Saturday, December 27, 2008

DISPATCH :: Shipping news!

Amazon started shipping JACK LONDON IN PARADISE today. The official release date is January 6 but some of you are going to get it a little early.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DISPATCH :: It's live!

Today is the day I'm officially launching my new website. Welcome to 2.0. The site now supports by new book, JACK LONDON IN PARADISE, while still providing a forum for people interested in THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL.

It's 2.0 in that all the content has been created so that it's easy for me to update and to syndicate across the web. For example, you can find my blog postings there or my tour update and subscribe to them in your own blog reader. I can update my Facebook status on the road and you'll see it on my site. It's also 2.0 in that you can now leave comments for me on the site. So let's hear from you.

My web address is

Here's the feed for my blog.

Here's the feed for my tour events.

Join me on MySpace at

I've also updated my tour information on and

You can download a blog reader like bloglines or google reader if you haven't already.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NEWS: Book Tour Updates

Here is the latest tour schedule. Hope to see you at one of these readings.

You can subscribe to these events and receive updates and alerts through

Jan 08 – New York – Barnes & Noble Tribeca – 7PM

Jan 13 – Alameda – Books Inc. – 7PM

Jan 14 – San Francisco – Book Passage – 6PM

Jan 15 – Los Angeles – Book Soup – 7PM

Jan 24 – Sparta, NJSparta Books – 3PM

Feb 27 – Jacksonville, FLA – Much Ado About Books Festival – all day

Feb 28– Jacksonville, FLA – Much Ado About Books Festival – all day

Mar 4 – Jacksonville, FLAJacksonville Main Library – TBD.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kicking some vampire butt.

Sorry - but didn't all that goth-vampire-mortal love go down on Buffy the Vampire Slayer first? And better? Well, one could hope that Twilight's box office blow-out, and True Blood's hype might have some Hollywood producers dialing up Josh Wheedon to see about bringing Angel and Buffy to the big screen. Ah, if I ran things...

Anyway, if you're tired of mopey vamps and want a little more bloody red meat, then sink your teeth into Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt. Joe was a snot-nosed nihilistic punk in the New York underground scene until he was sucked dry and infected with the Vyrus in a grungy bathroom of CBGB's. Obviously this is not your mother's vampire Lestat.

Joe's a contrarian by nature and can't bring himself to join any of the various vampire factions seething just below the surface of New York. Instead, he navigates through them all as a private investigator, vigilante, fixer and badass. What makes Joe insanely cool, though, is that while he's a reluctant hero, over the course of the three books I've read he's come to terms with the fact that he's a monster - and those terms are uniquely his.

I met Charlie Huston at ComicCon a few years ago when we were on a panel together and I liked the sound of his books so I checked out his first Joe Pitt story. I thought it really rocked and I remember wondering whether there was an overall trajectory to his narrative. As I eagerly await the fourth now it's because there really is and I'm really looking forward to see what happens next.

Anyway, Charlie keeps up a really decent blog and he's donated books to Operation Warrior Library so I'm in his debt. But I'm also a fan and I think you should be too. So check out a vamp who'd give Edward, Bill, and maybe even Angel, a true beat-down.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hopefully the last... sigh.. test post

This is getting tedious. But necessary.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DISPATCH: Operation Warrior Library thanks M. Glenn Taylor

There are only four movies which I've sat through and then watched again as soon as they ended.

Ghostbusters, Salvador, The Right Stuff...

...and Matewan.

I love Matewan by the great John Sayles and, while I wish in general that he'd make more movies, in particular I wish he'd make more movies like this one which tells part of the story of the largest armed insurrection in the United States since the Civil War. The two-year coal mountain war in West Virginia left dozens dead and was a turning point in the labor rights efforts in this country. Had Jack London been alive, he would have written about it.

But he wasn't. So John Sayles did. And now M. Glenn Taylor has taken up the story and added to it with his amazing book, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart. He's created an amazingly memorable character, Trenchmouth Taggart, and placed him in the middle of this swirl of events. And that would have been enough for a good book. But what makes it a great one is how the character's participation in those days pursues him for the rest of his life. This is a book filled with humor and hurt, love and longing. Taggart's journey is wild and wonderful and brings him into contact with both John F. Kennedy and Chuck Berry in amazingly plausible ways.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. You can thank me later.

Glenn, and his publisher, West Virginia University Press, have seen fit to donate a case of books to Operation Warrior Library. I think this one is going to be a big hit with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thanks Glenn.

DISPATCH: Operation Warrior Library thanks Ellen Shanman

Ellen is on a roll. Her last book, Right Before Your Eyes (a box of which Ellen kindly donated to Operation Warrior Library), garnered terrific reviews. Her new book is getting even better reviews, and seems poised for great success. I think the reason is that Ellen transcends the conventions of the genre she's working in by focusing on story first. That's kind of rare in a field where writers usually start by wrapping some personality quirks and aspiration desires in some fashion labels and call it a character that they then invent some situations for. In a lot of ways chick-lit and pulps have a lot in common - they both rely on the short-hand of conventions to carry a lot of the heavy weight. But Everything Nice is just a great story featuring a great character.

And, as an advertising copywriter myself, I enjoy seeing my profession depicted.

I hope you'll support Ellen, and Operation Warrior Library, by picking up a copy of this book. Thanks to Ellen's generosity I've been able to deliver a box to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thanks, Ellen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reading Alert!

No. Not me. Though that's coming soon.

Tonight, Jon Fasman, a contributor to Operation Warrior Library will be reading from his new book, THE UNPOSSESSED CITY, at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble in New York at 7PM.

Here's how Jon describes his book:

This book tells the story of Jim Vilatzer, a young Russian-American
who takes a job in Moscow to escape gambling debts
stateside. He expected simple, routine work; he found something else
entirely: Central Asian gangsters, Russian weapons scientists and the
ghosts of both Russia's bloody 20th century and his own family. The
novel is a mystery, an immigrant's tale in reverse, and a deeply
personal love letter to Moscow.

His first novel, THE GEOGRAPHER'S LIBRARY, was a terrific read and thanks to Jon's generosity is hopefully being read at this very moment by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, if you're in New York and have the time tonight, drop in and meet Jon. If you're not in New York but still want to meet Jon, here are some more places you might be able to stalk him at:

Nov 12th: Trover Bookshop; 201 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC; 5.30pm

Nov 14th: B&N Bethesda; 4801 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD; 7.30 pm

Nov 17th: The Bookstall, 811 Elm St, Winnetka, IL; 7pm

Nov 18th: The Stop Smiling Storefront, 1371 N. Milwaukee, Chicago IL, 7pm

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not So Funnies: Farewell Opus

So you already know I love the newspaper comic strips, right? Back in the 80's Bloom County was a family favorite, second only to Doonesbury. I was always a fan of Milo and was kind of saddened to see how the ascendancy of Opus and Bill the Cat diverted the focus of the strip. But it was Mr. Breathed's strip not mine and he could do with it what he wanted. Can't blame him for sticking with what the audience really seemed to want. The same thing happened to Charles Schulz when Snoopy took off. If you get a moment in the zeitgeist you go with it. Anyway, Bloom County remained a wonderfully cockeyed commentary on Reagan's America. Then it morphed into Outland and, ultimately and simply, Opus.

When Breathed broke his back in a plane accident my little brother sent him a get-well letter. And the guy wrote him back, thanking him. I can't tell you what an impact that had on my brother that this guy took the time to send him a note. Very impressive.

Sadly, it didn't make much of a pop-culture ripple (at least in the pop cult I keep track of) when Breathed published the last appearance of Opus this past weekend. The set up for this is that Opus has decided to leave the stress of the world for a place where he can always be safe.

I think he made it.

I actually choked up when I saw this. I read this book a lot to my kids and I'll always picture this when I do from now on.

Just so you know, the final image up there was part of a Humane Society promotion. You might want to drop by and support them.

So, farewell to Opus and Milo and Steve Dallas and Cutter John and Bill the Cat and all the rest of those terrific characters. Twenty-eight years is an amazing run for any artist to have. Breathed, obviously, continues to publish - his books for children garner terrific reviews. And maybe, like the Lorax, someday Opus might return again.

Until then, thanks Mr. Breathed, and Good Night Opus.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

C'mon people! Get on the Pushing Daisies bus!

This post from IO9 is the best explanation why you may not be watching this show but you should be.

Come on, give it a shot. Would I lie to you?

"...not enough people are watching ABC's Pushing Daisies. Bryan Fuller's secretly twisted yet romantic detective show may bring the dead back to life on a regular basis, but it also goes out of its way to prove Isaac Newton and Stan Lee right every week as well. Hilarious, more cynical than you might expect and with the best ensemble cast on television right now, we're giving you four reasons why it's time to put your preconceptions aside and get onboard the Pie Wagon before it's too late."

Click to read the four reasons...

You can start watching them online right this minute if you want to catch up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leapin' Lizards! Today in ANNIE awesomeness.

I love the funny pages. It's why I'll almost always pick up The Daily News before The New York Times. I honestly believe that Doonesbury is one of the great artistic triumphs of our time.

Annie, on the other hand, has gone completely nuts! And I love it. As we head into Depression 2.0 (now with social networking), I thought it would be fun to check out one of the few remaining relics of Depression 1.0. There's an old-school pulp flavor to the bizarre story-lines. Check out today's strip. This follows yesterday's strip where Warbucks appeared ready to knife another guard. Though we often recall Annie as being that sweet little orphan, even in the 30's she often underwent harrowing adventures that sometimes crossed the lines of political correctness. I think the original creator, Harold Gray would totally approve of the direction that Jay Maeder and Ted Slampyak have taken the strip. I love it for its absolutely brilliant feeling of randomness, bordering on the surreal. Aw, who am I kidding, Annie has totally entered the land of surreal and become, possibly, post-surreal. I'd love to see Martin Charnin turn this storyline into a feel-good musical.

Anyway, stay tuned. I'm not done with my appreciation for Annie by any measure. It's just to good to miss.

Monday, October 13, 2008

American Warlord


Johnny Dwyer, a co-worker of mine, has just had a powerful article published in Rolling Stone. It's as disturbing an account of the ruination of a soul as you'll ever read:

Chucky Taylor was an ordinary suburban teenager - until he went to live with his father, one of Africa's most brutal dictators. How did a kid from Orlando end up as the first U.S. citizen on trial for torture abroad?

Check it out here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008



Ain't It Cool News is first out of the gate with a review of JACK LONDON IN PARADISE:

ONE THING I LOVE TODAY! Moriarty Checks Out Paul Malmont’s Gorgeous New Novel, JACK LONDON IN PARADISE!

I read Ain't It Cool a couple of times a day. This really means a lot to me.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buy this book alert!

I've mentioned my friend, Dean Lorey, and his Nightmare Academy series. Well, his second book in the series has just been released. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Steve Dunleavy and Me.

Over at Gawker they're bidding a fond-ish farewell to tabloid reporter, Steve Dunleavy, who is on his way to retirement. As part of their celebration they're asking for Dunleavy stories.

I've got a couple of reminiscences. And it gives me a chance to show off a picture of me and Steve I never thought I'd have the opportunity to share.

In 1988 I was interning at the TV show A Current Affair where Steve was a reporter. I remember him being very cool and very flashy and a world-class smoker. He had landed an interview with Ronald Defeo, the man who had murdered his family in the house that later became known as The Amityville Horror. Steve was going out to Long Island to shoot some more footage and I asked him if I could tag along. He didn't have to say yes. I was just an intern. But he said sure, and before I knew it, I was in a car with him on the way to Amityville, hearing great stories about his career. For example, he had once slit the tires on his own father's (also a reporter) car to keep him from beating Steve to a story. Another thing he was quite proud of was he claimed to have written the book that killed Elvis. Apparently it was rumored that a book Steve had written, Elvis - What Happened? had been pried from The King's cold dead fingers - he had been reading it on the toilet when he'd had a heart attack.

After A Current Affair I went to work on the rookie season of Good Day New York - Fox's local morning show. My job was to get in early, get the coffee going and pull gossip stories from the wire. When I say early, I mean like 4AM early. On more than one occasion I would come in to find Steve and several author Aussie reporters and producers crashed out on office desks they had pushed together. Apparently they would drink hard at the Racing Club across the street and not bother going home.

Anyway, I ended up playing DeFeo in one of A Current Affair's patented re-enactments. And I got a cool picture as a souvenir. Cheers, Steve! Enjoy your retirement.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In which I am asked to render an actual political opinion...


The people over at GalleyCat - a blog about publishing - wanted to know what I thought about Sarah Palin. Actually, they wanted to know what Jack London might have thought about Sarah Palin considering his familiarity with her Alaskan neighborhood. So, it's not really my opinion they were after in the end. But in the finest tradition of political punditry, that didn't stop me from rendering an opinion.

See my hypothetical musings here.

Then someone let the McLaughlin Group know I'm ready for my appearance.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cover this


Now here's a Doc Savage fan with a great imagination, mad Photoshop skillz, and way too much time on his hands.

But one certainly has to appreciate the effort.

Friday, September 5, 2008


By the way, as part and parcel of my new blog move, if you want to follow it directly instead of subscribing to it through amazon or facebook you can subscribe to it here:

All ready for your comments. Let 'er rip!

Carry on.

Man, oh man! Must keep telling myself not to get my hopes up.

Fingers are crossed.
I once put Ghostbuster down as my desired position on a job application.
I can't tell you how many times I saw the original back in the summer of 1984.
Here's what I'm excited about...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moving day and a sneak peek!

I'm moving this blog to Blogger today. I'm setting things up so each post will continue to feed here to Amazon automatically.

Moving to Blogger will give me more flexibility in my posts and make it easier for others to find, subscribe, and read them - for what that's worth. It'll also make it easier for you to leave comments on those posts.

This is all part of the upcoming re-launch of my site, wait for it, It's going to be very 2.0 Or at least 1.5. Won't be ready for a few weeks yet but if you want a sneak peek at what my the cover of JACK LONDON IN PARADISE is - here you go.

It's because that was so easy to do that I'm moving. So subscribe and I'll talk to you soon.