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 .