Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Name Of The Game Is Death, by Dan J. Marlowe

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I sure did. I got a lot of nice presents and had a very nice time with family. I am still enjoying my Amazon gift card and I received another gift card on top of that one. So, I have a lot of reading to do and a lot of book buying as well.

As promised, I want to share a few things about Dan Marlowe's The Name of the Game Is Death.  I will start by saying that I really enjoyed the book. I was pretty sure I would. If you are a fan of heist novels, then this is the story for you.

It is about a bank robber who sets out on a journey to find his old partner and the hidden money from a previous bank robbery they did together. He ends up in a small town in Florida and trouble ensues.

The tale opens with the bank robbery. After the opening action, we get a couple of chapters of back story on the main character. Then, it is on to the meat of the story. This nasty little piece of pulp is full of violence and steamy romance, all culminating into a fireball of an ending.

 I like this book so much that I'm going to read everything of Dan J Marlowe's that I can get my hands on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Personal Writing Breakthrough

I was stuck on a certain point having to do with the current story that I am thinking through. I guess what I was having trouble with was trying to make the pieces of the story fit together in some sort of logical way. So what I did, unwittingly, was walk away from it. And today while I was driving, the answer came to me on how to marry all the elements of the story. I love it when that happens… It is like a grand revelation.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dan J Marlowe

Hello! I am writing today to gush about an author I have discovered that I like. Right now I'm reading his very famous book, The Name Of the Game Is Death. So far, it satisfies my hard-boiled Jones. I really love the rough prose. It is very similar to a Parker novel by Richard Stark. I will try to have an official review when I finish the book. And I will write more about Marlowe as I learn more about him. But, on to the gushing. I intend to read everything this man is written. I can't say enough good things about him. I've heard some people say that besides the book One Endless Hour, his other books are not that great. Despite that, I am going to read them anyway. Well that's about all I can say right now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Ok, I am back, albeit temporarily. I don't have anything specific to say except that I am working hard on two stories. One is the third Huey Dusk story. The other is a Huey related story about Lou Blatz the corrupt clown cop that is always harassing him. I  am really enjoying writing that one. It is fun to write from a different character's point of view every once in a awhile. Well Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I have so much to be grateful for. I hope you do too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Untitled Rant

As I read on a Facebook post that one of my favorite writers has gone off to Egypt, it is hard to obey the 10th commandment, thou shall not covet. Sometimes, I catch myself living vicariously through my favorite novelists.

I dream about getting a good book deal, hefty advances in working with publishers such as Thomas and Mercer. But with all this in mind I need ask myself, why do I write?

I could go on all night with reasons about why I'm a writer .  But the underlying reason is that writing is an addiction- there are a lot worse addictions I could have .

I live and breathe writing. I think about it before I go to sleep and I dream about it. 

All of that aside, I find I do my best writing when I quiet my thought and silence my senses.  It is then I can just sit down and do it.

Editing And Updating My Posts

Good morning, or should I say good afternoon to some. I hope everyone is having a great day. I've been looking at past posts and reading them and making a few minor edits here and there-some of those mistakes were bad typos.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I'm aware that a lot of these dispatches need to be edited.  What I normally do is edit them as I go along.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Progress On the Lou Blatz Story

Today I broke out of my writing funk and wrote at least three pages of the second draft of my current story. What it all boils down to is this: sitting down and writing and saying to yourself "Damn the torpedoes". Also, the longer you go without writing, the less you think you have to say. This was true regarding this current story.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Good Morning To All

Hello everyone. I just wanted to say good morning and hope everyone is having a great day. When I get excited about writing, I always refer to it as the writing bug. As of right now, I don't have it. I'm waiting for a book that really wows  me. So far, I haven't found that book. This is not to say that I haven't read some good novels. Because I have. But every once in a while, I read a story that really inspires me to write something of my own.

Friday, October 5, 2012

More About The Lou Blatz Story

I'm feeling better about the story. As I said yesterday, I did a character sketch on Lou Blatz and got to know him a little better. Today I used my John Truby's Blockbuster program and put the story through the paces. The end result was that I came up with a story that had more depth.

I think this piece is going to be a lot darker than my previous Huey stories. It is due in part to the nature of Lou Blatz; he is naturally a dark and dreary character. Huey, on the other hand, has an optimistic streak running through him. He doesn't know how it's going to happen, but somehow he's always going to land on his feet - his big clown feet that is.

After I'm done with this one, I think it's going to be the tightest mystery I've written so far.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

On Doing Character Sketches

I've been spoiled in that for some time I've been writing about the same character, my beloved clown Huey Dusk. In writing about him, I have gotten to know him as I've go along. So now he is second nature to me-almost an aspect of myself.

But with this story, I am writing about a side character in the same universe as Huey. This character is Lou Blatz , the homicide clown detective that is always harassing him.

I thought I knew him well enough to cast him as a main character. However,  I am running into a few snags dealing with his voice.  The main problem is that he sounds a lot like Huey.

 To remedy this I am doing a character sketch.  So far, it is been very helpful.   Through doing this exercise, I've already learned a lot about Lou:  where he is from, his philosophy about life, his hopes and dreams, and how he feels about his fellow clowns.

 I might also add that normally,  I don't like characters to talk to me; but since I've taken the time to think this one through, I think I will listen to what Lou has to say.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Little Tokyo, by Mike Petttit

Little Tokyo by Mike Pettit was an interesting book. It's a mix of Mickey Spillane and a men's adventure novel à la Mack Bolan.

The main character is John Locke. John is a retired private investigator who just wants to be left alone and gamble his remaining good years away. But the book opens with him doing a job for a client who turns out not to be on the level. The job entailed Locke finding this gangster and roughing him up. But, as it turns out John ends up killing the gangster and blowing up his place of employment. This is just the opening.

The main story deals with Locke being hired to find this Midwestern family's  daughter, who has sunk into the deep cesspool of LA porn. Bloody mayhem ensues.  

I enjoyed this book, but I must warn you it is not for the faint of heart.   It is very gory and it has some graphic sex scenes.   My only nit pick is that in some parts Pettit spends a lot of time telling instead of showing.   In the biz we call that an information dump.

But on the whole, if you are looking for a cheap pulp action novel, then I would highly recommend this book.   It can be purchased at for $2.99.

Reflections About Writing

An English professor once told me sometimes it is not good to read your favorite authors when you're writing. He felt that because they were so good, it would discourage you.

Today I feel that way. The pages I am turning out feel uninspired. But like I said yesterday, I will keep working. Because sometimes a writing challenge is good for the literary soul.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thoughts About The Lou Blatz Story

Hello to all,

I hope everyone's having a great week. Mine is plugging  right along. Right now I'm working on a story about Lou Blatz. He is the homicide clown cop that is always harassing Huey Dusk. This story is going to be from his point of view and it's going to be a cop caper . What I'm having difficulty with is giving the character his own narrative. My first draft sounded a lot like a Huey story with a different character in his place.

So, this story is going to require a lot of fine tuning to make it an original piece.  But fear not.  Because I enjoy writing this and I'm up to the challenge .

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Robo E-books Continued

Since I don't have anything else to write about, I thought I would continue my discussion on robo ebooks. Well, being the ace cub reporter that I am, I did a little investigation. My research consisted of going to and poking around their site.

What I conclude is that these e-books are not any kind of threat to fiction writers. Most of the topics all center around self-help and how-to categories. To me, those types of books are overpriced anyway, and you can buy them very cheaply on this website. Furthermore, right now I don't think it is possible to create a fiction e-book. So in the interim, I think all of us underground, hard-boiled fiction writers are safe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Robo E Books

I want to mention something that I read in an article today. It is about creating Robo e books. The process is this: you cull this information from the Internet and you slap it together in e-book pages and put a cover on it. I can see a lot of people will be against this idea.  But I see it and I compare it to the discovery of downloading music. What we have done is stumbled on another vehicle that could be used to get some fine literature out on the market and lightning fast. I believe a writer must embrace new ideas to be successful.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Set Up On Front Street, by Mike Dennis

Set Up On Front Street by Mike Dennis is your typical hard-boiled noir fare. In fact, Mickey Spillane's hand prints are all over this one; the author even includes a quote from the Mike Hammer novel My Gun Is Quick.  I am a Mickey Spillane fan so I am loving this book aleady.

The protagonist in this story is Don Roy, an Irish bad ass out of prison, who got sent up in Nevada for a diamond swindle. He is coming home to Key West to lay down roots and collect his share of  the diamond money. As par for the course, his partner is shady and has done some creative financing with his share. Don Roy is non too pleased and threatens him if he doesn't come up with the "chedder" in short order. Don's troubles begin here and pile up through out the story until the finale.

The book is chock full of noir stereotypes: corruopt politicians, hard ass cops, evil rich dudes, a femme fatale, shady gangster friends of the main character who he can rely on for help in defeating his enemies, and a prostitute with a heart of gold. But even with these characters, it all still feels fresh and Dennis provides just enough color and back story for you to care about them and root for them. I would also add that the protagonist has a nice character arc that goes from bad to good.

A couple of other interesting features are these. One, is that the story takes place in 1991 in which during that time, the world was witnessing the fall of Communism in Russia, and in the case of the story, possibly the fall of Cuba. I like that this is similar, but yet a departure from Spillane in that his stories always had the element of paranoia over Communism and the Soviet Union. Added to that were the references about the disappearance of the old Las Vegas and the ushering in of the modern. Two nice twists.

As you can see I do not have anything negative to say about this book. If you are a fan of escapist pulp fiction then I would highly suggest you pick this book up. It is available for your Kindle for very cheap.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Musings and Ramblings

Right now, I'm in writing limbo. And this is because I am in between projects. The funny thing is that when I'm working on a project, I sometimes can't wait to get it done so I can take a break.

But when I'm done and doing nothing, I get bored. There's only so much reading you can do and I have the tendency while I'm reading the book to say that I can do better than the  author. Most of the time I read to research for my own writing. That includes reading pulp fiction and breaking the story down  so I can form a template.

Hopefully, by the end of this weekend, I will have some inspiration.  Because I am only professionally happy when I am working on a new project .

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mike Dennis: Set up on front Street

I'm jumping the gun a little bit. But I can't resist talking about this new book I got from It's called Set up on Front Street, by Mike Dennis. I'm only partway into it, but so far so good. I mean you can't go wrong with an author who has a Mickey Spillane quote at the beginning of the book. More about this story when I'm finished with it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Editing an Old Story

Hannibal, on the A-Team, always used to say this at the end of the show: "I love it when a plan comes together." 

That's the way I feel about my stories. Especially the ones that I have let sit on the shelf and now just returned to. It is nice to see that they aren't as bad as I thought they were when I was writing them. I feel this way about my third Huey Dusk story.

I think it has the potential to shine above the others. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Musings On A Friday Evening

Tonight, I have the night to myself… My wife has gone out with the girls to a trivia night. So I'm sitting here with time on my hands.  After watching a little TV, I bought two books on They're both by hard-boiled and pulp fiction writer Mike Pettit. Both were only a $1.99, so it shouldn't be a drain on the family budget. I am looking forward to reading both of these on my Kindle.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Starting A New Story

Today, like yesterday, I worked on an outline for a new story. It will be a collaborative effort with a writer friend. 

With this project I feel like I am stepping into uncharted territory. I say this because the story will be a romantic, comedy, thriller. Something along the lines of Janet  Evanovich. But just the same, I am very excited and looking forward to this project.

I think it is important for a writer to flex other muscles from time to time .

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dying Memories by David Zeltserman

A while ago, Mr. Zeltserman told me this wasn't his best book. He felt that another book of his titled Killers Essence was better. I disagree.

Dying Memories, is about a reporter in Boston who is working on a story about a murder. The deeper he digs, he finds out that the murder was part of a grand conspiracy involving the government and a major corporation.  Even though it is a familiar plot line, Mr. Zeltserman does an excellent job in creating a paranoid atmosphere. When reading this, I truly did not know who the main character could trust.

This story harkens back to other stories such as  Three Days Of The CondorThe Parallax View and the granddaddy of them all, The Manchurian Candidate .  But it's not a carbon copy of any ofthese movies or books .

Also, normally I am not a fan of flashbacks in stories.  However, I feel David's use of them really worked in that it really helped to unravel the main character's back story, which was very important to the plot.

 I really like Zeltserman's prose style. I think his economy of language fits the type of story Dying Memories is. I also think though we have seen these type of characters before, they weren't stale; on the contrary, they were very interesting and fresh .

I highly recommend this book, and it can be purchased as an e-book at

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Godchild by Vincent Zandri

Godchild, by Vincent Zandri, is my first foray into his work. It is part of his Jack Marconi series-Jack who is a down on his heels private eye.

What is interesting about Jack, is that he was a former prison warden. This is a unique twist on the private eye story  in that most gumshoes are ex-cops. Other than that, Marconi has all the trappings of the loser/ hero that inhabits the stories of all the greats.

I read one reviewer who stated that the plot was cliché . I disagree with the word cliché.  But, I can't say it is original.  However, who cares? Zandri delivers a story that is pure action and escapism ; and that's what I'm looking for in my crime fiction . Also, his story is full of twists and turns that make it very interesting .

My only quibble with his book is that it was 10 pages too long.  It felt like he was beating us over the head with certain  back story .  But, that aside, I highly reccomend Godchild for any crime and action buffs. It can be purchased at for your Kindle.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Progress on the Lou Blatz story

Not a bad writing session today. I managed to squeeze out 700 words. I think this is a good pace.

Still, my main concern is that this is too much  like a Huey story with just a different character. So what I'm going to do, is finish the story as is. Then I will put it aside, and later on re think the second draft. Currently, I am thinking that I should make it more of a police procedural and do some funny things with that genre. I can look to writers like Ed Mc Bain for inspiration.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lou Blatz: All That Glitters Is Gold

This is just a progress report on the story I'm working on: Lou Blatz: All that glitters is gold. Little by little, I am shaping the character that is Lou Blatz. What I don't want, is this to be a Huey Dusk story with a different character. So, in the second draft, I will have to go through and give Lou some distinctive qualities. I also want the humor in the piece to be a lot drier than it is in the Huey Dusk
series. The prose style should be a lot more abrupt and brutal. As I've mentioned before, I am channeling David Goodis. As a result, Blatz's world should be more bleak.

What I don't want What I don't want

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Red Baker by Robert Ward

Red Baker takes place during 1985 in working class white Baltimore; actually, it felt like 1982. It starts off with both Red and his rabid friend laid off from the steel mill. This sparks a journey of despair full of stops at bars, fraternizing with hookers, buying drugs and embarrassing his family. His exploits cause him to receive an ultimatum from his wife.

As a result of this, he is successful in finding a low-paying job that barely pays the bills . This depresses Red  even more  and he and his friend  Dog get into more trouble. This trouble culminates into fight with Vinny, a mortal enemy. it also causes him to go in on a scam with a crooked cop His friend Dog  goes in on it too.

Red Baker is a quirky classic which is a book for its time.  I don't think it is as dark as other I've read; but but that's.  It canbe purchased as hard copy or e-book on

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dead End, by Ed Lacy(a full review)

If you like it rough, gritty, and crude, then Dead End is the book for you. It centers around Bucky Laspiza a down on his heels cop who, no matter how hard he  tries, can't seem to get ahead, professionally, financially, or socially. That is, until he meets another cop named Doc an joins his squad and that all changes, culminating into a big standoff, Bucky and Doc vs police at the end. Not too original, but, there is a nasty little knife twist at the end, which I won't divulge.

Story starts off with the two  being holed up in hideout where they just shot a woman who is the owner of the house. It turns out She and Doc had a dispute over the price they had to pay for using her home as a hideout. Then, in subsequent chapters, we are treated to Bucky's flashbacks of his childhood which illustrate very clearly why he is in this pickle.

Dead End is not bad for being a .99 cent E book. It is gritty, and edgy, but achieves this goal with little or no bad language, as well as sex scenes. It can be purchased at

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Dark Journey

If I repeat myself, I am sorry. Moreover noir, I am more interested in the dark journey. I like to see my characters venture off into unfamiliar territory and see how that changes them. Like Heart Of Darkness and its contemporary Apocalypse Now.

Noirish characters are ones who took that dark journey and didn't come back completely whole. This doesn't mean they turn completely to the darkside, but that they incorporate elements of it in their lives.

The Dark Journey contains more truth and says a great deal about the character just by the way they handle themself through out the story than I think noir does.

My goal is to use noir just as a minor color or shading in my stories.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Future Changes To The Blog

A friend told me she hates when bloggers lead off with, "Ok I have been away for awhile..."So here goes nothin.

Ok I have been away for a awhile but now I am back. What I want to talk about today are the future changes and plans I have for the appearance of the blog.

The back drop will stay the same... and I like the bar. But, very gradually, I want to replace the side pictures with liknesses of the characters in the story, along with things like bottles of Bubble Gum Whisky and Monkey Rum. Maybe I will include a panoramic shot of the city.

Doing this, will give more exposure to the series. If I think of more things I will surely post them.

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Story in the Interim

Ok I am pulling out my hair because my computer locked up on me... my precious Little Pablo! What's the significance of that as a writer-- besides my whole life and career as an author being on it? Well, what it also means that while it hopefully is being fixed, I get to cool my heels and work on a story about the other character I was talking about in yesterday's post.

I have already started and I am quite pleased, because it is turning into what I want it to be which is a title from Prologue Books(I am obsessed with those books, so you will hear alot about them) But hopefully I can get my other computer fixed and get back on track.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Inspiration And Looking Beyond Huey Dusk

It's hard to think about one day puttting the Huey stories to rest. But, as a writer, you must grow an evolve. This is not to say Huey stories won't continue. It's just at some point I will be dealing with other aspects of his life and personal history. For instance, I really want to write stories about his dad who is mentioned quite a bit through out the series.

I also want to write stories about the other side characters. Right now, I have a story about Clown Detective Lou Blatz in the hopper. So, there is lots of room for expansion in this universe.

However, what really excites me, is the aftermath of the Huey Dusk era. I have been thinkiing about this new character for about two years now, but today I had inspiration on how to frame his stories.

That inspiration came from my reading of some of the Prologue Book titles that I have acquired(I intend to get more) The books are quick, dirty, and very gritty, and that's what I want this new series to be.

Also, whereas Huey borrowed heavily from Mickey Spillane. This new series would stand on the shoulders of the likes of Talmadge Powell, Peter Rabe, Charles Runyon and I must not leave out David Goodis. Pretty ambitious I know. But like I said, I get excited thinking about the possibilities.

 However, do note there will be proper homage to Huey since, like I said, this other series does sprout from the Dusk stories; similiar to how there is mention of Huey's dad in all of the Huey stories.

I am so inspired I could start writing about this new character today. But, I am going excercise writer's discipline and continue with my western story.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

More Progress On The Western Story

Yesterday I worked some more on the western story. What I did was to transfer my notes over to my writing program. Then I started writing up an outline of all the acts in the story.
I was able to get through act one. Once I am done with this, I will put together a detailed scene list.

Maybe I have said this before, but this is not the way I wrote the first Huey Dusk story. With that, I just went for it. But, I am having fun thinking things through.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dead End, by Ed Lacy

Right now, I am reading a great story by this author I discovered named Ed Lacy. It is called Dead End.
I don't want to say it is a strange little book... but to me it is a hodge podge of different author's styles. Although, it is noir all the way though. Hopefully, I will continue to like it and give a glowing full review.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Western Story

Today I worked on a new Western story. Right now, I am still in the thinking it through stage. My philosophy for story ideas is that they should percolate like a tea kettle until the are ready to burst at the seams. So, I am still running it through a story creation program.

I am quite pleased so far. I think the story will have well thought out characters, plenty of action, and a good theme.

Prologue Books

While other book geeks may have beat me to it, I just discovered a gold mine on Kindle: Prologue Books. I am in hardboiled heaven. What pleases me the most, is that they have almost all of the Peter Rabe novels... and many more. So, I could not help myself and I scooped up a few. I am looking forward to reading these and you will see reviews in the future.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A New Western Story

Since I have a little lag time between Huey stories, I think I will start writing a western that has been ruminating for a while. It won't be a Cain story.

Huey Dusk now on Twitter

I guess it is about time he gets with the program. So, Huey Dusk is now on Twitter. Twitter is something I will need to familiarize myself with... I set up another account years ago, but never followed up on it. My family set this one up and I thank them dearly for it. They will be tweeting all my blog posts from Huey Dusk's Lounge and Clown Room. Progress I say.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Third Huey Story

I am happy to say that I finished the first draft of the third Huey Dusk story and my wife  and I are making the first editing pass at it.

As with The Case Of Sad Luck Dame, it will be different to show the different circumstances he is in.

To me this story will have the most circus flavor to it and it will be the most absurd. I will also showcase new characters and usher in some ones that will be perminent fixtures. In regard to the clowns and the circus element, I want it to have a last hurrah feeling. In future stories involving this universe, we are moving into a much different social climate.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Case Of The Sad Luck Dame LIve!!

I am so pleased to see Huey Dusk: The Case Of The Sad Luck Dame live and for sale. Thank you Jay Hartman for making that happen and thanks to friends for promoting it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rain(a poem)




it channels down streets
it sluices off roof tops
it forms black puddles
in back alleys


before it is done
it'll make this town

a soggy



Monday, April 9, 2012

Commercial Appeal

Last week, on my writer's group email board, there was a discussion about why an author's book was ranked number one in libary sales.

We found this very perplexing because when we looked at the sample, the prose seemed very sloppy-- full of all the no no's that we rail against every Monday night at the St. Louis Writer's Guild. So, we asked ourselves, what is it that made this book so appealing.

Well for starters it is topical. I mean the plot most likely is ripped from today's headlines. Also, judging from the sample, there are plenty of thrilling action sequences filled with sexual sadism and other kinds of torture. So, based on just that, it is easy to see why this might be a best seller. But, is that all it takes?

I guess I am very curious, because deep down I want to be a very commercial writer; an underground quasi interesting one only carries you so far. So, I am very big on formulas and I have put together a list of qualities one must have to be commercially minded.

  1. Conscious effort: I don't believe this author wrote his book on accident. The little I have read had a deliberate feel to it.
  2. Meticulous planning: This writer is definately not an organic one. He is a heavy outliner right down to the last tee. Again, they plan their work and work their plan. They are in full control of their story and they don't deviate from it. They also are in control of their characters and their actions. The characters are clearly drawn and the reader is not in the dark as to what their goals and needs are.
  3. They are very cinematic(I like that word) Every scene could be a screenplay page. They have movies on the mind.
  4. They are very topical. Their stories come from today's headlines. So their plots are very sensational and familiar.
These are just a few things I could think of. Personally, with myself, if I want to be commercially successful, I will have forgo writing about clowns and broaden my audience.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Care Package from Papa

Two days ago I received a package in the mail from my dad. In it was part of his collection of old paperbacks. The bulk of which were Parker novels. He included my favorites: The Rare Coin Score, The Sour Lemon Score etc. He also added The Damsel which is a Grofield novel. Then, for good measure, he threw in some Mickey Spillane: Kiss Me Deadly, The Day of the Guns and the Death Dealers. The last two novels are part of Spillane's Tiger Mann series.

Although these are meant o be collectibles, I can't resist reading the few that I haven't read before. Let's just say I am in crime fiction geek heaven right now. Thanks Papa!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Pandora Case

While I sit and wait for the release of Huey Dusk: The Case Of The Sad Luck Dame, I can't help but wonder who has read another favorite story of mine. This one is affectionately titled The Pandora Case.

I wrote it at a time when I was really getting into Richard Stark and as a result modeled the protagonist Joey Pantera, after Parker in how he is able to ruthlessly and efficiently dispatch bad guys.

I also gave an appropriate nod to Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly, in that the plot line deals with Joey seeking out a valuable mystery case that other sinister people are willing to kill for as well.

The story takes place in the Huey Dusk universe and deals with what is happening to the world. There are mysterous forces out there that want to alter it, and the case is the key.

Also, in this story, Huey Dusk makes an appearance as a young clown who is trying to make his bones with the syndicate and he makes a really twisted bad guy. He essentially is the psycho clown that everyone thought he was going to be in the original story.

You will also be introduced to some of the villians that appear in the Sad Luck Dame as well.

The Pandora Case tops out at 95 pages and is a fast read. It can be purchased for your Kindle or your Nook.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sad Luck Dame Very Close To Being Published

Today I received news that the manuscript for Huey Dusk: The Case Of The Sad Luck Dame has been sent to proofreading. That means I am that much closer to having the story go live. Very exciting!

It is always so much fun to see your stories go live. It is like Christmas morning. But it is also like eating cotton candy... it leaves you wanting more. After I publish something, I usually have a hankering to get something else published.

Right now, I am working on a spin off story from the Huey Dusk franchise. It deals with Lou Blatz the corrupt clown detective who is always harassing Huey. It is my hope it will be an even darker story than the Huey stories. That is because Lou is such a brutal and wretched clown. I guess my other challenge is differentiating it from the format of Huey which is the Mickey Spillane model. As I said yesterday, I am shooting for more of a David Goodis vibe. As a result, Lou will be much more of a sad sack clown than Huey Dusk. However, he will still be tough and ruthless.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reflections On The Upcoming Huey Story

I am thinking alot about the upcoming Huey story that I intend to write, which is good. As always the big question that comes to mind when I write these stories is what type of story I should model it after.

Well since it is not directly a Huey story and it is about one of the side characters, who is also a clown, but an even more brooding miserable one than Huey Dusk, I will channel the likes of David Goodis and maybe George Simenon and his Roman Durs(Hard Novels). Make this a hard clown novel. I should also revisit James Ellroy's White Jazz and Brown's Requiem.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Bastard Hand by Heath Lowrance

One of the pleasures of my meager success in the publishing world is having the opportunity to rub shoulders with other up and coming talented authors. Heath Lowrance is one of those authors.

His book The Bastard Hand  should be on every crime fiction and noir lover's summer and vacation reading list. The pages turn themselves and it is a potpourri of elements from fire and brimstone preachers, supernatural drifters, gun toting gangsters, corrupt small town officials and much more.

Charlie, the main character is reminiscent of the losers who populate the hard-boiled novels of the past. What makes him different from past noir characters is that there is the opportunity and a tangled willingness for redemption.

Heath also really nailed the southern atmosphere and did not insult our intelligence with all the usual cliches. Along with that, he did an excellent job of using a topic such as incest to skillfully advance the story.

I also appreciated the fact that he gave us limited back story on the Reverend Phineas. He trusted and let the reader fill in the details of this vile creature's past.

The Bastard Hand is has some very grisly scenes. However, Lowrance never went over the top and some of those scenes were very metaphoric and brutally poetic. My favorite of those would be the two dogs fighting over the road kill on the country road. To me that summed up the power struggle and the turmoil of the story.

I would love to see a publishing house like Stark House Noir pick this one up and do a paperback release of it. It belongs right up there on the shelf with the likes of Dave Goodis, Jim Thompson, James M. Cain... and we all know the rest of list. Purchase The Bastard Hand on Amazon Kindle.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Harold Robbins

He was one of the most commercially successful authors of the 20th century. You either loved him or hated him.

If you hated him it was because you thought he was lurid and trashy and his plots were formulaic. You probably didn't like his prose because it was too simple and heavy on adjectives.

If you liked him, you probably thought he was one of the most gifted story tellers of our time. This is the camp I fall into.

I am very willing to look past his trashy and campy plots. I can also ignore the uninteresting prose. What I can't ignore was his ability to generate excitement and buzz about his characters and the lives they lead.

I have a fun time living vicariously through the protagonists who work themselves up from rags to riches, only to fall, and then redeem themselves. Kind of like VH1's Behind The Music.

He also was another who could be a very cinematic writer and had his characters jetting around to exotic locales.

I recommend reading some of his earlier novels such as Never Love A Stranger, A Stone For Danny Fisher,  The Dream Merchants and most of all, The Carpet Baggers. These novels really shine amongst all his others and show off his literary prowess. Also, they are less sexually explicit than his later novels and really have strong sense of story.

Harold Robbins has always been a very guilty pleasure of mine. His books are still in print and can be purchased for your Kindle at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Peter Brandvold Part 2

OK, so there was only supposed to be a part one. But I all out fracken love this guy. Right now I am reading 45 Caliber Deathtrap and it is kicking some serious hay.

Like I said before, nobody writes a better western bad guy than he does. He has a way of making them rough in a demonic sort of way. What I also like about them is that they are flashy. He dresses them in all kinds of mismatched outfits from Sombreros with steeple crowns to beaded moccasins. The bad guys pretty much do what they want and that includes wearing what they want as well. His 45 Caliber series never disappoints. I don't expect this one to either.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peter Brandvold

Like Ralph Cotton and a slew of many others Peter Brandvold is a mighty prolific author. He writes westerns--and damn good ones too! What I love about him most is his prose style. Some call it leathery. I think that is a good description. He is very evocative of place and knows how to write a bang up action scene. He also creates some down right dag nasty hombres. IE Rueben Pacheca the bounty hunter in his 45 Caliber series.

I would say he has about at least five western series going and they are all very good, albeit not for the faint of heart. If you like sex scenes in your westerns, he has those too.

Reach him on Facebook or google Writing For The Brand(his website) Also, look for titles of his under the pen name Frank Leslie. And he also writes for Ralph Compton.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chris Craft( a dream)

Last night I dreamt I was at a party on a Chris Craft. If some one wants to explain that one and analyze me then have at it.

I have always liked Cris Crafts for their retro quality(not sure if they still make them) They also have a hard boiled noir feel to them as well. I would like to incorporate a scene on a Chris Craft in a Huey Dusk Story.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nom De Plum

Right now I am having alot of fun writing under a different name. I think I will do that from now on when I want to add different elements to my prose style.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

discontinuing Police Call

Just a quick announcement. A writer friend began work on a story and when she started writing it, decided that it did not live up to her all around standards. Well after deliberating about my own story Police Call, I've come to that decision too. I have too many other story ideas that need to see the light of day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Genre Hopping

The pulp writers of the thirties and forties on up to the fifties did this. They jumped from one genre to another. The main three that they would focus on would be crime fiction, horror, sci fi. Today's writer's do the same thing-- and alot of them mix genres, such as western horror, sci fi horror etc.

It is easy to understand why as writers we do this. I for one, get this surge that I affectionately call "the writing bug" where all sorts of story ideas come to me in just about every genre. As a result, I just want to write it all. But, with all this in mind I am left with a question, should you write an all sorts of story categories, or should you stick to just one or two? Of course there are many opinions about this.

Right now, I am happy to continue writing clown flavored crime fiction and to keep honing my western chops.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Call me weird and obsessive. Today in my journal, I outlined what my prose style could and should look like. I intend to have a lot of fun seeing if I can follow this outline.

I make no bones about being a true believer in the outline. I especially recommend them for beginning and novice writers(which I am one of those two). It is a way of holding your own hand through out the writing process.

The other reason I like them is because I am not big on suprises in my story. Other writers thrive on them. I don't. I like to go where I want to go and end up where I want to be. If I achieve that, then I know I have told the story I have wanted to tell and I am thoroughly satisfied.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Consummata Part Two

I wanted so much to like this book. But, again, I just was not feeling it. I don't fault the author. I think Max Allan Collins does justice to Mickey Spillane's prose style. However, deep down inside, I knew it wasn't Spillane and that ruined it for me. Also, this proves that I am a Mike Hammer fan. The other characters just don't have the panache of Mike. Well, disappointed I am.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Consummata by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

I am feeling much better  after off loading Stilletto in the library book return bin. I replaced it with the The Consummata, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.

This is a sequel to The Delta Factor which showcases another one of Spillane's spy characters called Morgan the Raider. Tiger Mann was his other. I haven't jumped into this one, but I have yet to be burned by a Spillane novel. I will have more to say when I am done.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I checked out Stilletto, by Harold Robbins from the library. 27 pages in and I am not feeling it. Too bad, because I usually like Harold Robbins and wanted to like this one. It was one of his older ones such as A Stone For Danny Fisher and Never Love A Stranger. But, it just does not resonate with me.

Dead End Follies

Upon recommendation from another blog post by a very credible author, it was suggested that we all check out Dead End Follies. I am glad I did.

It is the website of fiction writer Benoit Lelievre. He reviews current pulp fiction books and talks about his favorite Tom Waits songs(personally, I could talk Tom Waits all day like others talk Baseball). Very cool stuff. I intend to follow Mr Lelievre and learn alot.

While I am at it, let me plug another favorite blog of mine: Glorious Trash.  Joe Kenney, the author, reviews and plugs his favorite Mens Adventure and paperback novels. I enjoy this because Mens Adventure is a genre that is very close to my heart. It was the one genre when I was younger that got me excited about reading and life in general.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dust Devils by James Reasoner Part Two

Dust Devils is considered Red Neck Noir. James Reasoner is famous for this type of book. I am tempted to rush to judgement and say this is very similiar to a Jim Thompson novel, but it isn't.

Thompson's novels always had a creepy surreal air to them and Dust Devils doesn't. I found this refreshing, because while I like that hyperreal Coen Brothers style of delivery, it was nice to have just a straight forward crime fiction novel that was a page turner.

Reasoner's prose is very sparse. I would compare it to the that of Dave Zeltserman or Heath Lowrance. There is just enough description to get the job done; no more and no less.

He also does a  great job of setting up the story and unravels the two main characters' backstories as he goes along and includes a very chilling twist at the end.

There is also plenty of gunplay and mayhem perpetrated by some very bad people--and that includes the two main characters, Toby and Dana, who qualify completely as anti heros.

The villians were also very naturalistic and normal. Nothing quirky about them at all and they were well defined with very clear goals and dramatic needs.

I liked this book so much that I now classify myself as a James Reasoner fan.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A New Week

Well folks I am elated and buoyed by the fact that I was very helpful in assisting my trivia team last night with our second place ranking. So much so that I can't wait to go back next year and try for first.

This week I plan to get back to writing... and you will see alot of Facebook posts that state I have done so.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Roman Durs/ George Simenon

Yesterday while browsing the Bare Knuckles Press website, I learned a new term: Roman Durs.  I guess it is French for  hard novel.

They are stories that are very existential and dark. The main character is also very unlikeable and has no moral compass. These stories were often equated with George Simenon. They are also compared to the writings of Albert Camus. I also think they are along the lines of the stuff that Celine wrote.

I will put George Simenon on my list of authors to read.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dust Devils by James Reasoner

Right now, I am reading Dust Devils by James Reasoner. Thumbs up, so far. From what I have heard in the past, it is the type of story he is famous for: Red Neck Noir. This one falls squarely in that category.

I can't comment any further until I have finished the book, but I am pretty sure I will continue liking it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blood And Tacos

For all of you Mens' Adventure geeks who were wondering were the genre went, it's back. And when I say it's back, it has returned in its purest form-- not some updated crossover version.

This morning the great Heath Lowrance shared a link to a blog about a new magazine called Blood And Tacos whose mission is to feature mens' adventure tales that take place in the 60's and 70's in which stories like the Executioner, Nick Carter(Kill Master) the Destroyer etc. were created. Folks, I am excited and plan to follow this one for as long as it continues.

Tune in for more updates.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

About Trestle Press

This morning I woke to  a firestorm controversy involving Trestle Press. For those of us concerned, we pretty much know most of the story, so I will not rehash it.

It's tough because there are alot of good authors who have jumped the Trestle ship and I enjoyed being in their company. But, what are you going to do?

As of right now, for me, I am staying. I am willing to accept the fact that if mistakes were made, those who have made them are vigilantly seeking to remedy the said transgressions.

What I am really here to say is that so far my relationship with Trestle Press has been great. Giovanni has done right by me and I understand what he is trying to do in that he is wanting to build a stable of in house writers of pulp, inspirational, etc. and get as much product out on the market as possible. I am happy to assist him in that task.

I know some have complained that he doesn't do a good job of editing the work he puts out there. I have not had a problem with this. I have, instead, gotten alot better at self editing. The upside to that, is that he gives the author alot of control over what goes into their novel. Essentially, the story you are reading is the director's cut.

Well, I don't what else to say about this. I expect Trestle will make some changes in the future. I see this as a growing time for an upstart company. All the best to Giovanni and the remaining authors at Trestle Press Publishing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yesterday's Radio Spot on the G Zone and Westerns

Essentially, that is what is on my mind today. Had a great time on Giovanni Gelati's Blog Radio show yesterday with Heath Lowrance. We discussed the Western Genre...if you can find a link, I recommend listening to it. I think we knew what we were talking about when it came to westerns... which begs the question, how much research should one do for a western or in general, historical fiction?

To answer my own question, I feel that if you are going to write a historical piece, you should do extensive research. Like in other writing, what you are shooting for is a sense of place; and with a historical piece, it is doubly important you achieve that goal. So, go to many resources when dealing with historical fiction to get the feel for the time in history your story takes place.

Westerns are a little different. You can run a little faster and a little looser with history-- kind of like a wild stallion. There are so many western movies, that a writer has an easier time developing a sense and feel of the old west. As a result, you don't have to do as much research for a western as you would other period pieces. I would however advise reading a little about guns and other weaponry. Clothes and accessories are important too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Great radio spot on the G Zone

Happy New Year everyone. Just wanted to say that I had a blast doing a blogtlk radio interview with Giovanni Gelati on the G Zone last Thursday.I was a little nervous which caused a a lot of heavy breathing. So, sorry if I sounded like an obscene caller. Anyway, I think we covered quite a bit about the body of my work. We talked alot about the Cain series since the second installment was dropped last Friday. Well, it looks like I will get another chance to be on the air with two other authors who write westerns for Trestle Press,  One of note, might be Heath Lowrance. Looking forward to it.