Monday, October 29, 2012

Great New Interview and Listing

While we await the storm, check out my latest interview at The Indie List.

Great questions, and in-depth answers about writing. Good tips for new writers as well.

Stay safe, and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stormageddon and New Listings

Well, the newscasts keep saying we might die, that Stormageddon is on the way.

So this might be the last blog post, if we're all swept away by the ferocity of the gale.

Or, we might just get a really nasty day and be without power for a time. Again. Sigh.


Hey, forget the gloomy news-- my books have been listed at a cool new site, The Indie List.

Different category pages for the different books:

And this blurb is up on site---
"The Indie List highly recommends this author! Check out all his books on The Indie List!"

I like them so much I agreed to do an interview-- and you know how I hate interviews... (just kidding, I'm a total media ham).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy St. Crispin's Day

One of the many reasons I love reading The Passive Voice blog is that they often post really cool stuff. Lots of great info on writing and publishing, but sometimes just fun things.

Today, they celebrate St. Crispin's Day properly-- with Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day speech, as done by Kenneth Branagh playing Henry V (or Hank Cinque as we call him in our house).

He delivers the rousing talk to the disheartened troops at the battle of Agincourt, fought this day in 1415. The English troops went on to whip the butt of the French chivalry, despite being hideously outnumbered  and in poor condition.

Yeah, I know, stupid war for greed and territory. War is bad. And Joan of Arc later got back the territory for France.

But damn-- that is one hell of a speech, and always gives me chills.

We few... we happy few...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was tagged for the blog hop The Next Big Thing by Cathy Dougherty, author of In Polyester Pajamas
I’ve done radio interviews, TV interviews, newspaper interviews, and blog interviews, but this is my first “hop” interview. I'll be answering ten questions about my current books.

As a reader, this will give you the opportunity to hop from one blog and website to the next and introduce authors, some new, some seasoned, and their current works in progress. There’ll be something for everyone, so happy hopping!

Here's the Q and A
What is the title of your book? 
The first Zack Taylor mystery is A Memory of Grief, which came out last year. The second, A Fall From Grace, appeared for sale in January, and I'm feverishly working on book three, A Shadow on the Wall.

Where did the idea come from for this book? 
I wanted to set a mystery in Portland, where I spent a lot of time. Zack came as a troubled character wth a past and very little future.

What genre does your book fall under?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Most action stars can't act, and don't have the depth of Zack Taylor. However, Matt Damon would  do a great job-- after the Bourne series, he showed he has the muscle and the chops.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Haunted ex-con drifter Zack Taylor pursues the truth about his friend's death, while his rage and ghosts drive him closer to the edge.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My books are published by a small press, Briona Glen Publishing, LLC. I deal directly with them. I don’t have an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Years. The book evolved over time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books, and Robert B. Parker's Spenser series, with a dash of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The protagonist, Zack Taylor. His story had to come out.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
This is something different in the hard-boiled field-- a hero who doesn't use a gun to get out of trouble. This puts him at a big disadvantage, and he has to use his wits and physical skills to get out of trouble.

Hop on over to these other places:
Katherine Tomlinson at Kattomic Energy:
Vlad Vaslyn:
Jennifer Pelland:
Ken Hoss
Patti Roberts Book Blog:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Patterson's Best Fictional Detectives

James Patterson is one of the most popular authors on the planet, with a string of books that have sold millions.

From an article in the OC Register, here is that list of qualities that Patterson says can be found in the best fictional detectives:

1. They are not afraid to walk on the darker side. In fact, they relish the opportunity.

2. They are obsessive puzzle lovers who think creatively.

3. They are willing to put their lives on the line for justice – or at least to limit injustice.

4. They possess a sense of humor, preferably a very dark sense of humor.

5. They keep life in perspective – or way out of perspective.

6. He/she maintains a good life/work balance – or is a total wild child.

Patterson went on to list his favorite fictional detectives.

My series character, Zack Taylor, wasn't among them-- but if Patterson read my books, he'd like them, because Zack has all the qualities that Patterson finds important. In A Memory of Grief and A Fall From Grace, he'd find the following:

1. Zack most definitely walks on the dark side, and frequently unleashes his inner demons, to the detriment of the bad guys. Trouble is, the fallout affects good people as well, so we always have conflict.

2. Zack runs into tough puzzles and will use any creative way of solving them. He comes up with some dangerous and fun (for the readers) stuff in his attempts to get to the heart of a mystery.

3. Zack is reckless in hurling himself into danger to stop an injustice. His lady love is a nurse, and she deplores the fact that she sees him in the hospital on a professional basis too much of the time. In the first book, Zack takes on a crime syndicate. In the second, he takes on an entire town.

4. Zack is an unrepentant smartass, with a keen sense of humor. The books are chock-full of fun lines and banter.

5. Zack has turned to the martial arts as a way of keeping life in perspective. He sees a better way, and is constantly striving for it.

6. Despite knowing what is best, Zack is a loose cannon with a messy life. He can't control himself and it shows in having him plunge into a mystery with no regard for the consequences.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More Story Sales

Wow- been a great writing and selling month so far.
Started the month with a story sale to Fiction and Verse, which was published.

Then I got my anthology invite story accepted for Nightfalls, a collection where all the proceeds go to a charity.

Wrote an all-new story for the new Fungi anthology, and just got news of acceptance of that one.

And another story sale, to Over My Dead Body. I'll link when it's up.
They published my story "The Mousetrap" last August.

And my story Heartsounds, which was published in Jan of 2011 was just selected for inclusion in a new anthology The Best of Every Day Fiction Four.

Also just got word I'm a finalist in the contest “50 Great Writers You Should  Be Reading” on Author Radio.

Loving it! Now I just need to write more stories.

And write more books. Have to get Book #3 of the Zack Taylor series, A Shadow on the Wall out as soon as possible. People keep asking when it will be out.

Ah, the wonderful pressure of success-- "When's the next one?"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Barry Eisler and Me at CrimeBake

Well it sure is an interesting time. I added up all the writing tasks and items from this last week, and there were about 30. So I've been a busy little bee.

Just to show you I how I hang out with the cool kids, here's a picture from last Crime Bake
(photo courtesy Crime Bake photographer Maureen "Mo" Walsh):

Wow! You say. That's Dale with none other than Barry Eisler, the best-selling writer who turned down a half-million dollar, two-book deal to take another path.

Yeah-- the guy that fired the shot at the Big Pub sweatshops, not across the bow, but right amidships.

He's my freaking hero.
Half a million bucks, they said-- and he said "Piss off, I can do better."
And he did.
Cojones, my friends.
Talk about the New World of Publishing!

His thriller series, featuring assassin John Rain, is superb. And I don't like a lot of best-seller series.

My series character, Zack Taylor, is a genuine tough guy who's good at martial arts, and would kick the crap out of most other series character heroes.
Except for Eisler's John Rain.
And in an elevator fight, I could take a good many mystery/thriller writers.
But not Barry, who's got more expertise.

So okay, if I was going to have a Man-crush, he'd be a contender.

Check out his blog, The Heart of the Matter. Lots of food for thought.

But who's the guy on the right, you say?
That's Mike Johnson, a music teacher and author from Dracut, MA, who has penned the mystery "Lawless in Brazil."


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Herman Melville

Today's Google fun is a set of links to Herman Melville works and info, as they're celebrating the 161st anniversary of the publication of the book Moby Dick (kudos to Google for the props to Herman, who unjustly suffered obscurity and unappreciation while he was alive).

The book that was a failure in its time. Melville had an early hit, and then faded off the literary landscape during his lifetime, only to have his literary reputation enhanced in the 1920's and beyond. Now we acknowledge the book to be one of the must-read literary classics.

Maybe they could do a Dr. Who episode where they do for Herman what they did for Vincent Van Gogh-- one of the best episodes ever, where they briefly bring Van Gogh into the present, to hear an expert talk at length about the mastery of Van Gogh's paintings and how they are so beloved and valued. Not bad for a guy who couldn't sell his stuff while he was alive.
Boy, did I love that idea!

Who's your favorite underappreciated genius of the past?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Great Fall Day

Yesterday was a Saturday of a particular kind- clean, crisp Fall air, clear blue sky, colorful foliage, and a day without other obligations.

So we hit the road to do some leaf-peeping.

But first, ya gotta eat, right? So we went to the best Fall breakfast place around-- Parker's Maple Barn. If you're anywhere around NH, northeastern Mass, or even southwestern Maine this time of year, head over to Parker's for a Fall feast of kingly quality and proportions. Food so good and in such abundance it almosts makes you cry. It's so typically New England, all woodsy and homey and fun. And hit the gift shop for fun food items and trinkets, and books by local authors.

After you're fortified, hit the winding roads for sightseeing. We did Peterborough, NH, who had a bit of a do for the season, with craft tents, entertainers, and specials all day. Quaint little town with nice shops and a lot of down-home style. A lovely little river runs through it, making for some lovely photos. I'd love to show you some, but the software isn't co-operating.

Just a nice time of enjoying what New England has to offer this time of year. Ah, Fall.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Busy Time

Hello again. It's been kind of crazy lately, with lots of work to be done. Here's what's happening currently:

Got the word out about my latest story publication, in Fiction and Verse.

Finished one new story (by invitation) for an upcoming anthology, where all the proceeds go to a charity.

Just finished another anthology story for the new Fungi, which should be out this Winter.
Still have to get it critiqued and revised before sending off.

Wrote a review and blurb for another writer's new book.

Wrote a short flash story for the Crime Bake contest and submitted.

Answered interview questions for another blog, to be out soon.

Plans to support another writer at his library signing next week.

Details on supplying books on consignment for area bookstore.

Getting things ready and ordering supplies for the upcoming conference--
and the Author's Expo on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Keep fielding the question "When's Book #3 of the Zack Taylor series coming out?"
(Not soon enough! But I'm working on it!)

Edits on another book that needs to be released soon.

That's all part-time, after my day job. It's a very, very, mad world.
But a good one.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Story is Out

The new website Fiction and Verse has published my very short story Mistakes:

And they did a nice promotional page, including a listing of my other works:

I'm following the guidelines of many new world writers, like Chuck Wendig- finish your stuff, send it out, write more.

This piece was so short, never thought it would sell as a real story. But in the New World of Publishing, anything goes. In a thousand words, the tale tells of a man who makes a life change, for all the right reasons. As humans, we need to know when we have it good, and stop the behavior which brings us down. Believe me, I know about this.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another Story Sale

Hey there- it's been a busy time, with work, family, and writing books and stories.

But it's paying off- just a little. Just sold another story, a 1000-flash piece to Fiction and Verse.

Will let you know when it's up.

Back to work...