Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spinetingler Awards

Congratulations to Dave Zeltserman (21 Tales) and Ed Gorman (Noir 13) on their nominations from Spinetingler Magazine for Best Collection, Dave again for Best Novel from a rising star (Killer), and to our own Bill Crider for his nomination for Best Anthology  (Damn Near Dead 2).

Just four more reasons we're called "Top Suspense."

Be sure to visit to root for the projects of your choice, the voting starts tomorrow.

The Chase Part II starting April 5th

Well, the title is still undecided, but just as the original six members of Top Suspense got together to write The Chase in round robin fashion, the second six are doing the same and writing a new story under the same rules as the first one (no planning, no safety nets) and featuring our same heroine, who is either the luckiest or hardest luck character in fiction (I'll reserve judgment until I read the whole story). I've read the first five parts, and it's good. I mean, really good. So stay tuned. The story will be posted here starting April 5th, one part each day for 12 days. And like before, names won't be given until later, so you'll get a chance to guess which of the second six wrote which parts (while seamlessly done, I think I would've guessed the first 5 correctly).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Daily Cheap Reads

The website Daily Cheap Reads has a new operation in the UK

Here in the US they are at

A terrific source for inexpensive ebooks, Kindle or Nook.

Today they are featuring our collection Top Suspense.

Monday, March 28, 2011

THE DEAD MAN and Multiple Bookgasms

Bruce Grossman at Bookgasm praised THE DEAD MAN, by Top Suspense author Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin, saying that "I've not seen a writing tandem like this since the glory days of Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy."

It's a sentiment shared by The folks at Planet All-Star, who say, in part:
In all of the best ways, “The Dead Man: Face of Evil” by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin is a good, refreshing beer, solid and unpretentious and enjoyable in every way, a call back to Pendleton and Murphy/Sapir but with a distinctly modern feel.[...]Goldberg and Rabkin’s treatment of Cahill is one of the book’s strongest suits, making him a far deeper and interesting individual than is typical in the genre. Not a trained killer, far from a superman, either blessed or cursed with a supernatural ability, Cahill feels like the guy who know who’s there to jump your dead battery and has your back in a bar fight, and he’s far the more interesting for it. By the end of the story, you’re rooting for Cahill and eager for more.
What are you waiting for? Check out THE DEAD MAN now...and watch for future books in the series by Top Suspense authors Harry Shannon, Joel Goldman and Bill Crider.

TOP SUSPENSE anthololgy now in paperback, too!

Our anthology "Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre " is now available in trade paperback as well, for just $11.99.

"Dead and Gone" reduced to $1.99

Harry Shannon here. My loving tribute to 1980's cheese horror "Dead and Gone," the novel novel that became a Lionsgate movie, has been reduced to $1.99 on Kindle for the week.

Another great review for Top Suspense anthology

Don't forget, only $2.99 on Kindle and now available in the UK as well

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Now Available as an e-Book!

After he failed to find his missing sister, whose remains finally turned up in a bag in an overgrown field, Texas PI Truman Smith retired to become a housepainter on Galveston Island. But when an alligator is killed and its carcass left on display on a family friend's property, Tru is persuaded to search for the culprit. Soon the brooding gumshoe is stumbling over the bodies of dead humans, is shot at and run down by a souped-up four-by-four as he's embroiled in a plot complete with crooked police, a possible land-grabbing sheme and assorted "bad guys". Buy it here now. Or here. Soon to be available on Amazon and B&N.

Another great review of our Top Suspense anthology

Wow, what a nice review from Jimbo in the UK

New price for '21 Tales' by Dave Zeltserman

The price for the e-book version of '21 Tales' has been dropped from $7.59 to $2.99 at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Here's what some folks have been saying about '21 Tales':

"Inventively depraved" New York Magazine

"Zeltserman's twisty-tailed gems drag you deep into pulpland, bitch slap you dizzy, and leave you begging for more." --Roger Smith, author of Mixed Blood

"Dave Zeltserman is one of the crime genre's most accomplished, radical, and innovative talents. His command of style and personal dark vision of the world are framed in the short form to reach out and shake the reader by the throat. I only wish that 21 Tales had been 51 Tales or 101 Tales. We need more of his edgy stories to rattle the field." --Tom Piccirilli, author of Shadow Season

"In a relatively short period of time Dave Zeltserman has established himself as the most relevant author of dark crime fiction working today. As usual, Dave doesn't pull any punches, and his 21 Tales is inventive, nasty, pulpy fun." --Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep

"Deadpan and more ruthless than ever, Zeltserman pulls off one clever shocker after another in classic pulp style. Not for the faint-hearted!" --Vicki Hendricks, author of Cruel Poetry

"Dave Zeltserman's stories demonstrate that he's as masterful with the short story as he is with the novel--the same stunning level of craft and the same lacerating vision. This is an important collection." --Ed Gorman, author of Ticket to Ride

"21 Tales is a lethal Molotov cocktail that won’t give you a hangover but could give nightmares." Pulp Metal Magazine

If you'd like to sample an additional story of mine online that's been surprising just about every reader, here's Old Wives' Tales.

--Dave Zeltserman, Shamus Award winner for best PI story, Julius Katz and Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award winner for Archie's Been Framed

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Pressure of Darkness on Kindle for $2.99

"A dark, thrilling tale of murder and intrigue that will have you turning the pages as fast as you can."
--Crimespree Magazine

In October, of 1993 a small Special Ops team roped down in Somalia to assassinate a cult leader. The mission went horribly wrong. Their leader was killed, the medic shot in the spine. Only two of the D-Boys, Red Burke and Scotty Bowden, came away unscathed.

The aging soldiers now live in the LA area. Wheelchair bound 'Doc' is employed by the Coroner's office, Bowden is steadily a deteriorating cop on the take and Burke works both sides of the law to cover his wife’s medical bills. When famous horror novelist Peter Stryker is found dead, Burke is hired to investigate why a man would commit suicide by butchering his own body.

The trail rapidly leads Burke to embrace an old lover, confront a vicious drug lord, and finally recruit his friends to stage one last mission against a mysterious cult with plans to unleash a deadly virus.
"Master craftsmanship. The Pressure of Darkness is a dark and thrilling stroll along the knife edge. Highly recommended."
--Cemetery Dance

Blood Crimes and new e-books from Dave Zeltserman

Sales have been climbing for Blood Crimes. Since Wednesday, Blood Crimes has been one of the 200 bestselling e-books at Barnes & Noble, with its ranking holding between 126 and 180. Now's your chance to find out what the excitement is about! Get your copy now for $2.99 from B&N or Amazon.

A new e-book original thriller with my own unique take on the genre. Available now for $2.99 from B&N or Amazon.

Bad Karma is back as an e-book. Originally published in 2009 as a hardcover by Five Star, Bad Karma is the sequel to my 2007 Five Star novel, Bad Thoughts. While Bad Thoughts is more of a grim, noirish horror/crime hybrid, Bad Karma takes the action from Boston, MA to Boulder, Colorado, and is more of a hardboiled PI story with a new age twist. Bad Karma also brings back one of the cast members of my first novel, Fast Lane.

It's available for $2.99 from B&N and Amazon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Bookgasm over TIED IN

The reviewers at Bookgasm have given a rave review to TIED IN: THE BUSINESS, HISTORY, AND CRAFT OF MEDIA TIE-IN WRITING, which includes contributions by Top Suspense authors Max Allan Collins and Lee Goldberg. Here's an excerpt: 
Max Allan Collins reveals two stories that were heartbreaking to him. The first deals with his novelization of Warren Beatty’s DICK TRACY movie, where Collins fleshed out the story and made the mystery just that: a mystery. He was told corrections had to be made, but things worked out in the end. The second deals with the novelization of the Tom Hanks film ROAD TO PERDITION. The movie was based on Collins’ own graphic novel, but his tie-in had to be cut down and have huge chunks taken out. It’s this piece that clearly shows if you are a tie-in writer,don’t get attached to your own material, since you will have to answer to higher-ups.
[...]These are just a few of the pieces that make up this fascinating look into books which most people just think of as guilty pleasures. 
You've ever wondered how the tie-in business works, and how the books are written, TIED IN is the book for you.

Free Audio Download of Short Story

For anyone who likes their short stories on audio, my story "The Murder of Katie Boyle" is free through March 26 at Sniplits. It's about the murder of an exercise instructor (and who hasn't wanted to do that), and it introduces my two sleuths, Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis, to each other.

Just click on the Free Story of the Week... and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top Suspense For Nook!

Buy for $2.99 now for Kindle or Nook.

(okay, the real reason for posting this is we're damn proud of this ad!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great reviews coming in for our TOP SUSPENSE anthology on Kindle!

Here's the latest...

"If you need an example of truth in advertising, Top Suspense will do the job.  Each memorable story evoked a strong reaction, whether humor or horror, noir-weary despair or holy crap shock."

Valley of Lights

So happy to be aboard... to mark the occasion of my joining the Top Suspense gang I'm launching the Kindle version of my novel Valley of Lights at the rock-bottom Amazon price of 99c, for one month only.

When Phoenix Police Sergeant Alex Volchak discovers the true nature of a predator that has survived among us unnoticed for generations, he puts himself and those around him in mortal danger. "An excellent thriller... a cracking pace... large helpings of deadpan gallows humour... a genuine ability to create a sense of evil." Evening Times "The best fusion of crime and horror since Hjortsberg's Falling Angel." Time Out

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Could Julius Katz be the next Monk?

One recent Julius Katz convert seems to think so. Paul Brazill, in reviewing Julius Katz Mysteries, writes:

Julius Katz Mysteries is a brisk, clever and very fine read from the remarkably versatile Dave Zeltserman. As a fan of the Monk television series, I think that the adventures of Julius and Archie would also make great prime-time viewing.

You can read Paul's review here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Introductions are in order!

Top Suspense is proud to introduce our three newest members: Naomi Hirahara, Libby Hellmann and Stephen Gallagher.

Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Japanese American gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes. Nominated also for Macavity and Anthony awards, the novels in the series include Summer of the Big Bachi (Book #1), Gasa-Gasa Girl (Book #2), Snakeskin Shamisen (Book #3) and Blood Hina (Book #4). She is at work on the next novel, which will focus on the strawberry industry.

Her crime short stories are featured in Los Angeles Noir, Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics, A Hell of a Woman and The Darker Mask. Her book for younger readers, 1001 Cranes, was chosen as an Honor Book for the Youth Literature of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in 2009. She also contributed a mystery serial, "Heist in Crown City" to an English-language weekly in Japan, Asahi Weekly. Two of her Mas Arai mysteries have been published in Japanese.

Hirahara, born and raised in Southern California, is a former editor of The Rafu Shimpo daily newspaper. She also has produced seven nonfiction books on local horticulture and Asian American history and has worked on exhibitions/multi-media programs at the Visitors' Center of the Manzanar National Historic Site and the Japanese American National Museum. A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in international relations, she served as the chapter president of the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America in 2010.

Her web site is

Naomi wrote the following introduction:

Why I Love Series and Genre Fiction

One of the first fan letters that I received was from a woman in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts.

She wrote, “Mas [the series protagonist] is a curmudgeon but I really miss him.”

Now, I had published a number of nonfiction books in the past – albeit with small presses – but the last statement, “I really miss him,” shocked me.

For how compelling my subjects had been in my nonfiction works, nobody had this kind of visceral and emotional attachment. And then the light bulb went on. A-ha! That’s the beauty of series and genre fiction.

A product of 1970s television, I’ve always gravitated towards episodic stories. I wanted to know, what happens to James Rockford and his dad? I watched reruns of “The Rifleman” after school everyday (most likely because I had a crush on Johnny Crawford). “M*A*S*H,” “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “The Jeffersons” were favorites, along with, of course, any acne-faced teenage girl’s staple – “The Brady Bunch” and “Partridge Family.”

It took me some time to produce my first novel with Mas Arai, an aging Japanese American gardener and atomic bomb survivor. When it was finally picked up by a New York publisher, I wasn’t expecting a request for another one. (Actually it was more than a request – it was a provision in the contract.)

In a recent radio interview, the artist Christo explained that the limitations and bureaucratic requirements imposed on his public art projects define the work itself. In the same way, the twists and turns of the publishing world also establish the rhythm of a mystery series.

So what is the role of e-books, at least for me in this stage of my career? They help to maintain the continuity of a series, especially as bookstores reduce their inventories. And by keeping interest in a series alive, e-books may ironically help sales of physical books on the shelves.

If you’re someone who has to start off with the first in the series, go for Summer of the Big Bachi. You are most likely going to enter a very different kind of world and hopefully, if all goes well, you’ll miss Mas and want to visit him again.

Libby Fischer Hellmann is a transplant from Washington, D.C., where, she says, “When you’re sitting around the dinner table gossiping about the neighbors, you’re talking politics.” Armed with a Masters Degree in Film Production from New York University, and a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, she started her career in broadcast news. She began as an assistant film editor at NBC News in New York, but moved back to DC where she worked with Robin McNeil and Jim Lehrer at N-PACT, the public affairs production arm of PBS. When Watergate broke, she was re-trained as an assistant director and helped produce PBS’s night-time broadcasts of the hearings.

In 1978, Hellmann moved to Chicago to work at Burson-Marsteller, the large public relations firm, staying until 1985 when she founded Fischer Hellmann Communications. Currently, when not writing, she conducts speaker training programs in platform speaking, presentation skills, media training, and crisis communications. Additionally, Libby also writes and produces videos.

Her first novel, AN EYE FOR MURDER, which features Ellie Foreman, a video producer and single mother, was released in 2002. Publishers Weekly called it a “masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense,” and it was nominated for several awards. That was followed by three more entries in the series, which Libby describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.”

A few years later, Libby introduced her second series featuring hard-boiled Chicago PI Georgia Davis, which Chicago Tribune describes as, “a new no-nonsense detective . . . . Tough and smart enough to give even the legendary V.I. Warshawski a run for her money.” There are two books in that series so far: EASY INNOCENCE (2008) and DOUBLEBACK (2009), which was selected as a Great Lakes Booksellers’ Association “2009 Great Read.”

Her 7th novel and current release, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE, (December, 2010) is a standalone thriller that goes back, in part, to the late Sixties in Chicago. Publishers Weekly describes it as “top-rate” and says, “A jazzy fusion of past and present, Hellman's insightful, politically charged whodunit explores a fascinating period in American history.” Libby has also edited a highly acclaimed crime fiction anthology, CHICAGO BLUES (October, 2007). In May, 2010, she published an e-collection of her own short stories called NICE GIRL DOES NOIR. In 2005-2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3,400 plus member organization committed to strengthening the voice of female mystery writers. Hellmann also blogs with “The Outfit Collective” at

TSG: Describe yourself as a writer?

I’m an insecure writer. Always second guessing myself. Always trying to improve. But every once in a while I write a passage that, on reflection, I’m able to say, “Hey, that wasn’t half bad.” I love writing suspense – In fact, it seems to insinuate itself into my work on every page. But I love creating characters too. Particularly those who make unexpected choices. That’s the fun part.

TSG: Your influences?

Like most of us, before I was a writer, I was a reader, and I loved staying up way past the time I should, because I “had to see how it turned out.” That quickly morphed into a love of thrillers, particularly espionage. So I read a lot of LeCarre, Deighton, Ludlum, Follett, Thomas Gifford. After a while, though, they all started to sound the same – ie the world was going to blow up, the hero saved the world, and rode off into the sunset with his girlfriend. So I branched out into general mysteries and crime fiction, because of (at the time) superior characterization.

TSG: Your muses?

That’s a hard one. When I’m having a bad day, I usually turn to whatever I’m reading at the time. Usually, by the time I’ve read 10 pages or so, the solution to whatever problem I was having pops up. It’s magic. Or my subconscious. So I have lots of muses.

TSG: Your first sale? My first sale was a short story called “Dumber Than Dirt.” It was sold to an e-zine that no longer exists, called Blue Murder and published in June, 2000.

TSG: Your biggest, most memorable thrill as a writer?

That’s easy. It involves the writer’s group I’ve been a part of for over 15 years now. But this happened when I was still the newbie in the group. At the time everyone seemed to critique my work. Constantly. I still remember thumbing through the pages I’d read after one group critique, and saying, “I don’t think you guys missed a single line…” At any rate, after a while, I started a new novel and read the first chapter at group. Suddenly, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I thought I had screwed up. Royally. When I finished, the person who’d probably been the hardest on me said, “This is wonderful. You found your voice.” Btw, that book became my first published novel, AN EYE FOR MURDER.

Stephen Gallagher is a novelist, screenwriter, and director. He is the author of fourteen novels, including Nightmare, with Angel; Red, Red Robin; and The Spirit Box.

Described by London newspaper The Independent as "the finest British writer of bestselling popular fiction since le Carré ... Gallagher, like le Carré, is a novelist whose themes seem to reflect something of the essence of our times, and a novelist whose skill lies in embedding those themes in accessible plots." According to Arena magazine, "Gallagher has quietly become Britain's finest popular novelist, working a dark seam between horror and the psychological thriller."

The Daily Telegraph wrote, "Since Valley of Lights, he has been refining his own brand of psycho-thriller, with a discomforting knack of charting mental disintegration and a razor-sharp sense of place." Charles de Lint wrote in Mystery Scene magazine, "Gallagher is a master of abnormal psychology and he just gets better and better." Also in Mystery Scene David Mathew added, "never a writer to rest on his laurels, he has written good hard thrillers, some horror genre work (such as Valley of Lights), and a novel (Oktober) that might even qualify as a vague distortion of contemporary world fantasy… in places. You might go as far as to employ that overused phrase sui generis. He is, at any rate, one of the best writers of his generation."

Winner of British Fantasy and International Horror Guild awards, Stephen Gallagher's screen work began with Doctor Who and includes miniseries adaptations of his novels Chimera and Oktober, which he also directed. He created and wrote for both the British and American versions of Eleventh Hour, which starred Patrick Stewart in the UK and Rufus Sewell in Jerry Bruckheimer's CBS remake. His most recent novel is The Kingdom of Bones and his next will be The Suicide Hour, both from Random House.

TSG: Describe yourself as a writer?

A novelist at heart, a screenwriter by trade, always drawn back to prose fiction as the bedrock of all storytelling.

TSG: Your influences?

A mixed bunch of American pulpsters and British postwar thriller writers; I'm particularly drawn to novelists who demolish all barriers between low and high art for the sake of a thrilling tale. I like good contemporary suspense and I also like a great historical, as long as there's a streak of darkness in it.

TSG: Your muses?

The ghosts of Arthur Conan Doyle, James M Cain, Gavin Lyall, and all the dogs I've ever owned, and the woods we've roamed in while I worked out my stories.

TSG: Your first sale?

An adaptation of my first radio serial. Radio drama was the first and most valuable step in my education. Unlimited landscapes with a tight focus on plot and character.

TSG: Your biggest, most memorable thrill as a writer?

Driving down to Santa Monica in October 2008, seeing a giant billboard advertising one of my TV shows while the trail for another played on the car's radio. In a convertible it would have been a perfect moment; in a rented Hyundai it was still pretty good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Suspense anthology released on Kindle for $2.99

  "TOP SUSPENSE" a brand new anthology from Top Suspense Group is only $2.99
Hold on tight for a literary thrill-ride into the wickedly clever, frightening, and exhilarating world of Top Suspense, a sizzling collaboration of twelve master storytellers at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales. This unforgettable anthology - packed full of cold-blooded killers, erotic tension, shady private eyes, craven drug dealers, vicious betrayals, crafty thieves, and shocking twists - is only a taste of the thrills you will find in the breathtakingly original ebooks by these authors at

So sit back, bite down on a piece of strong leather, and prepare to get hit by some gale-force suspense and writing so sharp it will draw blood.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A new look for Julius and Top Suspense takes 2 spots

Julius Katz has a new look befitting his Shamus, Derringer and Ellery Queen's Readers Choice awards.

Also, the 2010 Ellery Queen's Reader Choice Awards have been announced, and it turns out Top Suspense authors took 2 of the top 4 spots, once again proving we really are top suspense!!

1. Dave Zeltserman, “Archie’s Been Framed” (September/October)
2. Doug Allyn, “The Scent of Lilacs” (September/October)
3. Doug Allyn, “Days of Rage” (March/April)
4. Lee Goldberg, “Mr. Monk and the Seventeen Steps” (December)
5. Brendan DuBois, “To Kill an Ump” (September/October)
6. Clark Howard, “Winter’s End” (December)
7. Clark Howard, “Last Dance in Shanghai” (June)
8. Evan Lewis, “Skyler Hobbs and the Rabbit Man” (February)
9. Stephen Ross, “The Man with One Eye” (December)
10. Carol Biederman, “The Changelings: A Very Grim Fairytale” (November)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Behild the Child .99 on Kindle

"BEHOLD THE CHILD" first appeared in the Cemetery Dance anthology "Brimstone Turnpike." Sam Kenzie is an LAPD cop who can't escape his obsession with a serial killer due to demons of his own...
"Behold the Child", by Harry Shannon, is the perfect mix of classic Noir and the supernatural. A maverick, burned-out cop haunted by his last city case ignores advice and a "wrong" turn en route to his retirement gig in the isolated desert town of his youth. It's dark, brooding, and reminds us that unfortunately, not everyone takes advantage of divine second chances."
-SHROUD Magazine

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Origins of THE DEAD MAN

Lee Goldberg here...

My new book THE DEAD MAN began as a TV series idea that Bill Rabkin & I started pitching around Hollywood over 20 years ago. Here's an excerpt from my original notes...
Bret Wallace was once a simple man, a lumberyard foreman who loved simple pleasures: a cold beer, a warm Barcalounger, and the Portland Trailblazers
Now he is a soldier in the unseen, eternal battle between good and evil...between gifted mortals and dark entities only hinted about in lore...a battle waged every day in front of our eyes...and yet we cannot see.
We all know it is there.
But only Bret Wallace can see the afflicted, and stop them before they strike.
Only Bret Wallace can defeat the Dark Man, a mysterious, supernatural figure who, with the help of his fearsome minions, lives for evil, and will do anything to stop him....and holds the secret to Bret's miraculous rebirth.
Only the Dark Man can tell Bret whether he is still a man...or the walking dead.
For Bret Wallace, each day is a journey...into a supernatural world he knows nothing about...a quest for the answers to who he is, and what he has become...and a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.

The network and studio execs always enjoyed the pitch, but we were never able to make the sale, though we came very close in the early days of the USA Network, close enough that we were compelled for some crazy reason to write the script on spec, thinking that would close the deal. Not only that, but we came up with twelve story ideas to show the idea had legs.

But for reasons I don't remember any more, it didn't happen. We filed the idea away, coming back to it every few years and remembering how much we liked it. A few months ago, I pulled the pitch and the script out again and, although my fondness for the teleplay itself had dimmed considerably, I still loved the concept and the last few lines of the pitch lingered with me...
There is good, and there is evil.
On November 12, Bret Wallace died, buried in an avalanche of snow.
On February 23rd, Bret Wallace came back to life.
Nothing has changed
There is still good, and there is still evil.
Only now... he can see it.
It suddenly occurred to me that it would be make a kick-ass series of books...and we already had the story lines for twelve of'em. It didn't take more than 30 seconds to convince Bill to go along with idea...and then I ran the notion past a few trusted friends, just to see if we were nuts. But they were as enthusiastic about it as we were.

So now, convinced that we were on to something, all we had to do was write the book that would serve as our "pilot" and the second book, which would serve as "the first episode." We scrapped the script, but kept the basic story structure, the essence of the character and, of course, the concept of the series (We also changed the hero's name from "Bret Wallace" to "Matt Cahill" because, as author James Reasoner pointed out, "Bret Wallace" was the name of THE NINJA MASTER, the hero of an action-adventure series from the 1980s).

Writing the first book, The Dead Man: Face of Evil, was an absolute blast... we had so much fun, we knew we could enjoy writing these books for a long time to come. But we also knew we wanted to work with writers the way we have done on our TV series... and to harken back to the heyday of those "men's action adventure" paperbacks, most of which were written by scores of writers, each offering their own take on the character in adventures that they came up with.

On a TV series, freelance writers get credited for their episodes. But in most "men's action adventure" book series, the freelance writers do not. Either the "original writers" are credited for every book (like Don Pendleton on MACK BOLAN or Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir on THE DESTROYER) or all the credit goes to a shared house name (like "Tabor Evans" on LONGARM, etc.) The freelance writers are buried in small type on the copyright page ("Special thanks and acknowledgment to Kevin Dangler for his contributions to this work")...if they even get mentioned at all.

But we knew we didn't want to do it that way on THE DEAD MAN. We wanted the writers credited in big type on the everyone would know it was their unique take on our character, like a singer covering someone else's song. We were eager to see what writers who we greatly admired, with similar sensibilities to ours, would do with the character and the concept. In some ways, that's the most exciting part of THE DEAD MAN to us.

So while we were still writing DEAD MAN: FACE OF EVIL, we reached out to writers we know to see if they'd be interested. Every writer we approached said "hell yes!." We gave them the twelve stories ideas we came up with two decades ago...and while a few of the writers chose them as jumping off points for their books, others came up with their own ideas.

We are now close to finishing DEAD MAN #2: HELL IN HEAVEN. After that, we've got DEAD MAN: RING OF KNIVES from James L. Daniels and THE DEAD MAN: THE DEAD WOMAN by David McAfee on deck, and books coming from my fellow Top Suspense authors Joel Goldman and Bill Crider, as well as Mel Odom, Burl Barer, Matt Witten...and, mixed in with those, probably another book or two by Bill Rabkin and me.

We can't wait to read them and, we hope, you'll soon feel the same way.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Julius Katz Mysteries -- Absolutely fantastic!

Wendy at the Minding Spot reviews Julius Katz Mysteries, and sums up her review as follows:

Absolutely fantastic! I highly recommend this series to any mystery suspense reader. Julius and Archie remind me a bit of all of the great sleuths, but uniquely their own.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Audie and Two FREE E-books

Max Allan Collins again.

The big piece of M.A.C. news this week is that my radio-style novel for audio, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 2: THE LITTLE DEATH, has been nominated for an Audie, the Academy Award of the audio book world. We are in the Best Original category, which makes it as much the writer’s award as anybody’s...but I am the first to salute the great cast headed by everybody’s favorite Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach, and to applaud producer/director Carl Amari, the maestro behind the Twilight Zone radio series.
This would seem as good a time as any to remind you that THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER comes Again starring Stacy Keach. It's from Blackstone Audio.

More pertinently, on the e-book front, a reminder (following up my last blog entry here): to celebrate my birthday on March 3, we have arranged with Kensington for free e-books of ANTIQUES ROADKILL and YOU CAN’T STOP ME at any on-line retailers, starting today, March 1, through March 3. Actually, it’s more to celebrate the release of new books in the respective series represented by those two titles, ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

ANTIQUES ROADKILL is the first book in the Trash 'n' Treasures comic cozy mystery series by "Barbara Allan" (my wife Barb and me). YOU CAN'T STOP ME is the first J.C. Harrow serial-killer/forensics thriller. The co-author is Matthew Clemens, who collaborates with me on ten CSI thrillers.

Free is good. Check 'em out.