Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stay Tuned

Soon I'll be posting updates with some exciting announcements, but today I'm sick in bed with some sort of icky avian bird flu. When I don't even have the energy to go to Barnes & Noble to check out the new releases, you know I'm out of it.

More to come shortly, in the meantime where's that NyQuil...

Monday, October 29, 2007

if I should ever get free...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Killer Bookshelf
photo courtesy of Bill Cameron

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gone Baby Gone

I was excited to see "Gone Baby Gone" for several reasons. The novel is my favorite of Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro series, and my favorite of his novels after MYSTIC RIVER. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and when Marcus Sakey used the word "Oscar" in total sincerity, "Gone Baby Gone" officially became the movie I've been most legitimately excited about in a long time.

In short, the movie delivers. Big time. I saw it with my wife and sister-in-law, and when the credits rolled we all turned to each other and uniformly said, "that was really good."

The acting for the most part is strictly A-caliber. Casey Affleck grows into his role, and though he struggles with a few emotional scenes he's terrific when in "cocky jerk" mode (much like his brother). The scenes where he threatens a drug dealer and nearly gets beaten to death in a dive bar are classic Affleck, a la Ben's awesome recruit dressing down in "Boiler Room." Ed Harris is great (has Ed Harris ever not been great?), and deserves a Supporting Actor nod. Though for the second straight Lehane movie, the filmmakers changed a character's last name for some inexplicable reason (Jimmy Marcus to Jimmy Markham in "Mystic River," Remy Broussard to Remy Bressart in "Gone").

Morgan Freeman is good as the chief of police, though his stoic/soulful performance is a little wooden when compared to his similar role in "Seven" (where he was jipped out of an Oscar nom in a total miscarriage of acting justice). Plus I think Freeman sets a record in his second role as a black man with an Irish name (Doyle in "Gone," Red in "Shawshank Redemption"). Michelle Monaghan, who has the most expressive eyes I've ever seen, is unfortunately half wasted as Angie Gennaro. She's a really good actress, but the role just isn't there. Angie's a wonderful character, but not knowing her backstory ("Gone" is Lehane's fourth Kenzie/Gennaro book) makes it harder to understand her motivations at the end. Somebody please give her a meaty role other than Standard Movie Girlfriend (no, I haven't seen "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," but neither have the majority of moviegoers). If Charlize Theron can reliably get those kind of roles, Monaghan more than deserves her shot.

Perhaps the best performance of the film is given by Amy Ryan as Helene McCready. Helene is at once desperate, sad, angry, infuriating, pitiful, and in all a totally believable character. Ryan's performance is so good that when she appears at awards shows next year wearing some $75,000 gown while being fondled by Ryan Seacrest, you'll expect her to call him a sh*t-eating motherf*cker. And if Tim Robbins can win BSA for "Mystic River" (despite overacting worse than William Shatner), Ryan had better at least get nominated for "Gone."

And Ben? Ben does a pretty darn good job. He doesn't overwhelm the film with "stylistic vision" (like Eastwood did too often in "Mystic River"). Instead he smartly lets the performances carry the weight. Yet when the film needs it he delivers, as in the heart-pounding scene where Patrick and Remy raid a suspected pedophile's home, and the botched exchange in the quarry. There's also a sense of authenticity, as Affleck is spends much time focusing on actual Boston locals, many of whom are too "authentic" to show up in most Hollywood films. The script is top-notch, so don't be shocked if Ben (with Aaron Stockard) is up for his second writing nom in February.

"Gone Baby Gone" gets a solid A-, the second straight stellar adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel. Now let's see what Scorsese and Leo can do with SHUTTER ISLAND...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Links--Try the Beets Edition

Plan a trip to Schrute Farms!

The 100 Scariest Movie Scenes of All Time
(I swear, when I was seven the 'Large Marge' scene from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" gave me nightmares for like a year)

Is this the death knell for Sports Illustrated?

Glenn Beck competes with Ron Burgundy to see who can hate Californians more

And here's the very first review for KILLER YEAR: A Criminal Anthology

"For this impressive crime anthology, bestseller Child (One Shot) has gathered 13 stories by newcomers and three by veterans. Such established writers as David Morrell, James Rollins, Gayle Lynds, Ken Bruen and Allison Brennan introduce tales by such rising stars as Marcus Sakey, Brett Battles, Robert Gregory Browne, Sean Chercover and Gregg Olsen. Some selections, like Olsen’s “The Crime of My Life,” hit like a hard swung sap. Battles’s “Perfect Gentleman” is more like a knife that slides in easily, then twists in the gut. Browne’s “Bottom Deal” features a PI that would be at home in a lineup with Spade and Marlowe. Sakey’s “Gravity and Need” lets the reader bleed out slowly, while Chercover’s “One Serving of Bad Luck” earns a rueful smile. Not every entry is a winner, but the disturbingly good new talent showcased in this volume bodes well for the future of the genre."
--Publishers Weekly

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quién es?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

L.A. Not-So Confidential

I'm flying to Los Angeles tonight, my first time visiting the City of Angels since I was about fifteen and spent the summer living in the UCLA dorms taking a class on television production (which did me loads of good in my current career). I'm hoping to step off the bus (er, airplane) and be discovered.

I'll say hi to Vince and Turtle.

You know, I graduated from "The Most Annoying Liberal Arts College." I know a lot of other people who graduated from said college as well (duh). I think for the most part my friends and I turned out pretty ok. Granted I don't know anyone who took this class, but I can promise you there are a lot of people who went to far less "annoying" colleges that are far more annoying in actuality. And hell, isn't college the time you're supposed to experiment by taking freaky classes and doing things you'll likely never have the chance to do again? I mean, I took economics my sophomore year!

(though I can't say I miss people sitting outside the campus center naked, or setting off the fire alarm door in MoCon just to be jerks, or chalking all sorts of horrible sexually deviant things they plan to do to boyfriends/girlfriends/parents/grandparents/pets, or...maybe I should quit while I'm ahead)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Killer Year Comes to an Close

Keep an eye out for the final two books from the Killer Year crew. Both are either in stores as we speak, or should be available within the next week. Both have received stellar reviews, and are worth your time (and money):

"A harrowing debut novel...The prose is admirable, the mood pure Ingmar Bergman. Proceed with caution."
--Kirkus Reviews

"...engaging, atmospheric...Fans of Joyce Carol Oates, who provides a blurb, will in particular enjoy this unrelentingly dark and brutal novel with its ironic twists."

--Publishers Weekly

"A heartbreaking coming-of-age story and a gripping psychological thriller."

"A terrific lead character, terrific suspense, terrific twists ... a completely convincing debut."
--Lee Child

"A taut, striking debut. Mystery fiction has a new name to watch."
--John Connelly

"Darkly compelling and thoroughly chilling..."
--Allison Brennan

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Technological Coolness

From Engadget: More info on the Sony Reader PRS-505's E Ink display

Yes, if you buy a Sony Reader, it will come pre-loaded with an excerpt from THE MARK. Dang this is cool, and that company isn't too shabby. (thanks to Demetrius Lemons for finding this and my sister for passing it along)

Monday, October 15, 2007


Friday, October 12, 2007

It Came From the Land Down Under

Yesterday I received my very first copy of a foreign release of THE MARK, the Australian edition which came out in September. It's an oversize trade paperback (which is apparently all the rage in Australia). Here are a few pics:

The front cover. You can make out the sweet embossed target circling the 'A'. I'm guessing that 'Seven Deadly Sins' sticker is for some sort of promotion.
Very nice back cover layout. Since there's more room than on the US release there's more copy, and they used just the right parts.

My favorite part: in the US, the acknowledgments said 'Mom'. In Australia they changed it to 'Mum'. I hope my Mum is pleased when she sees it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Great Moments in Dialogue

from Theresa Schwegel's PROBABLE CAUSE

Leah: "I'm just playing devil's advocate."
Weiss: "He doesn't need one."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pray for them

Monday, October 08, 2007

Yankees, etc...

Despite the fact that I'm a Mets fan, I managed to get tickets to the Yankees game last night. My sister and I sat in the last row of the stadium. Literally, the last row of the stadium. We could actually lean back against the stadium wall. Anyway, I've never heard a baseball stadium as quiet as during the 3rd inning of last night's game, after Cleveland took a 3-0 lead and Roger Clemens left with acute liver spots.

Speaking of the sputtering Rocket, I have it on good information that Clemens spent Saturday playing golf with his buddy Andy Pettitte. Not that golf an triathalon, but you'd think a 45 year old pitcher who missed the last month due to injury might want to rest up the day before the biggest game of the season.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

UK trailer for THE MARK

My publisher in the UK had this snazzy trailer made for May's release of THE MARK. It's like a movie--in a book!

Great Newspaper Headlines

from today's New York Daily News

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Win a Cover Flat of THE GUILTY

No, Cover Flat is not the name of a band or some place in Colorado. It's the physical mock-up of a book package (without the actual pages), and I just received mine for THE GUILTY. They look pretty spiffy, and as much as I liked the cover for THE MARK, I have to say I think this new cover is actually better. The colors pop (industry slang for 'doesn't make you want to gouge your eyes out'), and we're continuing with the bullet hole motif, where the bullet hole leads to a step-back page which contains blurbs and reviews. Continuing the same motif is one example of branding (industry slang for "letting people know the same guy wrote this book too").

The cover and back cover aren't the totally finished version, however, as my publisher made a few copy (industry slang for "words on the cover") changes, and though they won't appear on the flats or galleys they'll be on the finished books.

So starting today, you can win a signed cover flat of THE GUILTY, the next Henry Parker novel which comes out February 26th 2008. Just post a comment here, or if you don't have a blogger account you can post it on MySpace or just email me at jason@jasonpinter.com. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday, October 8th.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bouchercon, etc...

I'm back from my first ever Bouchercon, and running on fumes to say the least. A more comprehensive overview will come, but my body is still recovering from a 15 hour door-to-door trip, and a solid 3 hours of sleep.

Few thoughts while I'm awake--

1) My panels were a blast, thanks big time to everyone who showed up for the "Bad Boys and Dirty Girls" panel at 9 am on Saturday. That's dedication. Plus it was cool to be on a panel with Simon Wood, and then see him win the Anthony later that night.

2) From the "Not Smart" department: forgetting to bring a jacket to Alaska. Average daily temperature in Anchorage during September: 50 degrees. Money I paid for an "Alaska" sweatshirt so I wouldn't freeze to death: $17.99 (plus tax).

3) Bars in Alaska are very much like bars in New York. If you're a guy, don't expect to have your drink order taken for a good fifteen minutes.

4) We ate lunch on Friday literally under a bridge and on top of a stream. Best seafood chowder ever.

5) The Governor of Alaska spoke at the opening ceremony. And she was funny. Like, for real funny. Let's say Phil Spitzer wouldn't quite have gotten the same laughs.

6) The moderator on my Thursday panel introduced me as the author of the "Harry Parker" novels. I felt bad correcting her, but now 50 people probably think I'm ripping off J.K. Rowling.

7) Along with Jason Starr, I continued the tradition of Jasons accepting awards for the recovering Ken Bruen.

8) I apparently missed some pretty bad ass karaoke at The Avenue bar, but got to meet Declan Hughes, whose accent I wanted to bottle up and take home with me because thick Irish accents simply kick ass.

9) I haven't fully grasped the enormity of the Mets collapse just yet, but they're totally screwed next year. They have a massive payroll. A starting rotation whose average age is 97.3 (depending on whether Orlando Hernandez is 41 as his bio claims, or 176 in real life). Carlos Delgado seems to be entering the twilight of his career. Billy Wagner is 36 with a bad back and surgically repaired elbow. Paul LoDuca seems like he wants to be more like Tony Manero than a starting catcher. Moises Alou is older than God. (ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 New York Mets!!!)

And congratulations to all the Barry, Anthony, Macavity and Shamus award winners and nominees!