Monday, March 30, 2009

Me at Mainly Mystery

The folks at Mainly Mystery Reviews interviewed me for their blog. They ask about my novels, about this blog, and about my wife's and my new mystery series, "Best Mann For The Job." Read the interview here. Post a comment and be entered in a drawing for a copy of my first crime thriller, Forgiving Solomon Long!

Next time on CASTLE (Mar 30)

This entry has been moved to Crime TV:
http://crime-tv.blogspot.com/search/label/Castle

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Best Mann 1.7: "Things are bound to pick up!"

Now posted online is the seventh installment of Erica's and my new crime/mystery series Best Mann For The Job. Updated weekly at TitleTrakk.com, this serial stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of the small town of Hope Falls, Tennessee. Even as Grace is sworn in to her new job, the deputies are grumbling ...

Direct link: http://www.titletrakk.com/index.htm#bestmann
Archive at comicspace.com/ericawell

Related links:
Preview #1: Sheriff Grace Mann
Preview #2: Deputy Todd Baxter
Preview #3: Rev. Hezekiah Mann
Preview #4: Elizabeth Mann

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Best Mann 1.6: "Our readers will love you!"

Now posted online is the sixth installment of Erica's and my new crime/mystery series Best Mann For The Job. Updated weekly at TitleTrakk.com, this serial stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of the small town of Hope Falls, Tennessee. Even as Grace is sworn in to her new job, the deputies are grumbling ...

Direct link: http://www.titletrakk.com/index.htm#bestmann
Archive at comicspace.com/ericawell

Related links:
Preview #1: Sheriff Grace Mann
Preview #2: Deputy Todd Baxter
Preview #3: Rev. Hezekiah Mann
Preview #4: Elizabeth Mann

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles
Pierre Bayard
Bloomsbury USA

Author and psychoanalyst Pierre Bayard makes a compelling case that everything we know about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes adventure "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is wrong. Thanks to Bayard's method of "detective criticism," the nature of the crime, the identity of the killer, even the method of the murder are all discussed, dissected, and dismissed, before the author gets to the business of what REALLY happened.

Most surprising of all is how obvious it all seems in retrospect: As the reader sifts through the evidences, it is hard to disagree with Bayard that the most famous detective in literature -- and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- allowed the real villain to get away with murder.

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles combines the thrill of a good mystery story with the intellectual challenge of literary criticism. Intriguing reading for any Holmes fan!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Watch CASTLE on ABC

After a lengthy dry spell, character-driven mystery TV is back in a big way. For years the lone torch was largely carried by basic cable's USA Network with Monk and then the companion series Psych. But now, thanks to the success of the CBS series The Mentalist and the promise of ABC's Castle, the big networks seem to have lifted their ban on fun, banter-filled detective shows.

Castle, airing Monday nights, stars Nathan Fillion as best-selling mystery writer Richard Castle and Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett. The two meet when a serial killer is reenacting murders from his books -- but once the case is solved, Castle continues to pester the detective every week in the name of "research." As a result, the unlikely pair work together to probe New York City's most unusual homicides.

Television Without Pity talked to Fillion about some special guest stars in the pilot:
TWoP: You play a crime novelist on the show, and in the first episode you play poker with some of your real-life contemporaries, Stephen J. Cannell and James Patterson [and Faye Kellerman]. Did you pick their brains at all about the life of a writer?
NF: You know what, I was a little nervous meeting those guys! They had a lot of stories, and I was just sitting there and chatting with them and talking about stuff that they’ve done. Steve made most of the television that I grew up with. That’s really quite something. So he would tell me little side notes about how certain shows would run, and how different actors were, and how he came into different ideas, and that was kind of cool. But we didn’t really speak specifically about books and writing. That would have been a really good idea to do that, in retrospect.
Episode guide, character info, and free episodes online at Castle on ABC.com
The first season of Castle on DVD is already scheduled for Sep. 22.

Related links:
MONK ends with season eight
The stars shine for MONK 100

Monday, March 16, 2009

Best Mann 1.5: "Why'd you stay on?"

Now posted online is the fifth installment of Erica's and my new crime/mystery series Best Mann For The Job. Updated weekly at TitleTrakk.com, this serial stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of the small town of Hope Falls, Tennessee. Even as Grace is sworn in to her new job, the deputies are grumbling ...

Direct link: http://www.titletrakk.com/index.htm#bestmann
Archive at comicspace.com/ericawell

Related links:
Preview #1: Sheriff Grace Mann
Preview #2: Deputy Todd Baxter
Preview #3: Rev. Hezekiah Mann
Preview #4: Elizabeth Mann

Monday, March 09, 2009

Remembering Fred Winters

The official website for First Baptist Church Maryville has opened a space online for stories and memories of Pastor Fred Winters. The site also lists an email address for expressing condolences.

The Visitation will be held at the church Thursday 2-8 pm. The Funeral Service will also be held at the church Friday 10:30am. (The Graveside Service is for family only.)

Gifts may be made to the Winters Family Memorial Fund:
Payment by Phone: (618) 345-1000

Mail: Winters Family Memorial Fund
Scott Credit Union
1100 Beltline Road
Collinsville, IL 62234

Or to the First Baptist Church Maryville Building Fund: (618) 667-8221.

"The people of First Baptist Church Maryville and the Winters Family greatly appreciate your prayers and ask you to continue to pray for the congregation, Pastor Fred’s family, and the assailant and his family."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Shocked about the murder of my friend

I'm having a hard time processing this: An old friend of mine from back in Illinois, Pastor Fred Winters, was gunned down at the start of church service this morning.

Back when I was a student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and he was in campus ministry, we spent many hours together shoveling quarters into the Double Dragon game at the campus arcade. On many occasions, Fred and his wife Cindy came to my folks' house when I had friends over for movies or to hang out.

After moving to Tennessee, I lost touch with him ... and would occasionally think about at least dropping a line to say hello.

And now I can't.

Be thankful for the loved ones and friends the Lord has given you ... because you don't know how much time you have with them.

Please remember Cindy Winters and their daughters in your prayers, as well as all the members of First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois.

Winters was approachable, welcoming and knew how to connect with people (Belleville News-Democrat)
Minister killed in church shooting (UPI)
AP Top News at 10:04 p.m. EDT (AP)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Best Mann 1.4: "I Know It's Awkward"

Now online is the fourth installment of our new crime/mystery series Best Mann For The Job. Updated weekly at TitleTrakk.com, this serial stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of the small town of Hope Falls, Tennessee. Even as Grace is sworn in to her new job, the deputies are grumbling ...

Direct link: http://www.titletrakk.com/index.htm#bestmann

Related links:
Preview #1: Sheriff Grace Mann
Preview #2: Deputy Todd Baxter
Preview #3: Rev. Hezekiah Mann
Preview #4: Elizabeth Mann

Friday, March 06, 2009

Now, THIS is how you do a blog tour

Once again, thriller writer J.A. Konrath (Rusty Nail) is stirring up publicity -- this time on his 31-day blog tour promoting his upcoming horror novel, Afraid. While many are still trying to figure out how to make blog tours actually sell books, Joe's approach certainly bears study:

Where's Konrath? Blog Touring
Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #1
Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #2
Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #3
Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #4
Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #5
Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #6

Joe is always full of great marketing ideas (which, in fact, is the theme for his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing). My wife and I had dinner with him when he came through town on his massive 500-plus bookstore tour(!) ...

The genius of which was, of course, that whether or not the individual stop paid off in the short term, the accumulative effect of the grueling event had everyone talking about it:
Konrath's Long and Winding Author Tour (PW)
GPS Guides Marathon Book Tour (Wired)

And lining up to offer him dinner or a place to stay at each town:
J.A. KONRATH'S BIG ADVENTURE

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Write fast, edit slow

As I read through my galley for NURSING A GRUDGE, I'm surprised at all the little continuity things that somehow slipped past several very bright and alert people in previous rounds. Maybe I have been too rushed when I revise ... so I'm going to try living by my new mantra, "Write fast, edit slow."

But I take some comfort in the fact that, apparently, there's a continuity mistake in HAMLET ... which, in the thousands of times it has been staged over the centuries, nobody noticed until fairly recently. (I read about it in Pierre Bayard's book Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Comic Book Art and Marketing Your Art

This coming Sunday, the Nashville Artist Guild welcomes my wife, Erica, as guest speaker. She'll discuss "Comic Book Art and Marketing Your Artwork," using her experiences in the comic book field as a springboard to dialogue with other artists in attendance about what can be done to market one's art.

The meeting is 2:30 pm March 8 at Vine Street Church on West End Ave and Vine Court. (Held in the counseling offices, located in the building behind the sanctuary.) The address is 4101 Harding Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37205. (See a map)

More info at Erica's blog: "NAG Talk Sunday March 8th: Comic Book Art and Marketing Your Artwork."

Erica Well has more than 20 years experience in comics, and has worked on staff at Milestone Media, Broadway Comics and DC Comics. She's currently working on her first graphic novel. Erica, of course, is the co-writer and artist for our new mystery series, Best Mann For The Job.

BEST MANN 1.3: "Hey! Wait!"

Now online is the third installment of our new crime/mystery series Best Mann For The Job. Updated weekly at TitleTrakk.com, this serial stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of the small town of Hope Falls, Tennessee. Even as Grace is sworn in to her new job, the deputies are grumbling ...

Direct link: http://www.titletrakk.com/index.htm#bestmann

Related links:
Preview #1: Sheriff Grace Mann
Preview #2: Deputy Todd Baxter
Preview #3: Rev. Hezekiah Mann
Preview #4: Elizabeth Mann

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.