0316 Goldberg ecover JUDGEMENT James Reasoner  first stumbled on my .357 VIGILANTE books in the mid-1980s when he was working in a used bookstore. Although he was a voracious consumer of pulp fiction, he'd never heard of Ian Ludlow, and the men's action adventure genre was dying, so he didn't bother reading it.  But now he's caught up with it again in JUDGMENT, my new re-release of the first book in the series. He says, in part:

This is a classic case of not knowing what I was missing. Now, of course, we know that “Ian Ludlow” was actually a college student named Lee Goldberg, who went on to become a top-notch novelist, screenwriter, and producer 

[…]You know right away that this is a little different from the usual men’s adventure novel because of the protagonist, Brett Macklin. [He] no superhuman men’s adventure hero. He screws up, he gets hurt, he’s lucky not to get killed several times, but eventually he uncovers an even bigger plot that puts a lot of people in danger.

This is a really entertaining thrill ride of a story with plenty of sex, violence, humor, social commentary, and great action scenes. When I think about what I was writing when I was in college . . . well, there’s really no comparison. JUDGMENT is the work of someone who was a solid pro, right from the first page.

I'm really flattered by James' review.  It's hard for me to believe that it's been nearly thirty years since I wrote those books. Some of the writing makes me cringe…and some of it is certainly dated..but mostly I'm amused by it.

What's really strange is that sometimes a sentence or a scene will bring back memories I haven't had in, well, thirty years. I can remember where I was when I wrote certain portions…or what was happening in my life at the time. The books are a time capsule for me in many ways. But I'm thrilled to learn that they are still entertaining to read for others.

Talking Tie-Ins

Christa Faust will moderate  Further Adventures: On Writing Novelizations and Media Tie-In, a special luncheon program sponsored by MWA/SoCal at the Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City on June 18, 11-2pm. Guests include Doug Lyle (Royal Pains), William Rabkin (Psych), Nathan Long (Warhammer), and yours truly.  Lunch: $20 for MWA members, $25 for non-members. Visit the MWA website to pay via Paypal or to download mail-in form.

Big Island Film Fest Day 4

IMG_0372 REMAINDERED screened today and received a very enthusiastic reaction from the audience. That was nice, but I have to say we're up against some stiff competition. I've seen a lot of great shorts this week…and every single one that I saw today was very well done, particularly THIEF, about a little boy who befriends a young Saddam Hussein in 1959 and then comes face-to-face with him again in 2003. It's not going to be easy for the judges or the audience to pick a best short from among so many fine films. 

Before the screening, I spent some time on the beach. I glanced to my left and was startled to see Harlan Coben staring back at me. Alas, it was not the man himself but his enormous photo on the back of a hardcover book that a tourist was reading. I took a picture of the tourist, which I emailed to Harlan, then chatted with the guy, who was very nice. He's a salesman for a big drug company that is rewarding its best reps with an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii that also includes elaborate banquets by the beach, tons of free tours & activities, cash money for expenses, and goodie bags in their rooms each day stuffed with things like Raybans and cameras. I should have been a Viagra salesman instead of a writer. 218690_10150187709728930_542928929_6771668_5218408_o

After the screening, I drove up to Waimea to Huli Sue's Barbeque. Their ribs aren't bad but what  I really went up there for was their incredible Banana Cream pie…which may just be the best Banana Cream Pie on earth.  

Then it was back to the Fairmont Orchid, where I hunkered down to work on MONK…well, that was the intent, instead here I am writing this post.

Tomorrow is the Golden Honu Awards Brunch, a concert, and the Best of the Fest screening. In between, I'm going to try to squeeze in some more lazing around.


Big Island Film Fest Day 3

Not a whole lot to report. I spent my morning on the beach then showered, changed, and watched a few of the short films in competition in the afternoon. The screening room was actually a screening room…something I didn't expect to find at a hotel.

The short films were very uneven…one was really good, one was absolutely awful in every possible way,  one was so flat I've already forgotten it entirely and one was so heavy-handed and cliche-ridden that I was able to successfully predict, almost word-for-word, exactly what each character was going to say before they said it. 

I spent the rest of the day in the lounge, working on my next MONK book, which is due in a few short weeks. Writing is so much more pleasant with a breath-taking ocean view and a hostess bringing  you food and drinks.  

At nightfall, I dropped my computer off  in my room and went to another outdoor screening under the stars. All three films tonight were good…but the best was a feature length, black comedy from the UK called THE DRUMMOND WILL.  It was shot in black-and-white and starts off very slow…with two estranged brothers arriving in a strange village for their father's funeral… but events soon escalate into a hilarious farce with an ever-rising body count.

Tomorrow REMAINDERED screens, so I'll be spending most of the day watching short  films. I'll probably skip the night screenings to work on my book…


Big Island Film Fest Days 1 & 2

218607_10150183755917976_841607975_6730579_2120377_o I’ve been having a great time at the Big Island Film Festival  on the Big Island of Hawaii. I arrived on Wednesday night, showered, and hurried over to the Mayor’s reception, where  I chatted with some of the other film-makers, who have come from all over the U.S. and a few from overseas. Then I headed over to the Shops at  Mauna Lani for an outdoor screening of a handful of short films. You couldn’t beat the venue…watching movies under the stars with a gentle sea breeze. The films themselves were well-made but suffered from very, very predictable, by-the-numbers story-telling. 

I played hookie from the Festival during the day on Day 2. You’d have to be insane to fly all the way to paradise to stay indoors when it’s gorgeous outside. So I hung out at the beach, where the sand and pavement were so hot, you could get third degree burns if you walked barefoot. Just about eveyrone has a Kindle, which is frustrating, because I can’t tell what strangers are reading any more.

I intended to do some writing, but failed. I swam, I walked, I read, I ate, I sweated. A perfect day. After dinner, I went to the night-time screenings, held under the stars at the Fairmont Orchid Plantation House. The films this time were much better than the previous evening…particularly the short COLD SORE and the hilarious, uniquely Hawaiian feature GET A JOB…but is there a  rule somewhere that there has to be at least two zombie movies at every film festival? I have totally over-dosed on zombie movies.  IMG_0335

My plan today is to do some writing (I can feel my deadline like a physical presence in the room) out on the lanai overlooking the water, take a swim, a long walk, and then attend the evening screening again. REMAINDERED plays tomorrow…

(Click on the images for a larger  view.)

Hawaii Lee-O

I am off to Hawaii this morning to attend the Big Island Film Festival, where my short film REMAINDERED is in competition. I'm really looking forward to the trip…I haven't been back to Hawaii since I was Toastmaster at Left Coast Crime  two years ago and I absolutely love it there, which is why I have set three books on the islands — Dead Space, Diagnosis Murder: The Death Merchant, amd Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii. Who knows, maybe a  fourth book will come out of this trip. 

I'll try to report back with photos and highlights from the festival.


Shoot for This

SHOOTERS-600x900-2 My buddy Terrill Lee Lankford's terrific first novel SHOOTERS is now available as an ebook…with a great cover by JT Lindroos, an introduction by T. Jefferson Parker and an afterword by Lev Raphael.

You may recall that Lee was one of the first authors to reject a lucrative book deal in favor of self-publishing. This reprint is his first foray into self-publishing and I predict it's going to be blockbuster. Here are the details on SHOOTERS…

Nick Gardner is a fashion photographer of the highest caliber. His erotically-charged photos grace every major magazine in the world. He is a superstar shooter in a town filled with supermodels, desperate wannabes, and burned-out has-beens. His peers consider him cold and impenetrable. A loner who will let no one see beyond his carefully crafted facade. See, Nick has a secret. Another identity, buried for more than a decade. An entirely different career that has been hidden and denied.

And a murder.

From the sun-bleached shores of Malibu to the pages of Vogue and the porno empires headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, Shooters reveals the naked truth behind the twin worlds of high fashion and hardcore, where the difference between the two can be a well-chosen shadow or a brazen shaft of light.

"Lankford breathtakingly tosses the reader into a Hollywood snake pit that is at once compelling and repugnant." -Dallas Morning News

"Shooters cooks! This is a blood thriller that will vibrate your vindaloo! Terrill Lankford has crafted a truly bitchin' novel that will keep you up nights howling at the moon! Read it or be deprived!" -James Ellroy

"Shooters is excellent. It grabs you on page one and won't turn you loose." - Robert B. Parker

"'Shooters' is a dark, speeding ride on LA's fast lane. It's like you're watching a car accident. Once it starts to unfold you can't look away. You're hooked." -Michael Connelly 

"Shooters marks a fine noir debut by Terrill lankford. Welcome to the land of twists and turns." - Gerald Petievich