Incident Report No. 12

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A week in review of small press crime fiction for Oct. 2 – Oct. 8, 2017.

Submissions
Do you have a book finished and are looking for a publisher? Good news, both All Due Respect Books and Bloodhound Books are open for submissions right now.

Near to the Knuckle is accepting flash and short stories. Make sure you go back and look at past Incident Reports for other magazines and publishers that are open for submissions.

Releases
I missed a No Exit Press release from a couple of weeks ago, Jon Michelet’s The Frozen Woman. Last week, I published the cover of Anthony Neil Smith’s Worm as part of Down & Out Books’ reissues of Smith’s work, but I forgot to post a link to the works, so here that is.

The Renee Jones’ Seven Suspects from Oceanview Publishing looks interesting and it’s going for .99¢ at Amazon too.

Bobbi Logan is a successful businesswoman and a celebrated hairdresser. She is a witty, articulate woman who has survived rape, gender transition, a murder investigation, and countless acts of bullying and bigotry to get where she is—and she has made enemies along the way. Now one of them is stalking her. With each passing day, the threats become more brazen, more violent, and more personal. No one knows who her stalker is or why he’s after her, but he’s getting closer every day.

Bloodhound Books has two releases this week with Sister, Psychopat by Maggie James and And So It Began by Owen Mullen. James’ book is self-evident in what it’s about while Mullen kicks off a new series about a private investigator in New Orleans. Both retail for .99¢. Also Sarah Hardy at Bytheletter Bookreviews writes that And So It Began “is a strong, solid start to a new crime series.”

J.J. Hensley’s Bolt Action Remedy is out on Down & Out Books. It’s the story of a former cop hired to investigate a year-old homicide.

K.L. Slater returns with the psychologcal thriller The Mistake published by Bookoutre.

Upcoming Releases

Short Stories
Not crime, but what the hell. David Cook’s flash fiction Jack, In the Box is a gem. I need to read more of Cook’s work.

Tom Barlow’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Dead Fish in Tough is a wonderful long story about Dr. Seuss, grad school, and greed. Check out Morgan Boyd’s Eddie Spaghetti at Close 2 the Bone and another Boyd’s story at Flash Fiction Offensive, Graveyard Grunge, which is part of their Gutteral Screams series.

small press crime fictionBook Reviews
I reviewed two non-crime fiction books this past week though both do have a strong connection with the genre. The first was Robert Leland Taylor’s Through the Ant Farm published by ABC Group Documentation which is an imprint of Down & Out Books. The other was Christopher Irvin’s Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All (Cutlass Press). Irvin has two crime novellas and a collection of crime shorts under his belt.

Colman Keane raves about Dietrich Kalteis’ Zero Avenue (ECW Press) writing:

I don’t think there was a dull sentence or paragraph in the book, pedal to metal, a flat-out adrenaline fuelled read. I could hear the pounding music in my head as I raced through it. I loved the characters, I loved the setting, Vancouver and the late 70s.

The Quiet Knitter reviews Antti Tuomainen’s The Man Who Died (Orenda Books) saying that “ it is a book that stands out as being brilliantly different from the norm …”. Have Books, Will Read highly recommends it as well.

Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Snare (Orenda Books) is beginning to look like a book I cannot ignore. BiblioManiac writes that “[t]he writing is succinct, focussed, clean. I’m at a loss as to how to describe the book effectively because I was gripped by the tension and drama but also found the considered, understated, straight talking prose very powerful.” As a matter of fact, it’s going for .99¢ at Kobo, so I picked it up.

Richard Vialet reviews Richard Stark’s The Seventh saying “Stark’s Parker novels are pretty dependable and enjoyable and The Seventh is the best one so far.”

Andrew Nette reviews Nick Triplow’s Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir. Neete writes that the book:

is a fascinating and perceptive examination of alcoholism, lowbrow culture in the post war era, the changing nature of publishing, and how all these factors intersected with the maelstrom of one talented but very flawed crime writer’s life. It is an essential read not only for fans of British crime fiction but scholars of noir culture more generally.

Articles
Sisters in Crime, a 3,600 member group that promotes “Promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers,” is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Lori Rader-Day interviews author Sara Paretsky, the founding president of Sisters in Crime, about the early years of the organization. This is a must read with all the advancement women writers have gained, there is a sad familiarity today with the problems faced years ago by women and other marginalized writers.

When we started Sisters in Crime it was still a time where women felt doors opening and a great sense of possibility, so the only difficulties I remember are the ones of fumbling our way towards an accomplishable mission and trying to start a national organization with limited resources. Unexpected help came from people like Dorothy Salisbury Davis and Mary Higgins Clark, who both thought we had an important mission. By lending their names to our membership we were able to reach a larger audience more quickly than we would have otherwise.

Unexpected obstacles came from other crime writers, women as well as men who accused us of advocating censorship. For some reason wanting more seats at the table for women translated in their minds as taking seats away from men, whereas we thought it as adding more leaves to the table. My own agent, Dominick Abel, was enormously supportive and ran a certain amount of interference for me. An undersung hero of Sisters was Don Sandstrom, of blessed memory, who was my personal champion in the fanzines of that era against accusations of censorship.

Every week I make fun of the juggernaut that is James Patterson, I mean he releases at least one book a week. Rob Hart, author of The Woman in Prague, gives us some insight on what it is like to work with Patterson in Six Lessons I Learned Co-Writing A Novella with James Patterson.

Are Amazon Books (the bookshops) really bookshops? Jen Sheman writes that no, they are not.

They are showrooms for books, much like a car dealership. Or they are a museum for books, but one where you are able to buy the product on display. Part of me is glad that in my local shopping centre there is still somewhere to touch and buy a physical book, but I wouldn’t go as far as to put it in the same category as the local indie or even the neighbourhood Barnes and Noble.

The folks at LitReactor remember Kirk Clawes. A celebration of Kirk’s live will be held this Saturday, October 14th. Details here.

Are you looking for an interview with Chris Irvin, author of Ragged or the Loveliest Lie of All? Then you are in luck as we’ve got two that I know of. First there is Scott Alderberg’s interview with Irvin on Do Some Damage. Then there’s S.W. Lauden’s interview with him. And then, you know, you should really read the book.

J.J. Hensley has a bone or two pick with authors who do shoddy research.

I think when a topic is completely unfamiliar, writers often dive into research and take the time to learn the details. However, we see law enforcement portrayed in fiction on a daily basis and over time we accept some of those portrayals as fact. We sometimes don’t think we do, but it’s true. For instance, ask yourself this question: Do police officers have to read a suspect his or her Miranda rights after an arrest? Your answer is probably, “Of course!” But, that’s not the case. Miranda rights only have to be read if the person is in a custodial situation AND the police are going to ask questions. If this wasn’t the case, then the police could never arrest a drunk driver who is passed out behind the wheel, because the drunk driver couldn’t possibly understand the Miranda warning.

It’s the little things like this that are easy to address with a little bit of research. If you don’t make certain assumptions based on what you’ve seen or read in works of fiction and take the time to learn the intricacies of law enforcement, then you can write a more accurate crime novel. However, you may soon find yourself sitting alone when NCIS comes on TV.

MysteryPeople’s Scott Montgomery interviews Adam Sternbergh, author of The Blinds. This book has been on my TBR for a few months, but with Montgomery saything that it’s as if “Sheriff Walt Longmire’s jurisdiction was Twin Peaks,” The Blinds is moving quickly up.

Trying to broaden your reading palate from white men and women, give Jamie Canaves’ Inclusive Myster/Thrillers from September and October, there’s Attica Locke, Nelson George, Joe Ide, Winnie Li, among others.

Marietta Miles, author of the forthcoming May, writes about how she handles negative reviews, Monday: Bad Reviews. Hint, she’s the duck and the bad reviews are water.

Colman Keane has an extensive interview with Dietrich Kalteis, author of Zero Avenue. Dana King at his blog One Bite at a Time chats with Kalteis about Vancouver, punk rock and his book. How about Kalteis on snacks, because why not? We’re not done yet. At Paul D. Brazill’s blog, Dietrich Kalteis writes about creating his latest book, Zero Avenue.

David Cranmer points us to The 100 Best Screenwriters of All Time, now commence arguing.

Steph Broadribb, author of Deep Down Dead, lists her five tough guys and gals.

Otto Penzler lists some new and old crime fiction books for you to enjoy in LitHub. Speaking of recommendations, Criminal Element lists the Five True Crime Books from 2017 You Should Be Reading.

On Writing
Author Bradford Morrow writes on Why Digital Note-Taking Will Never Replace the Physical Journal for him. He also shares some wonderful photographs of his notebook pages in his LitHub post.

If memory is a function of the strength of one’s original perception of something, inscribing it by whatever means into a notebook ups the vitality of that perception exponentially. Later, when I’m back home, the little pressed flowers and puppet theater programs Scotch-taped into my notebook alongside pages and pages of annotations, imagery written and sketched, are necessary memory prompts as vivid and tactile as when I was out in the field. Shifting to my laptop, I have my notebooks to remind, inspire, sustain, and encourage me. They’re unabashedly like old friends, ones whose recollections and insights I can trust. And then, imagination kicks in.

David Cranmer has this brief post about the difficulties of crafting sentences. I’m stealing the entirety of it here. If you don’t have The Education of a Pulp Writer in your RSS feed, please add it now.

Last week, on Twitter, I lamented that writing feels like I’m carving Mount Rushmore with toothpicks. I was hoping it was just a random thought for the day, but, in fact, crafting new sentences has been a chore for about a month. I don’t have the mean reds over lack of flow because what I’m laying down, I’m satisfied with it. Case in point, yesterday I conjured five sentences for an introduction to the Tom Paine book I’m finishing. Not brilliant but serviceable. Today, I will polish them off and see if I can turn the dial a bit farther. Like Bill Murray in What About Bob I’m taking baby steps. It’s working.

The Radical Copywriter examines the word “diverse” in Should I Use the Adjective “Diverse”?.

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