Bloody Knuckles Newsletter

BLOODY KNUCKLES NEWSLETTER If you're interested in weekly updates from me on crime fiction or if you want a quick flash fition read that hits you twice as hard, check out my newsletter by subscribing below.

Enter your email address:

A TinyLetter Email Newsletter

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One Too Many Clicks

I like how I'm following myself now.

The Girl with the Dragon Wing Eyes (cont.)

The title for the story was not meant to copy the late Steig LArson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hadn't even heard of Larson or the book, which I later discovered was part of a trilogy. I actually came up with it based on Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds after hearing how Lennon got the title from his son. Having been to renaissance faires in the Detroit area, I've noticed quite a few people go in for body or face painting. The young woman who caught my eye a year ago had her eyes and face painted much like a dragon. It was pretty intriguing, to say the least. Anyhow, when I started writing the Harry Landers stories, I decided the faire would make for a colorful backdrop. I have a couple of friends who moved to the Clearwater Beach, Florida, area in their early twenties who often talked of the a similar faire taking place near them. Later I found out there is a circuit of such faires which allowed Harry to travel out of Michigan. It's been two decades since I was last in Tampa, but the sunset behinf the skyline has always stuck with me. It's the same sunset Harry drives into as he notifies his clients of the results of the case.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Next Release: The Girl with the Dragon Wing Eyes

Mind Wings Audio will release the next Harry Landers episode sometime this spring. Harry takes a case brought to him by a couple of distraught parents. They believe their daughter has run off with a man she met at a local renaissance faire. For Harry, fantasy and reality will mix as he investigates a would be serial killer who hides behind a persona of a 16th century mage.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

No. 9

Only the Dead Will Whisper becomes the ninth in the Harry Landers series. The publisher calls them episodes. That's cool with me.

This particular episode takes place in the Upper Peninsula, a favorite locale of mine to use as a back drop. Harry gets an email from an ex-lover who needs his help in locating her missing husband, a ranger in the Hiawatha National Forest. A year has passed since she last saw him and her faith in the local law enforcement agency is waining. A search for Michigan private eyes leads her back to Harry.

I don't have any idea when the release date will be, though. The next in the production room is The Girl with the Dragon Wing Eyes, the one about the nineteen year old runaway with ties to less than reputable characters on the renaissance festival circuit. Harry gets called in to see if he can bring her home.

Still in the wings are The Udjat Eye, Satan's School for Scandal, and my favorite so far, Lake Solitude. It creeped me out the most as I was writing it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In the Box

I typed 'the end' this afternoon.

Then I went back and re-wrote the last fifteen pages.

It is in the box. Tomorrow I send it to my reader.

I'm hoping the experience isn't just positive, I hope it is downright incredible. It would be great if propelled me into that world of full time fiction writer. I'm ready to retire from the day job.

Friday, November 20, 2009

MWA First Novel

Finally got my entry forms today. It came with my 'mystery' reader's name and address. This is kind of exciting. I look back and remember writing stories in first grade that held my peers attention. I won a Young Authors event. I started taking myself seriously in high school. I'm now 48 but refuse to give up on the dream. I'm just wondering when the dream became a reality or if it was always a reality. I think I dream of going full time, but I still like my day job, even if it at times it seems there is a conspiracy to eradicate public educators the way the Terminators went after Sarah Connors.

I'm at 55k words. I need 60k. I have time, I tell myself, to finish, to proof, to rewrite, and to finish again.

I do.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yeah, I Should Be


I have three stories submitted into the netherlands of slush piles. I'm not even sure what a digital slush pile looks like but I know I have two sitting in them right now. I also have an old fashion hard-copy story out to The Strand, a magazine that turns out to be about a dozen miles from where I sit typing this.

The bigger concern is not NANOWRIMO but the upcoming deadline for theMWA First Novel competition. I should have had the jump on this much earlier. I'm a little shy on the word count and I'm editing as I go.

I just looked at the time.

Enough surfing and blogging.

Concentrate because I should be...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kindle Rankings

Yesterday was a somewhat exciting day for A Model for Murder. At one point it had an Amazon Kindle Ranking of #4901. I had been watching it off and on throughout the day. The ranking number kept getting smaller and smaller. It's impossible to tell exactly how many eCopies of it sold through Amazon, although one web site suggests that the ranking number equals around 15-20 sales for the day/week. It was #34 for short stories and #35 for hard-boiled noir. This morning I checked and it is back up to over 11,000 with it sinking to #75 for shorts and #95 for hard-boiled. Still, I claim this as a victory in my struggle for an audience. I know from the Mind Wings Audio site the CDs are being sold at convenience stores in New England. I'm the Hemingway of the interstate.

I also like how Amazon links A Model for Murder to 'People Who Bought This Also Bought'. Apparently A Model for Murder goes well with The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson. Two authors linked without ever having met. Interesting this webbish world.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back from Bouchercon

Had a very interesting time and spoke with some very interesting people. Twice I saw Christina Faust of Money Shot fame but I was on the second or third level each time and she was on the ground floor. Alas. One less fan who got to offer his admiration.

I wound up going solo to the PWA Shamus awards at the Slippery Noodle. Still a good time. I was in the presence of big names but stayed low. I did offer my services for next years awards. Fun evening. Great bar.

The Michael Connelly interview was entertaining and enlightening. Michael Koryta did a fine job of conducting the interview. He was light, humorous, and groveled appropriately.

Finally, what a fantastic city Indianapolis was. The coordinators of this years event really left a great impression on a first timer. Nice job.

And that was it. I would really like to go back in the future.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Early Review of Shadows of the Emerald City

You have to scroll down, but I'm in there. Check out the review of Emerald City Confidential here.

Hard-Boiled Detective/B-Girl 10/18/09 (con.t)

A link to help the celebration: Bogie

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hard Boiled Detective/ B-Girl Day October 18

In my quest to establish a national/international day of something, I dreamed up Hard Boiled Detective/ B-Girl Day to be celebrated annually October 18. This was before I ever heard of Bouchercon. I chose the day to honor the release of The Maltese Falcon (1o/18/41). The name of the day might be a little too long for parties, so feel free to shrink it down to Dicks and Chicks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Author's Spotlight

I'm in the Author's Spotlight section at Check it out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

USS Mount Baker AE-4

I spent some time this morning at the RHPL doing a little research into my late father's life during WWII. I didn't know much aside from family folklore. One such tale involved the renaming of my father's ship in Panama so that it could get through the canals after a rowdy shore leave. I knew the name of his ship (originally launched as the SS Surprise out of a Tampa shipyard, then renamed and renamed again as mentioned above), I knew the years he served, and I knew I had some pictures of him during the war years that didn't involve him or some of his shipmates with their arms around topless girls in grass skirts; after I discovered those and asked my mother about them, the pictures mysteriously disappeared.

The Mt. Baker was an ammo ship used to transport munitions primarily in the Atlantic. I'm piecing bits together by looking at time lines to see where he might have been during a given campaign. I know now that at the time he was supplying ships in the north Atlantic waters, the seas were rife with German U-boats. He sometimes spoke about places he had been during the war, including North Africa and southern Italy. There's a chance he was part of the 1400 vessel assault on Sicily. In the winter of 1944, he shipped out of San Francisco carrying supplies and mail to men in the south Pacific theatre.

I've had an idea for a story based on him for a while. I'm just waiting for it to gel.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Craw

Tonight I did all my writing in my head. Well, except for this.

I picked up a couple of ideas but nothing concrete wanted to come out of my fingers tonight. Except this. Really, it's a lament to the procrastination of the actual writing I should be doing.

I have second-guessing stuck in my craw right now. I'm doubting I can do this.

Of course, tomorrow I'll look at this post and think otherwise.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fantasy Football

Two things happened to my team this past weekend. The first was I didn't realize Kevin Walker of the Houston Texans was a game time decision. The second was I needed 29 points from Peyton Manning to win. He got me 27. I lost by one. Had I been paying attention to the rest of my team and not just Senor Bouldin from Arizona, I would have played anyone else and won my week.

Coaching is tough.

Writing is tougher at times. I'm trying to develop a series centered around baseball and murders in game cities. I can't quite figure out who my detective should be: An umpire? A sports reporter? A vendor? Maybe it's a bad idea.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hard-Boiled Detective/B-Girl Day


Long before I knew about Bouchercon, I started posting around places about my idea for a national 'Talk like a Hard-Boiled Detective or a B-Girl' Day, like that 'Talk like a Pirate Day' that everyone was talking about. I was putting it together and looked at first my birthday, but thought that was too much so I went for October 18, which turns out to be the release date of The Maltese Falcon.

So now I'm going to campaign for it at Bouchercon in Indy. Hell, maybe I'll even throw a party at at it.

There's a dozen or so slang sights out here. Drop 'hard-boiled slang' into the search engine of your choice and do a little digging. Otherwise, click here to be taken to one. And don't be a wise apple. I'm not giving you a bum steer, catch my drift?

Celebrate it annually on October 18.

An Introduction

I write professionally under the pen name of Jack Bates. I do this within the crime fiction community. It's something I started to doing in the winter of 2009 after I sold the first in the Harry Landers, PI series to Mind Wings Audio, a start-up publishng company that deals with producing novellas on disk or as an MP3. I was a little skeptical at first but now, as the royalty checks roll in every quarter, I have to say this is a pretty good gig.

I've branched out, publishing on a couple of hard-boiled sites. It's really been a ride finding my niche after writing for thirty some years as a hobby. Mind you, I started when I was eighteen but in those early days, I was trying to be a name, not a writer. Now I'm what I've never thought of being and I'm digging it. Who would have thought after all those years of watching black and white crime films and reading Bradbury, Hemingway, and nearly the entire gamut of the Hard Case series I'd be doing this?

Me, I guess. I mean, writing has always been a source of enjoyment for me. I started with plays and have recently had a few short ones produced. I got a Super 8 movie camera when I was in my teens and copied what I saw at matinees; I never attempted Star Wars, though. I did do a remake of James Brolin's The Car and called it The Bike, starring my nephew as a demonic bike rider with a robot head. We used a mask we had gotten at Disney World, of all places. I was story-boarding before it was in style. In 2007 I sold a screenplay to Triboro Films.

So now here I am the author of a pretty well received series about a rookie PI who is afraid to carry a gun. Not use a gun, just carry it. He's afraid of the power he holds. His dream is to be a private eye in Las Vegas so he's cutting his teeth in Detroit and its suburbs, hoping to toughen up and learn the ropes. Did I mention he's a gambling addict who chases jackpots and even when he wins one he realizes the old addage 'A dollar is too much and a thousand isn't enough' is more truth then he'll ever get out of his clients.

I have nine Landers stories sold. Five are produced. There is one stand alone novella about a drifter with a motorcycle and penchant for finding bad girls. It just might cost the guy his life.