Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Little Boy Inside and Other Stories

"The Little Boy Inside" was one of the premium short stories published at BEAT to a PULP. A toppermost of the pulpermost to slightly re-coin a Lennon saying. What genre is it? You read and tell me. Mr. Gray is one of those authors who has the ability to transcend the silly check points critics set up for us. Bottom line: Glenn Gray is a damn fine storyteller with a unique voice. Now he has a collection of his stories published from the notable Concord ePress that I very much recommend. Need a sample? Here you go ...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Now That's a Bookshelf, Bill Crider!

This is just one of many shelves in my office.  A mere drop in the ocean of books around there.  The top shelf holds most of the Ace Double crime novels, though the most famous one is a couple of shelves down in the middle.  Most of the rest is a sort of hodge-podge. I know what's there, even though it's all double-shelved.

Bonus: Bill performing with The Fabulous G-Strings.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Angel Bitch

It's ages since he had his last attack.
These days she knows when one's about to strike
and sends an urgent warning to the phone
he keeps in readiness next to his heart—
reverberations that he daren't ignore.
Though kneeling at the altar rails, at work
or sleeping in his bed, he'll rise and go.

Sound-proofed, with padded doors and dimly lit,
her basement is her place for therapy—
A basement for abasement, she will jest.

Now raised above him on a golden plinth, a light behind, its halo round her head, from breast to ankles she is dressed in white. The dress gives off a slightly golden glow.

Our second David King story, "Angel Bitch," first appeared in 2011.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dave King Commemorative at BTAP

In September, Dave King wrote me an email saying, “Much thanks for all your past encouragement.” I replied by asking for his address to send a book of poetry his way. At the time, his generous remark didn’t sink in of how he was so close to life’s edge. You see, back on August 15, Dave posted on his blog that he had prostate cancer. Yet he continued putting up poems with his courageous view of the future, and it had me hopeful that more time lay ahead. Sadly, though, Dave’s son Gavin informed his father’s online friends that Dave passed away on October 4.

I recommend you take a minute to read “Why can only the living mourn?” And “How do I prepare for death?” These two recent posts reveal what a brave, compassionate, and caring man Dave King was. And what an extraordinary talent. Good lord, he wrote a poem a day for most of the time I knew him, and on more than one occasion, I had commented along the lines of, “Dave, when are you going to put a book out!” I was in awe of the quality and output.

Like most social networking friends, I can’t remember who came to whose blog first. One day he was there. After reading "I am the man who swallowed the boy" in February 2010, I asked Dave if he would write a poem—in story—for BEAT to a PULP. A few months later, he sent “Collision” and then in 2011 the delightfully titled “Angel Bitch.”

When my nephew died this past June, Dave said in part, “A tragic story that puts my present troubles in perspective.” What a beautiful human being! Doing what class acts of his stature does, put others and their problems above his own.

A further testament to Dave’s courage, I had asked him for another poem for the webzine, and he responded, “It may take me a while to write the poem -- I'm not quite as quick as I was -- have to wait for the next energy burst like a surfer waiting for his wave.” I love this imagery, and how his reply captures the magnificence of a great poet still carrying on with what he loves.

Dave, I never heard your voice, shook your hand, or had an English cup of tea with you. But know I miss you dearly, friend. Thank you for your past encouragement and support. May your poetry continue to soar long after your passing. I know it will with me. And I am rerunning both your BEAT to a PULP contributions this week in your honor.

Rest in peace.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hawthorne: Tales of a Weirder West

There are monsters in the West. There is evil, lurking in the blood-soaked hills and bone-strewn plains. But there is also Hawthorne—scarred, enigmatic, deadly, driven by an all-consuming rage to seek out and destroy evil wherever he finds it. Without mercy.

But how long can one man fight the demons before becoming one himself?

HAWTHORNE: TALES OF A WEIRDER WEST features the stories “That Damned Coyote Hill,” “The Long Black Train,” “The Spider Tribe,” “Bad Sanctuary,” and “The Unholy” as well as an introduction by Western fiction legend James Reasoner.

Amazon Kindle and Createspace print.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Heath Lowrance's Bookshelf

It's hard to figure out where to put the oversize books, so they wind up on top of the short shelf in front of the window, along with Hulk, Linda Darnell, Tiki Clock, and um, a rubber brain. Those "Crimes and Punishment" volumes were partly responsible for warping my very young brain; they're full of purple prose and lurid death-scene photographs, and when I was ten or so I found a few my mom had hidden away. About three years ago, I stumbled across the entire set at a library book sale and snatched them up.

Heath Lowrance regularly blogs at Psycho Noir.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Against the falling stone

Sketch from one of Kyle's notebooks.

Kyle J. Knapp

The dripping blonde blushing iris of the waterfall,
And wanders,
Wearing her cold, worn willow-vair lashes
   Against the falling stone.

From Pluvial Gardens & Other Poems.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hard Case Crime's Charles Ardai at BEAT to a PULP

Charles Ardai is co-founder and editor of the acclaimed Hard Case Crime imprint, which since 2004 has been publishing paperback crime novels in the style of the pulp paperbacks of the 1940s and 50s. Nominated five times in its first five years for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and described by Neal Pollack in The Stranger as "the best new American publisher to appear in the past decade," Hard Case Crime has published books by authors such as Stephen King, Mickey Spillane, Pete Hamill, Donald E. Westlake, Ed McBain, Madison Smartt Bell, and Lawrence Block, and won praise from authors ranging from Jonathan Lethem to J.K. Rowling. Ardai is also himself an award-winning author whose work has received the Edgar and Shamus Awards and been selected for anthologies such as The Year's Best Horror Stories and Best Mystery Stories of the Year. The first two novels he wrote for Hard Case Crime, under the pseudonym "Richard Aleas," are in development as feature films at Universal, with Jonathan Levine attached to direct. Ardai is also a writer and producer on the TV series Haven, which was inspired by the novel Stephen King wrote for Hard Case Crime.

We're very honored to have Mr. Ardai at BEAT to a PULP this week with "The Shadow Line."

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bill Crider's Evil at the Root

In this latest Sheriff Dan Rhodes adventure, Bill Crider sends the small-town Texas lawman to investigate the apparent theft of a set of false teeth from one of the elderly residents of the Sunny Dale Nursing Home. The case, which begins as one merely embarrassing ("Ah ain't got no TEEF!") quickly turns serious when the owner of the missing dentures, one Lloyd Bobbit, is found suffocated with a plastic grocery bag.

The prime suspect is a fellow Sunny Daler, Maurice Kennedy, who was known to have had no love for the cantankerous Bobbit—a feud that originated way, way back in the youth of the two men. Now Kennedy is missing—but is he the killer or another victim?

Meanwhile, Rhodes and his two attenuated jailers have been hit with a lawsuit claiming dangerous and inhumane conditions at the local jail. There's not much of a case, considering that the town's best cook provides the prisoners' meals. With all that's going on, Rhodes scarcely has time to pay proper attention to his fortunately ever-patient fiancée, Ivy Daniel.

Bill Crider's Evil at the Root: Newly released for the Kindle.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ron Scheer's Bookshelves

You’re looking at one wall of the room I use for an office. The books across the bottom shelf on the left (plus three on top and three on the floor) are references for blogging and the book project I’m working on. The book itself in its present form is in the stacks of paper on the floor.

The rest of the books are mostly western fiction and some history. The stack between the cases is the to-read-next pile, and it hardly ever seems to sink below where it is now. About a third of that bunch are original editions of 100-year-old novels. There are more on the middle shelf of the bookcase on the right.

The framed photo on the far right is my attractive wife and copyeditor. The bears and koala are part of a collection that has followed me over the years. Charles Gramlich will recognize the framed cover of his KILLING TRAIL peeking out atop the left bookcase.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Garnett Elliott's Bookshelf

I was putting some paperbacks from storage on their new bookshelf 'home' when it occurred to me that some people might wonder why I've arranged them in the way that I have. Then I thought, "Wonder how other writers' bookshelves look as they organize their most prized worldly possessions." A couple of days later, I was corresponding with Garnett Elliott and asked him if he didn't mind sharing. Ask and ye shall receive:

Here's the "prized books" section of my bookcase, with all the hardboiled authors who have had the most influence of my writing.  Though it's hard to see, from left to right is:   Himes, Higgins ('The Friends of Eddie Coyle,' natch), Thompson, Goodis, Williams (Charles Williams--'The Hot Spot'), Chandler, Hammett, MacDonald (I've got McDonald, too, but on another shelf), Crumley, Willeford, Cain, Peter Rabe, and of course, Mojo Storyteller, Joe R. Lansdale.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dundee On Hell Up

I saw this Amazon review from Wayne D. Dundee for HELL UP IN HOUSTON, the second in BEAT to a PULP’s Jack Laramie series, and I had to share. Thanks, Wayne.

Hell Up In Houston is a Hell of a Good Read by Wayne D. Dundee
This second title in the Jack Laramie series is another intriguing entry that slams the roaming PI up against some mighty hard edges and spins him around in a number of deft plot twists. The pace never lets up and, even though you know Jack is going to get his bearings and do some hard pushing back before it's all over, you're driven to keep reading in order to find out how and also learn the answers he needs before he can settle all scores.

Spawned by David Cranmer's popular Cash Laramie westerns, Jack is the grandson of ol' Cash who --- in place of his grandfather's U.S. Marshal star --- has taken up the plastic badge of a PI during the early post-WWII years. Unbound by a standard office in a particular city, however, Jack roams West Texas and surrounding areas hunting up cases where he finds them. He covers the miles in a hard-driven old DeSoto, pulling a horse trailer that serves as a mobile office and, as needed, his living quarters. This concept gives the overall series a nice distinction right from the get-go.

In this tale, returning to Houston is just about the last thing Jack wants to do. The last place he wants to be. But misfortune, in the form of a blown radiator on his DeSoto, plants him there ... and, by the time he's ready to leave, he has even more reasons for never wanting to go back