3, 2011, his short story was selected as a finalist for a 2011 Derringer Award.

Condolences can be sent to friend William Swank at

I hope everyone will take another look at this award-nominated story and leave a comment.

From Bill Swank:

Dave signed this for my son, Billy, when he was two or three years old. Dave went to Clairemont High School in San Diego, but didn't play football until he went to Cal Western where he made Little All-American. Billy went to Clairemont where he lettered in football.

Dave is in the back row, far right...

2011 Derringer Awards: Best Short Story

I received the word BEAT to a PULP received two nominations for the 2011 Derringer Awards.

Short Story Finalists:

"Seventy-two Hours or Less" by Michael J. Solender, *A Twist of Noir,* April 23, 2010

"Broken Down on the Bonneville Flats" by Jack Bates, *Beat to a Pulp,* October 17, 2010

"Angel of Mercy" by David Price, *Beat to a Pulp,* Jan. 31, 2010

"Pewter Badge" by Michael J. Solender, *Yellow Mama," August, 2010.

"My Asshole Brother" by Eric Beetner, *A Twist of Noir,* May 7, 2010

Congrats to all the nominees and special thanks to David and Jack for placing BTAP at the top.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Book Review Club: Ripley's Game

Tom saw the nylon disappear in the flesh of his neck. Tom gave it another whirl behind the man’s head and pulled still tighter. With his left hand Tom flicked the lever that locked the door. Marcangelo’s gurgle stopped, his tongue began to protrude from the awful wet mouth, his eyes closed in misery, then opened in horror, and began to have the blank, what’s-happening-to-me stare of the dying. -- RIPLEY'S GAME (1974) by Patricia Highsmith.
A few of you who know I'm reading the Ripliad have asked me what I think of Ms. Highsmith's famous creation. I just finished the third book in the series, RIPLEY'S GAME, and I have to say it's the weakest thus far. THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is a classic. RIPLEY UNDER GROUND (reviewed here) is a good continuation albeit with some far-fetched happenings. In GAME, I began scanning which is never a good sign. But here's the brass tax: when Ripley is on the page, I'm transfixed by how this guy lives, operates, and what he thinks of the most minute observations. The novel should be read for these entertaining chapters and Ms. Highsmith's masterful hand.

However, in GAME, a great deal of text is devoted to leukemia-stricken Jonathan Trevanny, who is tricked by Ripley and a cohort into committing murder. The man follows through to leave his family some money when he dies. Ripley begins to feel guilty for getting Trevanny into the situation, shows up on a train, and helps him off a mafia boss and a bodyguard. That particular passage is riveting but I just didn't find Trevanny a compelling character--though maybe you will, which would definitely add to the book's overall enjoyment.

With many fine pages worth reading, especially when the main protagonist is present--who wouldn't want to read about someone so "charming, literate, and a monster" as described by critic Roger Ebert--the book can be quite entertaining at times. But I'm hoping the next in the series, THE BOY WHO FOLLOWED RIPLEY, is a step up.