Incident Report

Incident Report No. 41

The Incident Report covers the goings on in the world of small press crime fiction for the week of May 6th through May 12th with links to articles and new and upcoming book releases.

small press crime fictionI hope everyone had a chance to read Owen Laukkanen’s essay “Tour Life: Code of Honesty”. If you read one thing on the web today, make it that instead of the Incident report. Seriously, it’s that good. Here’s a taste:

I’ve always spent a lot of time obsessing over what people think of me, or worrying about meeting external expectations. This means I’m often trying to tailor my personality to what I believe people expect of me: the Good Son, the Cool Boyfriend, the Player, the Successful Writer.

The Agreeable Conversationalist who’ll nod along with anything you say, just to keep you happy and avoid a conflict that might diminish your view of me.

This is a pretty cowardly and dishonest way to go through life, and sometimes I wonder if there’s any personality at all underneath all of these layers of agreeability and expectation-meeting.

I’ll be seeing Owen read at the Gaithersburg Book Festival Noir at the Bar on Saturday and I’ll be part of the crew reading at the Harrisburg Noir at the Bar on the next day where Own will be as well.

You’ll notice a new domain for Unlawful Acts right now, the old domain should be back soon as I’m in the midst of transitioning to a new website provider (WordPress) opposed to my old website provider who pointed me to an affiliate to help clean up my site after I got hacked. They only wanted me to sign a $1,000 contract for a year. It was one of the easiest decisions, I’ve ever made.

This past week I’ve reviewed three books: Dead Guy in the Bathtub by Paul Greenberg, Texas Two-Step by Michael Pool, and Android Love, Human Skin by Richard Godwin. The last review was part of a blog tour which is a writer or publisher herds a bunch of cats – I mean, book bloggers – to release a series of scheduled reviews, interviews and short essays by the author. This week I’ve included a list of blog tours and blitzes (shorter versions of a tour) in the Incident Report. Use your favorite social media app to find them (include blogtour or blogblitz in your search criteria).

Blog Tours and Blog Blitzes

A Breath After Dying by Alice Blanchard
No Remorse by Robert Crouch
The Retreat by Mark Edwards
Android Love, Human Skin by Richard Godwin
Absolution by Paul Hardisty
Tubing by K. A. McKeagney
Stench by AB Morgan
The Adulterer’s Wife by Leigh Russell
The Old You by Louise Voss
Don’t You Dare by A.J. Waines

One of the things missing from this week’s Incident Report is the New and Upcoming Book Releases. I lost all of that in the transition to the new website. I’ll try and figure out something by next issue. Also, the list of links has shrunk down incredibly to a mere 58 instead of over 100 links as it has been over the last several issues. Don’t worry, if you want all the links, just look through my Twitter feed over the last week, you’ll find over 100 links there. If you want less, look at the Facebook page for Unlawful Acts.


Do Some Damage: The Beauty of Blind Reading

“I was genuinely surprised over and over again by plot twists or character revelations that would have been ruined had I read the back cover or inside flap.”
hardboiled wonderland: The Afflictions of Outlaw Author Roy Harper
“Roy Harper has been many things in his life. A thief, bank robber, carjacker, kidnapper, an escaped armed and dangerous fugitive. He doesn’t brag about these things, but neither does he apologize.”
Detectives Beyond Borders: A Few Minutes of the Condor: James Grady at the Edgar Awards
“Steady reading, a couch, a dog.” – James Ellroy
Sunshine Noir: An Interview with Jeffery Hess, author of ‘Tushhog’ | LitReactor
“I once heard a line of advice to get your characters up a tree and then throw rocks at them.”
Colman Keane’s pick of the month.
Rachel Kushner’s ‘The Mars Room’ Offers a Blackly Comic Take on Prison Life – The New York Times
“It’s a page turner all the same, and in some ways more affecting than the other books.”
Do Some Damage: Promoting Your Book Through Thematic Thinking
“Being able to readily identify themes in your work is something that many readers will connect to. It’s also something that can add depth to your material.”
The Search for Surprise by Jeffery Hess | Elizabeth A. White — Editing & Reviews | Crime Fiction, Thriller, Noir
“One day, I threw in the towel on our water heater …”
Where Do You Find Inspiration? |
“Reading triggers the muse to fire off plot, character, and subplot ideas.”
Book Review : C.S DeWildt – Suburban Dick (2018) — Dead End Follies
“Perhaps my favorite thing about it is that its private investigator Gus Harris is not protecting the American Dream, but investigating it.”
How Many Words in a Novel: The Perfect Word Count for Your Debut Pitch • Career Authors
Alex, what is 90,000?
‘A Lucky Man’ is a Grand Cathedral of Short Fiction – Chicago Review of Books
“Brinkley makes sure we know the beauty remains, even if it is obfuscated by the hard truths of racism, misogyny, and aging.”
Owen Laukkanen on Boats, Trains, Dogs, and His Latest Novel ‘Gale Force’ | LitReactor
But I think there’s a reason that maritime adventure stories have a long literary tradition, and train books are more of a niche market.
The Eternal Question: What Should I Write? « terribleminds: chuck wendig
“How the fuck should I know?”
5 Writers, 7 Questions, No Wrong Answers | Literary Hub
“Since when do characters have to be nice all the time?”
How to Write a Second Person Story – Electric Literature
“But as anyone who’s tried it can tell you, it’s tough, and the results are rarely amazing.”
The First Two Pages: “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” by Tara Laskowski – Art Taylor
“The idea for the story began about 12 years ago when this question popped into my head: How would a woman who was named Nancy Drew react to people always joke about her solving mysteries?”
Alex Segura: The Challenge Of Paying It Forward « terribleminds: chuck wendig
“You’re feeling stressed. You’re wringing your hands. You’re waiting and waiting for this damn book to come out already. What are you supposed to do? Promote another writer.”
It’s 2018: Why Are So Many eReader Designs So Boring? | The Digital Reader
“I was looking at the new Jezetek ereaders this morning when I couldn’t help noticing how similar they looked to all other Kindle competitors out there.”
Criminal Minds: A No-Brainer or not…
“I found that searching for a publisher forced me to write the best first novel that I could.”
Guest Blogger: Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D.: Redheads and Serial Killers | The Crime Fiction Writer’s Forensics Blog
Several killing sprees have targeted women with red hair.
Author of the Week: Victor Rodriguez – DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST
“My number one creative preference is to read.”
Fiction: Dark & Light / John Hegenberger –
Is the dark side winning?
Q&A with Alex Segura, Author of Blackout – Criminal Element
I’m glad you asked about writing a series because, as a reader, I always read from the first book on. I rarely hop into series in the middle. But I do know that some readers do, and I write with that in mind. I try to craft each novel as a standalone, meaning they can be read by anyone independent of the other books. That said, I do try to take some time to recap and weave everything together so the people who have stuck around since the first installment feel like they’re part of an ongoing narrative.
Mary Morony Interview: “I was fortunate enough to be born into a highly dysfunctional family” – The Dorset Book Detective
“What I write I call Southern Fried Fiction.”
Review Of Blackout by Alex Segura
“Segura balances action and emotion in Blackout like a master craftsman.”
Guest Post: Lawrence Kelter on <i>The Black Car Business, Vol. 1</i>
“I can’t put into words how incredibly diverse these stories are, but I’m sure readers will be delighted by the array, which covers a time from the 1920s to current day.”
In Conversation: Alex Segura and Joe Clifford on PI Fiction, Flawed Characters and Fighting Your Demons | LitReactor
“As for reviews—yeah, the bad ones always linger. They sting.”
Book Review: THE DYING DETECTIVE by Leif GW Persson — Crime by the Book
“THE DYING DETECTIVE is a perfect example of the perennial appeal of a really great police procedural.”
4 Critical Mindset Shifts You Need If You Want To Make A Living Writing | The Creative Penn
Once you reframe your own identity as an author-entrepreneur, you will find it much easier to take control of things like marketing or understanding the financials behind some of what being a writer is.
Recommended Read: The Glass House by Richard Godwin
“Richard Godwin’s The Glass House is a violent and gripping London set crime thriller full of sharp twists and turns.”
12 Essential Miami Crime Novels | CrimeReads
So, in the hubris of youth, as I immersed myself in the works of these writers, I thought, “Hell, I should write a Pi novel. But it has to be in Miami. There aren’t any books like this set in Miami.”I, of course, was wrong. It happens a lot when you’re younger.
Online Issue 5
New issue of Toe Six Press is out.
Pay It Forward: Alice Munro | The Thrill Begins
Reading her work, you brace yourself to be bludgeoned with a ball-peen hammer; instead, even as you sigh in relief at having avoided the blow, she slips the shiv between your ribs so skillfully you don’t realize what’s happened until you’re bleeding out.
Why Do Horror Stories Resonate So Deeply Right Now? | Literary Hub
I was with Tobias Carroll till this -> “What does it mean when horror fiction is also our most currently acclaimed fiction? ” But otherwise an interesting essay.
The Harsh Beauty of Rachel Kushner’s ‘The Mars Room’ – The Millions
A brutal, unforgiving, and often grimly funny tour de force of wasted lives, The Mars Room makes most other contemporary fiction seem timid and predictable; in doing so, it reminds us that fiction that startles and abrades is as necessary, or even more necessary, than fiction that comforts and assuages.
The Best Romance Authors (And Their Must-Read Book)
Thinking about exploring other genres? Why not Romance?
The 8 Best Curses In Literature – Electric Literature
“For as long as we’ve told stories, we’ve told stories about curses. Often they’re punishments, occasionally they’re strictly allegorical, and sometimes they’re just plain bad luck.”
Do Some Damage: Alex Segura: The BLACKOUT Interview
Oddly disappointed that this interview didn’t get weird.
» Mystery Review: LAWRENCE BLOCK – The Topless Tulip Caper.
“I don’t know how you feel about reading a Nero Wolfe book with sex scenes in it, but Block is never a bad writer, and that is what this is.”
#TimeForCrime: getting to the darkest heart of writers and bloggers! With author Beatrice Fishback @BeaFishback – chapterinmylife: Scottish Crime Fiction Blogger
This week I am delighted to welcome author and blogger, Bea Fishback!
Jungle Red Writers: Embracing My Senior Sleuth by Nora Page
“Together with her feline sidekick, Cleo hits the road in a school-bus bookmobile and rolls into trouble, including murder. “
Paul Bowles: ‘Here’s My Message. Everything Gets Worse’ | Literary Hub
“Everyone is always leaving tomorrow.” – Paul Bowles
One Bite at a Time: Reviews
“Online reviews are supposed to provide a service and not just provide yet another forum for onanistic proclamations.”
How To Write a Query Letter • Career Authors
“A query letter is not a letter.”
In Defense of Emotional Book Buying
“So me impulse buying books is actually changing the world. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.”
Book Review : Ryan Sayles – Albatross (2018) — Dead End Follies
“It’s smart, dark and morally challenging.”
Catriona McPherson – A BOLO Books Composite Sketch | BOLO BOOKS
“Gah. Autocorrect. Sorry.”
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: HELL & GONE by Duane Swierczynski
All the craziness never felt forced to me or out of place. He kept throwing out so many creative and unexpected twists that I just gave up on trying to figure everything out and just went along for the ride.  Especially after the final scene, I can’t wait to see where the final book takes us.
Killer Nashville Interview with Jeffery Deaver –
It’s much easier to throw out a ten or twenty page outline when you’ve decided that it’s a no-go project, rather than creating 200 pages of prose and coming to that unfortunate conclusion.
Do Some Damage: Writing Routines and Habits
Writing is writing. Sit down and do it. It’s exactly that easy, even when it’s ridiculously complicated. I’m letting myself write trash, I’m letting myself write without worrying about placing stories or finishing big projects, and I’m getting into the groove again.
Till You Turn it All Upside Down* | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…
And sometimes, crime writers use those expectations to misdirect the reader. It’s not easy to pull that sort of misdirection off and still, ‘play fair.’ But it can be done, and when it is, it can be very effective.
Retreats from Oblivion: The Journal of NoirCon – Noir, crime, and mystery short stories, scholarship, and so much more
“Retreats from Oblivion” helps keep NoirCon alive.
Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity: 46 Paying Markets for Flash Fiction
h/t Kevin Tipple
Writer Beware®: The Blog: Trademark Shenanigans: Weighing In On #Cockygate
Some great insight into the whole #Cockygate trademark scam. Some good talk about the fair use of using “cocky” in a book title and Faleena Hopkins’ draconian use of takedown emails.
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: MAY by Marietta Miles
I feel like Marietta Miles has a masterpiece in her and I’ll be here to see it.
SleuthSayers: INTERVIEW: Alex Segura on BLACKOUT, Outlines and Writing the PI
“You have to really make writing easy for yourself,” he said. “You can’t wait until the sun is shining just right. You have to get in there and crack open the laptop and just do it.”
Authors Are Taking Friendly Fire in Amazon’s War on Fake Reviews | The Digital Reader
This problem exists in all marketplaces, and not just Amazon, but Amazon is the only retailer who has a reputation for banning innocent reviewers, thereby punishing innocent authors.

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