Incident Report

Incident Report No. 38

38_375Almost 100 article links and just a few new books added to the new and upcoming releases. The Incident Report covers the goings on in the world of small press crime fiction for the week of April 15th through April 21st with links to articles and new and upcoming book releases.

Remember to put in your nominations for the Anthony Awards. You can easily nominate Unlawful Acts in the Best Online Content Category. Here’s a link for voting. Please and thank you.


» A Review by Dan Stumpf: ED LACY – Sin in Their Blood.

But most impressive (to me, anyway) is that Lacy keeps all this subtext in the background. This book moves fast and it moves well, with all the shady hoods, loose ladies, fights, and shoot-outs one looks for between the gaudy covers of a paperback. Enjoy the flash, appreciate the substance.
Book clinic: do editors often have to cut authors down to size? | Books | The Guardian
Overwriting is a common problem among beginners, but it happens to the best of them – ask a professional editor
The Master Key: Masako Togawa | His Futile Preoccupations …..
I liked The Master Key, but unfortunately I guessed the central twist early on, so that took the fizz out of the novel’s Big Reveal.
‘How To Suppress Women’s Writing:’ Three Decades Old And Still Sadly Relevant : NPR
Russ’ writing is sharp and threaded with dry humor. But it’s still heavy that this 35-year-old argument feels, often, as if it has moved untouched through time into a stagnant, messy present
“The reviewer didn’t read my book!” • Career Authors
Readers want a good book. They don’t care if it’s your first try or your 21st. Reviewers are tasked with telling it like it is. If it has flaws, it’s their job to note it.
My kind of book.4.5 from 5
Do Some Damage: Saying Hello to Travis McGee with The Deep Blue Good-by
I really enjoyed this novel. It’s hard-boiled with serious tinges of noir. There is violence in the fight scenes and MacDonald writes them with clear-eyed prose that does nothing to glorify anything.
Crime Watch: Review: THE BONE KEEPER
This is a clever, dark and twisted read that keeps you gripped from start to finish. If I was to use Hollywood tagline parlance, think Mark Billingham meets The Blair Witch Project.
How to Write a Short Detective Story (with Pictures) – wikiHow
h/t My Little Corner blog
Murder Isn’t Easy by Richard Hull – In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel
It’s not a traditional murder mystery but… you know, this is a spoiler-free blog, so I can’t go into any of the specific reasons why I loved this one. It’s clever, unpredictable and entertaining.
What Is The Bad Guy Doing? – Lee Goldberg
Creating a strong antagonist in a crime novel can be the key to the success or failure of your story. I’m a firm believer that “the bad guy” has to be as smart or, preferrably, smarter than my hero…and someone whose personality and actions will highlight all the weaknesses and conflicts that make my hero who he is.
Barnes & Noble to Add a Kids Graphic Novel Section | The Digital Reader
As much as I disklike B&N these days, this is cool. -DN
10 Book Designers Discuss the Book Covers They Rejected, And Why
These designers shared their rejected work with Electric Literature and elucidated on how the final cover best encapsulated the essence of the book.
The best recent crime novels – review roundup | Books | The Guardian
One indie and four Big Five.
How I Lost My Love of Reading and Found Myself Again
I’m wondering if Goodreads goals are a bad thing. -DN
The Meanest Things Vladimir Nabokov Said About Other Writers | Literary Hub
Many accepted authors simply do not exist for me. – Vladimir NabokovI love these types of articles by Emily Temple; they’re lots of fun. -DN
Let’s silence the creative writing course snobs | Books | The Guardian
So let’s stop pretending that devoting a year or two to studying writing in the company of others is anything other than a valid step towards a literary career.So many thoughts. So many thoughts. -DN
Bookgasm » Blog Archive » The Last Stand
THE LAST STAND may result in a radical re-evaluation of Spillane evolution as an author, especially for those who felt he had nothing more to offer than the primitive, hard-hitting stories of Mike Hammer.
Recommended Read: Monday’s Meal by Les Edgerton – Paul D. Brazill
Monday’s Meal by Les Edgerton was first published in 1997 and contains twenty-one tales of dirt realism. Sharp slices of American life.
Crossroads Pt. II | Joe Clifford
And I said, jokingly, I’m a writing processor. Except when I said it, I realized, actually, yeah, that is exactly what I am. Writing is how I make sense of my world. That I choose to do it on here, on this blog, this very public forum, well that’s my deal.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent … Nigel Bird – Messy Business – Books, Writing, Stuff
I held it between finger and thumb and watched Nigel head to his appointment smelling of dog sick. Never mind, I’d got what I wanted.
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: TRILLIUM by Jeff Lemire
Jeff Lemire continues to impress me with his complete control over the comic book medium and his refusal to be constrained by its conventions, limitations, and what people have come to expect.
Online Issue 2
The new issue of Toe Six Press is out.
hardboiled wonderland: A Rumination upon The Day of the Locust, Its Antecedents, and Its Successors
The Day of the Locust is certainly hard-boiled. With its cast of misfits, there is not really anyone you can point to and call moral in any conventional sense.
Tom McAllister and Elise Juska on Writing Fiction About the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting
Upcoming Mystery Releases Worthy of Confetti Cannon!
Sigh. -DN
Todd Morr: Writing is much easier on the marriage than playing in a rock band – Write with Phil
Other than hitting a word count (which matters more when I’m working on a deadline) it’s just the feeling I’ve done something I would want to read if someone else wrote it.  Or if I’ve come close to reaching my ideal Elmore Leonard and Richard Stark meets John Carpenter and John Woo sweet spot (which I’ve never done, but I keep trying).
Pay it Forward: Josh Stallings’s ALL THE WILD CHILDREN | The Thrill Begins
I’m writing this post years after reading the book. I dare not read it again because I want to carry its impression with me exactly as I felt it on first read.
Finding Your Voice / D.P. Lyle –
No, the one thing agents/editors look for more than anything else is the voice. When they say they are searching for something fresh or something that speaks to them, they mean the narrative voice.
SONS OF SPADE: August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones
Guys and gals, this is the second good review for Stephen Mack Jones’ “August Snow” in a week. I loved this book too. Buy it and read it! – DN
Q & A with Richard Godwin
Like anything else it has its pros and cons. On the one hand it has opened the world of books up to a much wider audience and allowed for an accessibility that is breathtaking and great, in that you can download a book anywhere. On the other hand there is a lot of crap out there. It has also exposed the greed and dishonesty of many publishers.
Les Edgerton on Writing
I view [Monday’s Meal] as my very best work. It was my second published work of fiction and I was definitely an unknown at the time and it gave me great pride when the NY Times compared me favorably to Raymond Carver. Actually, I didn’t know who Carver was at the time but learned quickly after the Times review came out.
The Man Who Died – Antti Tuomainen – Compulsive Readers
This book is dark, in fact it’s so dark I would suggest a reading light is required – the humour is dry, dark and very quirky, the story line is original, the characters are brilliant, bizarre and some of them are bonkers.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent … Martin Stanley – Messy Business – Books, Writing, Stuff
I enter the Flying Horse and there, sat a two-seater table, is Martin Stanley. He’s in a t-shirt and jeans and taps a barmat on the table. He has two pints, one for him … “That one’s for you.”
The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers, 4-18-18
Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases
A Complete Shock & Honor – Fran Wilde
Sandra Seamans at My Little Corner points us to this wonderful post.
What Is Suspense by Crime Writer Sue Coletta – Mystery Thriller Week
Rather than asking yourself, “What should happen next?” Try: “What can I promise that’ll go wrong? Problems that will bring my characters to their knees.”
The Best Book Is the One You Can’t Remember – Electric Literature
Mostly, though, I fear its reality: in my mind, that book can be anything I like. If it were real, it would have to be what it is, and nothing more.
Submit Your Flash Fiction and Experimental Narratives
The Recommended Reading Commuter, our new home for poetry, flash, graphic, and experimental narratives, is accepting submissions from April 23 to 30
A Meeting of the Bro Council on the Topic of Novellas
Sigh. -DN
How Do You Get Over a Book Hangover?
Getting over a book hangover really requires you to allow that awkward time to exist.
Recommended Read: The Paris Ripper by Seth Lynch – Paul D. Brazill
” … a vivid and gripping slice of historical crime fiction.”
Recommended Read: When The Music’s Over by Aidan Thorn – Paul D. Brazill
“… a powerful slice of Brit Grit crime fiction …”
Narrative Is Back: On Rebekah Frumkin’s ‘The Comedown’ – The Millions
The Comedown is not, however, a work of gritty realism aiming to portray the lived realities of a diverse set of characters. It is a fundamentally comic novel (and a very funny one at that). Frumkin’s arch style sometimes risks flattening the individual characters under the force of her voice.
TNBBC’s The Next Best Book Blog: Where Robert Lopez Writes
Where Writers Write is a series in which authors showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen.
What To Say at Your Book Event • Career Authors
Part of being a career author is supporting your fellow others, and attending their events is critical.
Rebecca Solnit: Whose Story (and Country) Is This? | Literary Hub
Perhaps the actual problem is that white Christian suburban, small-town, and rural America includes too many people who want to live in a bubble and think they’re entitled to, and that all of us who are not like them are menaces and intrusions who needs to be cleared out of the way.
When Kathy Acker Interviewed the Spice Girls | Literary Hub
If any of this speculation is valid, then it is up to feminism to grow, to take on what the Spice Girls, and women like them, are saying, and to do what feminism has always done in England, to keep on transforming society as society is best transformed, with lightness and in joy.
How Important are Book Awards? – Mysteristas
I’m beginning to think I’m the Susan Lucci of crime fiction.
Mariana Enriquez on Political Violence and Writing Horror | Literary Hub
My stories are quite rooted in realistic urban and suburban settings and the horror just emanates from these places. Some places in cities and especially in the suburbia of Latin American cities—that is, in the slums and poor neighborhoods around the cities, I guess it’s very different from the concept of suburbia in North American cities—have a special feel to them related to their history.
Letting Go of Books: Is it Even Possible? |
There are only about fifteen books that I read again and again. That’s not even a shelf and a half’s worth. What would I do with all that bookshelf space? Something has to go on those shelves besides sleeping cats.
Behind the Blogger – Claire from A Knight’s Reads – Compulsive Readers
I originally started reviewing just on Amazon and Goodreads back in 2013 when Mark Edwards asked me to post a short review for The Magpies (which I loved). Then in early 2015, I met the amazing Noelle Holten and she was about to set up Crimebookjunkie and she invited me to be her guest reviewer. I started November 2015 and haven’t looked back. I spent just over two years reviewing a mixture of my own choices, review requests and blog tours. I always knew I wanted my own blog but with working four days a week and a young family to look after, I stayed with Noelle doing all the hard blog stuff! But then my youngest started at nursery in January and I knew it was time. I flew the CBJ nest and launched A Knight’s Reads on 1 February this year.
A Quickie with Stephanie Butland – Compulsive Readers
‘The Curious Heart Of Ailsa Rae’ follows Ailsa in her first year after receiving a life-saving heart transplant. She’s always wanted to be ordinary – but adapting is harder than she thinks. She learns to tango, finds her father, argues with her mother, gets involved in a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’… – and starts to listen to her bold new heart. Read it if you’ve ever felt as though adulting isn’t all it was cracked up to be!
Kevin’s Corner: Review: August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones
You know I loved Stephen Mack Jones’ “August Snow”. Guess what, Kevin did too. If it’s not on your TBR, put it there. If it is in your TBR, move it to the top. -DN
The Rap Sheet: Just a Few Things to Mention
Because y’all love links. -DN
In Defense of The Soft Machine’s Cut-Up Twisted Landscape | LitReactor
Far from perfect—and indulgent of the author’s fetishes—the book stands out as an avenue of expression on a literary road where too many voices blend together.
My Little Corner: Pulp Literature – Open for Submissions
Pulp Literature has opened submissions for their next issue.  They’re seeking stories up to 10,000 words in all genres.  The sweet spot being around 5000 words.  The deadline is April 30, 2018.  Payment varies with length but the basic is 31/2 cents to 7cents a word for stories up to 7000 words.
Out of the Darkness: A Conversation with Winnie M. Li – Los Angeles Review of Books
Oh, absolutely. I get quite annoyed when I see TV and film portrayals of rape where this awful thing happens to a female character and you kind of get your obligatory flashbacks, but you don’t really get a sense of that long journey. I felt it was really important to reflect that interiority accurately. I felt it was important to show that it’s not as if the trial happens, you have the outcome, and that’s the ending.
As William Kennedy shows, good writing is about what you can get away with | Books | The Guardian
Good writing craft is mysterious. Anyone can follow lessons; it takes extra alchemy to make advice work.
The First Two Pages: “Ridgeline” by Peter W.J. Hayes – Art Taylor
Today brings Peter W.J. Hayes discussing the original opening to his story “Ridgeline” and the many changes that took place with that opening before the final draft.
Author of the Week: Eryk Pruitt – DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST
Why do you think dark stories – whether noir, horror or a hybrid of both – appeal to readers that otherwise pursue safe, comfortable lives in the real world?I don’t believe anyone leaves a safe, comfortable life. At any minute, an armed gunman could barge into the Kroger where we are grocery shopping and shoot up the place. Or our government leaders could escalate rhetoric into a nuclear war. Or we could be bitten by a copperhead while walking the dog. Nobody is “safe.” Some folks may want to tap into that darkness as an escape, while others may want to wrap themselves in it. Either way, the darkness is all around us. They can run, but they can’t hide.
Stuart Kells Explores the Wondrous History of Libraries – Chicago Review of Books
Consequently, the author’s fascination with books evolves into a secondary fascination with the places that house them. It turns out libraries are more than staid repositories for slowly aging texts.  Their history, as Kells finds out, holds intriguing stories “of every possible human drama,” touching upon a full range of faults and failings: “anxiety, avarice, envy, fastidiousness, obsession, lust, pride, pretension, narcissism and agoraphobia.”
Two Important Tips to Improve Your Nonfiction Writing – Signature Reads
If I read to myself silently, I find that my brain sometimes skips over words, likely because I’m already familiar with what I wrote. By forcing myself to read aloud, I cannot jump over words or phrases, and I’m compelled to hear how the entirety of the writing sounds, including its rhythms – especially its rhythms.
What Makes A Five-Star Read? The One Thing They All Have in Common
I almost never give books five stars. In fact, out of all the books I’ve rated on Goodreads (about 1200), I’ve only given 10% of them five stars.
“Intuition is Essential.” Writing Advice from Gabriel García Márquez | Literary Hub
[When I read Kafka,] all of a sudden I understood how many other possibilities existed in literature outside the rational and extremely academic examples I’d come across in secondary school text books.
Interview: Alison Gaylin and Megan Abbott talk about Normandy Gold » CRIME FICTION LOVER
Alison Gaylin writes tense crime thrillers. Megan Abbott is the queen of contemporary American noir. If you love crime fiction as much as we do, and enjoy a good graphic novel too, then you couldn’t have dreamed it much better. Last year, both authors teamed up with artist Steve Scott to create the comic book series Normandy Gold for Hard Case Crime and Titan Comics. The first set of issues has now been packaged up into a glorious graphic novel, which came out a month ago. Inside you’ll find 152 pages of kidnapping, drugs, prostitution and political corruption in a rough and ready 1970s Washington, DC, as Sheriff Normandy Gold searches for her sister. So, it’s high time we sat down with Alison and Megan to get the lowdown on their collaboration, and why they went retro.
Meet the Author: Donna Hepburn ** Author Interview**
I write for a living, so I just fit writing my books in whenever I can. I try to get it all sorted in my head chapter by chapter then it is easier to get it down on paper, my dream is to be able to write novels full-time, preferably in Spain lol. Hopefully one day!
Kevin’s Corner: Guest Post: Hijacked! by Lisa Lieberman
Honestly, I hadn’t meant to let a minor character hijack my story, but once I’d named her, there was no going back.
Breaking News: On Becoming Jessica Fletcher by Jon Land – Mystery Thriller Week
Of course, at that point I had no idea what I was in for because I’d never read a single book in the series, although I was a huge fan of the spectacularly successful television show on which they were based. I’d also never written in first person, much less from the viewpoint of a woman in her 60s. As a thriller author, I’d also never written a mystery, never mind a cozy.
Why Specs Change: EPUB 3.2 and the Evolution of the Ebook Ecosystem – EPUBSecrets
What’s going on behind the scenes of the EPUB format. -DN
My Trip To An Amazon Bookstore: A Review « terribleminds: chuck wendig
Chuck Wendig visits an Amazon Bookstore and you’ll never guess what happens next! Actually, it’s a damn fine piece of writing you may want to read.
SleuthSayers: Editing, TV Style
I have to see the big picture and also travel through an episode line by line. Every word is scrutinized in dialogue, and much of it is boiled down editorially to the bare bones. Excess verbiage is jettisoned, word-by-word, until the dialogue flies. I do this when I’m editing my own work. And when I’m done, the leanest, meanest version of the episode is infinitely better than its former self.
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: GRAVESEND by William Boyle
It’s a violent book, but not in guns, blood, and guts kind of a way, but it’s an emotional violence that turned out to be even more affecting and relatable.
Don’t Go Back: Avoid Spinning Your Wheels on Old Stories | LitReactor
Remember, an old story isn’t a waste. It’s a stepping stone toward your growth to something bigger. Something better. So, use that growth, and don’t go back.
THE STILETTO GANG: Interview with Agatha Nominees for Best Short Story!
Learn how the sausage is made. -DN
Talks on Reading & Book Recommendations with Cozy Mystery Author Ritter Ames – Mystery Thriller Week
One of the biggest drawbacks of getting a writing contract—and I’m not the only author who’ll tell you this—is that it really cuts back on your reading time. I mean, I started writing to help justify and pay for the cost of my reading habit, and while I love writing, I really miss all the extra reading time I used to have, sitting in my comfy reading chair. Each evening, however, I make sure I allocate time to read, no matter how busy I am or how many deadlines I’m working under—because, truly, no one wants to be around me if I have to go too long without reading a good book.
‘Notes From A Public Typewriter’ Muse On Everything From Cats To Commencement : NPR
Then, after closing out the registers, Gustafson descends one last time to the store’s lower level, the part of the bookstore stuffed with volumes on cooking and gardening, travel and history. And he sits down at an old typewriter to read the notes the day’s customers have left behind.
Crossroads | Joe Clifford
And I mention all this because now I don’t know what to do next. Being a writer who isn’t writing just might really be the worst feeling. At least for me. I need a purpose.
Writing is Rewriting – Lee Goldberg
I’m a big believer that writing is rewriting…and that it’s always easier to rewrite crap than it is to fill an empty page…
You Have the Right to Remain Silent … Brendan Gisby – Messy Business – Books, Writing, Stuff
He slept all the way to the Cairngorms. I hope he dreamt of that damned ending. I wanted the new book, and I wanted my damned answers.
Do Some Damage: Monday Interview with Alec Cizak
“In fact, as literature goes right along with all the other popular entertainment that’s desperate to be nice and not “offend” anyone, hardboiled crime fiction is going to be one of the last places writers will be able to describe the world in an honest fashion.”
The Vending Machine That Spits Out Short Stories – The New York Times
Stories are shared many ways. They are recounted in books and magazines. They are read aloud around the campfire at night. They are randomly dispensed from stand-alone kiosks, doled out on strips of paper like grocery store receipts.
You Can Now Strip DRM from Amazon’s Kindle KFX Format | The Digital Reader
That new DRM was unbreakable, and that caused a lot of problems for those who want to protect their purchases. This problem only intensified last year when Kindle for PC gained support KFX and made it harder to download a Kindle ebook that could be deDRMed, but now we have a solution.
How To (Legally) Get Away With Murder |
The legal loophole, however, is real. Within the United States there’s a stretch of land where you could, in theory, get away with murder. Fact.
3 Great Books about Creative Thinking
When inspiration strikes I want to make the most of it, and I want to get more of those aha moments, and bigger, better ideas.
How My Bookish Habits Nearly Killed Me. Literally.
We got in the car.“I’m not ready for the ER. You always have to wait and wait and wait. I’m going to need some reading material.”

“Nicole. The doctor wanted to send you in an ambulance!”

“Please! It will only take a minute!”

Pre-orders open for my monograph on Norman Jewison’s 1975 film, Rollerball | Pulp Curry
My monograph on Norman Jewison’s 1975 dystopian science fiction film, Rollerball, something I have been working on for the last couple of years, now has a cover and will soon be in the world via Constellations imprint of the independent film and media studies publisher, Auteur.
Kanye West Says He’s Writing a Philosophy Book: ‘I Wish to Be Water’
And y’all were pissed about Sean Penn’s book. -DN
These 1923 Copyrighted Works Enter the Public Domain in 2019
Our public domain laws are so sad, but it’s great the Disney and other corporations are protected. -DN
Your Ultimate First Chapter Checklist, Pt. 2: Writing the Opening Scene – Helping Writers Become Authors
In many ways, the opening scene is a scene just like every other. Like any proper scene, the opening scene must fulfill basic principles of structure—a beginning, a middle and an end. But the opening scene is also special in many ways. It takes the normal duties of a normal scene and amplifies them into a microcosm of the entire story to come.This scene is chosen not just to advance the plot, but to introduce it. Learn how to ace each of the scene requirements and then add in the special sauce that will make your first chapter strong enough and clear enough to launch the entire line of dominoes that forms yours plot.
Don’t Quit the Day Job: Cathie Devitt | elementaryvwatson
ome people say they long to write full time as a career. For me, with the retirement age going up, I am likely to expire before I retire, but I feel that writers benefit from interaction with other people and what better way than working with the general public?
My Little Corner
If you are a writer, you should be reading Sandra Seamans’ “My Little Corner” every day.
SleuthSayers: Two (Or Three, Or Four) Trains Running
“Today’s stories, especially bestsellers and blockbuster thrillers, are much longer, and new writers often complain to me that they can’t come up with enough events to go on that long. Use subplots.”Or, you know, they could write shorter books.
#TimeForCrime: getting to the darkest heart of writers and bloggers!With Jacob from #HookedFromPageOne @collinsjacob115 – chapterinmylife: Scottish Crime Fiction Blogger
I have always found the work of the police absolutely fascinating and I’ve always loved watching police dramas on television. Although we hope that we’re never the victims of crime I think we’ll always be drawn to the crime world. I think we want to know why someone could do something so awful, such as commit a murder or kidnap. I remember watching Lucy Worsley’s documentary on BBC One a couple of years ago which was called A Very British Murder. It examined the public’s fascination with crime, particularly with serial killers and the media’s obsession with them.
The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: 2018 Derringer Award Finalists
Unraveling the Mystery of Crime Readers… Crime readers don’t like crime at all. What they like is justice. – Strand Mag
Fragments of Noir: Lee Balterman 2
Some wonderful photographs by Lee Balterman.
How strategic thinking will improve your writing – Write with Phil
Strategic thinking is a skill that writers really need to develop. Without it, it’s really easy to get distracted when you are writing. I’m a big believer that writers should concentrate on one or two things at a time to maximize their productivity. I’ve also mentioned before how easy it is to get distracted by competitions, or other opportunities. You should set targets for writing at the start of the year (like I did) and keep to them.

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