Thursday, January 24, 2013


Hi folks,

Off the beaten track a bit today. It seems today’s writers are just a bit too polite. Nobody wants to say someone is a twit even when it’s obvious. I kind of liked the “good old days” when writers would talk about other writers they didn’t like or respect, before that monstrosity that undermines free speech called being “politically correct” took hold and silenced opinion.

Opinion is what writers should be about. We’re about the only ones who halfway express ours nowadays. You can’t find a politician who does, can you? At least one you can believe…

Just want to share what some writers of yore used to say about their peers and other literary matters. I got these from one of my favorite books, W.O.W. (Writers On Writing) accumulated and edited by Jon Winokur.

“The cruelest thing that has happened to Lincoln since he was shot by Booth was to fall into the hands of Carl Sandburg.” Edmund Wilson

“I am fairly unrepentant about her poetry. I really think that three quarters of it is gibberish. However, I must crush down those thoughts otherwise the dove of peace will shit on me.” Noel Coward on Edith Sitwell.

“If it were ever thought that anything I wrote was influenced by Robert Frost, I would take that particular work of mine, shred it, and flush it down the toilet, hoping not to clog the pipes. A more sententious, holding-forth old bore who expected every hero-worshiping adenoidal little twerp of a student-poet to hang on his every word I never saw.” James Dickey

(My favorite)
“One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell by Dickens without laughing.” Oscar Wilde

“Henry James had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it.” T.S. Eliot

“Henry James was one of the nicest old ladies I ever met.” William Faulkner

“Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.” Oscar Wilde

“I am reading Henry James… and fell myself as one entombed in a block of smooth amber.” Virginia Woolf

“I was reading Proust for the first time. Very poor stuff. I think he was mentally defective.” Evelyn Waugh

“He writes plays for the ages—the ages between five and twelve.” George Jean Nathan on George Bernard Shaw

“English literature’s performing flea.” Sean O’Casey on P.G. Wodehouse

“Freud Madox Fraud.” Osbert Sitwell

“I loathe you. You revolt me stewing in your consumption… the Italians were quite right to having nothing to do with you. You are a loathsome reptile—I hope you will die.” D.H. Lawrence to Katherine Mansfield

Rebecca West: “I’ve never been able to do just one draft. Do you know anyone who can?”
Interviewer: “I think D.H. Lawrence did.”
Rebecca West: “You could often tell.”

“When his cock wouldn’t stand up, he blew his head off. He sold himself a line of bullshit and bought it.” Germaine Greer on Ernest Hemingway

“Hemingway’s remarks are not literature.” Gertrude Stein

“He was the critics’ darling because he never changed style, theme nor story. He made no experiments in thinking nor emotion.” John Steinbeck on Ernest Hemingway

“I detest him, but I was certainly under his spell when I was very young, as we all were. I thought his prose was perfect—until I read Stephen Crane and realized where he got it from.” Gore Vidal on Ernest Hemingway

“You know the beginning of Gatsby, the little frontispiece? They say that Fitzgerald made that up. I always thought that was such a great thing to do—make up a quote and pretend it really inspired you.” Nora Ephron

“Could Faulkner find a publisher now?” Annie Dillard

“I’m told, on very good authority, that he hasn’t stopped writing at all. That he’s written at least five or six short novels and that all of them have been turned down by The New Yorker. And that all of them are very strange and about Zen Buddhism.” Truman Capote on J.D. Salinger

“That’s not writing, that’s typing.” Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac

“Phillip Roth is a marvelous writer but I’d hate to shake hands with him.” Jacqueline Suzann after reading Portnoy’s Complaint

He’s a bad novelist and a fool. The combination usually makes for great popularity in the U.S.” Gore Vidal on Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.” John Osorne

“I don’t see how you can write anything of value if you don’t offend someone.” Marvin Harris

Hope you enjoyed these!

Blue skies,

Here's a guy who's never had another writer say a negative word about...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

MIRROR, MIRROR a freebie on Amazon!

Hi folks,

Well, I see my YA thriller, MIRROR, MIRROR is being offered as a freebie on Amazon. Didn't know the publisher was going to do that (although it's fine--it always seems to generate great sales afterwards!), so just alerting you in case you want to glom onto a copy. Just click on the cover. And, if you do get it, take a second and click on the "Like" button and if you have more time and could provide a review and/or rating, that would be really appreciated!

Quote of the day:

It's not a good idea to try to put your wife into a novel... not your latest wife anyway.
Norman Mailer

Blue skies,

Latest update: Whoa, doggie! Just checked it (10:45 am, Sat.) and Mirror, Mirror is at #25 in overall copies for all categories! This is amazing! Thank you! It may not be sales, but that's a ton of people looking at it.

Even newer update--we're in the Top 100 at #83. Yowza! Thank you, thank you! As of  7 pm, Friday here's where it sits:

 Newer update: Wow! You guys are coming through like gangbusters! Here's the latest reading I just took from Amazon. Only nine spots out of the top 100. Thank you! (As of 4:45 pm Friday)
Update: Looks like it's moving some copies. Here's the latest report from Amazon:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review of Terrence McCauley's PROHIBITION

Hi folks,

Today, I want to give some props to a friend of mine, Terrence McCauley, and his new novel, PROHIBITION. Terrence is an amazing writer and this is a book I really could not put down until I reached the end. Writing students could study this for its pacing alone.

Hope you trust my judgment and show Terrence some love by glomming onto his book if it looks like your cup of tea. Don't forget to hit the "Like" button and if you can, provide a review for him.

PROHIBITION by Terrence McCauley

At one time, it was assumed pulp fiction died in the fifties, but the genre is making a solid comeback these days. One of the publishers responsible for its rebirth is Airship 27. What is noteworthy is that original pulp fiction novels were famous both for their stories and for their cover art. In fact, individual artists would develop a reputation by being able to convey what the story was about with just a glance at the cover. Airship 27 has recognized this by giving readers outstanding work in both areas, as evidenced by their latest release, Terrence McCauley’s PROHIBITION, featuring ex-boxer and now mob enforcer Terry Quinn as the tough-as-barbed wire protagonist and illustrated by Rob Moran with Shannon Hall providing the coloring of Moran’s images. The result is a veritable return of the glory days of pulp. Each on their own—either McCauley’s story or Moran’s art—are worth the price of admission. Together, they’re worth much, much more.

Rarely have I encountered a novel that made me turn the pages at such a breathless pace. Mob enforcer Terry Quinn is destined to have his own wax figure unveiled if ever they create a pulp fiction hall of fame. PROHIBITION has it all—mob guys, gorgeous broads, speakeasies, Tommy guns, crooked politicians, smarmy reporters, Molotov cocktails, blood and bodies galore—everything pulp fiction fans want in their reading pleasure is here. My first thought after I read “The end” was that I wanted to read more Quinn. What a wonderful character! He’s realistic, original, and yet so true to the original pulp fiction milieu that it was like picking up one of those wonderful classics of yesteryear that I thought had disappeared forever. It’s back and with a vengeance!

McCauley immerses us not only into a physical world that’s totally believable and based on real historical figures, but the novel is also centered around a mystery that is revealed in the same way a clever and top-notch fighter reveals his skills in the ring to a respected opponent, little by little, round by round. Left hooks and right crosses come out at moments when you least expect them and they have the same effect as a real-life punch would. They smack you in the solar plexus and take your breath away. The pacing is superb. It just builds and builds and builds and the last third feels like you’re hurtling along in one of those high-speed Japanese trains. You sense immediately you’re in the hands of a writing master.

When you read this—and you should—take a moment to savor the cover and the art that graces each chapter heading. The drawings will flat-out take your breath away. Taken together—the art and the writing—signal a return to the glory that was once pulp fiction and is again.

Warning: Literary snobs may not enjoy it as much for it contains the one thing that many of those folks detest—entertainment value. This isn’t about some middle-aged English prof contemplating his navel and wondering why his wife left him. Terry Quinn and other such characters are why she left him—they got tired of hearing the guy conjugate verbs and wanted to hook up with someone who actually had a life, did things and had a set of steel beans in his jeans. That means that if you prefer your books to have sleeping powder qualities—don’t start reading this book.

You ain’t gonna sleep until it’s over.

I've got some other writer friends who I owe reviews of their terrific books, but I kind of slid Terrence in here ahead of the pile--just because. I'm working on the others!

Blue skies,

Just posting this because it's one of my favorite pictures of my son Mike. This was his eighth-grade basketball team photo. He was about six feet tall then and played the post. Now, he's 6' 2" and plays... the couch... (One thing that hasn't changed--he's still a babe magnet...)

Friday, January 11, 2013


Hi folks,

I wasn't aware they were going to do this, but my publisher, StoneGate Ink, has made two of my novels free! I don't know if it's for one day or several, but if you want to save a few books glom onto them. The two are JUST LIKE THAT and THE PERFECT CRIME. Just click on the covers below.

Then, since you saved big bucks on these, you might consider buying one of these:


If you get any of 'em, please do me a huge solid and hit the "Like" button and if you really want to go the extra mile, a rating and/or review would be stupendous!

Thanks--I really appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the read(s)!

Blue skies,

And, just for the heck of it, here's a picture of my wife Mary who just happens to be having her birthday today! And... I forgot it. This was taken before she realized I'd forgotten... I need to start writing things down...

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Hey folks,

Just completed an interview with horror/crime writer Lee Thompson you can see on his site here.

The next two days are going to be big days in my life. The next 10-week session of my online creative writing class begins today--yay!--and tomorrow night the Fighting Irish play Bama for the national championship! Don't even try to call or email me during the game. I'm buying a "Motorman's Friend" for the game so I don't have to miss a second of it. (For those who don't know what a Motorman's Friend is, check it out in the movie THE LONGEST YARD with Burt Reynolds...

Blue skies,