A Big Deal for THE DEAD MAN

DeadmanlogobwOkay, I can finally reveal some of the big news I've been dying to share with you… 

I am thrilled to announce that Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint has picked up THE DEAD MAN series in a unique and exclusive 12-book digital & print deal … with an option for more. But that's not all. Brilliance Audio will be also be rolling out their own editions of the books.

The five books that we've already published — FACE OF EVIL, RING OF KNIVES, HELL IN HEAVEN, THE DEAD WOMAN, and THE BLOOD MESA — will be re-released in the days leading up to Halloween … so keep your eyes peeled for great offers.

The sixth book in the series will be released in November and will be followed each month by another new adventure in the continuing saga of Matt Cahill, a man resurrected from the dead to battle evil among us that only he can see.

Amazon will also be releasing three-book compilations of THE DEAD MAN series in trade paperback (as well as in specially priced digital editions). The release dates of the first compilation, and the Brilliance Audio editions, have not been determined yet … but we’re hoping they'll be ready for Christmas.

Bill Rabkin and I will continue to run the series, which we're writing with a terrific group of action, horror, mystery, SF and western authors, like James Daniels, David McAfee, James Reasoner, Harry Shannon, Joel Goldman, Mel Odom, Jude Hardin, Lisa Klink, Mark Ellis, Matthew Mayo, Joe Nassise, Bill Crider, Matt Witten, Marcus Pelegrimas, Burl Barer, and Phoef Sutton.

And we couldn't have hoped for a better partner than Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer. I just returned from meeting with the Thomas & Mercer team (including editors Terry Goodman and Andy Bartlett) in Seattle and was blown away by their creativity, enthusiasm, and eagerness to see THE DEAD MAN reach its full potential. They get exactly what Bill and I are trying to do with this series.

And what is that, you ask?

We want to capture the spirit of the “men’s action adventure” paperbacks of the 70s and 80s – short, tightly-written books full of hard-boiled heroes, outrageously sexy women, wild adventure, and gleefully over-the-top plots – and reboot the genre for a new generation that maximizes the potential of the Kindle.

And with Thomas & Mercer behind us, I don't see how we can fail.


Ebook Sales Are Skyrocketing, Paperback books Are Plummeting

According to figures released today by the Association of American Publishers, so far this year ebook sales are up 167% while paperbacks have plunged 64% and hardcovers have dropped 25%.  It's a safe prediction that the holiday season will create a sharp spike in ebook sales and an even steeper drop in paperback and hardcover sales. It won't be long now until the mass market paperback becomes virtually extinct.

Road Kill

51Ol5QtgKCL._SS500_ My good friend Zoe Sharp's terrific novel ROAD KILL is now available as an ebook…and it includes a teaser chapter from my soon-to-be-published crime novel KING CITY.

ROAD KILL is Zoe's fifth novel in the acclaimed Charlie Fox series. Here's the scoop:

 Still bearing the emotional scars from her traumatic first bodyguarding job in the States, Charlie Fox returns to her former home to try and work out both her personal and professional future.

Instead of the peace for which she's been hoping, Charlie is immediately caught up in the aftermath of a fatal bike crash involving one of her closest friends. The more she probes, the more she suspects that the accident was far from accidental − and the more she finds herself relying on the support of her troubled boss, Sean Meyer, despite her misgivings over the wisdom of resuming their relationship.

And Charlie's got enough on her plate trying to work out who suddenly wants her dead. The only way to find out is to infiltrate a group of illegal road racers who appear hell-bent on living fast and dying young.

Taking risks is something that ex-Special Forces soldier Charlie knows all about, but doing it just for kicks seems like asking for trouble. By the time she finds out what's really at stake, she might be too late to stop them all becoming road kill 

Going for the Money

For years, so-called "literary" writers routinely to sneered at genre fiction as a lesser form of writing. But now more and more of those same writers,  under their own names and under pseudonyms (like John Banville writing as Benjamin Black, or Scott Spencer writing as Chase Novak for example), are turning to genre fiction because that's where the money is, as The Millions reports:

The good ship Literary Fiction has run aground and the survivors are frantically paddling toward the islands of genre. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but there does seem to be a definite trend of literary/mainstream writers turning to romance, thrillers, fantasy, mystery, and YA. Justin Cronin has produced the vampire epic The Passage.Tom Perrotta is offering The Leftovers, a tale of a futuristic Rapturesque apocalypse. And MacArthur-certified genius Colson Whitehead is writing about zombies. It’s enough to make my historical mystery about Jack the Ripper look downright pedestrian.

[…]So while publishers might happily support a literary author making the switch to genre they’ll probably be less enthusiastic when that writer develops an itch to move back toward literary writing. The obvious compromise – write literary under one name, genre under another – works for some, but is a stopgap solution while the industry struggles to catch up with the reality of what’s happening. Because it’s not just a matter of writers flipping back and forth, it’s a matter of genre and literary cross-pollinating to produce a new species. Genre books written by literary writers are different than those written by authors who have always embraced and exemplified that genre.

The so-called "literary writers" are only beginning to notice what those of us who've always toiled in  "genre" writing have always known…the labels are meaningless. All that matters is whether you are telling a good story that grabs readers. And all it takes is one look at the bestseller lists to see what readers really want. More often than not, the bulk of the NY Times list is dominated by mysteries and thrillers. If a book is a mystery or a thriller, does that inherently make it less "literary" than a story about a family that's slowly disintegrating under the weight of the lies that they tell themselves and one another? I don't think so.

Mr. Monk and the Mug Shot

MR MONK on the couch Gary Mugford over at Mug Shots gave MR. MONK ON THE COUCH a terrific review. He said, in part:

Goldberg is relishing the freedom, the end of the TV series has afforded him. That's obvious. It's odd to refer to this book being Natalie-centric, when in fact, she narrates every book and it's her voice in your head all the time. But in the previous 11 books in the series, that voice was talking about Monk most of the time.

[…]As they say in the late-night infomercials, but wait, there's more. While Natalie's doing her P.I. with training wheels thing, there are other murders for Adrian Monk to solve. And solve them he does. Only to have a suit from upstairs at the Police Department invalidate his solutions because he doesn't have proof he's right. Knowing who and how a bunch of murders happened turns out frustratingly inconclusive, a "Here's what happened" moment without the payoff/conviction.

Until Natalie and Detective Amy Devlin rescue the case by thinking, and working, outside the box. We see Natalie working 'undercover' for the first time. And I bet you it won't be the last time.

The question posed in the book is, what would happen to Natalie if something happened to Monk? She might go back to her rich family. But not now. We know the answer.

He's right, I have been having a lot of fun with the last few MONK books. Since the TV series ended, I've been taking a few more chances with the characters and it's keep the series fresh…though I think if you've read all the books, you'll see the changes as natural steps in their evolution (particularly with Natalie, playing out an arc that began with MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP)

MR. MONK ON PATROL, coming in January, definitely builds on the themes and events in MR. MONK ON THE COUCH. And the one I am writing now, MR. MONK IS A MESS, is a direct sequel to PATROL (in much the same way that MR. MONK IS MISERABLE was a direct sequel to MR. MONK GOES TO GERMANY).

I have only a vague idea where the next book may go…but it has been nice to be able to let the characters evolve in ways that I couldn't while I had to stick to the continuity of the TV show.

Boob Tube

Farrah_fawcett_011 Boobs are back on TV…and in a big way…this season with CHARLIE'S ANGELS, PAN-AM, and THE PLAYBOY CLUB, to name a few. As The Wrap reports:

Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., the executive director for Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, suggests that, particularly in dour financial times, male viewers — not to mention the overwhelmingly male decision-makers at the networks — might be looking to retreat into less complicated, more comforting times.

"In times of economic and social upheaval and difficulty, nostalgia and a longing for an era when life seemed simpler tend to bloom," Lauzen said.

That could be especially true in an era when men — at least the ones not on TV, anyway — find themselves losing economic and social ground to the fairer sex.

"As women continue to gain economic, social and political power, there is always some sort of backlash, a desire to put women 'back in their place,'" Lauzen adds.

"These programs may reflect that type of wishful thinking."

Naturally, those involved with the series have a different take on the matter. At the Television Critics' Association press tour earlier this month, "Pan Am" star Christina Ricci dismissed cries of sexism, claiming that her series provides "a really great message for young girls and women … [Air travel] is something that's exciting for these women. We're as excited as the passengers are."

Never mind that the Pan Am stewardesses were subjected to mandatory girdle-wearing and weigh-ins. Or that the trailer for the series prominently features a clip of one of the stewardesses stripped down to her bra as she frantically changes clothes in the back of a taxi.

I,for one, can't wait for the new take on THREE'S COMPANY as a female-empowered show…with female empowered breasts.