Word Crimes Podcast: Episode 7

Title 18: Word Crimes PodcastGet ready… the seventh episode of the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast is now available!

This episode features “Strangers,” a short story by Joe Clifford originally published by Thrillers, Killers & Chillers and read by public radio reporter Scott Detrow.

Enjoy!

Don’t miss a single episode: Subscribe to Word Crimes on iTunes and Stitcher.

Did you like this episode? Let us know by posting a comment here, on Twitter or Facebook — or, best of all, rate the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

“Not My Gun” at The Flash Fiction Offensive

TFFO LogoI’m very excited to be back at Out of the Gutter Online’s The Flash Fiction Offensive today with a new short story:

“Not My Gun”

Making my fourth appearance at TFFO even better, editors Joe Clifford and Tom Pitts are featuring two great pieces of art by my friend Dillon Samuelson along with the story. Dillon is remarkably talented and, I predict, will have a long career as an artist.

I think the art we chose fits the dark mood of “Not My Gun” perfectly.

If by chance you’re interested in acquiring one of Dillon’s works, well… I’ve already purchased the second image (a monoprint), the one with the butterfly. But the top piece is still available (as are numerous others — check out Dillon’s portfolio at Behance to see more of his art.)

Art by Dillon Samuelson Art by Dillon Samuelson

Click the images for larger versions.

My thanks to Dillon for allowing his art to accompany my story, and to Tom and Joe for deciding to feature it.

Four Questions With… Chris F. Holm

If the name Chris F. Holm is attached to a book or a short story, I want to read it.

Photo by Jacques FilippiHis Collector trilogy (DEAD HARVEST, THE WRONG GOODBYE and THE BIG REAP) is an amazing twist on the age-old battle between heaven and hell: Holm recast it as a series of pulp novels packed with characters you care about, action you don’t want to end, and plots so intense it feels like the fate of the world hangs in the balance. (Because, you know, it does.)

If you didn’t notice from the titles of the Collector novels, each of which is a play on a classic crime novel, Holm’s not afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve. Reading his work, it’s also clear that he loves words and language.

In addition to the Collector books, Holm has penned many short stories. (In fact, at the time of this posting, he’s offering both of his solo short story collections for free. Seriously.)

Soon (but not soon enough for my tastes), Holm will branch out in another direction. THE KILLING KIND, his first non-Collector novel, will be published by Mulholland Books.

It’s not yet known exactly when THE KILLING KIND will be published, but hopefully we’ll be reading it by… well, let’s see what the author can tell us. Here are Four Questions With… Chris F. Holm.

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Four Questions With… Dennis Tafoya

It’s easy to find people raving about Dennis Tafoya’s novels.

The Poor Boy's GameMegan Abbott, the Edgar Award-winning author of DARE ME, said this about his latest: “With THE POOR BOY’S GAME, Tafoya shows us he ranks with George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane, illuminating the grimmest corners of his city, and telling tales filled with both darkness and immense beauty.”

His previous novel, THE WOLVES OF FAIRMOUNT PARK, earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly (which also mentioned Lehane as a comparison) and Booklist called it a “gritty, insightful crime novel” that “cements his position as an up-and-coming hard-boiled writer.”

His debut, DOPE THIEF, was called “raw and redemptive” by PW, while Booklist said “the action has a hard, violent edge that recalls Richard Price.”

It’s all true, every word.

Dennis is also an accomplished short story writer. “Satan’s Kingdom,” originally published by NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir, is included in THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2014 and “Above the Imperial” is featured in PHILADELPHIA NOIR.

I could go on — he’s also a really down-to-earth guy and great fun to talk to — but let’s get to it. Here are Four Questions With… Dennis Tafoya.

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Word Crimes Podcast: Episode 6

Title 18: Word Crimes PodcastPrepared for your listening pleasure in record time, the sixth episode of the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast is available now!

This episode features “The Biggest Myth,” a short story by Tom Pitts originally published by All Due Respect and read by public radio reporter Scott Detrow.

Enjoy!

Don’t miss a single episode: Subscribe to Word Crimes on iTunes and Stitcher.

Did you like this episode? Let us know by posting a comment here, on Twitter or Facebook — or, best of all, rate the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Word Crimes Podcast: Episode 5

Title 18: Word Crimes PodcastThe fifth episode of the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast is now available!

This episode features “Vacation Package,” a story by Christopher Irvin originally published by Out of the Gutter Online’s Flash Fiction Offensive and read by my partner in word crimes, Scott Detrow.

Enjoy!

Don’t miss a single episode: Subscribe to Word Crimes on iTunes and Stitcher.

Did you like this episode? Let us know by posting a comment here, on Twitter or Facebook — or, best of all, rate the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Book Launch: The Poor Boy’s Game

The Poor Boy's GameAuthor Dennis Tafoya’s latest novel, THE POOR BOY’S GAME, launches tonight.

If you’re anywhere near New Hope, Pennsylvania, around 7 p.m., head over to the Triumph Brewing Company and join the festivities.

If you’re scratching your head wondering who Dennis Tafoya is, this quote from Edgar Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott says it all: “With THE POOR BOY’S GAME, Tafoya shows us he ranks with George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane, illuminating the grimmest corners of his city, and telling tales filled with both darkness and immense beauty.” (If you’re still not convinced, read more praise here.)

This terrific interview with Tafoya in Philadelphia’s City Paper nails it as well: “Tafoya’s in the same game [as George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, and Daniel Woodrell], but with a Philly-centric perspective. He understands the vibes and unique qualities of the city, from Roxborough to Fishtown, from Kelly Drive to Seventh and Bainbridge. Philadelphia is a distinct character in his books.”

If you make it out tonight, I’ll see you there. If not, check out THE POOR BOY’S GAME by Dennis Tafoya and think about picking it up. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Word Crimes Podcast: Episode 4

Title 18: Word Crimes PodcastAfter some time off to recover from a touch of the bronchitis… The fourth episode of the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast is now available!

This episode features two crime fiction stories: “On the Sly” by Ron Earl Phillips, originally published in Six Minute Magazine and read by David Sobkowiak and Laura Frechette, and my own “Oh Well,” originally published by Out of the Gutter Online and read by my partner in word crimes, Scott Detrow. Enjoy!

Don’t miss any of our upcoming episodes — subscribe to Word Crimes on iTunes and Stitcher.

What do you think? Let us know by posting a comment here, on Twitter or Facebook, or — best of all — rate the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

The Murders at the Lake

The magazine Texas Monthly has a knack for publishing extremely well-written crime reporting. In December 2012, I gushed about “The Innocent Man” by Pamela Colloff, a terrifying piece about how bad police work and prosecutors determined to win at any cost can be just as destructive as the most deranged criminal.

Today, thanks to a Facebook post by author Dennis Tafoya, I read “The Murders at the Lake” by Michael Hall. It looks at the 1982 murders of three Waco, Texas, teenagers from five different perspectives: cop, detective, lawyer, journalist and inmate. Highly recommended.

Four Questions With… Owen Laukkanen

Kill FeeOwen Laukkanen is unrepentant.

He writes books that are impossible to stop reading. And he doesn’t care one iota about the lack of sleep that he’s causing.

Not even a little bit.

“Sleep loss is the best compliment I can get as a writer,” he says.

He’s been getting a lot of compliments.

Laukkanen’s debut, THE PROFESSIONALS, was described by author C.J. Box as “a high-octane adrenaline and gunpowder-fueled rocket ride.” It’s an entirely accurate description.

THE PROFESSIONALS introduced FBI agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) Detective Kirk Stevens, a seemingly mis-matched pair who work together to solve a string of kidnappings being carried out by recent college graduates who are victims of the poor job market. The kidnappings start out as low-risk, high-reward affairs, but matters escalate quickly when they kidnap the wrong man.

Laukkanen is equally at home writing from the perspective of criminals and law enforcement, a skill that he puts to good use in THE PROFESSIONALS. It’s an exciting book filled with tense, action-packed, short chapters which keep you turning the pages.

I recently finished CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, Laukkanen’s second novel, and all the superlatives given to THE PROFESSIONALS can easily be transferred to CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE. It’s another phenomenal thriller.

And I’m very much looking forward to KILL FEE, the third in Laukkanen’s Stevens & Windermere series, which will be officially available on March 20, 2014. I already know I won’t get much sleep that night.

Here are Four Questions With… Owen Laukkanen.

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