Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Forgotten Books Friday

When Patti Abbott asked me to participate in her Forgotten Books Friday, I jumped on it. The general idea is to talk about a book that's a 'near classic' that may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Pretty cool, huh? I think so, too. goes!

Ever heard of Sally's in the Alley by Norbert Davis? Unless you're a massive fan of deep pulp/hard-boiled crime fiction, probably not. And that's too bad, 'cause ol' Norbert is one of the few writers who managed to pull off humor and hard-boiled. When I say humor, I'm not talking black humor (which I also dig). Nope, I'm talking breezy, laugh-out-loud, almost screwball humor.

The story centers around Doan, a P.I. ne'er-do-well, and Carstairs, a Great Dane the size of a Shetland pony. Carstairs is both the brains and the brawn of the duo. I suspect that Doan exists mainly to keep our canine hero in steaks and tea biscuits. Set in WWII, the adventure starts off in Hollywood and follows the detecting duo as they travel to the tiny town of Heliotrope in the Mojave Desert. Why, you ask? (Okay, you didn't, but pretend you did anyway). Because the gov'ment wants Doan to pretend to be a Japanese spy in search of a mineral mine. Huh? Yep, that's right. See, there's a guy who knows where the mine is, but he flippin' hates the government & so fake spyness ensues. The plot gets more twisty and complicated from there, & the bodies pile up at an alarming rate, but it is absolutely always fun. So, y'know, check it out! The fab folks over at Rue Morgue Press were awesome enough to reissue the book a few years back, so the current paperback version is both available and affordable.

To keep the Forgotten Books Friday ball rollin', I'm officially tagging Daniel Hatadi for next week's continuing adventures. And don't let him pull his 'I'm a rebel, I ain't gonna tag nobody' routine. This book thang is too good to let die!

Been Gone/Coming Back

Yeah, I've been gone a long time. It's been a rough couple of months and I'm just starting to want to deal with, y'know, the larger world. I won't go into all the varied crap that's happened - everybody's got their own version of the poop parade that they've had to march in. I will say that the whole shebang was capped off with finally finishing the first draft of SPUN, followed two days later by holding ZuZu (aka The Wolfie Princess) as the vet put her to sleep and the hubster and I cried buckets o' salty sadness. We had Zuzu for over 10 years. We thought she'd be with us a lot longer. I miss her.

So the bubbly I bought for finishing the draft still sits in the 'fridge. I haven't been exactly in the celebrating mood. But hey, maybe I'll feel like popping the cork once the edits are done and I've been able to bring myself to get another dog ( Zelda - aka The Little Black Bitch - is grieving & has never been w/o a partner in crime). I don't think I've ever felt so ambivalent about completing a project in my life.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Charles Ardai Interview

Suspect: Charles Ardai

Known aliases: Richard Aleas, Charles Gordon Lemuel Cork, and a bunch of other ones I don't know him - he's shifty!

Occupation: Author, Editor for Hard Case Crime

Last known location: New York City, NY

In this week's show, Charles talks about his two novels (Little Girl Lost and Songs of Innocence, why Las Vegas can be a cool place to write, and why "Schizophrenia Can Be Fun" may be the title of his autobiography. He also shares his pick(s) for who he'd like to write the score for Little Girl Lost - The Musical, and why he doesn't get sick of reading 'n writing.

Up next: Big Daddy of the modern Action novel, David Morrell.