Cover Title Text Vigilante 4a  KILLSTORM, the long lost fourth novel in the .357 VIGILANTE series…never before published, now available for the first time anywhere in this special Kindle Edition.

Brett Macklin faces his greatest adversary yet — a ruthless, professional hit woman, seductress and master of disguise who launches a campaign of terror and bloodshed against him, pushing the vigilante to the emotional and physical breaking point, unleashing a bloody killstorm on the L.A. streets.

"As stunning as the report of a .357 Magnum, a dynamic premiere effort […] The Best New Paperback Series of the year!" West Coast Review of Books


The adventures of Brett Macklin, the .357 VIGILANTE, were published by Pinnacle Books in 1985 as part of their popular line of "men's action adventure novels," which included such classics as THE DESTOYER, THE EXECUTIONER, THE PENETRATOR, and THE DEATH MERCHANT, to name just a few.

The first three books in the .357 VIGILANTE series were enormously successful. The movie rights were sold to New World Pictures. The fourth book, KILLSTORM, was only a few months away from publication in 1986 and a fifth novel was in the works…when Pinnacle abruptly went out of business.

For years, the .357 VIGILANTE books were locked up in a protracted bankruptcy proceeding before the rights to all the books, including the unpublished manuscript, finally reverted back to me.

Now, for the first time anywhere, KILLSTORM is finally "in print," twenty five years after it was written….






.357 VIGILANTE: DIE, MR. JURY…all four books in one volume.


Face and logo9 All of my out-of-print .357 VIGILANTE novels, including the never-before-published fourth novel KILLSTORM, have been compiled into one Kindle edition — .357 VIGILANTE: DIE, MR. JURY. 

This is the complete saga of Brett Macklin, a one-man army fighting a war on terror on the streets of Los Angeles in the mid-1980s…





"As stunning as the report of a .357 Magnum, a dynamic premiere effort […] The Best New Paperback Series of the year!" West Coast Review of Books, 1985

You can also find the compilation on Smashwords and Scribd in multiple e-formats.

The Mail I Get

Those incompetent hucksters at Bookwhirl are back. This week they cold-called a major, A-list novelist I know, offering him their inept "services." The guy who called my friend, who is a household name, sounded like someone from Dell Customer Support in India and had no idea who he was speaking to.

Even though I have repeatedly trashed Bookwhirl here on my blog, today I got a solicitation from them. It was from "Marketing Consultant" Melissa Adams, who apparently hasn't mastered English yet:

I came across your book, “Mr. Monk is Miserable” and I find it very interesting. Our company, Bookwhirl.com is really interested to help you in promoting your book/s online because we find out that your book/s deserves to be recognized

And that's the most coherent paragraph in her pitch. Imagine how dumb and gullible someone would have to be to hire these dimwits. I wrote her back and suggested that she take a few English courses before trying to portray herself as an expert in promotion.

Mr. Monk and the Character Name

Critic Bill Peschel found it unsettling that I named a character after him in MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP, but he says he didn't let that influence his opinion of of the book. He gave it a rave review anyway. He says, in part:

To thank me for helping with a previous “Monk” book, Lee Goldberg asked if I would mind being killed for your entertainment in “Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop.” I said yes, pleased at the prospect of contributing to a novel without actually going to the trouble of writing it.
[…]As I kept encountering my name, I felt more and more uncomfortable. Seeing one’s name in print associated with this character causes a disassociation with my self-image of the employed writer, father, and husband. Sometimes, it felt like I could feel a gear slipping in my head, so it was something of a relief when I’m finally killed. Fortunately, there’s plenty to appreciate about the book.

[…]The Monk books not only capture the pleasures of the TV show, but add to it by deepening our understanding of the characters. It’s a testament to Goldberg’s energy and inventiveness that he’s been able to do it successfully for eight books.

Thanks, Bill. It was a pleasure murdering you.

Josh Olsen will not read your f–king script

I know a lot of screenwriters who can sympathize with Josh Olsen, who wrote a column in the Village Voice about all the reasons why he “will not read your fucking script.” He writes, in part:

Which brings us to an ugly truth about many aspiring screenwriters: They think that screenwriting doesn’t actually require the ability to write, just the ability to come up with a cool story that would make a cool movie. Screenwriting is widely regarded as the easiest way to break into the movie business, because it doesn’t require any kind of training, skill or equipment. Everybody can write, right? And because they believe that, they don’t regard working screenwriters with any kind of real respect. They will hand you a piece of inept writing without a second thought, because you do not have to be a writer to be a screenwriter.

[…]What they want is a few tough notes to give the illusion of honesty, and then some pats on the head. What they want–always–is encouragement, even when they shouldn’t get any. Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell someone that they’ve spent a year wasting their time? Do you know how much blood and sweat goes into that criticism? Because you want to tell the truth, but you want to make absolutely certain that it comes across honestly and without cruelty. I did more rewrites on that fucking e-mail than I did on my last three studio projects.

I found this article especially timely since today I received over two dozen requests from complete strangers to read their scripts or listen to their great ideas for TV series. Here’s one I got just a few minutes ago from a stranger on Facebook:

I have a great idea for a TV series…oops, you’ve heard that a million times. But really I do. Can I send you the Treatment I have written and get some help pitching it?

The answer was no. I will not read scripts from strangers unless, of course, I am running a show and I’ve asked agents to send me samples to read for assignments, staff jobs, etc. But I will read scripts from my good friends…and I will occasionally ask them to return the favor. And I certainly will never, ever listen to a TV series idea from someone I don’t know…most of whom, of course, aren’t screenwriters, just someone who is convinced they are more clever than the thousands of professional writers, producers and directors who are pitching series to the networks every day.

UPDATE:  Within minutes after I told the stranger that I wouldn’t read his treatment or give him pitching advice, he wrote this in his Facebook update:

Sick of arrogant TV writers who write crap that we have to watch on TV.


I am talking about Lee Goldberg…what a f’n snob…and he sucks.

I wasn’t a fucking snob, and I didn’t suck, until I told him I wouldn’t read his treatment and help him pitch it. This reaction from him proves a point Josh Olsen made in his column:

I will not read your fucking script.
At this point, you should walk away, firm in your conviction that I’m a dick. But if you’re interested in growing as a human being and recognizing that it is, in fact, you who are the dick in this situation, please read on.

Yes. That’s right. I called you a dick. Because you created this situation. You put me in this spot where my only option is to acquiesce to your demands or be the bad guy. That, my friend, is the very definition of a dick move.

[…]You are not owed a read from a professional, even if you think you have an in, and even if you think it’s not a huge imposition. It’s not your choice to make. This needs to be clear–when you ask a professional for their take on your material, you’re not just asking them to take an hour or two out of their life, you’re asking them to give you–gratis–the acquired knowledge, insight, and skill of years of work. It is no different than asking your friend the house painter to paint your living room during his off hours.

How Did I Miss This?

Glorianna Arias, aka Lady Sybilla, the delusional fanficcer who plans to self-publish her own TWILIGHT novel entitled RUSSET NOON, has launched a blog where she's sharing chapters from her upcoming, craptastic opus…

"The reason we continue to move forward with the publication of Russet Noon as a paperback novel is because we are confident that there are no grounds for a lawsuit. We do not intend to make a profit from this venture, and any books we publish will be given out for free. The only difference between Russet Noon and other Twilight fanfics is that Russet Noon will be a free paperback novel."

What she meant is that she no longer intends to make a profit from the book…but she once did. Arias was taking orders for the book on her website and on ebay until word got out about it. 

But this story keeps getting better…and weirder. Arias has announced that she's going to self-publish a "tell-all" book entitled LADY SYBILLA'S MANIFESTO: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE 'RUSSET NOON' CONTROVERSY. 

You will be able to find the book online and in the gift shops of  mental hospitals nationwide in January. 

I can't wait.

Idris Elba Stars in new BBC Series

Broadcast reports that Idris Elba, who played “Stringer Bell” on THE WIRE, will star in the new BBC detective series LUTHOR, written and created by SPOOKS writer Neil Cross, who describes the title character as a “near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions”.

Whereas traditional whodunits search for the murderer, each hour-long episode of the new drama will identify the culprit from the start, focusing attention on the dynamic – and similarities – between the detective and the murderer.

The series will air in Autumn 2010. No word yet on whether it will be carried stateside on BBC America or not. Cross also writes for the ITV series THE FIXER, one of my favorites (about a hitman working for a secret police unit), so I have high hopes for this show.

.357 Flashback

Cover Title Text  Vigilante 4a I’ve created Kindle editions of my out-of-print, 1985 paperbacks .357 VIGILANTE #3 WHITE WASH and .357 VIGILANTE #4 KILLSTORM …but it will be another six or seven days before they’re “live” on Amazon.  

So in the meantime, I have posted the entire VIGILANTE series, in multiple e-book formats, on Smashwords and in PDF format on Scribd. Here are the links:

.357 Vigilante #1 by Ian Ludlow
Smashwords / Scribd

.357 Vigilante #2 Make Them Pay Smashwords / Scribd

.357 Vigilante #3 White Wash  Smashwords / Scribd

.357 Vigilante #4 Killstorm  Smashwords / Scribd

This is the first time KILLSTORM has been available anywhere on earth. Pinnacle Books, the original publisher of the .357 VIGILANTE series, went out-of-business on the eve of the book’s scheduled publication in 1986. Although the cover painting was completed, and the book was typeset, it never went to press. I couldn’t find a copy of the galley, so I scanned my original manuscript, written back in 1984 while I was still a UCLA student. It’s a relic from the past, full of dated references to the politics, culture, and technology of the time…not to mention all the cliches of the men’s action/adventure fiction that Pinnacle was churning out. But don’t let that stop you from buying it!

UPDATE 9-7-2009: It might be a little while longer before those two titles are available for the Kindle…Amazon has asked me to prove that I am, indeed, “Ian Ludlow,” and that I have the e-rights to the books. So I have to dig up my reversion of rights letter, which I got way back in 1995. I hope I can find it! I guess Amazon has really been stung by people uploading books that they don’t actually own…

Florida Sues Writers Literary Agency

The Florida Sun Sentinel reports that the state attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Robert Fletcher, aka Writers Literary Agency, for defrauding authors:

The so-called Writer's Literary Agency used more than 20 websites and related companies to collect money from writers, who paid fees from $89 to $600 for critiques, editing and marketing of manuscripts, according to the Attorney General's Office.

The state's lawsuit says few books were ever sold as the result of company owner Robert Fletcher's efforts.

More than 175 complaints were filed from around the world about Fletcher, who admitted to having no background as a literary agent and to using at least 10 aliases in his businesses.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent Fletcher from future business ventures in the literary field, restitution for his victims and fines.

This is great news. You may recall that Fletcher unsuccessfully sued Writer Beware for exposing his activities. It would be nice if other state attorney generals were as aggressive about shutting down scam literary agents and vanity press "publishers." Even so, I'm hoping this will have a chilling affect on similar activities by others who prey on aspiring authors.

Bronson’s Loose!

BronsonlooseYou don't have to be a DEATH WISH fan — and I'm not — to enjoy BRONSON'S LOOSE! THE MAKING OF THE DEATH WISH FILMS, a highly entertaining and informative book about the making of the cult classic Charles Bronson vigilante film and its lesser (and inevitable) sequels. Author Paul Talbot has done a remarkable job, interviewing all the major players behind the development and production of the DEATH WISH movies (including Brian Garfield, the author of the original novel), and delivering a tight little book that is packed solid with fascinating details and wonderful anecdotes. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in screenwriting and movie-making. It's a lot of fun to read. 

This is not a new book — it was self-published by Talbot in 2007 through iUniverse. I don't know if that's because it was rejected by every publisher in NY, or if he opted from the get-go to do it himself. Either way, it's a shame it wasn't picked up by a major publisher, its a book that deserves a wide distribution and critical recognition.