Thursday, December 18, 2008

"C.C. Rider" published in Pulp Pusher

My story, "C.C. Rider" is now live on

It's a little ditty about a girl and a guy and a gun. Actually, there are lots of guns. The girl is Clarissa Carrington, who graced many an old story of mine. The guy is Jefferson Thomas, a guy with a big heart and an IQ that pales in comparison.

Check it out. It's not bad, if I say so myself.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Buy Hardboiled #38: Deke Rivers' first public appearance

Yes, I have been writing about country-music-songwriter-turned-private-detective Deke Rivers for several years now, finishing two novels and a dozen short stories. But it wasn't until last week that Deke finally graced the pages on an honest-to-goodness, available-for-purchase pulp fiction quarterly.

To get your very own collectible edition of Hardboiled #38, send $12 ($10 plus $2 postage) to:

PO BOX 209
BROOKLYN, NY 11228-0209

I will gladly autograph all copies!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hurry up and wait: Why it takes writers like me years to sell a book

First, I don't pretend to know what it is like for other writers. Perhaps I should; I have many friends who are writers. One of my best friends from Cornell, James C. McKinley, is a bureau chief for the New York Times and is read by millions and millions of people every day. Kinky Friedman has had dozens of New York Times best-sellers, dozens of cult-favorite country songs, and many a perilously non-PC political tract and diatribe. Plus I have many, many songwriting, poetry-writing, short story-writing and novel-writing friends -- ranging from the fabulously successful to the frustratedly struggling.

But I don't pretend to know what it is like for them. All I know is what it is like for me. And for me, it is like this:

I write intensely for periods of months at a time. Then I do what I can to sell what I've written. I am not nearly as intense when it comes to this. But I do it for a while. Then life says, "Okay, you've played writer long enough. Now it's time to beat the wolves back from the door, to handle the wild and relentless onslaught of other human activities for which you have no natural gift, but with which you continue to battle valiantly year in and year out. It's time to forget about this writing thing."

And so I do. Days become weeks, and weeks become months, and all of a sudden it hits me as I am rolling the 50-gallon plastic trash cans out to the curb that I haven't done anything writing-related in a long, long time.

So here's where things stand at present in my efforts to sell the latest novel, SO LONESOME I COULD DIE:

As for short stories, I've sent some things out recently. Here's the scorecard:

  • Gary Lovisi at Gryphon Books accepted a story for Hardboiled Magazine
  • Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is looking at "Are Your Lonesome Tonight?"
  • ThugLit is looking at "Nothing You Can Do"
  • The Back Alley has "C. C. Rider"
  • And another bunch of fools has rejected stuff

And that's it. Seven irons in the dying fire.

But like I said, life is happening all around me. Job stuff. Kid stuff. Money stuff. Health stuff.

But I am about to charge headlong into another spurt of frenetic activity. So if any of you know of an editor or publisher looking to break the next great hardboiled detective writer, please post a comment. I promise I'll follow up.

Till then, feel free to visit my sponsors (in the Google ads) or to buy something from one of my Amazon recommendations. The revenue keeps me in postage.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What is Hardboiled?

Some of you may not be familiar with the term hardboiled. Here are some the answers to that:

There's a lot to say about this last bullet, but I am too damned tired to say it now. I just figured I'd broach the subject.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Deke Rivers story bought by Hardboiled

Deke Rivers will make his debut on the pages of Hardboiled, a cool little pulp published by Gary Lovisi of Gryphon Books out of Brooklyn. Hardboiled harkens back to the days of the Black Mask, Dime Detective, and the classic pulps of the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.

The story is called "Number One with a Bullet," and pits Deke against a sniper terrorizing Nashville by singling out and killing members of country music's old guard, the stars of country's golden age.

I was hoping Deke would make his first public appearance in Hardboiled because it is old school and real. No holds barred, no pulled punches. It's the ultimate fighting competition of contemporary fiction.

I'll let you know which issue and how you can order a copy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Deke Rivers, songwriter, private detective

Deke Rivers moved to Nashville in the mid-eighties. He drove down in a 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville. He had a Gibson J-200 in the drunk and a fifth of Jack Daniels in the glove box.

Everything seemed to go his way. Fast. He got a staff deal at a major publishing company. He got a couple of cuts right out of the box. Everyone figured he was on the fast track. But Deke has this uncanny way of pissing off the wrong people and shooting himself in the foot. Not literally, but close.

When his staff deal fell through and the money ran out, he figured he might make a good cop.

Let's just say that didn't exactly work out.

Somehow Deke ended up working as a private investigator, roaming the mean streets of Nashville. Country Music USA. Guitar Town. Nash Vegas.

Oh, the name. His real name is Marcus Aurellius Rivers, but when he was a kid, he saw the movie Loving You with Elvis Presley. In the movie, Elvis's character grows up in an orphanage, but runs away. He runs all through the night. When he wakes up, he is lying in a graveyard beneath a tombstone with the name Deke Rivers. Since he already had the last name and hated the his real first name, he started calling himself Deke Rivers from that moment on. And it stuck.

That's a little about him. I'll give you more soon.