Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dogs With Manners

Dogs with table manners are very rare.

Over Exposure and Six Other Stories (including the Edgar Award winning “The Catch”

I’ve been writing short stories for over forty years. My early stories were collected in a book that W.W. Norton published in 1990 titled “Paper Products.” Those stories were written mostly when I was in my twenties and thirties and were heavily influenced by the metafictionists back then, people like Vonnegut, Brautigan, Coover and Barth. They were fanciful and strange and surreal, written in a style that was self-consciously poetic.

The stories I began to write in my later years were more influenced by Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard and John D. MacDonald, though they retained some of the same fanciful and strange and slightly surreal qualities I’d employed decades earlier.

The short stories in Over Exposure include two stories that were nominated for the Edgar Award in short fiction, one of which actually won in 2005. The others were all written for a variety of anthologies of crime fiction over the last few years, one about tennis, one about a geriatric hitmen, and another about a scary fishing trip, and one about a man’s obsession with a nude photograph.

Why an ebook? As the publishing marketplace has radically changed in recent years, publishers have found it less and less profitable to publish collections of short fiction, so I’ve turned to this new format to give these stories a home.

I’m passionate about these tight, dark, twisted yarns. I think they contain some of the best writing I’ve ever done. It was a labor of love to put them together in this package and to make them available under one electronic cover.

It’s a new exciting era we’re living in. Songs from iTunes, books from e-publishers. Though I’ll always love to turn the pages of my hardback books, and always enjoy their heft in my hands, I must say I see many advantages to this new form of reading. For one thing, a book can stay alive in cyberspace in a way that it never could in the old world of publishing where paperbacks were shredded and hardbacks remaindered and eventually ended up in the landfill.

Over Exposure contains stories of lust gone out of control, and obsession and murderous envy and other dark passions. There are surprises and twists and moments of danger and violence. I believe there are also moments of redemption and grace in these works of fiction. Moments that lifted me up when I wrote them, and I hope will lift you up as you turn the electronic pages.

You can buy the collection of stories at several online retailers, all for $2.99:

Like Kindle

Or the Nook

Or everything else.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Well, which way is the publishing world turning? Old or new?

Tennis Day

Spent a few nice hours today at the Sony Ericsson. I always like to go on Monday and watch the qualies. You can stand right next to the court and watch matches, or watch the big names practicing, or sometimes like today you can see a world class player sitting in the stands right in front of you eating chocolate and joking with her friends.

Ebook Publishing

Got to pass on this post on ebook publishing. Full of hard facts and a great place to start in educating yourself about the process.

You can go here to watch an intersting video on one wildly successful epub author.

Going to work on putting a few more books up on Amazon and B&N.

When I was a college student back in the 60's I made a connection with a sandal maker down from St. Pete in Sarasota. He made this cool hippie sandals that everyone liked. But not everyone had a car, or knew where to find this guy. So I'd peddle his sandals. I'd go around to interested buyers and draw an outline of their foot on a sheet of paper and take it to my cobbler friend.

He'd charge me 10 bucks and I'd sell them for 12, still a bargain at the time. It felt good to have a side business, sort of like my paper route, or working for my dad in construction as I'd done before college.

In fact, from the age of 8, I'd never not had a job. I wouldn't call myself a hustler, but I was always looking for a way to get a few extra nickels and dimes flowing in.

This ebook thing seems to be rooted in the same sensibility. I love my publisher and respect the old school methods. They've been incredibly loyal and supportive and creative in shaping my career. But if I can put some books out there on my own that my publisher has not expressed interest in, or are years/decades out of date, I owe it to the books themselves to give them a longer life.

And the nickels and dimes aren't bad either.

And here's the King of Epub information,
Joe Konrath, being funny. You want to know more about ebook publication stuff, check out Joe's blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Follow me on Twitter: @jameswhall

Dead Last--the new Thorn novel--the Cover

Got a version of the new cover of the next Thorn novel that'll appear in November, around Thanksgiving. Thorn gets involved with an obituary writer for the Miami Herald, (she's an old flame) and through her Thorn becomes way too involved with a TV crime show being shot in Miami. TV stars, writers and directors can be very dark and twisted.

The cover is an early draft and will probably change a bit, but I'm guessing it'll stay close to this. I like it. A little less dark and noirish than recent covers.

Got opinions? I can still pass on feedback to the publishers before all this gets set in stone.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Okay, here we go. My adventures in ebook publishing begin.

I've been writing and publishing noirish short stories for years. I'm not a prolific short story writer, but I do enjoy the process very much. I decided to test the ebook publishing waters with a collection of seven stories, including "The Catch" which won an Edgar Award for short stories a few years ago.

So maybe for some of my hungry fans, this book will hold you over till November when DEAD LAST comes out.

More on DEAD LAST later. (It's a Thorn novel.)

But I wanted to start with a quick blog post about OVER EXPOSURE which I'm selling through Amazon for 2.99. I might be raising that price soon, but for the time being, I wanted to set the price as low as possible to see what kind of response I can get.

I'm also planning on putting my four books of poetry up soon.

It struck me lately that ebook publishing actually insures that these books which are out of print and very hard to find will have a longer life than they would have had in the old print format. Strange to think that cyberspace is better at preserving literary work than the ink and paper format we've always know.

I'm also the proud owner of an iPad 2 and will be reviewing my experiences with it as the weeks go on.

Another piece of news! I'm going to be with St. Martin's Press for at least another two books. I'll be getting to work on the new Thorn as soon as I finish copy-editing the manuscript for DEAD LAST.

Pretty exciting time.