Kwik Krimes Audio Edition

Kwik Krimes AudiobookThe audio version of Otto Penzler’s KWIK KRIMES anthology is now available. This book, which includes my story “Fortune,” contains a whopping 81 stories — each written in fewer than 1,000 words.

There are many gems in KWIK KRIMES, including stories by masters like Reed Farrel Coleman, James Grady, Patti Abbott and Joe R. Lansdale.

The audiobook is read by Phil Gigante, whose voice can be found on dozens upon dozens of audiobooks (more than 200, according to one source). He’s perfect for the job. I really enjoy listening to his work.

Continue reading “Kwik Krimes Audio Edition”

Photos from the KWIK KRIMES Book Signing

Beth and I had a great time traveling to New York City yesterday for the KWIK KRIMES book signing and launch party.

Just visiting The Mysterious Bookshop is a wonderful experience (so many signed books!), but store owner and anthology editor Otto Penzler and everyone else involved made the entire event terrific. It was great to meet so many authors who contributed to the anthology, including Reed Farrel Coleman, Bruce DeSilva, James Grady, Peter Cannon, Marvin Kaye, Rob W. Hart, Gerald Elias, N.J. Ayres, and everyone I’m sure I’m not thinking of as I type this post…

Here are a few photos Beth took at the event. If you’d like a copy of KWIK KRIMES signed by about 17 of the contributors, plus Mr. Penzler, I happen to know The Mysterious Bookshop has a few in stock!

Kwik Krimes Signing Event: Book Display

Kwik Krimes Signing Event: My Table

Kwik Krimes Signing Event: Overview

(Click on any of the photos for larger versions.)

Kwik Krimes Book Signing Tonight in NYC

Kwik KrimesTonight at The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, an impressive group of authors will be on hand to sign copies of Otto Penzler’s latest anthology, KWIK KRIMES.

If you can make it to the event, please do!

In addition to Mr. Penzler, the lineup includes Shamus Award-winning author Reed Farrel Coleman (not to mention his Anthony, Barry and Macavity awards), Edgar Award winners Peter Blauner and Bruce DeSilva, Anthony Award winner Chris Grabenstein, and Edgar Award nominees Lyndsay Faye and Jim Fusilli. (The list of great writers goes on and on: check out the list at The Mysterious Bookshop’s website.)

In addition to those masters of the craft, I’ll also be on hand, since Mr. Penzler was kind enough to include my story “Fortune” in KWIK KRIMES. I’ll be the one standing there, jaw dropped, hoping to absorb some talent just by being in the same room with these folks.

Release Day for KWIK KRIMES

Kwik KrimesWhen I worked at the Corn Crib (in Christiana, Pennsylvania) and the Gap Diner (in Gap, Pennsylvania) in the late 1980s, I never imagined that being a dishwasher and a short-order cook would lead to me having a story in an anthology edited by Otto Penzler.

But that’s exactly what happened.

Today’s release day for Penzler’s KWIK KRIMES (U.S. Kindle, U.S. paperback, U.K. Kindle, U.K. paperback) — and it includes my story “Fortune,” about two entrepreneurs in the world of recycled cooking oil. (“Fortune” was originally published by Shotgun Honey).

KWIK KRIMES features 81 stories written by such luminaries as David Corbett, Gar Anthony Haywood, Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Tasha Alexander, Joe R. Lansdale, and many more. Each story is 1,000 words or less — which means it’s perfect reading for anytime you have a short wait. Or, some have suggested, the perfect book to keep in your bathroom.

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Kwik Krimes Cover Revealed

Kwik KrimesWhen it comes out later this year, Kwik Krimes, an anthology edited by Otto Penzler, will — this is still stunning to me — include my short story “Fortune.” It won’t be available until August 20, but for now check out that amazing cover! (Click on it for an even bigger version.) I love the beat-up look, the the fedora, the seedy motel, the colors, the font… Everything works.

I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hands.

If you’re interested in reading ultra short stories (all under 1,000 words) from great authors like Ken Bruen, Reed Farrell Coleman and Lyndsay Faye, you can pre-order Kwik Krimes from right now:

  • U.S. paperback
  • U.S. Kindle
  • U.K. paperback
  • U.K. Kindle
  • h/t to Rob W. Hart for being the first to notice the book cover being added to Amazon’s website. Or at least the first to notice who posted something about it that I noticed…

    Otto Penzler’s Kwik Krimes Coming in August

    Over the weekend, I pre-ordered a book edited by Otto Penzler. Not a big deal, I’ve done that before.

    But this book was Kwik Krimes, an anthology edited by Penzler which includes one of my stories. (No, I’m still not over that. Won’t be anytime soon.)

    Kwik Krimes is available for pre-order from Amazon (U.S. Kindle, U.S. paperback, U.K. Kindle, U.K. paperback). The publication date is listed as August 20, 2013. (Is it August yet?!?)

    In addition to my story “Fortune” (originally published at Shotgun Honey), Kwik Krimes will feature nearly 100 stories from the likes of Peter Blauner, Ken Bruen, Tasha Alexander, Bruce DeSilva, Joe R. Lansdale and many, many other Actual, Real-Life Authors. To say I’m honored and excited to be included in their midst is the understatement of the year.

    NoirCon2012 Recap

    NoirCon 2012NoirCon 2012, a small convention dedicated to the art of noir, has come to an end. I also attended NoirCon 2010 (it takes place every other year, so the next one is in 2014). Both were excellent events, packed with interesting panel discussions, one-on-one interviews and speakers. Organizer Lou Boxer does a tremendous job.

    There were many, many highlights. Here are just a few:

    A panel called “The Movie was Better” featured Lawrence Block, Anthony Bruno and Duane Swierczynski with moderator Ed Pettit. Some great tidbits: Swierczynski’s Charlie Hardy books (Fun & Games, Hell & Gone, Point & Shoot) have been optioned for a television series… Bruno novelized the screenplay for Seven, but the producers wouldn’t give him any video or stills as the movie was being made so he had no idea it was raining 90 percent of the time… Block was not influenced to change his burglar character Bernie Rhodenbarr in any way whatsoever after the 1987 film Burglar starring Whoopi Goldberg in the title role. (The movie also starred Bobcat Goldthwait, so what are you waiting for?)

    On that panel, Block also discussed the importance of on-site research for modern writers who want to get the setting of a scene just right: “Between Google and Wikipedia, there’s no reason to ever leave your house.”

    The keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler, spoke about cinematic technique as it applies to novels. He used examples from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (the latter, being published in 1861, obviously didn’t draw from film for inspiration, but nonetheless used the novel’s equivalent of establishing shots, slow motion, etc.). It was a great talk.

    Butler’s latest novel, The Hot Country, is available from Mysterious Press and features an early 20th century war correspondent, Christopher Marlowe Cobb, who travels to Mexico during that country’s civil war and witnesses a priest being shot.

    Megan Abbott may be the best panel moderator in the history of panel moderators. She’s funny, smart and keeps things moving. The True Crime panel with her, Alison Gaylin, Wallace Stroby and Dennis Tafoya was a clear standout. David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac was singled out several times for being an excellent true crime movie, a sentiment I completely agree with.

    In the one-one-one interviews, Jeremiah Healy did a great job interviewing Otto Penzler (of Mysterious Bookshop and Mysterious Press fame), while Swierczynski did an incredibly entertaining interview with Block. The Swierczynski-Block interview was, hands down, the funniest hour of the show.

    When Swierczynski pointed out that Block’s career started with Gold Medal paperbacks, which many people didn’t consider to be “real books,” and is now in the era of e-books, which many people don’t consider to be “real books,” Block responded with: “Right. I’ve been writing not-real books for over 50 years.”

    The interview touched on Block’s use of pseudonyms, the speed with which he writes, the number of countries he’s visited (about 160, though “now, we’re finding that staying at home is a perfect way to prevent jet lag”), and much more.

    Block’s dry sense of humor was evident throughout. Discussing one particular editor, he said, “I never met him, and I’ve always been grateful for that.” And when people ask him how he wrote a book, his answer is, “I took those particular words and put them in that particular order.”

    Block said the books he’s probably most proud of are When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes (1986, featuring private investigator Matt Scudder) and Small Town (2003, a stand-alone novel).

    I could go on and on, since nearly every panel, interview and speaker could qualify as a “highlight.” (I really should mention the final panel, Crime in Primetime, which featured extended discussions of the television series Breaking Bad, The Shield and Hill Street Blues. Terrific stuff.)

    But for me, the best part of NoirCon was meeting so many great people, including the incredibly down-to-earth Mr. Penzler, David Corbett (I took his class at LitReactor earlier this year and he’s a wonderful teacher), fellow Temple alum Jon McGoran (whose tremendously cool-sounding book Drift will come out in July), Dustin Kurtz (marketing manager at Melville House, who was kind enough to help me find a great book for my wife: Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov), Peter Farris (author of Last Call for the Living), Shannon Clute (of, Liam José (of CrimeFactory) and William Lashner (who is hilarious and made the Jewish Noir panel a riot).

    UPDATED: For more about NoirCon, check out:

    Gallagher has also posted some clips to YouTube. Here’s a 27-minute clip from the keynote address by Robert Olen Butler:

    Here’s a 30-minute clip from the Swierczynski-Block interview:

    And here’s a four-minute clip of Block from the awards ceremony, in which he discusses David Goodis:

    NoirCon 2012 Begins Today

    NoirCon 2012This morning in Philadelphia, NoirCon 2012 begins. (Here’s a great look at the convention from the Philadelphia Inquirer.) I’ll be there all three days, and I’m looking forward to the many great panels, including:

  • Good Country People (Southern Noir): Peter Farris, Vicki Hendricks, Jake Hinkson, Jonathan Woods, and moderator Joe Samuel Starnes
  • L.A. Noire: Lawrence Block, Duane Swierczynski, Megan Abbott, Joyce Carol Oates, and moderator Jonathan Santlofer
  • True Crime: Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin, Wallace Stroby, and Dennis Tafoya
  • Crime in Primetime (TV’s most innovative noir series): Jared Case (THE SHIELD), Rich Edwards (BREAKING BAD), and Thomas Kaufman (HILL STREET BLUES)
  • I’m also looking forward to the one-one-one interviews, with Jeremiah Healy interviewing Otto Penzler today and Duane Swierczynski interviewing Lawrence Block tomorrow.

    There’s no doubt that NoirCon 2012 will be fantastic. I’ll be tweeting about it from time to time if you want to follow along @erikarneson.

    Wait. What? Surely that Email Isn’t for Me.

    Yesterday, I checked my email and saw one from Otto Penzler, the owner of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and book publisher The Mysterious Press, and the editor of many tremendous anthologies, including the series of The Best American Mystery Stories. The email’s subject line was “Kwik Krimes.” My first thought: Excellent, a new anthology I’ll be able to read!

    When I opened the email and saw what it actually said, I was ecstatic — truly, “ecstatic” doesn’t begin to describe the feeling — to see that Mr. Penzler wanted to include one of my stories in his upcoming Kwik Krimes anthology. (I read the email several times before I decided that I wasn’t confused. Then I called Beth to the computer to confirm that I wasn’t confused.)

    A large part of me remains convinced that I must have received his email in error. But I replied with “yes” and he replied to that with an email that included the words “your story will be in the collection.” And today I’m sending in a contract. So I think it’s too late for the mistake to be corrected.

    Thus, my story “Fortune”, which would never have been written if it weren’t for the many hours I spent working as a short-order cook at The Corn Crib in Christiana, Pennsylvania, and the Gap Diner in Gap, Pennsylvania, will appear in Kwik Krimes.

    All of the stories in Kwik Krimes will be less than 1,000 words long, and based on Mr. Penzler’s Facebook post about the collection, it should be out in Spring 2013. I’ll definitely let you know.