Friday, 31 July 2009

And while we're at it: 'Dirty' Harry Callaghan Vs Joe Hunter

This is Col Bury's entry to the fantasy fight league:

Cornered, Hunter's eyes flickered towards the Sig Sauer in his pocket and he instantly knew the old man knew, too.

Harry's husky tones kicked in with a stony stare. 'Feeling lucky, Hunter?' he spat, raising the impressive .44 Magnum.

Hunter, in turn, whipped out the Sig in a blink.

'Leave it old timer,' said Hunter coolly, regaining control.

Harry eyeballed the new kid unflinchingly. 'Go ahead, make my day, punk.'

Fan Fantasy Fight: John Rambo Vs Joe Hunter

John Rambo is without a doubt one tough dude, but he's also much more than that. Alongside Sherlock Holmes and Tarzan, Rambo is possibly the only other iconic figure to transfer from the pages of a thriler book and into the collective consciousness of the entire world.

Creator of Rambo, David Morrell, is a huge influence of mine, and his naming as 'Thriller Master' by the International Thriller Writers Organisation at this year's Thrillerfest was not only well deserved but - in my opinion - well over-due.

First Blood changed the face of modern thrillers, and there probably isn't a thriller writer out there who hasn't been influenced - directly or otherwise - by Morrell or his most famous creation, John Rambo.

It stands to reason that in some aspects, my creation, Joe Hunter would be compared with Rambo. I'll take that, thank you very much.

A previous entry, and the subsequent comments asked: who would win a fight between John Rambo and Joe Hunter?

Well, Hunter edges Rambo on age and fitness, but Rambo is more experienced. But I don't think they'd fight, I prefer to think that they'd be friends and work out their differences in another manner.

With tongue firmly in cheek, and not a little respect, the debate went back and forth, and fellow writer, Amit Dhand, came up with this scenario:

Hunter: I’ve heard a lot about you; people say you’re the second best assassin in America.

Rambo: Funny, I’ve heard that about you.

Hunter: For me, this is personal, you need to step aside, Cain and I have unfinished business…

Rambo: You had your chance. I’ve never missed a target.

Hunter: Don’t make me go through you, to get to Cain.

Rambo: I was hunting criminals before you were born. I don’t give second chances…

Hunter: I hoped we could be friends…

Rambo: I don’t have any friends.

Hunter: You leave me no choice then…

Rambo: Just walk away. I don’t need your blood on my hands.

Hunter: You misunderstand. I’ll leave Cain to end your legacy. But I promise, I’ll avenge your death.

* Both Amit and I are huge Rambo fans, and this is presented as 'fan fiction' and not to be taken seriously.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Joe Hunter is 'The Tracker' in Italy

I have it on good advice that the Italian version of Dead Men's Dust will be released in Italy by Longanesi on September 1st 2009 under the title of L'Inseguitore which roughly translated comes out as The Tracker or The Pursuer both of which amply describe both Hunter and Tubal Cain. As soon as I get a cover image I'll post it here.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cool comparison made at Mystery Scene

Lee Child I'm often compared to (which is always a thrill) and now Ken Bruen.

Honoured twice in one sentence. I'm well-chuffed.

Thanks Mystery Scene.

I love a mystery review as much as the next

Nice little review of DMD by Steven Sill at I Love A Mystery that I missed.

Thanks for the honest appraisal Steven and I hope you like my upcoming 'JUDGEMENT and WRATH' as much.

p.s. I've borrowed the pic from Steven's review (hope you don't mind Steven, but if you do, let me know and I'll remove it) which I believe was taken while I was at Crimefest - I'm trying to remember when I wore that pink shirt.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Olde Peculier - and that was just me!

Hot on the heels of Thrillerfest and Bodies in the Bookshop, I had the honour of attending The Olde Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, Yorkshire, alongside such luminaries of our genre as Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Lee Child, George Pelecanos, Peter James, Laura Wilson, Simon Kernick and many, many more top authors.

The event was held at the beautiful Crown Hotel in an amazingly beautiful town - it shamed me that I'd never visited before having by-passed it on numerous occasions in the past on journeys south.

The high-lights for me were in catching up with old friends Sheila Quigley, Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Ole, Ali Karim, Zoe Sharpe, Lee Child, Andrew Grant and meeting and making new friends in Ken McCoy, Russel McLean and the various people who introduced themselves to me as readers who'd loved my debut book. A special shout to the DS from GMP - you know who you are - your enthusiasm and commitment to kick-staring your writing career had a profound effect on me and I'm truly glad i had an influence on you.

I hosted a table at the Saturday night dinner and was glad to be surrounded by readers and aspiring authors who made the event memorable. Thanks for all the questions and for actually listeneing to my answers, hope I helped in some way. We even figured out the murderer and his motive for the heinous crime. We were a good bunch of detectives, I guess.

Hi to Wendy from Waterstones who was a real gem.

Thanks to Suzie Doore and Kelly edgson-Wright from Hodder and Stoughton for the lovely meal on friday.

Thanks also to Selina Walker for the invaluable advice.

It was a superb event all round and well worth any aspiring crime author - or even reader - adding it to their must attend list. I'm definitely going back next year - if they want me. (Hint, hint).

Thrillerfest 2009

I'm not long back from New York city where I attended this years Thrillerfest convention. Apart from a quick trip I made to NY last october where I barely got off a train had some lunch with my agent then got back on the train again, this was my first real visit to the BIG APPLE. The event was held in the Grand Hyatt, adjacent to central station on 42nd street, with the Chrysler building looming overhead and the Empire State only a couple blocks over. It was an amazing experience. The event itself was filled to capacity with world famous authors, inlcuding David Morrell, David Baldacci, Jeffrey Deaver and Lee Child amongst many many more.

My part at the convention was relegated to the Debut Authors breakfast where - alongside the other Class of 2009 members - i had to get up and give a minutes pitch to the gathered audience. It seemed to go OK, even if I was juddering like a real un with nerves.

The awards ceremony was held opposite the Hyatt at Cipriani, one of the most amazing venues I've ever had the pleasure of attending, and it felt like I was at the Oscars.

I'll remember the experience for the rest of my days. There's nothing like a first time, is there?

I must add a very big thank you to Maggie Griffin from partners and Crime bookshop in Greenwich, for the amazing hospitality and for taking out a full afternoon to show me, my wife and sister-in-law all the sites. Thanks Maggie.

Bodies in the Bookshop

On July 21st I had the honour of attending Heffers' annual book event at their store in Cambridge.

Unlike other events I've been to, this was unusual in that it wasn't about panels or readings, but more an informal get together of authors and readers of crime and thriller books. There were upwards of sixty - yes, sixty - authors in attendance, covering all the different genres including historical, humorous, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, private eyes, traditional mysteries, Cambridgeshire crime, non-fiction, and a debut crime slot that yours truly fit nicely into.

Heffers is an awesome store and the authors were set out throughout the amazingly well-stocked shop so that readers and fans could wander throughout and meet and speak to those they read.

I was stationed alongside Yaba Badoe, Tom Bale, Mary Andrea Clarke, Adam Creed, Leigh Russell and fellow ITW debut author Jermey Dunns. It was great meeting people who I knew only by names on the covers of their books, and also finally meeting Jeremy (Free Agent) who I have struck up a friendship with via the glories of the internet but had never met personally before.

The wine was flowing freely, and everyone was in a very verbose mood (I was tee-total but I can still yap with the best of them) and it was an awesome event that I hope I'm invited back to next year.

Huge thanks go to Richard Reynolds for inviting me.

By the way, remaining copies of my book were lined, signed and dated, so if anyone around Cambridge wants a copy they have them instore now, anyone else can get in touch with the store on 01223 568532 or by email on to request a copy.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

DMD in Germany - Der Knochen Sammler

Hey gang,
I'm thrilled to find this first image of the German edition of Dead Men's Dust now available from Verlagsgruppe Random House.
Anyone out there able to translate the title? I didn't have a Scooby I looked on yahoo! Babel which gives the literal translation of The Bone Collecting Tank.
Further to my last, it appears the book will be released February 2010

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Judgement and Wrath - Joe Hunter Book 2 coming soon

Coming 15th October 2009 from Hodder and Stoughton, the second Joe Hunter thriller.

Hunter Vs Dantalion

Are you ready...?

Dead Men's Dust paperback edition

Coming 1st October 2009, the paperback edition of Dead Men's Dust (Hodder and Stoughton £6.99), available for pre-order now.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Go ahead...make my day. Oh, you already have!

I'm very fortunate to be a published author and to have my debut book, Dead Men's Dust, out there in the world for all to read and enjoy. However, that hasn't always been the case.

When I was still an aspiring author I submitted to magazines and to publishing houses and collected enough rejections to wallpaper quite a large room, so I know how difficult it is for an aspiring writer to get their work out there.

When I started there was no such thing as the internet, so I didn't think about publishing electronically, and actually came late to the game (I only started blogging after I got the publishing deal). It was then that I realised that there are some great blogs and webzines who do offer an opportunity to writers to have their work read and commented upon, and it was for this reason I decided to start my own. Ta-da! Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers came out of that idea.

My intention for my sister site was to give authors an opportunity to post their work and to have their peers give comments and helpful feedback. I never expected it to be the great success it has become, and I must thank all those who have submitted work to TK'n'C. It never fails to amaze me the wealth of talent out there who are 'previously' undiscovered gems.

I didn't set up the site out of any altruistic reasons - and genuinely it was for the benefit of others - but I must say that I am happy to report that I have just received a comment that has made me feel extremely happy and has vindicated everything I set out to do.

One of our Australian contributors emailed Co-editor, Col Bury, and told him that he was attending school and that his classes were about writing 'crime fiction' stories. Doesn't sound so different than many others out there. But then he states: "...for english, at school, we're doing crime fiction. And my teacher strongly suggested your website as a point of call, to help familiarize ourselves with the world of crime, to see the different styles, views, perspectives of crime."

This to me is an ultimate accolade.

We - and I include everyone who has submitted, commented or had anything to do with the site -can be very proud in that we are helping writers to achieve their dreams.

A big, big thank you to you all.

And to the teacher out there in Oz. Thank you, you've made my day!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Permission to Kill review

David Foster offers up a great little review of Dead Men's Dust over at his cool blogsite PERMISSION TO KILL. Hope you all like it as much as I do.

and also, here's a teaser segment at the blog itself

The Crimesquad love Joe

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Top TRIO at TKnC

As a service to other aspring authors, I started my sister blog Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers to showcase peoples' hidden talents and to encourage feedback and criticism to help those authors out. TK'n'C has succeeded way beyond my early expectations (it gets more hits than my own blog goddamnit!) and has attracted some amazing new writers and their work.

Today I have posted three new tales from the pens of Eric Beetner, Christopher Grant and Lee Hughes. Why not skip on over via the link and see what I'm talking about.

The back catalogue is awesome as well, so why not stay awhile?


Friday, 3 July 2009

Another review for your tittilation

Here's a nice little review of Dead Men's Dust by Jim Sells at New Mystery Reader Magazine interview

Above is a link to an interview I did with a resource for aspiring and unpublished writers where they can post their work and have them critiques for free. It's a great resource, and you can find out more here:

Thrillerfest is almost upon us!

Grand Hyatt Hotel New York City July 8-11, 2009
THE SPIRIT OF THRILLERFEST 2009 spir•it, n. A special attitude or frame of mind

ThrillerFest is Summer Camp for readers, fans, writers, industry professionals and those just looking for a great time!

Along with many of the top names in thriller writing including such luminaries as David Morrell, Gayle Lynds, Lee Child, David Baldacci etc there's going to be another writer on the rostrum - yep, li'l ol' me!

This is the third convention that I will attend since obtaining my publishing deal (the first two being Bouchercon in Baltimore and Crimefest in Bristol). I didn't feel that nervous about attending the others as there was no real expectation, but my debut book Dead Men's Dust has now been published and will have been read by some of the attendees and other authors in attendance. What questions are they going to ask? Did they like the book? Somehow - and I can't really put my finger on the why? - I've got the nerves in the guts syndrome that preceeds an appearance. Is it stage fright? Don't think so: I was once doing a martial arts demonstration in an arena with hundreds of people in the audience and before I went on to do my bit I could actually feel my ears flapping!! I think that it's more apprehension of how I'm going to be greeted. This may sound odd because everyone bar none has been supportive and friendly - I guess it's really because I still can't stop feeling like I'm 'just a fan' who has written a book in a similar genre and feel that I've no real right to be standing alongside the world-wide bestselling authors that have given me such reading pleasure and inspiration over the years.

Before anyone thinks that I've finally crumbled under pressure - worry not. I'm resilient and will bounce back in a couple seconds. In fact, I have just by writing that. I'm not 'that' nervous, just trying to be truthful and to let the aspiring authors who follow my blog know about the gamut of emotions you experience along the way.

On the flip-side I'm very excited.

I'm a member of ITW's Debut Authors programme and am in the class of 2009. I've communicated via various medium with a number of my class mates, and Thrillerfest is my first opportunity to meet and chat with all my friends. We're all doing a 'meet the debut authors' breakfast, with bestselling author David Baldacci doing a keynote speech and introducing us all to the attendees. Should be great and an amazing opportunity. Some of these authors (hopefully all - including li'l 'ol me) will be the big names of the future.

There are many huge names appearing at Thrillerfest, but it would be remiss of me to mention some but not all. If you want to know more about ITW, take a look at the website here: