Sunday, 25 December 2011

altI always am looking for those tributes that authors give other writers in novels.

In Denise Hamilton's Damage Control, her heroine Maggie Silver finds that perfumes trigger her deepest memories. (See my post here)

But Maggie also is a reader and Hamilton shows Maggie's personality by telling the reader the books on her nightstand.

During Damage Control, Maggie reads a lot. The books she mentions are:

Toby Barlow’s first book, Sharp Teeth, a verse novel about werewolves: "Fangs, claws, furs. What's not to like?"

Georges Simenon: "whose dogged Paris police inspector understood how affairs of the heart could turn -- given the right mix of motive and circumstance -- to affairs of blood.

Charlaine Harris: "binging on vampires."

Hamilton, who writes a perfume column for the Los Angeles Times, mentions several authors, such as Jeffrey Marks' The Scent of Murder, in the column she wrote about perfume as clues to crimes.

Denise Hamilton's Homage to Writers
Oline Cogdill
denise-hamiltons-homage-to-writers

altI always am looking for those tributes that authors give other writers in novels.

In Denise Hamilton's Damage Control, her heroine Maggie Silver finds that perfumes trigger her deepest memories. (See my post here)

But Maggie also is a reader and Hamilton shows Maggie's personality by telling the reader the books on her nightstand.

During Damage Control, Maggie reads a lot. The books she mentions are:

Toby Barlow’s first book, Sharp Teeth, a verse novel about werewolves: "Fangs, claws, furs. What's not to like?"

Georges Simenon: "whose dogged Paris police inspector understood how affairs of the heart could turn -- given the right mix of motive and circumstance -- to affairs of blood.

Charlaine Harris: "binging on vampires."

Hamilton, who writes a perfume column for the Los Angeles Times, mentions several authors, such as Jeffrey Marks' The Scent of Murder, in the column she wrote about perfume as clues to crimes.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

levine_paul.jpgBack in 1990, Paul Levine made his debut with To Speak for the Dead, which introduced Jake Lassiter, a
former Miami Dolphins linebacker turned hard-nosed lawyer. Lassiter had a smart-mouth and a self-
deprecating personality that did him few favors.

To Speak for the Dead also introduced readers to how weird Florida could be, showing that what Carl Hiaasen wrote about a few years before was just the tip of the Sunshine State.

Levine steeped his series in details that would seem unusual outside of Florida, such as the courthouse steps being cleaned daily to remove chicken parts and goats’ heads used in Santeria rituals.

Some readers might have doubted that really happens but those would be readers outside of Florida.

Once again, there are certain things you just can't make up.

I couldn't help but think about Levine and his character when this story recently appeared in the South Florida newspapers.

A North Miami Beach officer was fired, accused of trying to cast a Santeria spell over the city manager to stop him from slashing police jobs. The weapon of choice: birdseed sprinkled in the manager's office. The birdseed was believed to have mystical powers that would make the city manager "go away," reported the Miami Herald.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Except in mystery fiction.

Paul Levine's Weird Florida
Oline Cogdill
paul-levines-weird-florida

levine_paul.jpgBack in 1990, Paul Levine made his debut with To Speak for the Dead, which introduced Jake Lassiter, a
former Miami Dolphins linebacker turned hard-nosed lawyer. Lassiter had a smart-mouth and a self-
deprecating personality that did him few favors.

To Speak for the Dead also introduced readers to how weird Florida could be, showing that what Carl Hiaasen wrote about a few years before was just the tip of the Sunshine State.

Levine steeped his series in details that would seem unusual outside of Florida, such as the courthouse steps being cleaned daily to remove chicken parts and goats’ heads used in Santeria rituals.

Some readers might have doubted that really happens but those would be readers outside of Florida.

Once again, there are certain things you just can't make up.

I couldn't help but think about Levine and his character when this story recently appeared in the South Florida newspapers.

A North Miami Beach officer was fired, accused of trying to cast a Santeria spell over the city manager to stop him from slashing police jobs. The weapon of choice: birdseed sprinkled in the manager's office. The birdseed was believed to have mystical powers that would make the city manager "go away," reported the Miami Herald.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Except in mystery fiction.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

abbott_jeff

Mystery writers are among the nicest people. I have said that so many times before and probably will say it many times in the future.


Take Jeff Abbott, left, and Harlan Coben, below left.

Two nice guys who write solid crime fiction novels. Both started out writing quite good paperbacks before moving on to quite good hardcovers.

Both also have been supportive of each other throughout their careers. Panels with the two of them are non-stop laughter.

This past year, the two of them were working on young adult novels at the same coben_harlantime. Again, mutual support came up.

Several months ago, I was interviewing Jeff for a profile in Mystery Scene. That interview was in issue No. 120, Summer 2011.

During the interview, Jeff mentioned that his European publisher noticed that many teenage boys were reading his stand-alone thriller Panic about the exploits of Evan Cashier, the novel’s 24-year-old hero.

So Jeff’s publishers asked to do something radical to draw even more young readers. Could he re-imagine Panic, rewriting it to make Evan a 15-year-old school boy?

“My first thought was this was not a simple search and replace since age 24 is a lot different than being age 15,” said Jeff.

“But my sons had been begging me to write a book they could read. My oldest said, ‘If you do this, I want to read this first.’ So he and his 15-year-old cousin were my first readers.”

The result is Panic: The Ultimate Edition with new characters and different interaction between the characters. The novel is only available, at present, in Europe.

“I had a lot of fun with it and it was an invigorating experience. It was a new challenge, and I am glad to get a Young Adult book done for my sons.”

While Jeff was working on Panic, Harlan Coben also was working on Shelter, his first YA novel. Shelter continues the story of Mickey Bolitar, Myron's very bright nephew.

And Jeff's sons entered the writing process again.

"Harlan asked my sons to vote on covers of his YA book. My sons are listed as cover consultants," said Jeff.

New Readers for Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott
Oline Cogdill
new-readers-for-harlan-coben-jeff-abbott

abbott_jeff

Mystery writers are among the nicest people. I have said that so many times before and probably will say it many times in the future.


Take Jeff Abbott, left, and Harlan Coben, below left.

Two nice guys who write solid crime fiction novels. Both started out writing quite good paperbacks before moving on to quite good hardcovers.

Both also have been supportive of each other throughout their careers. Panels with the two of them are non-stop laughter.

This past year, the two of them were working on young adult novels at the same coben_harlantime. Again, mutual support came up.

Several months ago, I was interviewing Jeff for a profile in Mystery Scene. That interview was in issue No. 120, Summer 2011.

During the interview, Jeff mentioned that his European publisher noticed that many teenage boys were reading his stand-alone thriller Panic about the exploits of Evan Cashier, the novel’s 24-year-old hero.

So Jeff’s publishers asked to do something radical to draw even more young readers. Could he re-imagine Panic, rewriting it to make Evan a 15-year-old school boy?

“My first thought was this was not a simple search and replace since age 24 is a lot different than being age 15,” said Jeff.

“But my sons had been begging me to write a book they could read. My oldest said, ‘If you do this, I want to read this first.’ So he and his 15-year-old cousin were my first readers.”

The result is Panic: The Ultimate Edition with new characters and different interaction between the characters. The novel is only available, at present, in Europe.

“I had a lot of fun with it and it was an invigorating experience. It was a new challenge, and I am glad to get a Young Adult book done for my sons.”

While Jeff was working on Panic, Harlan Coben also was working on Shelter, his first YA novel. Shelter continues the story of Mickey Bolitar, Myron's very bright nephew.

And Jeff's sons entered the writing process again.

"Harlan asked my sons to vote on covers of his YA book. My sons are listed as cover consultants," said Jeff.