You Can Write a DEAD MAN Novel

0574 Lee Goldberg TDMS_SLAVES_6How would you like to become a PUBLISHED AUTHOR…and win $1000 in cash and prizes?

Now's your chance to win a $500 advance, a $500 Amazon gift card, and a publishing contract to write your own tale in the hugely popular DEAD MAN be published in early 2013 by Amazon's 47North imprint. 


All you have to do is write a sample chapter and a brief outline of your story, complete the entry form and sign the release…and email the whole package to us at by August 1, 2012…or before we receive 500 entries…whichever comes first. Each entry will be judged by a group of current writers of THE DEAD MAN, led by series co-creators Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin.  


The contest rules are below. Please read them carefully to make sure that your entry meets all of the eligibility requirements before you submit. 

Good luck! 



Please read these Official Rules before entering the Write a “Dead Man” Novel Contest (“Contest”). By submitting an entry, entrants (“you” or “your”) acknowledge that you are eligible to enter the Contest and have read and agree to be bound by these Official Rules and our and the judges decisions related to the Contest. We will select one winner who will receive a full, work-for-hire publishing contract to write a 25,000 word novel in “The Dead Man” series of books, commissioned by  Adventures in Television Inc. (the “Sponsors”) and published by Amazon Publishing. 

1.                  ELIGIBILITY. You are eligible to enter the Contest if you are at least 18 years old at time of entry and a legal resident of one of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (excluding the Province of Québec), China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States (the 50 states and D.C.), or the United Kingdom. You are not eligible to enter the Contest if you are (a) an Amazon employee or independent contractor or an employee or independent contractor of any of Amazon’s  affiliates; (b) a family member (spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren) of an Amazon employee or independent contractor; (c) a family member (spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren) of an employee or independent contractor of any of Amazon’s affiliates; (d) an individual living in the same household as Amazon’s  employee or independent contractor; (e) an individual living in the same household as an employee or independent contractor of any of Amazon’s  affiliates; or (f) a judge involved in the Contest. 

2.                  HOW TO ENTER. We must receive your Contest entry between June 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. (U.S. Pacific Standard Time) and August 1, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Pacific Standard Time). We will stop accepting Entries after we have received 500 submissions.   You must download the entry form and the Release & Non-Disclosure Form from You must then follow the instructions on the entry form and email to us, at, the following attachments (1) a sample chapter of your proposed book in the “The Dead Man” series (“Chapter”) of up to 4,000 words, (2) an outline of your proposed book of up to 1000 words (“Outline”); (3) a signed release and non-disclosure form and (4) the personal information required on the entry form. (1-4 collectively, an “Entry”). We will not accept or review any Entry that does not comply with these Official Rules.  0619 Lee Goldberg TDMS_MIDNIGHT SPECIAL_3

3.                  ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. You must be the only author of your Chapter and Outline. Any Chapter and Outline submitted as an Entry written by two or more authors will not be eligible. Your Chapter and Outline must: (a) be your original creation; (b) be fictional; (c) be in the English language; (d) be of interior black and white text without images; (e) not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement with any publisher. Additionally, you must submit your Chapter and Outline digitally in Microsoft Word .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt format. Any entry that we determine, in our sole discretion, to meet these requirements will be considered a “Valid Entry.” You may be represented by an agent on the condition that you – not your agent – agree to comply with these Official Rules. Our servers and clock will be the official clock for all phases of the Contest. You will not receive any notice that your entry has been received. You will only be contacted if you are the Winner. You may only submit one entry. 

4.                  CONDITIONS OF ENTRY. By submitting an Entry, you represent and warrant that your Entry: (a) is your original creation; (b) has not been copied in whole or in part from any other work; (c) has not previously been published as described in Section 3(e) above; (d) does not violate or infringe any copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity right, or other proprietary or intellectual property right of any person or entity; (e) is not defamatory, libelous, obscene, or otherwise illegal; and (f) is your sole and exclusive property. You further represent and warrant that you have complete, worldwide distribution rights in and to your Chapter and Outline. 

5.                  GRANT OF RIGHTS. By submitting an Entry and if you are selected as the winner, you grant Adventures in Television the exclusive first publication rights to your Entry. By submitting an Entry, you grant us and our respective affiliates and agents permission to use, without charge, portions of your Chapter and Outline, along with your name and stated reason for writing the submitted Entry (if provided) for any purpose in connection with this Contest. You also grant us the right to edit the formatting and display of your Entry, and to create literary or any other types of effects in respect to your Entry without compensation or approval. In addition, to the extent that any moral rights (for example, the right to attribution and the right to integrity) apply, you waive (and to the extent that these rights may not be waived, agree irrevocably not to assert) your moral rights in your Entry for purposes of this Contest, including, without limitation, our use of excerpts from your Entry in connection with this Contest. You represent that you have received the consent of any person (or parent or legal guardian if such person is a minor) whose real and actual name or likeness is used or featured in any Entry that you submit. If you fail to obtain the consent, your Entry will be disqualified. We have the right at any time during the Contest to request proof of consent, and to disqualify your Entry if you cannot provide the requested documents. Excerpts, along with the your name, city, and state of residence, and portions of your Entry which relate to the submitted Chapter, may be posted on any website owned or operated by us or any of their affiliates (“Our Site”), any other website or other online point of presence on any platform through which any products or services available on or through Our Site are described, syndicated, offered, merchandised, or advertised. Our decision to post an Excerpt or any portion of an Entry on any one of Our Sites does not mean that the selected Entry has been selected as a winning Entry. Furthermore, you acknowledge that your Entry is based on copyrighted characters, concepts, and other creative elements belonging wholly to Adventures in Television Inc. and that “The Dead Man” logo is a registered trademark of Adventures in Television Inc. and that you may not publish, or otherwise publicly disseminate or repurpose your Entry in any media or format, regardless of whether or not you win the contest, without the written consent of Adventures in Television Inc. 

6.                  COLLECTION/USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION. We are collecting personal information primarily to process Entries, to contact you if necessary, or for marketing and other purposes. By participating in this Contest, non-U.S. resident entrants are authorizing the transfer of personal data to the United States for these purposes. By entering the Contest, you agree that we may share your information, in our sole discretion, with third parties that have a need to know the information, such as the judging panel or third parties that we retain to assist in administering the Contest; however, those third parties may only use the information for purposes related to this Contest. 

0631 Lee Goldberg TDMS_DEATH FIGHT_3 (1)7.                  GRAND PRIZEIf you are selected as the Winner in a category, you will receive a $500 Amazon gift card and a standard work-for-hire publishing contract with Adventures in Television Inc. to write a novella, of no more than 25,000 words, in “The Dead Man” series and to market and distribute your final manuscript as a published book. Upon the full execution of the publishing contract, Adventures in Television will pay the Winner $500.00 USD (in addition to the $500 Amazon gift card). The $500.00 payment is an advance against the royalties to be earned by the Winner under the work-for-hire publishing contract. The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the publishing contract is $500.00 USD for the advance. You will receive half of the advance on signing the contract, half on delivery of the final manuscript. Adventures in Television will determine the royalty rates to be paid under the work-for-hire publishing contract, which will depend on the format in which the book is published and the projected print run. You may not negotiate the standard work-for-hire publishing contract with Adventures in Television, and you must sign it “as is” upon receipt of the executable contract if you wish to enter into the publishing contract being awarded. The work-for-hire publishing contract will be governed by the laws of the State of California. 

8.                  DISQUALIFICATIONS. If your Entry is disqualified for any reason, you will not receive a notice or explanation describing the reason for the disqualification. 

9.                  WINNER NOTIFICATION AND REQUIREMENTS. If you are selected as a potential Finalist, we will notify you by phone or e-mail starting on or before Sept 1, 2012. You will be required to sign and return a work-for-hire publishing contract with Adventures in Television, which Adventures in Television will countersign only if you are selected as the Winner. We must receive the signed publishing contract by Oct. 1, 2012. If any documentation is not returned by the specified dates, we may invite an alternate Finalist, chosen by the Adventures in Television judging panel to replace the original Finalist. If notification to the alternate Finalist is returned as undeliverable, we will invite the next eligible alternate Finalist, and so on. Prior to awarding a prize, we may require you to sign additional documents we believe are necessary to confirm your eligibility, to obtain a liability and publicity release, and to award any prize. 

10.              ADDITIONAL TERMS. The Contest and all accompanying materials are © 2012 by Adventures in Television, Inc. All rights reserved. The Contest is void outside the eligible entry jurisdictions and where prohibited by law. You agree that our decisions related to the Contest are final and binding in all matters. We reserve the right, to the maximum extent permitted by law, in our sole discretion, to change these rules or cancel the Contest at any time. We may also modify, terminate or suspend the Contest if any viruses, worms, bugs, unauthorized human intervention, or other causes beyond our control corrupt or impair the administration, security, or fairness of the Contest or submission of Entries. If you use the name or likeness of an individual in your Entry, you agree to be solely responsible for that use. Amazon is not a sponsor of or involved in the judging of this Contest.  You agree that we, Amazon and our and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, along with any officers, directors, agents, employees and representatives of any of them (collectively, “Released Parties”), will not be responsible for any action brought by a person whose consent you did not obtain. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (a) any human or other error that may occur in the processing of the Entries; (b) any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to or alteration of Entries; (c) or for technical, network, telephone, computer, hardware or software, malfunctions of any kind, which may occur in connection with this Contest, including, without limitation, any errors or problems related to the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the announcement of the prizes, or the Contest-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for: (y) inaccurate transmission of, or failure to receive, any entry information on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site; and (z) injury or damage to you or any other computer resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the Contest. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to disqualify any individual found to be tampering with the entry or voting process, the outcome of the Contest, or the operation of the Contest or Web site; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person (including actions by you INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND IF SUCH AN ATTEMPT IS MADE, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHER RELIEF (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM THE PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. 


12.              GOVERNING LAW/DISPUTES. This Contest is governed by the laws of the United States and the State of California. As a condition of participating in this Contest, you agree, to the extent permitted by law, that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Los Angeles County, California. FURTHER, IN ANY DISPUTE, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL YOU BE PERMITTED TO OBTAIN AWARDS FOR, AND YOU HEREBY WAIVE ALL RIGHTS TO CLAIM, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING ATTORNEYS' FEES, OTHER THAN ENTRANT’S ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES (E.G. COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING). YOU FURTHER WAIVE ALL RIGHTS TO HAVE DAMAGES MULTIPLIED OR INCREASED. 

13.              RIGHTS OF PUBLICITY. By participating in the Contest, you consent to the worldwide use of your name, biographical information, photographs, videos or likenesses in any manner and in any medium now in existence or later invented for any purpose in connection with the Contest without additional compensation, notification or permission, except where prohibited by law. 

14.              SPONSORS’ ADDRESS. Adventures in Television, Inc, P.O. Box 8212, Calabasas, CA 91372  

The Mail I Get – How Not To Solicit A Blurb Edition

I get a lot of strangers asking me to read and blurb their books. What astonishes me is how little effort they put into personalizing their message or making their books sound even the least bit interesting. Here are some examples:

I'm a big fan of your work and preparing to publish my debut novel.  XYZ is 88k words in the mystery/suspense genre and in PDF form now.  A blurb from you would mean the world to me.  If you're amenable, I'll forward the MS to you. 

Oh, well, since it's 88,000 words, I must read it! I love books that are 88,000 words, especially if they are in PDF format. 

I have written a new book XYZ that I am doing indie and need recommendations from famous authors and you are well known. You don't even have to read the book and you will benefit from my sales because readers of my book will then search out yours, so its a win-win. 

So I should blurb a book I haven't read to reap the benefits of the exposure I'll get from being associated with a self-published novel by someone no one has ever heard of.  That's a damn persuasive argument. How could I resist?

I am writing to invite you to review my book, XYZ, which I have just published on Amazon. I got your address from your “Top Reviewer” profile. Please let me know if you are interested.

I actually get a ton of emails like that one from aspiring authors…there must be a form somewhere on Amazon that they can fill out. I wonder how often it works in getting blurbs for them…

Slaves to Evil

Slaves to Evil CoverToday marks the debut of Lisa Klink's THE DEAD MAN #11: SLAVES TO EVIL, her first published novel. She's also the first woman (so far) to contribute to the series, which is published more-or-less monthly by Amazon's 47North imprint. Here's the plot…

Matt Cahill has an unusual gift: he can see the corruption in people’s souls, making the afflicted appear as walking corpses to his eyes. This macabre ability has set him on a one-man crusade to eradicate these servants of an ancient and powerful evil, embodied by the aptly named “Mr. Dark.”

On his way through the small town of Breckenridge, Minnesota, Matt sees the unmistakable signs of corruption in the chief of police and numerous cops. The evil that has consumed them now terrorizes innocents and allows drug and sex trafficking to run rampant. Just as Matt confronts the enslaved cops, a gun-toting teen appears, looking to make Matt pay for murdering her brother. Of course, Matt did kill her brother—he was another corrupted soul who’d been planning a bombing. But how can Matt convince Elena of the truth without any proof?

Trapped between Mr. Dark’s forces and a girl hell-bent on revenge, Matt faces an impossible choice: remove Elena—permanently—or let her kill him and doom the town.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Lisa has spent years toiling in the trenches of primetime television, as a writer/producers on shows like Star Trek Voyager and Missing…and has even written a Las Vegas strip tourist attraction (The Star Trek Experience, which was at the Hilton for years) . So I thought I'd invite her over here for a chat about her career and her creative process. 

How did you become a writer?

I’ve written stories ever since I knew how to write.  I wrote a play in college and graduated with an English major.  After college, I moved to L.A. to work in Hollywood.  At first, I wanted to write movies.  Then I tried writing a TV spec script and found I liked that better.  I took a UCLA Extension class in TV writing from Bill Rabkin, which I really enjoyed.  I had been pitching stories to the Star Trek series “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager,” and finally sold one to DS9.  That was my first produced episode.  It led to a staff job on “Voyager.” 

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

I love the feeling when I get a moment of action or line of dialogue just right.  It’s like thinking of exactly the right comeback to an argument (usually in the car on the way home).  For a few minutes, I feel like a genius.  Then it’s back to work.  I also like the problem-solving aspect of writing, figuring out the right order for the scenes and which clues to drop where.

What drew you to "The Dead Man?"

I was lucky enough to work with Lee and Bill on two TV series, “Martial Law” and “Missing.”  We became friends.  I heard about the “Dead Man” series they were working on and told them it sounded like fun.  So they asked if I’d like to write one of the books.  I jumped at the chance.  I was right – it has been fun.

You've written scores of produced screenplays, but this was your first, published book. Did you find the transition to prose tricky?

Yes, it was tricky.  TV writing is very sparse and functional.  A script isn’t a final product in itself, but a blueprint for an episode.  If something won’t be on screen, it doesn’t go in the script.  With this book, I had to push myself to include more description, emotion and inner thoughts of the characters.  There would be no set design or actors to add those elements later.  Lisa Klink Photo by Kat Shadian

You've spent many years writing and producing TV series, some of them with Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin. How was writing "Slaves to Evil" different than writing an episode of a TV series? In what ways was it the same?

I found it challenging to write prose after years of scripts.  The biggest advantage of a book over TV is the complete lack of budget and network restrictions.  I could have as many sets and characters as I wanted.  I could use bad words and nasty violence with no censor to stop me.  That was fun. 

This experience was like TV writing because the premise and main characters had already been established.  I had always found the idea of writing a novel intimidating because I’d have to create the whole universe from scratch.  This was the perfect transitional step.  Also, I was already comfortable working with Lee and Bill, so I knew I had good support. 

You've written TV shows, comics, books….you even scripted the "Borg Invasion 4-D" attraction that ran for years at the Hilton in Las Vegas. They are such different mediums. How do you do it? Do you have one guiding philosophy or approach to the writing that you do? What sort of writing do you like best? 

I honestly don’t think I have a preference.  I’m most comfortable with television, but I really enjoy the challenge of working in different media.  Whatever the format, good writing always comes down to story and character.  I have to get those right first.  Then it’s a matter of shaping the script to fit the final product.

Now that you've written a book, are you tempted to write another outside of "The Dead Man" universe?

I would love to write more books.  I read a lot of nonfiction, so I’d like to try that next.  I also have a couple of ideas brewing for original novels.  I’ll always keep writing, in as many different media as I can.  New experiences and new challenges keep it interesting.

The Mail I Get

I received this from an aspiring writer:

Sorry, but I just got taken at PublishAmerica because I was stupid and then I read your blog or whatever they call it. Would you please advise me how you got into publishing your books if not indie? Your publisher is Penguin and that's a high profile publisher but what about us little guys/girls who can't get their foot in the door. I wish you would mentor people because I have almost given up on being published, well I did have something in Playgirl about twelve years ago but that doesn't count because it was on a dare from a friend. My favorite Mr. Monk book is Mr. Monk in Outer Space if that helps grease the palm. Thank and have a great day. Carolyn

It's insanely easy now…so easy, that I have no sympathy for anyone who gets taken by obvious scams like PublishAmerica. 

You can get your book onto Amazon and the Kindle — worldwide! —and onto Barnes & Noble and the Nook for free. Yes, for free.  So besides your professionally copyedited manuscript, here is what you need:

1. A cover for your book. You can design one yourself, have a friend do it, or go to any number of talented cover designers out there.

2. Your book, in Word format, formatted into .prc and .epub formats (those are the files used by the Kindle and the Nook) and PDF (the file used for the trade paperbacks published for FREE by CreateSpace and Lulu). You should leave the formatting of your books to the experts or you'll regret it later.

3. Everything you need to know about uploading your books to Amazon you can find here. Everything you need to know about uploading your books to B&N you can find here 

4. Or you can skip steps 2&3 and go to, which will do all of that for you in exchange for a percentage of your sales. I don't recommend that, however, since their automated formatting often makes your book look funky and ultimately that costs you sales. You will, however, need to use Smashwords to get onto the Kobo, Sony, and iPad ebook platforms…and for that, you will need a specially formatted Word file, from a professional formatter, that will cut down on the number of formatting errors Smashwords would otherwise create.

5. To create a trade paperback edition of your book, I would use CreateSpace,a print-on-demand service owned by Amazon. It will cost you nothing…CreateSpace takes their cut from each sale you make. If you let your cover artist and your formatter know that you also want to do a paperback edition, they can give you the special PDF files of the cover and the interior that you will need to upload to CreateSpace to do that.

My Book Reading Weekend

Elmore-Leonard-RaylanI rewarded myself for finishing Mr. Monk Gets Even early by spending my holiday weekend doing nothing but reading. 

I read Elmore Leonard's Raylan in one sitting and it was a pure pleasure, his best book in years. The book is very episodic, basically a series of thinly connected vignettes that the writers of Justified, the kick-ass TV show based on an earlier Raylan Givens short story, have stripped for parts over the last two seasons, using just about every character, scene, action beat, and line of dialogue. Even so, that familiarity didn't detract from my enjoyment, certainly no more so than reading any novel after you've seen the movie version. The prose is lean and fast-moving, the plotting relaxed and loose, and the dialogue sharp and witty. All in all, the perfect way to spend a Saturday in the sun. I hope Leonard writes another Raylan Givens book real soon. 

Although I've spent a lot of years as TV writer/producer, I'm still a TV nut who buys just about any behind-the-scenes book written about an individual series or about a network or studio. So I was eager to read Top of The Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV, NBC entertainment president Warren Littlefield's memoir of his days building the network's iconic 1990s Thursday night schedule, which included  hits like Seinfeld, Frasier, and ER.  Unfortunately, the book was a disappointment.

The book isn't so much written as it is transcribed… a collection of raw excerpts, snippets really, from interviews conducted with the key actors, writers, producers, agents, schedulers, and lawyers behind NBC's 1990s hits… and, of course, quotes from Littlefield himself. He and co-author T.R. Pearson are going for the feel of an oral history, but it comes off as disjointed and scattershot.  TopOfTheRock_jpg_150x1000_upscale_q85

There are some interesting facts and anecdotes revealed along the way, but much of the book felt like an excuse for Littlefield to settle a couple of old scores. Way too much of the book involves Littlefield and his former subordinates trashing Kelsey Grammer (described as a difficult actor with bad judgment and a substance abuse problem) and NBC president Don Ohlmeyer (depicting him as a boorish drunk with no creative instincts who contributed nothing to the success of the network's schedule) and touting his creative brilliance. It may all be true, but it still felt like sour grapes and became very tiresome.  

All in all, it's worth reading if you're student of TV history, but it's not a very good book… not nearly as fascinating, revealing or well written as  Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN, Susanne Daniels' recent memoir of programming the WB, which later merged with its rival UPN to create the CW, a book I highly recommend.


Mandrill5I loved this movie. In many ways, MANDRILL is as much a loving Bond spoof as the French OSS 117 films with Jean Dujardin…though not nearly as broadly comical. Everything about the film is brilliantly on-target, from the staging to the John Barry/David Arnold-esque music. The movie is structurally an homage to DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (stealing the teaser almost beat-for-beat) and yet surprisingly original, too.  As a child, Mandrill sees his parents killed and grows up seeking revenge against their murderer. The clever twist here is that Mandrill intentionally models himself on "John Colt," a cheesy 70s Bond/Shaft/Flint character. So you get a spoof within an homage. Cheeky. If you are fan of Bond films, Blaxploitation, and Eurospy movies, this is a must-see. Now I have to find the soundtrack!

Mr. Monk and the Happy Ending

Mr. Monk is a MessMy seven year, three episode, fifteen book relationship with Adrian Monk has ended. I've just finished writing my last book in the series, Mr. Monk Gets Even, and I will be sending it to my editor next week after taking one last pass through it (don't despair — the book series may continue with another writer). 

My relationship with Monk has been long and wonderful. It began when  “Monk” creator Andy Breckman hired me and William Rabkin to write an episode of the TV series entitled “Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico,” which would end up being the first of three episodes we wrote for the show.

At the time, Bill and I were about to begin writing & producing the Lifetime TV series Missing and I was deep into writing the Diagnosis Murder novels, which were based on the TV series of the same name that we’d also written & executive-produced.

When Andy was approached by NAL about writing Monk novels, he declined the opportunity and recommended that I write them instead.  I took the assignment, which was an insane thing to do, since it would mean writing a new book by night every ninety days, alternating between Monk and Diagnosis Murder, while also running a TV series during the day.

That’s how much I loved Adrian Monk.

I kept up that brutal pace for two years before finally ending the Diagnosis Murder book series after eight novels.

Andy liked my first Monk novel, Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, so much that he hired Bill and I to adapt it into an episode of the TV show. The episode, entitled “Mr. Monk Can’t See A Thing,” may be the first time in American TV history that a tie-in novel of a TV show has been adapted into an episode of the series….and by the author of the book, no less (if it’s ever been done before, we haven’t found it. And if it has been done, it’s obviously a rare occurrence!)

If it wasn’t for Andy’s enthusiasm and support, I doubt I would have written so many “Monk” novels or had so much fun doing them. He gave me his trust and the creative freedom to make the book series entirely my own, and for that I will always be grateful.

Mr. Monk Gets Even comes out in January…but Mr. Monk is a Mess, the second to last of my Monk novels, comes out in two weeks.

(Below is a trailer I did for a Monk book excerpt that appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Giddy Up to Amazon

The Amazon Daily Post published my essay today on how westerns influenced the writing of KING CITY, my new novel. Here's an excerpt:

A western puts a man in a lawless, unforgiving, brutal frontier, where he must somehow survive by living off the land, his wits, and his own rigid code. It’s that last bit, I think, that is the core of it all: a personal code of conduct that’s constantly, relentlessly, put to the test.

A true western character ultimately prevails against adversity because of a stubborn, unwavering faith in his own convictions and the righteousness of his cause, a determination to see the world shaped the way he wants it to be, rather than let himself be shaped by it. He doesn’t try to explain or justify himself because it’s pointless. His actions speak for him.

And as iconic and old-fashioned as that all may be, it’s so refreshing in a world where everyone, particularly heroes in crime fiction, are so self-aware and self-obsessed, so eager to accept the moral, ethical, professional, legal ambiguities in a situation rather than take a principled stand on something, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong to everyone else.