Cell at Eastern State

Cell at Eastern State

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Your Chance to Vote for Dope Thief for a Spinetingler Award

If you're a fan of Dope Thief, please stop by Spinetingler and vote for the book in the New Voices category. And check out the rest of the magazine, Spinetingler has great fiction, reviews and interviews. I especially love their Conversations with the Bookless series.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

CrimeFactory Back WIth a New Issue

Sheiks and Shebas,

CrimeFactory #2 is up and running! With fiction from Ray Banks, Dave Zeltserman, Kieran Shea, Patti Abbott, Josh Converse. Stephen D. Rogers and Gerard Brennan. Features by Jimmy Callaway, Reed Farrel Coleman, Craig McDonald, Charlie Stella, Chad Eagleton, The Nerd of Noir and including a review of Dope Thief by Joyce Juzwik.

Thanks to Keith Rawson, Cam Ashley and Liam Jose for another excellent job.

Read it online as a pdf, or download it for Kindle, Nook or Sony Reader

Friday, March 26, 2010

Harlan Coben Interview

My son Dave "Scout" Tafoya, a student at Emerson College, got the chance to interview bestselling thriller writer Harlan Coben as part of his "Poorly Shot Interviews Over Coffee" series, while Harlan was in Boston promoting the release of his latest thriller.

Harlan Coben, winner of the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards, talks about his latest book, Caught, how he approaches putting together a novel, and working on the movie adaptation of the award-winning Tell No One, directed in France by Guillaume Canet.

Born in Newark, Harlan's sold millions of books worldwide. His last two thrillers, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT both debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His books are published in 40 languages and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries. His books are lessons in economy, with tight, fast-moving plots and memorable, very human characters whose fates drive the action and draw in readers.

Dave blogs on music, film and pop culture for several cool sites, including Between Love and Like, Film Punk and Honors Zombie.

He's interviewed BAFTA/Oscar/DGA Nominated Director Lee Daniels, Director of Push and Monster's Ball; and the bands Cymbals Eat Guitars and Screaming Females.

Dave's not kidding about the "poorly shot" part, but part of the fun is that he critiques his own work as part of the interviews. I think he does a pretty good job for a kid with no crew and a digital camera who gets a couple of minutes to hang out and ask questions.

Thanks to Harlan for hanging out with Dave!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Breaking Bad

I went up to Apple's Soho store last Friday to catch Vince Gilligan, the creator of the AMC hit Breaking Bad. It was well worth the trip. The show's two stars, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, also showed up, as did AMC president Charlie Collier (in the audience). There was a great turnout and the audience asked the questions I would have asked if I wasn't too shy in those situations.

Apple showed a great promo reel for the upcoming Season Three, and Gilligan, Cranston and Paul were fascinating. Probably the most interesting moment was when Bryan Cranston talked about the usually-tedious process of reading new scripts, and how blown away he was by Gilligan's pilot. He recited most of the first page from memory, which is a lesson in how to create something with impact that will grab your audience from the opening line. Breaking Bad tells the story of Walt White (Cranston), a high-school chemistry professor who learns that he's dying of lung cancer. With nothing to leave his family and unable even to afford treatment for his aggressive cancer, Walt turns to a former student, meth-dealing Jesse Pinkman (Paul) and convinces Jesse to let him cook a much purer meth than he can make himself.

The show grabbed me from the pilot and I haven't missed an episode. It's funny, violent, surprising and clever as hell (my favorite moment, when Walt is immortalized in a narcocorrido performed by Los Cuates de Sinaloa). It's also a fascinating meditation on loyalty, obligation and familial love.

And it's entirely character-driven, with a complexity and reality that I've never seen in a TV show. It's not just that the subject matter is disturbing and the tone gritty and real, it's that the characters actually change over time, and not just in good or predictable ways. As Walt grows in power and energy during the show, he also makes accomodations, both personal and moral, to his new status.

If you haven't seen it, rent it, watch it, and set your DVR to record it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Release from Duane Swierczynski

Great news!

Duane Swierczynski, author of kick-ass crime novels, The Wheelman, The Blonde, Severance Package, and other great books, as well as the writer of Marvel Comics' wildly popular Cable series, has a cool-looking new release coming St. Martin's Griffin. It's called Expiration Date, and it's official release is March 30th.

Here's the setup:
Mickey Wade is a recently-unemployed journalist who lucked into a rent-free apartment—his sick grandfather’s place. The only problem: it’s in a lousy neighborhood—the one where Mickey grew up, in fact. The one he was so desperate to escape.

But now he’s back. Dead broke. And just when he thinks he’s reached rock bottom, Mickey wakes up in the past. Literally.

At first he thinks it’s a dream. All of the stores he remembered from his childhood, the cars, the rumble of the elevated train. But as he digs deeper into the past, searching for answers about the grandfather he hardly knows, Mickey meets the twelve-year-old kid who lives in the apartment below.

The kid who will grow up to someday murder Mickey’s father.

Sounds like a blast! It should be out any day everywhere, but get it at your local independent bookstore. You'll feel better about yourself.

Monday, March 15, 2010

And the winner is...

Daryl Pauley of Springfield Missouri!

A signed copy of the ARC is on its way now. Thanks to the dozens of people who sent in entries for the contest, and keep looking in this space for more giveaways, contests and free fiction!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

We have a winner...

...in our giveaway. I'll announce it here as soon as I hear back from the lucky reader who snagged a signed copy of the ARC for Wolves of Fairmount Park!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Book Giveaway Contest...

I just got the Advance Reader Copies for my second novel, The Wolves of Fairmount Park, and I've giving away a copy to one lucky reader.

I know, you're mystified by this show of generosity, especially since you know me to be parsimonious in the extreme. In fact, you're thinking, doesn't he still owe me ten bucks from that time he 'forgot' his wallet at Bouchercon? And aren't you pretty sure you saw me swipe the change off the bar when Phillips was buying a round? Yeah, well, no one likes a snitch. So why don't we just stop living in the past and concentrate on winning free books?

To get your own copy, send me an email by clicking on the 'EMAIL DENNIS' link (the nifty flaming heart logo) on the right and send me an email. That's it - you're in!

Of course, extra entry points will be awarded for fawning compliments and debt forgiveness. The contest will close on March 13th at Midnight, EST. Act now while supplies last!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Author Appearances in March and April 2010

Kings of Infinite Space,

I'll be appearing at a bunch of local events in the next couple of months and hope you can get out to say hello.

I'll be at the Independent Author Afternoon at Princeton Free Library, Saturday, March 6th, from 12 to 4pm. There'll be readings all afternoon, and you can meet Liars Club writers Kelly Simmons and Greg Frost, as well as two dozen other great local writers.

Thursday, March 11th I'll be at the annual Author Reception at Harleysville Books in Harleysville, PA from 6 - 8pm. The event includes two dozen local writers, including Liars Club authors like New York Times bestseller Sara Shepard (The Pretty Little Liars series, HarperTeen, and The Visibles, Free Press), young adult author Marie Lamba(What I Meant…, Random House), New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, The Dragon Factory, St. Martin’s Griffin, and The Wolfman, Tor), best selling mystery author Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, Minotaur Books), lauded contemporary novelist Kelly Simmons (Standing Still, Washington Square Press), and historian, actor and storyteller Keith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing).

The Liars club will be kicking off its Library Tour at the Charles Santore Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library on Wednesday, April 7th at 6:00pm. Details are still being finalized, but it should be a great chance to meet a bunch of great writers and discuss the writing process.

On Monday, April 12, I'll be participating in two panel discussions at Bucks County Community College as part of the Wordsmiths series. The panels, one dealing with the craft of writing and one dealing with real vs. fictional violence, will be at 11am and 1pm, and should be a pretty interesting time.