Cover Reveal for RECORD SCRATCH by J.J. Hensley May01

Cover Reveal for RECORD SCRATCH by J.J. Hensley

Ah, book covers. They can be such a source of stress for traditionally published authors who may have a limited amount of control of what image graces the cover of his or her book. Of course, by the time my first novel got picked up for publication, my wife and I had all sorts of ideas and were more than willing to share them with the publisher. When I finally got the long-awaited email letting me know it was time to select the cover art, I let them know our mental warehouse was overflowing with concepts. Fantastic concepts. Brilliant concepts. The publisher let me know the warehouse could remain locked up, was in a bad neighborhood anyway,...

Book Review:  ACTION COMICS: 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN Apr12

Book Review: ACTION COMICS: 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN

ACTION COMICS: 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN THE DELUXE EDITION April 2018 DC Comics From the DC Comics page on the book: “Join us for the 80th anniversary celebration of the most important comic book in American history: ACTION COMICS #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman! It’s an extraordinary party as we revisit stories from across the decades, featuring the debuts of not just the Man of Tomorrow, but also Supergirl, Brainiac, the Fortress of Solitude and more! See the work of generations of top writers and artists on the original superhero! Enjoy sparkling essays from literary wizards who have won Pulitzer Prizes and hit the bestseller...

A LOOK INTO “NIGHT OF THE FLOOD” Mar05

A LOOK INTO “NIGHT OF THE FLOOD”

A NIGHT OF THE FLOOD co-edited by Sarah M. Chen and E.A. Aymar March 2017 Down and Out Books     An hour ago, I opened a box of ten copies of THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD. I held the print version in my hand. I can’t stop staring at it. I just love the cover. The stark darkness, mixed with the sense of cinema noir, the bold red letters at the top like some sort of dire billboard on the outskirts of the novel’s fictional town of Everton…it’s pretty. Down and Out Books did a great job with this one. And, weirdly, I feel a different sense of pride than I normally do with something I’ve published. Maybe that’s because I’ve never co-edited...

Fight Choreography – How I Develop Fight Scenes that Pass Muster with Actual Martial Artists Jan17

Fight Choreography – How I Develop Fight Sce...

Write what you know. Maybe that works for crime fiction writers who are former cops or prosecutors. I was a professional statistician. People won’t chat with you at a party longer than two minutes when that crap comes up so they’re not going to stick around for a whole book of it. I solved that problem pretty handily by making my protagonist a newbie. She’s a former uniform cop who quit and is now apprenticing as a private investigator with her father – a father who is out of the country for the entire book. She knew how to pull people over and write them tickets or respond to domestic violence calls but tracking down a murderer from...

Sue Grafton Remembered Dec29

Sue Grafton Remembered

The Alphabet Stops at Y. Y is for Yesterday. Thank you, lovely lady for all of the yesterdays you influenced and all of the tomorrows you will inspire. Sue Grafton has died. I’m not sure I can even process this news. I am definitely typing through tears. The lady has a singular place in this Mystery Fan’s heart. I am not alone. Millions of her books have sold to very loyal readers for 35 years now. It’s hard to believe A is for Alibi was first published in 1982. Harder still to know I almost missed it. But I didn’t. And I’m grateful. The following is not meant to be an “obituary” but the touchstones of my life, fandom and mystery community...

Music To Live By – Rich Zahradnik Oct22

Music To Live By – Rich Zahradnik

• “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. I was in high school from 1974 to 1978. The music was awful—disco and hair bands (Foreigner, Styx, Kansas). I discovered Springsteen and he saved me from all that. He mixed the DNA of an old-school rock and roll band with a new, powerful sound. And such great stories. As a writer, I’m drawn as much or more to the lyrics as I am to the music. It was only after setting the Coleridge Taylor series in the seventies that I realized I could have Taylor discover Springsteen and gravitate to him for somewhat similar reasons, though Taylor is older than I was at the time. At the same time, he got to discover...