Category: Authors

RIP: Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman, lyricist of million-selling hit records, died yesterday at the age of 73.  No cause of death was released.

Steinman is best known for his collaborations with Meat Loaf on the albums Bat Out of Hell (1977) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993).  Bat Out of Hell produced two top ten hits: “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and became one of the best-selling albums ever.  Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell released one single: “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” that spent five weeks at No. 1.  Steinman also penned the music and book for Bat Out of Hell: The Musical which ran from February through April in Manchester, England.

Steinman may have been known best for his two collaborations with Meat Loaf, but he composed and produced hits with many other artists including…

  • “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” performed by Air Supply
  • “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (which he also produced) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “Nowhere Fast” performed by Fire, Inc. for the Streets of Fire Soundtrack
  • “Left in the Dark” performed by Barbara Streisand
  • “Hulk Hogan’s Theme” for the WWE
  • “Holding Out for a Hero” (which he also produced and co-wrote with Dean Pitchford) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” performed by Celine Dion
  • and many more.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Steinman’s family, friends and fans.

“Truman & Tennessee” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!


The poster and trailer for Truman & Tennessee can be found here.  Truman and Tennessee are, of course, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.  I don’t know much about either man other than they were considered great writers. They created excellent books (Capote) and plays (Williams) which in turn led to excellent movies.  I didn’t often see either of the men on talk shows because I was too young to be interested, but I have seen the movies made from their work.  I’d like to know more about these creatives and so I look forward to seeing Truman & Tennessee.

A story of two of the greatest writers of the past century examined in a dialogue that stretches from their early days of friendship to their final, unsparing critiques of each other.

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (A Reckless Book) by Brubaker and Phillips is Coming!

In his newsletter that came out yesterday, Ed Brubaker shared the cover of the third book in his and Sean Phillips’ Reckless series.  Titled Destroy All Monsters, it features their character Ethan Reckless.  Brubaker also announced:

Our original plan was to do the first three books in the series, then take a break and do something else and then come back for more Reckless adventures, but then I had ideas for two more… so we’ll be doing five of these in a row unless something goes wrong.

If you’re not up to speed on the Reckless series check out Ed Brubaker gets Reckless with Sean Phillips at The Beat.

Eddie Muller’s Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is Getting a Revised & Expanded Hardcover Edition!

Fans of film noir will be excited to learn that Eddie Muller’s classic Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is getting a revised and expanded hard cover edition!

This revised and expanded edition of Eddie Muller’s Dark City is a film noir lover’s bible, taking readers on a tour of the urban landscape of the grim and gritty genre in a definitive, highly illustrated volume.

Dark City expands with new chapters and a fresh collection of restored photos that illustrate the mythic landscape of the imagination. It’s a place where the men and women who created film noir often find themselves dangling from the same sinister heights as the silver-screen avatars to whom they gave life. Eddie Muller, host of Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley, takes readers on a spellbinding trip through treacherous terrain: Hollywood in the post-World War II years, where art, politics, scandal, style — and brilliant craftsmanship — produced a new approach to moviemaking, and a new type of cultural.

I’ve already pre-ordered mine.  You can too, if you’re so inclined.  Here is the Amazon link (at a discounted price).

Eddie Muller has teamed with Larry Edmund’s Bookshop in Hollywood California to provide autographed copies that will also contain an exclusive graphic stamp.  These copies can be ordered here.

“Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters” – The Teaser Trailer is Here!

Even if you don’t recognize the name, Mike Mignola, you know his creation, Hellboy.  Perhaps the most popular comic character created in the last 40 years, Hellboy has been adapted into several movies, games, comic series and more.  A documentary about Hellboy’s creator, Mike Mignola, is in the works.  The first teaser trailer is here!

THE CHAOS KIND by Barry Eisler is Coming!

Barry Eisler has a new book coming out on September 21st.  If you’re a fan, you’ll be happy to hear that The Chaos Kind features many of Eisler’s most popular characters…

The assassins of Barry Eisler’s #1 bestseller The Killer Collective are back—and this time, it’s chaos.

Assistant US Attorney Alondra Diaz hates traffickers. And she’s determined to put one of America’s most powerful financiers, Andrew Schrader, in prison forever for his crimes against children.

But Schrader has videos implicating some of the most powerful members of the US national security state. To eliminate Diaz, the powers that be bring in a contractor: Marvin Manus, an implacable assassin whose skills have been forged in intelligence, the military, and the hardest prisons.

Enter former Marine sniper Dox and black-ops veteran Daniel Larison with an unusual assignment: not to kill Diaz, but to keep her alive.

A lot of players are determined to acquire the videos and the blackmail power they represent. But with Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, “natural causes” killer John Rain, and Mossad honey-trap specialist Delilah, the good guys might just have a chance.

They’re not going to play by anyone else’s rules. They’re not going to play by any rules at all. They want a different kind of fight. The chaos kind.

I’m looking forward to this one!  The Chaos Kind is available for pre-order now.

Stephen King’s New Novel BILLY SUMMERS is Coming!

Stephen King has a new book coming out on August 3rd.  Billy Summers is described as “…a thrilling new novel about a good guy in a bad job.”

Tell me more.

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything.

This spectacular can’t-put-it-down novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features one of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It’s about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.

You won’t put this story down, and you won’t forget Billy.

Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt if you’d like to know more.  As for me, I’m in.

“The Godfather, Part III” Trivia!

I imagine that most folks reading this would agree that The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II are two excellent films.  I wonder how many of us would agree that The Godfather, Part III, while not on the same level as I or II is still a good film? 

Todd Gilchrist at Mental Floss presents 20 Facts About The Godfather Part III.  Before you click over, here are my thoughts on three from Gilchrist’s list and one that didn’t make the cut.

ROBERT DUVALL WAS WRITTEN OUT OF THE GODFATHER PART III DUE TO A SALARY DISPUTE.  It was a mistake to not bring Duvall back.  Then they replaced him with George Hamilton as a new character.  It felt wrong and didn’t help the film.

ANDY GARCIA HAD A LOT OF A-LIST COMPETITION FOR HIS ROLE IN THE GODFATHER PART III.  Some of the actors in the running included Alec Baldwin, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Val Kilmer, Charlie Sheen, and Billy Zane.  I thought Garcia did an excellent job in the role. From those listed my second choice would have been Alec Baldwin.

THE GODFATHER PART III FEATURED MANY FAMILIAR FACES BOTH IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA.  This helped strengthen the film… and only made Duvall’s absence felt that much more.

A Godfather III fact that didn’t make the list is that at one point when it didn’t look like Francis Ford Coppola was going to return there were discussions of getting Sylvester Stallone to direct and star along with John Travolta.  While that would have been very interesting, critics would have been all over it with negativity… and we’d have never gotten Coppola’s return.

For Gilchrist’s complete list and his thoughts on each, click over.

RIP: Peter Mark Richman

Peter Mark Richman died yesterday at the age of 93 from natural causes.  Richman was an accomplished actor who appeared in feature films, television and on Broadway, an author who wrote plays, short stories and novels, and an artist.  Talk about being a Renaissance Man.

I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seen Peter Mark Richman perform, even if you don’t recognize his name.  Richman has 159 credits on his IMDb resume.  I remember him best from the classic Twilight Zone episode The Fear, but that was one of well over 100 appearances Peter Mark Richman made on television.  In addition to Cain’s Hundred (which he starred in), you could see Richmond regularly show up on tv shows starting in the 1960s through the 1990s.  He had reoccurring roles on Longstreet, Three’s Company, Dynasty, Beverly Hills 90210, and guest appearances on just about every other major television show.  

 Richman’s features films include The Strange One, Black Orchid, Naked Gun 2 and Friday the 13th, Part 8, and Vic (a short film co-written and directed by Sage Stallone).  Starting the in the 1990s, Richman began doing voice work for Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.  

Mr. Richman appeared on Broadway, had several of his one-act plays, novels and short stories published.  He also had 17 one-man exhibitions of his paintings.  

Peter Mark Richman was married to his wife, Helen for 67 and they have five children.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Peter Mark Richman’s family, friends and fans.  What an amazing creative life he led.

TWO IN THE HEAD by Eric Beetner is Coming Soon!

Eric Beetner’s new book, Two in the Head, drops in less than a week.  Here’s the synopsis…

When Samantha awakes she is half buried in bricks and the smoke still swirls in the air. The car bomb didn’t killed her-small miracle. Her unfocused eyes see a figure coming nearer. A shape she recognizes somehow. As the person passes by the orange glow from the car fire’s light, she sees the face. Her face. But how?
The other Samantha stands over her and regards her twin. Something is off about this new face. It is her, sure, but harder somehow. The new Sam turns and walks away, back toward the building she came out of before her car exploded. Back to see the two drug kingpins in the top floor offices. And somehow Samantha knows-back to take the deal she just turned down.

Samantha Whelan is a DEA agent, and not always a straight and narrow one. She’s been taking bribes and doing favors for Calder and Rizzo-twin brothers and big players in narco traffic in southern California-for years. She turned down a deal that night, a deal to make her millions, but it meant killing her fiancé, an assistant district attorney building a case against Calder and Rizzo. And it meant betraying her DEA brethren more deeply than she had so far. It was too much. So Calder and Rizzo tried to blow her up.

What happened then…she split. Samantha became Samantha and Sam. Two halves of the same person. The good side and the bad side. The two opposing forces living within her for so long were now free to fight it out to see who will win control.

So begins a nightmarish rocket ride for Samantha to save her life and the lives of everyone she holds dear before Sam, her bad half, can burn it to the ground.

Praise for TWO IN THE HEAD:

“Two In the Head is a straight shot between the eyes. A gangbusters plot, punch-drunk pace, and gut-punch action propel this black hearted thriller from Eric Beetner.” -J. Todd Scott, author of The Far Empty and Lost River

Regular readers know that Eric Beetner is one of my must-read authors.  If Beetner isn’t for you,  you probably haven’t tried one of his tales.  Perhaps Two in the Head would be a good place to start.

RIP: William Link

William Link, best known as co-creator of Columbo, passed away on Sunday, December 27th from congestive heart failure.  Mr. Link was 87.

William Link often partnered with Richard Levinson to write, create and produce everything from radio scripts to teleplays and feature films.  In addition to co-creating Columbo, Link along with Levinson and Peter S. Fischer created the popular and long-running television program Murder, She Wrote.  Link and Levinson also created Mannix in addition to other tv series.  Link and Levinson’s television movies included My Sweet Charlie, That Certain Summer, and (my favorite) The Execution of Private Slovak starring a young Martin Sheen. Their scripts for feature films included The Hindenburg; Rollercoaster; and Steve McQueen’s last film The Hunter.

Link and Levinson won numerous awards throughout their long partnership including two Emmys, two Golden Globes, four Edgar Allan Poe Awards and many others.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to William Link’s family, friends and fans.

“The Capote Tapes” Poster and Trailer

I’m not a fan of the poster but I do like the trailer for The Capote Tapes.

Truman Capote became famous for his writing with Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood.  The fact that they were turned into very well received movies added to his fame.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s was nominated for 5 Oscars and won two.  In Cold Blood was nominated for four Oscars.

Although Capote would go on to write other shorts stories, novels and teleplays, he became best known for being famous.  Capote was popular on the talk show circuit.  He was flamboyant and loved telling stories.  I look forward to seeing The Capote Tapes and someday pulling In Cold Blood off my to-be-read bookshelf and reading it.

In the 35 years since his death, Truman Capote has remained a source of curiosity to many. His works, including ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘In Cold Blood’, have maintained their place in the literary canon of great twentieth century American literature and still appeal to readers across the globe today.

‘Answered Prayers’ was meant to be Truman Capote’s greatest masterpiece, an epic portrait of NYC’s glittering jet-set society. Instead, it sparked his downfall. Through never before heard audio archive and interviews with Capote’s friends and enemies, this intimate documentary reveals the rise and fall of one America’s most iconic writers.
#TheCapoteTapes

“The Heathens” by Ace Atkins is Coming!

It’s been announced that Ace Atkins will have a new Quinn Colson novel coming out on July 13, 2021.  The Heathens will be the 11th novel in the best selling series and I can’t wait.  Here’s the synopsis…

Sheriff Quinn Colson and his former deputy Lillie Virgil find themselves on opposite sides of a case for the first time after a man is found dead and three delinquent teens go on the run.

The Byrd clan is one of the wildest families in Tibbehah County. The three kids are the ire of school resource and truant officers–they peddle pot and steal car parts, doing what they can to survive with a mother who sometimes disappears for months on end. But when their mother returns with a new husband, a registered sex offender, a homicide soon follows, and the kids hit the highway.

U.S. Marshal Lillie Virgil is convinced the Byrd kids are guilty of murder, and sets off on a cross-country hunt to track them down and bring them to justice. Back in Tibbehah, Sheriff Quinn Colson isn’t so sure. And as he digs deeper into the case, he comes to think there may be a larger conspiracy at work.

If you’ve missed out (or are interested in getting started) here our the Quinn Colson novels in order of publication.

  1. The Ranger
  2. The Lost Ones
  3. The Broken Places
  4. The Forsaken
  5. The Redeemers
  6. The Innocents
  7. The Fallen
  8. The Sinners
  9. The Shameless
  10. The Revelators

MONSTERS by Barry Windsor Smith is Coming!

The cover above is to Barry Windsor Smith’s Monsters.  As many of our readers know, BWS is considered to be one of the greatest artistic geniuses to have ever worked in comics.  Smith’s last comic work was in 2005 and many thought he had retired.  Little did we know that he had been working on Monsters for 35 years.

35 years in the making, the most anticipated graphic novel in recent comics history! 

The year is 1964. Bobby Bailey doesn’t realize he is about to fulfill his tragic destiny when he walks into a US Army recruitment office to join up. Close-mouthed, damaged, innocent, trying to forget a past and looking for a future, it turns out that Bailey is the perfect candidate for a secret U.S. government experimental program, an unholy continuation of a genetics program that was discovered in Nazi Germany nearly 20 years earlier in the waning days of World War II. Bailey’s only ally and protector, Sergeant McFarland, intervenes, which sets off a chain of cascading events that spin out of everyone’s control. As the titular monsters of the title multiply, becoming real and metaphorical, literal and ironic, the story reaches its emotional and moral reckoning.

Monsters is the legendary project Barry Windsor-Smith has been working on for over 35 years. A 380-page tour de force of visual storytelling, Monsters narrative canvas is both vast and deep: part familial drama, part political thriller, part metaphysical journey, it is an intimate portrait of individuals struggling to reclaim their lives and an epic political odyssey across two generations of American history. Trauma, fate, conscience, and redemption are just a few of the themes that intersect in the most ambitious graphic novel of Windsor-Smith’s career.

Monsters is rendered in Windsor-Smith’s impeccable pen-and-ink technique, the visual storytelling with its sensitivity to gesture and composition is the most sophisticated of the artist’s career. There are passages of heartbreaking tenderness, of excruciating pain, and devastating violence. It is surely one of the most intense graphic novels ever drawn.

Black and white illustrations.

Monsters by Barry Windsor Smith will be released on January 19, 2021.  It is available for pre-order now.  Deal me in.