Roger Corman, RIP

I’m sad to hear about the passing of Roger Corman. William Rabkin & I worked for him in the late 1980s/early 1990s on an unmade TV series version of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS for the USA Network (that’s a long story in itself). He was cheap, but he paid us on time, treated us well and was a wonderful, creative collaborator. But for me the best part of the experience were the anecdotes from his career that he shared with us along the way.

For instance, while giving us a tour of his Venice studio and pointing out sets that had been used dozens of times, he told us that he’d made so many movies that he had a recurring nightmare that he’d made one that he’d forgotten to release

“Did I release BODY CHEMISTRY 3 or was it SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE 3? I wake up in a cold sweat & have to double check.”

During story meetings with us, sometimes he’d take out an electric razor and just run it over his face while he pondered a story point.

He also didn’t suffer fools. At one point in our 7000th notes meeting with an idiot network executive, Roger got so frustrated that he told her that the time it had taken us to get the bible approved, stories approved, and then two episodes written, he’d made and released eight movies.

The final straw on the LITTLE SHOP project was when the idiot exec asked us to underline the jokes and to put asterisks next to the ones that were social commentary. Roger was furious. He said something like, “if you need the jokes pointed out to you, you shouldn’t be in the movie business,” got up and walked out…and we walked out with him. In the elevator, he told us he was done, he’d never develop a TV series with a network again. He couldn’t understand how we could stomach working with such stupid, indecisive people. But he was kind enough to say how much he enjoyed working with us and that he was proud of the scripts we’d written.

Some years later, he did do a TV series… but he made it himself and then sold the final product to a cable channel as an acquisition.

Executive Producers of Showtime’s “The Chi” Acquire Screen Rights to Lee Goldberg’s bestseller “Malibu Burning”

Malibu Burning

I can finally reveal the news! ID8 Multimedia, led by industry veterans Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone, have acquired the screen rights to my thriller  to “Malibu Burning.” Here’s the full story from the press release:

The high-concept, 2023 bestseller follows two Los Angeles County arson investigators who suspect that a massive wildfire raging through the Santa Monica mountains is part of an elaborate heist by a professional thief and his skilled crew. Dudley and Stone, producers on the TV series “The Chi” and “Horror Noir,” are set to executive produce the adaptation alongside Goldberg and talent manager Craig Dorfman.

“‘Malibu Burning’ embodies the pulse-pounding energy of classic cat-and-mouse thrillers like Heat, pitting a seasoned arson investigator and an ex-U.S. Marshal against a brilliant, charismatic thief trying to pull off an impossible score.” Stone said. “Derek and I are thrilled to bring this electrifying story to the screen.”

Dudley echoed Stone’s enthusiasm. “I am blessed to collaborate with Lee, Craig, and Shelby to bring ‘Malibu Burning’ to life. Lee is a prolific storyteller who creates novels filled with rich and intriguing characters. He has stuck gold again with this fast-paced, action-packed Robin hood heist in a raging inferno.”

Talent Manager Craig Dorfman brought the project to ID8. “I’ve been a fan of Lee’s since I read his 2018 bestseller ‘True Fiction‘ and my obsession continues to this day. I’m excited to work with this team on ‘Malibu Burning,’ which is full of fascinating characters, relentless action, and crackling dialogue.”

“I’m so lucky to be in business with such a creative, enthusiastic, collaborative, and successful team,” said Goldberg, who is repped for film & TV by Mitchel Stein of The Stein Agency and in publishing by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency. His novel “Ashes Never Lie,” a sequel to “Malibu Burning,” will be published in September. A third book is slated for Spring 2025.

With over 40 novels to his credit, among them the bestselling “True Fiction,” “Lost Hills,” “Calico” and a five-book collaboration with Janet Evanovich, Goldberg’s diverse portfolio also includes extensive television writing and producing credits, including “Diagnosis Murder,” “SeaQuest,” and “Monk,” and co-creating the Hallmark movie series “Mystery 101.”

Shelby Stone is a prolific, Emmy Award-winning producer with numerous projects in development, including “Hate to See You Go” starring Morgan Freeman and a new feature documentary from Oscar-winner Questlove (“Summer of Soul”) on Sly Stone. She is also an experienced executive, having run production companies for several high-profile stars, including Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah and Common.

Derek Dudley is an industry veteran with a successful entertainment career spanning over three decades, shaping and managing the careers of music heavyweights such as acclaimed producer and record label mogul Jermaine Dupri and Academy Award winning artist, actor, author and social activist Common.

Craig Dorfman, whose client roster includes Lorraine Toussaint, Adrienne C. Moore, Joshua Malina, Patricia Richardson and Jabari Banks, is known for his keen eye for emerging talent and his adept management of established artists.

The next step is for the producers to attach a screenwriter, director and star to the project, which I hear they are hard at work doing right now. I’ve been sitting on the news for a while now, so it’s exciting to finally be able to share it with you. I hope to have more exciting news to share with you about one of my other novels as soon as the “powers that be” give me the ok.

Cover Reveal!

COVER REVEAL! The paperback edition of my genre-bending thriller CALICO is coming in July in the UK and in Sept in the U.S. But you can pre-order it now from your favorite bookseller

“A superb twin-track thriller. Could be Lee Goldberg’s best ever” LEE CHILD, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A genre-bending, gripping read” HARLAN COBEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“I guarantee you’ve never read a crime novel like it. The X Files meets Deadwood. Totally gripping.”  IAN RANKIN, New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author

“A mind-bending thriller unlike anything I have read before” LINWOOD BARCLAY, New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author

“If you have time for only one mystery, one Western, and one SF this year, this will ding all three targets” Kirkus Reviews

“A riveting mystery. . . Goldberg expertly paces the narrative, ensuring continuous engagement until the thrilling conclusion” Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“A genre-busting, mystery-thriller that defies easy classification” CrimeTime FM

“A cleverly complex plot wreathed in Goldberg’s brilliant humour makes this a rocket-paced story” Historical Novels Review (Editors’ Choice)

“A remarkably unconventional crime novel that is warm, thrilling, and fun to read” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

“Goldberg’s plots are always first-rate, but this one is especially suspenseful and surprising”Booklist

“Goldberg has crafted is a page-turning novel that has surprises up to the final page. Calico is arguably one of his best” FirstCLUE

“Something altogether new, radical and exciting” Paperback Warrior

“A double-barreled blast, melding the tense, edge-of-your-seat contemporary police procedural with a gritty 1880s Wild West tale” The Roundup, the Magazine of the Western Writers of America

“Stunningly original – a magical mixture of a murder mystery and an old-fashioned Western” MATT WITTEN, author of Killer Story

“Lee Goldberg delivers with the unapologetically savvy Beth McDade . . .Calico couples history with good old fashioned detective work”
YASMIN ANGOE, award-winning author of the Nena Knight series

“A tour de force of a novel” JAMES ROBERT DANIELS, author of The Comanche Kid and Jane Fury, both Spur Award finalist for Best Western Novel

“One of the most compelling novels I’ve read in a long time”  JAMES REASONER, Spur-Award finalist and author of more than 350 Westerns

“A two-fisted western mystery with a compelling heroine in Beth McDade. If you like the Yellowstone series and its spinoffs, you’ll love Calico!” PETER BRANDVOLD, multiple Spur Award finalist and Western Fictioneers Lifetime Achievement Award honoree

“If you’re looking for an exciting mystery within a mystery, flawed characters who work toward redemption, and a few unexpected twists, you should read CalicoKings River Life Magazine

 

CALICO is out… and I’m EVERYWHERE!

Calico by Lee Goldberg

My new thriller CALICO, a genre mash-up that (to my relief) is getting fantastic reviews, is out today. But that’s not all. I’m all ove the Internet, writing essays about the book and doing interviews to explain myself…and my decision to write this seemingly sharp departure from my usual work.

Today, in CrimeReads, I out myself as a closeted wesstern writer.

I decided to do it by writing a gritty western set in 1883 in the Mojave desert mining town of Calico, which is now a cheesy roadside attraction off the I-15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It’s actually a notion I’ve had in the back of my mind for years…maybe even decades.

But there have been a thousand westerns. What could I bring to the genre that nobody else had? How could I make it my own? 

The answer was obvious: I’d use the novel to reconcile my creative, split personality. And I’d do that by combining a seemingly traditional western with a present-day crime novel… a seemingly straight-forward police procedural set in the Mojave in 2019. 

Notice the repetition of the word seemingly in the previous paragraph. 

That’s because, to truly make it mine, I’d have to acknowledge the tropes of both genres…and then ruthlessly subvert them.  That’s my brand, or so I am told, exemplified by my “Ian Ludlow” trilogy of spy novels (True Fiction, Killer Thriller, and Fake Truth)

What would connect the two storylines? 

The answer was easy. 

They would share the same corpse. 

 

And I visited my friends at Rogue Women Writers to talk about how I wrote the book:

When you read a contemporary police procedural or a period western, you go into them with certain expectations about the stories, the characters, and the themes you’re going to find. Those expectations are what defines those very different genres. While some of those tropes are necessary, many of them are tired, ridiculous cliches. I set out with my thriller Calico to honor the tropes of those two genres while twisting them in new ways and bringing them together in a single, propulsive thriller.

And over at The Dossier, I was grilled about how I work.

DOSSIER: When and where do you write, and what kind of environment do you prefer? (Music/silence/ocean-front veranda where sea nymphs emerge from the water to serve you chilled Bollinger and Oreos?)

GOLDBERG: Sadly, no sea nymphs. Just my dog laying on my office couch, loudly licking his ass or barking in a dream.

I do my best writing between 8 p.m and 2 a.m. in my home office. I like to listen to instrumental TV and movie soundtracks while I work (and to drown out the canine farting). If I am writing action, I might listen to Goldfinger (or other Bond scores), The Bourne Identity, or Mission Impossible (mostly Lalo Schifrin’s original TV soundtracks, and a couple of the features). If I am writing “procedural” scenes, I might listen to Jon Burlingame’s excellent collection of Quinn Martin TV series soundtracks (Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, etc), or Jerry Goldsmith’s Police Story, or Morton Steven’s Hawaii Five-O, for example. I have a collection of hundreds of soundtracks to choose from.

I wish I could munch on Oreos and potato chips while I write, but these days it’s Keto Bars and roasted almonds… washed down with Diet Coke.

I hope you enjoy all of that…but, most of all, I hope you will grab a copy of CALICO. It’s a book I’ve wanted to write for decades and I’m so excited to finally have it out there in the world.

I’m Everywhere!

Like SPECTRE agents, I’m everywhere… at least during the month following the release of a new book. Over the last two weeks, I’ve done a ton of interviews for podcasts, radio shows, video programs, and newspapers, discussing MALIBU BURNING, my sordid career, and the craft of writing. If you missed any of them, you can watch, listen, or read some of them below…

I did a lively interview with David Temple of The Thriller Zone, which you can see here.

Lee and Tod

My brother Tod and I were interviewed together by Erik Pedersen…and it’s by far the best one that’s ever been done with the two of us. You can read it in the Orange County Register. You can also find it in the Los Angeles Daily News, The Boston Herald, Long Beach Press Enterprise, The Pasadena Star Newsand many other newspaper sites nationwid

You can watch me and Tod being interviewed by Sandra Tsing Loh on Bookish.  It is hosted on the Southern California News Group’s YouTube channel.

I was cross-examined at length by Toni Marcolini on her show It May Interest You To Know. You can see it here.

I spoke about collaboration and other aspects of writing with Daniel Paisner on the As Told To podcast. You can listen to it here or here.

I got In Between the Pages with James Lott Jr., which you can see here.

I talked about how I create my stories with Steven James at The Story Blender. You can listen to it here.

R.G. Belsky held my feet to the fire for an interview you can read in The Big Thrill.

I had a lot of fun talking with author Sara DiVello for her Mystery Mavens show, which you can watch here.

You can also watch me being interrogated by Cyrus Webb on his Amazon Live show, here.

Finally, I was grilled by Al Warren and author Joe Goldberg (no relation) on the House of Mystery Radio Show, which you can listen to here or here.

 

Lee Goldberg and Craig Johnson

Speaking of interviews, a few years ago, I interviewed author Craig Johnson, and the cast & producers of LONGMIRE, the TV series based on his books, for a live, ticketed LiveTalksLA event. That event was filmed, and it’s finally shown up on YouTube. You can see it here.

I hope you enjoy the interviews… and that it inspires you to read MALIBU BURNING!

Raquel Welch

I was sad to hear about Raquel Welch’s passing today. I had one encounter with her, back in the early 1980s, when I was a reporter for the UCLA Daily Bruin. She came to campus to speak, and I interviewed her beforehand, then walked with her and her husband to the event. Afterwards, I spoke with her again and walked with them back to their car. She was very friendly and it was a pleasant interview.

Much to my surprise, I got a call from her a day or so later… apparently, the National Enquirer, or some other scandal rag, was reporting that a fan came up to her at UCLA on her way back to her car and that her husband (I think his name was Andre, or something similar) physically assaulted him.

She asked if I’d be willing to make a statement that it wasn’t true. I said, of course, that I would be glad to. I don’t recall who I talked with after that… whether it was her lawyer, or somebody else, and if the story was either quashed or corrected instead after it ran… but I do remember that she sent me a nice note afterwards thanking me for my help.

It was an experience that left me feeling fond of Welch…and gave me an early lesson in the misery that fame can bring.

Malibu Burning is Now Available for Pre-Order

Malibu Burning

My new thriller Malibu Burning, is now available for pre-order and will be out in September. It’s a standalone novel, but it’s set in the same “universe” as my Eve Ronin series. In fact, it takes place at the same time as Lost Hills. Here’s the story:

Hell comes to Southern California every October. It rides in on searing Santa Ana winds that blast at near hurricane force, igniting voracious wildfires. Master thief Danny Cole longs for the flames. A tsunami of fire is exactly what he needs to pull off a daring crime and avenge a fallen friend.

As the most devastating firestorms in Los Angeles’ history scorch the hills of Malibu, relentless arson investigator Walter Sharpe and his wild card of a new partner, Andrew Walker, a former US marshal, suspect that someone set the massive blazes intentionally, a terrifying means to an unknown end.

While the flames rage out of control, Danny pursues his brilliant scheme, unaware that Sharpe and Walker are closing in. But when they all collide in a canyon of fire, everything changes, pitting them against an unexpected enemy within an inescapable inferno.

I’m fortunate that the book has earned some early praise from some fantastic authors.

Malibu Burning is a blistering thrill ride full of Southern California thieves, cops, and firefighters, all facing high stakes and imminent danger. Superbly researched and told, fast-paced, and downright fun, this is Lee Goldberg at his best!” —Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Gray Man series

“By turns tense and rambunctious, wildly entertaining, and breakneck-paced, Lee Goldberg’s splendid Malibu Burning is pure storytelling pleasure from beginning to end.” —Megan Abbott, Edgar Award–, Anthony Award–, Thriller Award–, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author of The Turnout

Malibu Burning is classic Lee Goldberg at the top of his game: a fast-paced, funny, and deeply satisfying page-turner.” —Jess Lourey, Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Quarry Girls

“An inventive, twisty, and funny caper from one of crime writing’s true pros. Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake would’ve loved this wild heist.” —Ace AtkinsNew York Times bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Bye Bye Baby and The Heathens

“This is a book I couldn’t put down. Lee Goldberg is a master when it comes to building tension and writing heart-pounding action scenes. Malibu Burning is a roundhouse kick of a thriller, a true nail-biting race against time.” —Simon Gervais, former RCMP counterterrorism officer and author of The Last Protector and Robert Ludlum’s The Blackbriar Genesis

If Malibu Burning does well, it could be the start of a new series. This novel will be followed in November by Calico, another standalone thriller, and then the fifth Eve Ronin novel in January 2024.
 

GATED PREY is here!

Gated Prey by Lee Goldberg

I’m so excited! It’s pub-day for my new novel Gated Prey, the third book in the “Eve Ronin” series, which is  now available in ebook, paperback and hardcover editions.  Here’s the story:

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective Eve Ronin and her soon-to-retire partner, Duncan Pavone, are running a 24-7 sting in a guard-gated enclave of palatial homes in Calabasas. Their luxury McMansion is a honey trap, set to lure in the violent home invaders terrorizing the community. The trap works, leaving three intruders dead, a body count that nearly includes Eve and Duncan.

Eve’s bosses are eager to declare the case closed, but there are too many unanswered questions for her to let go. Was the trap actually for her, bloody payback for Eve’s very public takedown of a clique of corrupt deputies? Or is there an even deadlier secret lurking behind those opulent gates? Eve’s refusal to back down and her relentless quest for the truth make her both the hunter…and the prey

The reviews so far have been terrific. Here’s just a sampling:

“Goldberg is every bit the equal of Michael Connelly… Superb reading entertainment.” Providence Journal

“Against all odds, Goldberg not only ties up most of the loose ends, leaving just a few deliberately dangling, but links some of Eve’s investigations in ways as disturbing as they are surprising. The seamy side of California dreaming.” Kirkus Reviews

“Hollywood decadence and duplicity are at the heart of bestseller Goldberg’s entertaining third outing for Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Eve Ronin. Lively descriptive prose enhances the tight plot of this episodic crime novel. Columbo fans will have fun.” Publishers Weekly

“Affectionate and witty interplay.” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

“Strong writing with just enough humor…Goldberg keeps the energy high throughout. One can hope that Goldberg will keep things moving for the foreseeable future, as there’s something special about what he’s started. This is a great series.”Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“The third Eve Ronin is another suspenseful, fast-paced yarn with engaging characters” Washington Post

“Third in Lee Goldberg’s Eve Ronin series, ‘Gated Prey’ begins, moves and ends at the speed of a bullet. Goldberg has a knack for adding subtle character nuances into his series, and here we find Eve and partner Duncan Pavone more complex than ever.” The Mountain Times 

If you’d like a signed copy, and can’t make it to one of my events next week, no problem! These bookstores will be glad to send you signed books:  Poisoned Pen, Mystery Ink, Bank of Books, Mysterious Galaxy, and Book Carnival.

And if you’d like to enjoy the “book event” experience, you can catch me in these recent video interviews with The Crew Reviews, Rogue Writers (with Lee Child, Andrew Grant & Lisa Unger), and at the City of Agoura Hills One City, One Book event.

Bathroom Etiquette

Etiquette question: I was standing at one of two urinals in a restaurant men’s room. A woman brought in a boy to use the urinal next to me. It made me very uncomfortable. Was I wrong? Or was she wrong to come in with him? Or should she have taken the child into a stall? Or should she have taken him into the woman’s room (FYI: There was no line for women’s room).

One City, One Book

I got some great news this week. The City of Agoura Hills has selected me and my novel LOST HILLS as their 2021 ONE CITY, ONE BOOK / AUTHOR. That means the local libaries, schools, etc. will be encouraging everyone to read the book and to come to City Hall on Sept 30th to see me in conversation, buy a copy of my book if they haven’t already…and get their copies signed. Past honorees include Michael Connelly and Dick Van Dyke. 

 

Their press release goes into more details:

Each year, the city of Agoura Hills participates in the One City One Book national literacy program
designed to stimulate reading through group book discussions and other related activities. The
community read is sponsored by the City of Agoura Hills, Friends of the Library, the Los Angeles
County Library—Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council, and the Las Virgenes Unified School District.

“Lost Hills’ is a gripping story with twists and turns that take place on the very streets of our local
community. I especially love the tenacity of the detective and could picture myself riding past so
many familiar places and, typical when I read a book I love, I didn’t want the story to end,” said
Agoura Hills Mayor Denis Weber, who added he is a veracious reader and Goldberg is one of his
favorite authors.

The city is hosting “An Evening with the Author – Lee Goldberg” on Thursday, September 30,
2021, at the Agoura Hills Event and Recreation Center, 29900 Ladyface Court, Agoura Hills, CA
91301. The author will also be available for book signings. Registration will begin starting August
1, 2021 at www.agourahillsrec.org. Admission is free, but registration is required; space is limited.
For updated information on One City One Book 2021 events, call 818-597-7361 or visit the
website. For more information about the One City, One Book literary program, contact Amy Brink, Director of Community Services at (818) 597-7361 or email ajbrink@agourahillscity.org.