Wednesday, 16 November 2011

altThe ebook phenomenon has allowed many authors to republish their back lists, those novels out of print and even redo some work.

It also allows those authors trying to build up a fan base to be "discovered."

Take Paul Guyot.

Or rather, take his short story What a Wonderful World now available on Kindle.

What a Wonderful World is about a St. Louis cop obsessed with the death of a young woman who sold hot dogs. The short story originally appeared in the Mystery Writers of America compilation Blue Religion edited by Michael Connelly.

So who's Paul Guyot?

Guyot is a television producer and script writer who also has been writing some well-received crime short stories.

When I reviewed Blue Religion, Guyot's offering was one I made of point of mentioning.

Guyot's story stood out for me and I want to point out that he was in good company as the other authors in Blue Religion included T. Jefferson Parker, Alafair Burke, John Harvey, James O. Born, Paula Woods, Leslie Glass, Laurie King, the late Edward Hoch, Peter Robinson, and Greg Rucka.

Currently, Guyot is working on more short stories and a novel.

And Guyot's day job is still in television. He is a writer and producer of the TNT heist series Leverage, one of my husband's favorites. He also spent three years writing and producing the CBS drama Judging Amy.

Short Story's Second Life
Oline Cogdill
short-storys-second-life

altThe ebook phenomenon has allowed many authors to republish their back lists, those novels out of print and even redo some work.

It also allows those authors trying to build up a fan base to be "discovered."

Take Paul Guyot.

Or rather, take his short story What a Wonderful World now available on Kindle.

What a Wonderful World is about a St. Louis cop obsessed with the death of a young woman who sold hot dogs. The short story originally appeared in the Mystery Writers of America compilation Blue Religion edited by Michael Connelly.

So who's Paul Guyot?

Guyot is a television producer and script writer who also has been writing some well-received crime short stories.

When I reviewed Blue Religion, Guyot's offering was one I made of point of mentioning.

Guyot's story stood out for me and I want to point out that he was in good company as the other authors in Blue Religion included T. Jefferson Parker, Alafair Burke, John Harvey, James O. Born, Paula Woods, Leslie Glass, Laurie King, the late Edward Hoch, Peter Robinson, and Greg Rucka.

Currently, Guyot is working on more short stories and a novel.

And Guyot's day job is still in television. He is a writer and producer of the TNT heist series Leverage, one of my husband's favorites. He also spent three years writing and producing the CBS drama Judging Amy.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

altCrime fiction's relevance comes up daily. Many of the novels I read seem to have their plots ripped from the headlines, tackling the issues that our society deals with. These novels are not just who-done-its but the modern social novel, giving us insight to world events with plots that put us on the scene.

The issue of immigrants, drug cartels and the trials of border patrol are in the news just about every day.

And mystery fiction has been tackling these issues, showing how people are affected as well as how politics enter the fray.

In Triple Crossing (Mulholland Books), journalist Sebastian Rotella delivers an intense novel about immigration's hot-button issues.

In this novel, rookie Border Patrol agent Valentine Pescatore is often uneasy about rounding up the illegal aliens along the California-Mexican border. While many of the patrol agents with whom he works are honest, Valentine also is pressured by those who enjoy using violence and cruelty toward the immigrants. They want him to be as inhumane as they are.

altValentine is recruited by a U.S. agent to infiltrate a powerful Mexican mafia family. Valentine ends up at the “triple border” of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay that is full of smugglers and terrorists.

In The Territory (Minotaur), Tricia Fields also shows the personal side of lawless drug cartels. Fields, the 2010 Tony Hillerman Prize winner, brings the reader to the war zone of Artemis, Texas, located along the Rio Grande at the border of Mexico. The decent people are under constant siege by two rival drug cartels. Chief of Police Josie Gray and her small department are outmanned by the wealthy, well-armed cartels.

In The Ninth Day (Harper), Jamie Freveletti has her biochemist Emma Caldridge taken prisoner by drug lord La Valle when she is in a remote area of Mexico. La Valle's top marijuana crop has been infected by a flesh-eating toxin that kills even those who just touch the leaves. He wants to send these leaves to America to spread the toxins.

Each of these authors brings the hot-button, massive issue to very personal stories populated by characters you grow to care about.

altWhen the relentless violence of the drug cartels reach innocent people, the reader feels for each character affected. Many of us can't wrap our brains about how massive are the issues of immigration and drug cartels. These seem like unsolvable problems fraught with politics, bribes and violence.

But without taking political sides, each of these authors put the human face on the issues and show us that solutions are attainable.

And the novels illustrate things that most Americans probably don't know about.

Rotella's Triple Crossing shows that many ethnicities use the Mexican border to come into the U.S. The smuggling non-Mexicans is incredibly lucrative with Chinese refugees paying up to $70,000 a piece. 

There is a sense of compassion in each of these novels for those innocent people caught up in the cross-fire of battling drug cartels; for refugees who want a better life for themselves in the U.S.; and for the cops and agents trying to be the first line of defense.

And while the issues they tackle are tough, none of the novels are depressing. Each of these authors also knows they are writing crime fiction.

Freveletti has several books under her belt and has been tapped by the Estate of Robert Ludlum to write the next novel in the Covert One series about a team of political and technical experts.

Sebastian Rotella's Triple Crossing and Tricia Fields' The Territory are these authors first foray into fiction. I hope we hear more from each of these authors.  

 

Authors Tackle Social Issues
Oline Cogdill
authors-tackle-immigrant-drug-issues

altCrime fiction's relevance comes up daily. Many of the novels I read seem to have their plots ripped from the headlines, tackling the issues that our society deals with. These novels are not just who-done-its but the modern social novel, giving us insight to world events with plots that put us on the scene.

The issue of immigrants, drug cartels and the trials of border patrol are in the news just about every day.

And mystery fiction has been tackling these issues, showing how people are affected as well as how politics enter the fray.

In Triple Crossing (Mulholland Books), journalist Sebastian Rotella delivers an intense novel about immigration's hot-button issues.

In this novel, rookie Border Patrol agent Valentine Pescatore is often uneasy about rounding up the illegal aliens along the California-Mexican border. While many of the patrol agents with whom he works are honest, Valentine also is pressured by those who enjoy using violence and cruelty toward the immigrants. They want him to be as inhumane as they are.

altValentine is recruited by a U.S. agent to infiltrate a powerful Mexican mafia family. Valentine ends up at the “triple border” of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay that is full of smugglers and terrorists.

In The Territory (Minotaur), Tricia Fields also shows the personal side of lawless drug cartels. Fields, the 2010 Tony Hillerman Prize winner, brings the reader to the war zone of Artemis, Texas, located along the Rio Grande at the border of Mexico. The decent people are under constant siege by two rival drug cartels. Chief of Police Josie Gray and her small department are outmanned by the wealthy, well-armed cartels.

In The Ninth Day (Harper), Jamie Freveletti has her biochemist Emma Caldridge taken prisoner by drug lord La Valle when she is in a remote area of Mexico. La Valle's top marijuana crop has been infected by a flesh-eating toxin that kills even those who just touch the leaves. He wants to send these leaves to America to spread the toxins.

Each of these authors brings the hot-button, massive issue to very personal stories populated by characters you grow to care about.

altWhen the relentless violence of the drug cartels reach innocent people, the reader feels for each character affected. Many of us can't wrap our brains about how massive are the issues of immigration and drug cartels. These seem like unsolvable problems fraught with politics, bribes and violence.

But without taking political sides, each of these authors put the human face on the issues and show us that solutions are attainable.

And the novels illustrate things that most Americans probably don't know about.

Rotella's Triple Crossing shows that many ethnicities use the Mexican border to come into the U.S. The smuggling non-Mexicans is incredibly lucrative with Chinese refugees paying up to $70,000 a piece. 

There is a sense of compassion in each of these novels for those innocent people caught up in the cross-fire of battling drug cartels; for refugees who want a better life for themselves in the U.S.; and for the cops and agents trying to be the first line of defense.

And while the issues they tackle are tough, none of the novels are depressing. Each of these authors also knows they are writing crime fiction.

Freveletti has several books under her belt and has been tapped by the Estate of Robert Ludlum to write the next novel in the Covert One series about a team of political and technical experts.

Sebastian Rotella's Triple Crossing and Tricia Fields' The Territory are these authors first foray into fiction. I hope we hear more from each of these authors.  

 

Wednesday, 09 November 2011

altCorporations do it; so do organizations; and so do people.

Having something named after you such as a stadium, a school, a library, a theater or even a seat in a theater not only allows your name to be remembered but also shows your support.

Now a group of mystery authors are in a contest to see who can raise the most money to have a morgue at Dundee University in Scotland named after them.

Well, why not?

Crime writers Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs (left), Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver (below), Jeff Lindsay, Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Val McDermid are each trying to get the most votes in the "Million for a Morgue" campaign.

The author with the most public votes will have the morgue named after them.

altFans can vote for a favorite author online - with each vote contributing £1 to the fund raiser. A British £1 is equal to about $1.50 in American money, but the exchange rate changes daily.

Dundee University has committed one million pounds to the project, but another million pounds needs to be raised.

According to BBC News, the new morgue will adopt a "revolutionary" way of embalming - called the Thiel method - which keeps bodies flexible for longer.

This gives medics and researchers a more realistic way of testing techniques and practicing procedures, as well as developing new equipment and approaches, according to BBC News.

Dr. Sue Black, director of Dundee's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, is no stranger to crime novelists. According to the BBC News, authors often use her expertise.

According to BBC News, McDermid has used Black's advice when constructing the "grisly technical detail" in her novels.

"She has this rare ability to put things in layman's terms," McDermid was quoted.

By the way, my profile of McDermid is Mystery Scene's current cover story.

Authors Vie for Unusual Naming Rights
Oline Cogdill
authors-vie-for-unusual-naming-rights

altCorporations do it; so do organizations; and so do people.

Having something named after you such as a stadium, a school, a library, a theater or even a seat in a theater not only allows your name to be remembered but also shows your support.

Now a group of mystery authors are in a contest to see who can raise the most money to have a morgue at Dundee University in Scotland named after them.

Well, why not?

Crime writers Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs (left), Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver (below), Jeff Lindsay, Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Val McDermid are each trying to get the most votes in the "Million for a Morgue" campaign.

The author with the most public votes will have the morgue named after them.

altFans can vote for a favorite author online - with each vote contributing £1 to the fund raiser. A British £1 is equal to about $1.50 in American money, but the exchange rate changes daily.

Dundee University has committed one million pounds to the project, but another million pounds needs to be raised.

According to BBC News, the new morgue will adopt a "revolutionary" way of embalming - called the Thiel method - which keeps bodies flexible for longer.

This gives medics and researchers a more realistic way of testing techniques and practicing procedures, as well as developing new equipment and approaches, according to BBC News.

Dr. Sue Black, director of Dundee's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, is no stranger to crime novelists. According to the BBC News, authors often use her expertise.

According to BBC News, McDermid has used Black's advice when constructing the "grisly technical detail" in her novels.

"She has this rare ability to put things in layman's terms," McDermid was quoted.

By the way, my profile of McDermid is Mystery Scene's current cover story.