Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Immortal Game: A Retrospective

"Just how good can a work of pastiche be?" is the question asked by Michael Slind on his blog Only Detect about my first novel, The Immortal Game.

For those who aren't familiar with the term, Wikipedia defines pastiche as "a literary technique employing a generally light-hearted tongue-in-cheek imitation of another's style; although jocular, it is usually respectful."

Michael is right: The Immortal Game is a pastiche of Raymond Chandler's work--with a dash of Dashiell Hammett thrown in.

Read his very generous answer to the question of how good it can be here.

USA Book News Awards

The USA Book News "Best Books 2010" Awards have been announced, and my novel The Big Wake-Up placed as a Finalist in the "Fiction & Literature: Mystery/Suspense" category.

How 'bout them apples?

Sherlock, Old School

Given the interest generated for the new PBS-TV mystery series, Sherlock, I thought it might be fun to use my blog on the San Francisco Chronicle's website to serialize my Sherlock Holmes pastiche, "The Adventure of the Black Bishop."

I'm releasing it in five weekly episodes on Monday morning. Read the first here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ted's Invite

I recently received this invitation via e-mail:
Hi -----, is now a better time to reach out to you in regards to the CIO Summit? You received a request on behalf of our Board due to your key role in the technology field and I'm curious to know if a decision has been made.

The CIO Summit is an invitation-only group comprised of the very best executives and visionaries in technology. We meet monthly by teleconference to exchange what is working, what is not, strategies and ideas. It is a confidential forum with dedicated groups of other successful VPs and key executives whose only agenda is to help each other outperform. Our site is at www.theciosummits.org

I am certain you will find the experience both enjoyable and useful in your efforts. Please take a look and let me know of your decision. Thanks, -----.
Although the e-mail ended up in my in-tray, the individual being invited isn't me. It's a gentleman named Ted: Ted Valmont. If you follow the link to Ted's bio, you'll see he could be lumped in a group that includes the "very best executives and visionaries in technology," being the founder and CEO of VALeDiction, a revolutionary company in the speech recognition space, and all.

Only problem is, Ted is a fictional character from my novel Vulture Capital.

I'm half way tempted to accept the invitation on his behalf--except I'm not nearly as successful or as good looking as him ...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vulture Capital, the Podcast

As you might have noticed from my earlier posts of mystery author photos, last week I attended the Bouchercon mystery conference in San Francisco.

My favorite panel was one of which I only attended a portion: "Ten Crime Novels You Must Read Before You Die" moderated by the Irish duo of Declan Hughes and John Connolly. As the Women of Mystery blog documents, the first book on their list is The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett, and the second is The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler.

One of the reasons I so liked the panel is that I happen to think that Key and Long Goodbye are the best efforts of Hammett and Chandler respectively. The other reason is the passionate and articulate case Hughes and Connolly made for their ten selections.

So why am I blabbing about the panel in a post titled "Vulture Capital, the Podcast?" As I've written before, my novel Vulture Capital was intended as a homage to The Glass Key. So much so, that Poltroon Press, the publisher of the first edition, actually embossed the front board of the book with silver key, exactly like the one on the front board of Hammett's novel. You can see it in this photo of the limited edition of the book, along with the special photo that accompanied the volume in a custom-made box:

After that long wind-up, here's the pitch: if you haven't read Vulture Capital, I'm making it available as a free audio book in a series of podcast episodes. Familiarity with The Glass Key isn't necessary to enjoy the book, which deals with a biotech start-up in Silicon Valley.

Read more about the plot here, and select from a range of options to access the (in progress) podcast episodes here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Young Junius: Free!

Jack Wakes Up author Seth Harwood is making the text of his next book, Young Junius, available in PDF for free. That's right, for free! Here's a teaser:
In 1987, fourteen-year-old Junius Posey sets out on the cold Cambridge (Mass.) streets to find his brother’s killer in a cluster of low-income housing towers—prime drug-dealing territory. After committing a murder to protect his friend, he finds himself without protection from retribution. His mother gives him fifty dollars and instructions to run, but Junius refuses to live a life in hiding. Instead, shocked by the violence he’s created and determined to see its consequences, he returns to the towers to complete his original mission.
Get the whole book here. And once you get hooked with YJ on your unergonomic laptop, buy the hardcover or paperback for an improved reading experience. (Because it's the right thing to do.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lee Child

Lee Child
Originally uploaded by Mark Coggins
Lee Child at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco.

Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley
Originally uploaded by Mark Coggins
Walter Mosley at the 2010 Bouchercon in San Francisco.

John Connolly

John Connolly
Originally uploaded by Mark Coggins
John Connolly at the 2010 Bouchercon in San Francisco.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly
Originally uploaded by Mark Coggins
Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco.

Barry Eisler

Barry Eisler
Originally uploaded by Mark Coggins
Barry Eisler at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco.

David Baldacci

David Baldacci
Originally uploaded by Mark Coggins
David Baldacci at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco.