Saturday, September 01, 2007

Turning Over Every Stone

• Heaven forfend that Americans should use their Labor Day holiday on Monday for quiet reading on the front porch or a chance to catch up on their sleep. Instead, TV programmers intend that we should hunker down in front of our boob tubes for marathon showings of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (which begins at 6 a.m. on the USA Network), CSI: Miami (starting at 8 a.m. on A&E), and The Closer (on TNT, starting at 10 a.m.).

• The second-anniversary edition of ThugLit has just been posted, and includes among its contents a Nebraska-backdropped tale, “Hollow,” by The Rap Sheet’s very own Anthony Rainone.

• New interviews keep popping up everywhere. Pulp Pusher turns its spotlight on Ian Rankin (as if he hasn’t had enough publicity lately), while Poe’s Deadly Daughters has Judy Clemens under the microscope and Crime Squad quizzes Dreda Say Mitchell about her latest novel, Killer Tune.

• One other exchange worth noting: Robert J. Randisi’s guest appearance at Saddlebums, in which he relates his entirely daunting work schedule:
I’m usually working on two books at one time, so during the day I’ll work on, say, a western. At some point I stop for dinner. After dinner I watch a little TV, and then I take a nap. After the nap it’s on to the mystery novel I’m working on. I have a TV in my office, so I usually watch while I’m working. Last week I watched all three Magnificent movies on tape while I worked on a western. Also some old Warner Bros. westerns like Cheyenne and Maverick. Then, while working on a mystery I’ll watch some [77] Sunset Strip or Hawaiian Eye tapes, maybe some British mysteries or movies, like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, or American films like Harper or Chinatown. I work until about 4 a.m., then read for an hour before going to bed. Up at 11 am, breakfast and start over. Some days errands--like the bank, the P.O.--take me away from the work for a while. Also going out to dinner with friends. But I work every day.
So, that’s how Randisi continues to be so prolific: superhuman powers of concentration.

• I’m sorry to say that I had never heard of U.S. marketing exec-turned-author Chris Knopf before my recent trip into deepest Canada. There, I stumbled across a pair of his books--Two Time and The Last Refuge, both featuring Sam Aquillo, “ex-boxer, ex-corporate executive, and accidental hero”--that have been reissued as part of Vintage Canada’s excellent “World of Crime” series. Just today, I came upon his name again, at My Book, the Movie, where he imagines the casting of Two Time for Hollywood. Interesting choices he’s made, not so much in terms of his lead, but regarding his picks of Annabella Sciorra and Parker Posey as supporting players. Read all about Knopf’s casting calls here.

• Meanwhile, My Book, the Movie’s sister site, The Page 69 Test, finds David Hewson considering the efficacy of judging his new novel, The Seventh Sacrament, on the basis of just a single page. His comments are here.

• It’s been too long a while since we last wrote about S.J. Rozan’s Six-Word Stories competition, challenging writers to tell a crime story in one half a dozen words. More notice is long overdue. A few of my favorite recent submissions:

“Cocktail ... ? Just the proof Nick needed.”--Andrew McAleer
“Prize peony. Weed whacker. Ignorance defense?”--Laraine Crampton
“Pickpocket lifts don’s wallet. Hand found.”--B.G. Ritts

If you’d like to try you own hand at this competition, e-mail submissions to:

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