Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense Blog
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 22:33
Q: What myths about Sweden does your novel refute?
Q: What legacy do you hope your novels leave?
Q: Your criminals are involved in a global turf war. What did you base this on?
Q: What is the status of the screen version of The Andalucian Friend?
Saturday, 09 March 2013 23:07
What do you get when you put together Ridley Pearson, Jacqueline Winspear, Patricia Smiley, James O. Born, Paul Levine, (left) and Cornelia Reed?
You get a highly entertaining blog called NakedAuthors.com in which each author had his or her own day to post and used that forum to write some unexpected musings.
Born once wrote about Susan Boyle, when she was first on Britain’s Got Talent. Winspear tackled body scanners at the airport. Reed wrote about beauty tips from Doris Day that lead to her discussion about "odd little lines and giblets from books" she'd read.
The blog's subtitle—The Naked Truth About Literature & Life—made a lot of sense.
These naked authors had fun with the blog and seemed to love going off in tangents. And while at first it seemed odd to have authors who write such different books blogging together, it made sense in the context of the genre. After all, most mystery writers love diversity in stories and authors.
But in March 2010, the naked authors called it quits.
Too much to do—books to write, personal duties to take care of, and, of course, that general excuse, life itself.
But now they are back.
Three years after calling a halt, the naked authors are getting the band back together and hitting the road. Or, just writing
And I, for one, am glad to see this blog again.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 13:04
Is there any reader who doesn’t know the name James Patterson?
Patterson’s millions of mega-best sellers, many of which are written with a co-author, are published at an astounding rate.
While Patterson is best known for his thrillers, especially his Alex Cross novels, he has written several children’s books and, as a result, has done much for literacy among young readers.
Patterson, who has twice been named Author of the Year by Children’s Choice Book Award, is making another leap for children’s literacy.
Patterson is teaming up with two-time Miami Heat champion and New York Times bestselling author Dwyane Wade (A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball) for a national online webcast for kids across the country. The project is called One on One: Fundamentals with Dwyane Wade and James Patterson.
One on One will highlight the importance of reading for success in life.
It will air at 1 p.m. April 25, 2013, (EST).
The One on One webcast will be available free of charge to schools, libraries, and for home viewing. Visit www.JamesPattersonEvents.com, where viewers can sign up in advance to watch. Children across the country can submit questions to their favorite author and their favorite NBA superstar in advance via social media. Again, details here.
The webcast will also include special messages from other NBA All-Stars encouraging kids to read.
To gear up for the webcast, the two authors have other events lined up.
On March 21, Patterson and Wade are scheduled to talk about reading with students at Ponce De Leon Middle School in Coral Gables, Florida. Their moderator will be moderated by six-time Emmy Award winner and Miami Heat courtside reporter Jason Jackson.
While Patterson and his publisher, Hachette Book Group, will make a major donation of books in conjunction with the webcast, there is a chance even more kids will receive a book. On March 27, Wade and the Heat are scheduled to play against the Bulls in Chicago. For every point Wade scores, Hachette Book Group will donate 1,000 copies of Patterson books to young readers in the Miami-Dade school system.
While I always root for the Heat—hey, I live in Florida—I will be rooting for the team, and especially Wade, even more.
In the press release, Patterson offered this very timely quote:
Patterson said, “Getting our kids reading is a matter of life and death; this is not about grades or what college these kids might be going to. This is about saving kids’ lives, and if we don’t get our kids reading now, many of them aren’t going to make it. We have to get that light to go off in their heads at an early age — before or around the middle school years. I’m so glad I’m partnering with someone like Dwyane, who gets it — that getting our kids reading is preparing them to face the world.”
According to a press release, One on One is in collaboration with NBA Cares, the Wade’s World Foundation, ReadKiddoRead and Hachette Book Group.
Photo: James Patterson and Dwyane Wade. Photo courtesy Hachette
Sunday, 03 March 2013 05:45
As a journalist and a writer, I care very much about protecting copyright laws.
A writer should not have his or her words hijacked into other works such as plays, TV series, etc., or published by another without his or her permission.
But how long should a copyright last? And when does a work, or a body of work, go into public domain? Do we pay Shakespeare’s heirs for his plays? If we did, then whoever his descendants are must be wealthy.
Which brings me a lawsuit recently been filed over licensing fees for the Sherlock Holmes works of Arthur Conan Doyle.
First, Sherlock Holmes continues to be popular. This isn’t anything new as it seems that Holmes’ game is afoot nearly every year with short stories, novels, and novellas.
Filmed versions of Sherlock are at the movies with Robert Downey Jr. as the great detective and Jude Law as John Watson. CBS’ Elementary has the odd pairing of Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. BBC’s Sherlock reboots the tales with Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as Watson, who, in the 21st century, blogs about their adventures.
Other shows such as CBS’ The Mentalist and A&E’s Psych are directly inspired by Sherlock’s powers of observation.
But now, more than 125 years, since the brilliant Sherlock came on the scene, some are wondering just how long those copyright laws must last.
Leslie S. Klinger, the editor of three wonderful volumes of the Annotated Sherlock Holmes and other books, has filed a civil complaint that states that “many licensing fees paid to the Arthur Conan Doyle estate have been unnecessary, since the main characters and elements of their story derived from materials published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law,” according to a New York Times story.
Klinger’s complaint, according to the New York Times, “stems from In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of Holmes-related stories by various authors, edited by Mr. Klinger and Laurie R. King, herself the author of a successful mystery series featuring Mary Russell, Holmes’s wife.”
Klinger’s suit doesn’t challenge the fact that “Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. was “the sole and exclusive owner” of the material that remains under copyright.”
Nor is he trying to interfere “with the estate’s legitimate rights,” according to the newspaper. But Klinger said in the New York Times that “the stories in the new collection avoided drawing on elements introduced in any of the 10 Holmes stories published after Jan. 1, 1923, which remain under copyright until 2023.”
On the website Free-Sherlock.com, Klinger said: “It is true that some of Conan Doyle’s stories about Holmes are still protected by the U.S. copyright laws. However, the vast majority of the stories that Conan Doyle wrote are not. The characters of Holmes, Watson, and others are fully established in those fifty ‘public-domain’ stories. Under U.S. law, this should mean that anyone is free to create new stories about Holmes and Watson.”
More to the story is at the New York Times and at Free-Sherlock.
Now, this is just my opinion and no one else’s, but I think that Klinger has a point. Stories inspired by Sherlock are a vast difference from those that blatantly co-op a piece of work. What’s protection and what is greed?
Klinger’s work on Sherlock and the nearly 3,000-page Annotated volumes are more than just impressive; these three books show a scholar unmatched with a vast knowledge of his subject and an infinite attention to detail.
Those who have not read Laurie King’s wonderful series that began in 1994 with The Beekeeper's Apprentice, should do themselves a favor and order each of the 13 novels in this series. And start at the beginning. While King’s series pays homage to Sherlock and honor the character, King also deserves kudos for writing a series that both adults and young adults can savor. I would have loved a book such as The Beekeeper's Apprentice when I was 13 years old. Mary Russell would have been a kindred spirit for me.
It doesn’t matter how any of feel about this lawsuit—that’s for the courts to decide. Klinger and King have both brought renewed attention to Sherlock Holmes, showing that the Great Detective is timeless.
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