Cell at Eastern State

Cell at Eastern State

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Thanks very much to Wallace Stroby, who passed along the opportunity to participate in the Next Big Thing blog round, which I'm sharing this week with Edgar Nominee thriller author Alison Gaylin and celebrated crime writers Scott Adlerberg and Andrew Nette.

As part of the Next Big Thing, every week a new group of writers will answer some questions about their latest work or work-in-progress. Some great writers have already participated, and it's great to be in such august company.

Hope you'll enjoy this, and please visit Andrew, Scott and Alison's blogs for their answers.

1) What’s the title or working title of your new/next book?

The tentative title is The Poor Boy's Game, and it's coming from Minotaur Books late next year.

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?

I think all writers have themes they return to over and over, and for me it's family - how our character is shaped by our history and how we struggle to define ourselves. I also set my books in the Philadelphia area and wanted to play with some local history.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

The book is hardboiled or noir crime, depending on your definition.

Rooney Mara
4) What actorswould you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Or TV series?

I actually thought more about this question while writing this book than I have before. Usually I have only a vague picture of what my charcters are like physically, but this protagonist has a very particular look - she's got red hair and a boxer's physique, though of course anyone can dye their hair.
Christina Hendricks
I picture somebody like Rooney Mara or Lauren Cohan from the Walking Dead. I'm a huge fan of Christina Hendricks, who can project that great dangerous persona, and I think it would be a lot of fun to see her as a lean, physically tough character. The main character has a sidekick named Sleeper that I always picture as Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd. For the father I'd love to see Peter Mullan, a fantastic Scots actor and an amazing director himself.

Lauren Cohan
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The book's premise is that an ex-Federal Marshal has to protect a witness from her own father, an escaped convict and organized crime figure.

6) Will your book be self-published or traditionally published?
My books are all from Minotaur, a great house that specializes in crime and is a St. Martins imprint.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I've been working on the novel for about seven months and it's due in February, so it will be a relatively long gestation for this one.
Peter Mullan

8) What other books within the genre would you compare this story to?

I'm hoping that fans of Wallace Stroby's Crissa Stone books (which also feature a dark, kick-ass heroine) will enjoy my stuff. The story is about a tough woman defending her family and friends, so folks who enjoyed Girl With the Dragon Tattoo might like my lead character, the ex-Marshal Frannie Mullen.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was drawn to the idea of a woman who was the daughter of this dangerous character but who had become a federal agent, and trying to deal with her family history and understand her own nature. I also wanted to write something rooted in the Roofer's Union scandals of the 80's, which I don't think anyone's written about other than some great newspaper coverage at the time.

I think mostly I fell in love with the idea, but I've also always relied heavily on the masters of the crime genre as a guide, guys like Lawrence Block and James Lee Burke, who I've been reading a lot of recently, particularly the excellent Hackberry Holland books.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

I think folks who know Philadelphia will recognize the landscape, and the little bits of Philadelphia crime history might make it more interesting. One of the fascinating true bits I stumbled on was that some of the guys who were movers in the corrupt union scandals of the 80's recruited guys out of local boxing gyms, and boxing plays a part in the action and history of the characters.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Get the Green Light in StumbleUpon’s Get Discovered Writing Contest

Do you have a screenplay, stageplay, novel, short story, memoir or graphic novel saved on your computer right now? Have you always thought about being a professional writer but never thought you’d make it?

Here’s your chance to change the rest of your life.
Three film industry professionals are running the “Get Discovered” Writing Contest. It's your chance to see what the StumbleUpon community and a panel of Hollywood talent agents and script doctors think of your work. If you win, you’ll get your work shown to a producer, playhouse or other appropriate company for the chance to see your work published, performed or produced! You may end up getting the phone call that amateur writer Isaac Marion got one day telling him that his short story “I Am a Zombie Filled with Love” – adored by Stumblers everywhere – had blockbuster potential.
So get that manuscript out of the drawer and into the hands of some folks who can help you get the word out! Act fast - the contest runs until July 24, 2012.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

RCR Pictures Hires Marc Maurino to Script "Wolves of Fairmount Park"

Marc Maurino
Marc Maurino
  Heard this week that Marc Maurino has been hired to write the script for "Wolves of Fairmount Park." Marc recently sold the script for his thriller, "Inside the Machine" to CBS films, and I think he's an excellent choice to adapt the novel. You can read an interview that Marc did with the screenwriting website "Go Into The Story," where he mentions 'Wolves' at the end of the interview and references a couple of films (Frozen River and Winter's Bone) that I thought were amazing.
'Wolves' is being by developed by Robin Schorr and Dan Seligman of RCR Pictures, who are also in production on a movie called "The Good Time Gang," with Jonah Hill and Mark Wahlberg. You can read about the deal with Marc in Variety and at Collider.com.
It's been a great time for friends and family, too. My daughter Rachel has a manuscript going out to publishers soon, and my buddy Jon McGoran recently got a great two-book contract with Tor/Forge with his new eco-thriller, Drift.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back in the Game

I'm pleased as hell to announce that I'll be back in print with Minotaur!

From Publisher's Marketplace: Mystery/Crime

Author of Wolves of Fairmount Park Dennis Tafoya's THE POOR BOY'S GAME, starring a female ex-Marshal now working in private "kidnap and ransom" who has to face the most dangerous criminal she's ever encountered: her own father, a gang enforcer who has escaped from prison, to Kelley Ragland at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, by Alex Glass at Trident Media Group (NA).

I am writing the first book now. It's set in Philly again and features a new (and I hope, recurring) character, Frannie Mullen, an ex-Marshal who has to protect a pregnant woman from Frannie's own father, Patrick Mullen, a former enforcer for a corrupt union local. Frannie's life in the Marshals, her father's criminal past and her new job in K and R should yield plenty of material for new stories.

It's been fun so far, researching the Marshals, reading about the old roofers union scandals of the 80's, scouting locations in Philly and learning arcane bits of Philadelphia crime history. This one also draws on some Philadelphia boxing history, too, and I've already been pestering my pals like Greg Gillespie of Port Richmond Books for stories.

For those of you around Philly this weekend, I'll be at Atlantis The Lost Bar at 4 on Saturday, January 7th, after the David Goodis Bus Tour run by our friend Lou Boxer of NoirCon, which should be a great time. See you there!