Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thanks For All The Fish

I had the pleasure of sharing print space with Mike Sheeter a few times and always dug his stories. Always. His was a name I started noticing popping up alongside my own in multiple publications. A couple years ago, I wrote this piece about his stories and received an e-mail from him (our first communication of any sort) that kicked off a correspondence of great warmth, humor and enthusiasm tethered by intelligence (most of that on his end).

I never got to meet Mike, and I'm damn sorry about that. He died a few weeks ago and I heard about his passing last week while considering looking him up for a possible remedy of our face-to-face strangerhood on an upcoming trip I'm taking to Florida. The news of Mike's passing truly saddens me and I miss forever the drinks we promised to buy each other and I positively ache in the void that I was counting on his anecdotes to fill.

David Cranmer has re-published his story Preferred Customer over at Beat to a Pulp. If you've not read Mike's stories before - that's a good place to start.


Scott Phillips' Pocketful of Ginch blog has been especially busy lately with several Americana curiosities featured. However, it's this excerpt from an upcoming book The Conundrum Enigma by Troy Cutcross that snagged my eye most memorably. In other Phillips news, I'm excited to hear that a paperback edition of his short story collection Rum, Sodomy & False Eyelashes is on its way. I will be placing one on my bookshelves.

N@B alum John Hornor Jacobs' latest, the badass zombie apocalypse novel This Dark Earth has been scorching the uh, earth for a week now and N@B superstar John Rector's brand new novella Lost Things went live today. In other N@B related news - Fred Venturini's The Samaritan is being represented by a brand new agent with an eye toward selling it to a larger press. It was originally published by St. Louis based Blank Slate Press - who are committed to promoting new, local and regional authors and helping them achieve the next rung on the ladder, so hey - congrats all around. Next up, Blank Slate will be publishing Kevin Lynn Helmick's Driving Alone.

In Ransom Notes updates, last week I tried to shine some light on the darkness Beyond the Black Rainbow that is living in the shadow of 2012 especially as evidenced in Ben H. Winters' haunting pre-apocalypse detective novel The Last Policeman. It's the first in a proposed trilogy and I'm hoping for really great things from the saga. Also in that piece I glanced at the trend of Kickstarter campaigns for books and films and the names lending tremendous legitimacy to self publishing - like Lawrence Block and Jack Clark (who has a handful of new titles available, yo. Did you dig Nobody's Angel half as much as I did? Then get the fuck his other books!)

I also made a list of some of my favorite returning GI's in crime fiction from the likes of Stephen Hunter, James Lee Burke, William Styron, Kent Anderson, George Pelecanos and Ace Atkins for the fourth of July.

And this morning at Ransom Notes, I've posted a brief Q&A with Jeff Abbott on the occasion of his latest book The Last Minute (which continues the trend of 2012 being the year of kidnapping books highlighting my reads after Mark Allen Smith, Ryan David Jahn, Wolf Haas and Sean Doolittle have been riveting in their own offerings). Quick story: Last year at Bouchercon I was approached by somebody who thought I was Jeff Abbott and wanted me to sign his book. I didn't want to disappoint the guy... I hope it made his day.

Tomorrow night - Wednesday - you've got a chance to see Paul von Stoetzel's adaptation of my story Viscosity on the big screen at the Tivoli theater at 9:30. It will be screened in the 'comedy' collection of short films in the St. Louis Film Maker's Showcase and Thursday night we'll find out if it will be playing the St. Louis International Festival in the fall. Have you not read Viscosity? Well, you can read it very soon in my very own collection of short stories A F*ckload of Shorts from Snubnose Press very soon.

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