Favors and Agents and Blurgh.

I’m back from my intense but wonderful, west coast tour for Riot Load and ready to get to work selling it to the rest of the country. I’ve had so many people love and support me and my books so far and I’m asking for more because I’m greedy. But I also want to see the people who had faith in the book rewarded for that faith. Sales are great, but customer reviews are even better.

Reviews on Amazon make it easier for strangers, for folks outside of this loving and tight-knit community to find my book. Reviews on Amazon make it easier for my amazing publisher to promote the book online and through his sales reps. Reviews on Amazon also make it easy for you to tell other readers about how much you loved (or didn’t – honestly an honest review is helpful whether it’s good or bad) Riot Load.

So please take a moment today to click a few stars and say a few words about Riot Load today. I’d really appreciate it.

I took my own advice and reviewed a few books I’ve loved lately including:

CITY OF ROSE by Rob Hart – a great refresh of PI and strip club tropes
NOT EVEN PAST – another great twist on the PI novel that manages to wring an amazing amount of emotion out of its characters
SECURITY – A wonderful, trippy debut novel that’s part Agatha Christie, part Stephen King, and part Psycho.
THE FAR EMPTY – An amazing debut that really kind of made me regret ever being a writer in the first place because I’ll never be this good
SHOT IN DETROIT – a book that would be impossible for anyone without Patti’s talent and empathy and eye for detail to pull off.

Also, today I’m over at Hey There’s a Dead Guy talking about why I don’t have an agent and whether that’s the right move for everyone.

Something Something Frasier And Grunge

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I had a blast in Seattle, but I’m ready to go home. It’s kind of weird how the first few days away from home I really enjoy the quiet and the freedom and feel guilty for not missing my family more and then something happens by day three and the crushing loneliness and homesickness sets in and I miss them terribly. Thanks to everyone at Seattle Mystery Bookshop for having me and thanks to Bill Cameron for letting me horn in on his event. As always, if you missed the event feel free to contact the store to order a signed copy.

I’m at the Delta Sky Lounge now waiting for my flight to leave at midnight and this is the best $60 I ever spent. I’ll have a longer post soon about whether this tour was worth it but for now, I’m happy I did, I loved everyone I met, and I am very, very happy to be going home.

View From The Hotel: Seattle Edition

Your scenery pleases me Seattle.

This might be one of the best hotel views I’ve ever had. It’s far colder here than I expected so showing up in shorts and a t-shirt was not wise. Luckily I packed jeans and a hoodie with me so I should be fine. I was able to check into my hotel early so I can wash the stink of travel off of me and then spend valuable time calling National Car Rental, again, because they botched my rental something fierce in Houston and put me out a good chunk of change.

But that view is very calming and after catching up on some more work here I hope to take the light rail into the city for a while. Tomorrow I’ll be appearing at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop with my buddy Bill Cameron so come out and say hello and buy a bunch of copies.

View From The Hotel: Houston Edition

Not a bad view, Houston. Not bad at all.

I made it to Houston. Huzzah! I had a heaping plate of reasonably priced mediocre Chinese food at a place called Kung Food and then headed over here to check in. The hotel is lovely and has a great work station set up which I’ll need because I have work to be done. If you’re in the Houston area, come see me tonight at 6:30pm at Murder by the Book. If you can’t make it out, go ahead and order a signed copy anyway to support the store and the great work they do.

Greetings From The Ugly Side Of The Morning

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I’m writing this from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport where I had to wake up at 3:30am this morning to make it to the airport on time. I know, right? But it’s all been worth it so far. The flight into AZ was great and the combination of using noise canceling headphone for the first time and using Afrin nose spray right before take off really made a difference in how I felt during and after the flight. I was still wildly disoriented because of waking up so early, but at least I felt healthy and disoriented instead of having a stuffy head and dizziness like I normally do for several hours after a flight.

My event at Poisoned Pen on Tuesday went well and I had a fun time talking with Patrick Millikin who is a very smart, very engaging man in the field. While the crowd was sparse, there were some people there which is still better than some horror stories of folks showing up to bookstores with no one in attendance. Patrick mentioned several big name authors who visited PP and had small crowds early on. If you weren’t able to make the event and you’d like to support Poisoned Pen and the great work they do, contact them to order one of the signed copies they have available. Thanks to James Thane for the photo above.

I had an off day yesterday and did some editing and worked some on the book but also found time to go to a baseball game which was fun. Even though Chase Field is an indoor park, it didn’t feel like it. Very enjoyable experience.

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Now I’m on my way to Houston where I will nap, then shower, then get ready for my event at the ever-awesome Murder by the Book. I’m signing with Gina Wohlsdorf who’s debut novel Safety is an amazing, trippy experience of a book that I highly recommend.

Also a quick reminder that I’ve added a few more links to my Blog Tour roundup post for this tour as well. Check it out!

Today is RIOT LOAD Launch Day!

My second novel, Riot Load, is available today at bookstores and online in ebook format. It’s so exciting to say that, my second novel. I’ve known too many authors better than me who have not been given the opportunity for a second novel so I thank Jason Pinter and all of the readers who made this possible.

I’m writing this from beautiful Gilbert, AZ where I am prepping for my event tonight at the world famous Poisoned Pen Bookstore. Thursday I’ll be heading to Houston and Murder by the Book followed on Saturday by a stop at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop. Full details of each event can be found on the appearances section of my website.

It’s always better when an author has the chance to let other folks do the cheering for a book, so I’m happy to point you to this Crimespree Magazine review from the ever delightful Kate Malmon.  My local paper, The Canton Observer did a great front page feature story about my books and my writing process that was picked up by the Detroit Free Press.

A fun side note about that story: I was in the grocery store yesterday getting allergy medicine before my flight and someone actually recognized me from that story. She has a friend who’s husband’s name is Jason Pinter and wondered if he had a new side hobby. I guess relatives think it’s so funny that over the years they’ve bought this guy the entire collected work of Jason’s novels. Small world and such.

I also had the privilege of writing a Big Idea essay for John Scalzi’s site about what happens when we achieve our dreams too early.

As fun as all of this attention is though, the main purpose is to sell books. So here are some places you can get a copy of your very own:

Here’s where to buy the print version:

Amazon.com I Barnes & Noble I IndieBound I Books-A-Million

Here’s where to buy the e-book version

Amazon.com I Barnes & Noble I Kobo iBooks I Google Play

Here’s where to order the e-book version from some of my favorite indie bookstores:

Schuler Books Murder by the Book I Seattle Mystery Bookstore Centuries & Sleuths

If your favorite indie isn’t listed, check out the IndieBound ebook list to find a store in your area that sells ebooks.

Once you’ve had a chance to read it I know everyone involved in producing the book would appreciate you leaving an honest review at Amazon.com or Goodreads. Thanks and happy reading!

The RIOT LOAD Blog Tour

We are officially a week out from the publication of my second(!!!!!) novel. I will be doing a small book tour on the west coast and a blog tour right here on the Internet. I’ve included the dates below for the entire tour and will come back here and make the links live when the stories are published. So check back often. Links to sample chapters and buying links for print and ebook are available at the links below.

Riot Load, the sequel to Murder Boy
Published June 14, 2016

Soft Launch

Crimespree Blog Interview with Dan Malmon
The Big Thrill Interview
Bad Citizen Corporation Interview with Steve Lauden
Interview with Steve Hockensmith
Riot Load excerpt published at Criminal Element
Feature story in the Detroit Free Press

We’re A Go For Launch

Hey Dead Guy – Guest Post 6/21
Criminal Element – Guest Post 6/22
JT Ellison – Guest Post 6/23
Shelf Pleasure – Guest Post 6/24

How About a Riot Load Update?

I sent a version of this to my newsletter subscribers last week. If you want to make sure you never miss these important updates, be sure to sign up here.

With the release of Riot Load just under a month out now, I figured the timing is perfect for an update of what’s been happening and what will happen with my second novel (that never gets old to say).

So let’s start with the big news first: My finished copies of Riot Load arrived yesterday.

Well hello beautiful.

Once again Jason has done an excellent job of putting out a really high-quality product. Their arrival was actually kind of a surprise which was fun. I got home late last night after a rather rotten and depressing day and saw a couple of boxes of books on the porch. I’m involved with a project that has seen a lot of books being mailed to me recently so I didn’t think anything about it until I cut into the first box and saw these babies looking up at me. My day was immediately better. I held it and ran around the house with it and showed the kids where their names were in the acknowledgements. This whole thing still feels pretty unreal to me.

But it is real, and it will be out in the world in less than a month. I will be doing a substantial blog tour for this book, The schedule is still being finalized but I can confirm there will be guest posts at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds site, John Scalzi’s Whatever, and Criminal Element among others. There will also be interviews at The Big Thrill, Steve Hockensmith’s site, Steve Lauden’s site, my own local paper, The Canton Observer, and a special appearance to talk books and college sports with Dave White at the Rutgers sports blog On The Banks. When the schedule is finalized I’ll post it on my appearances page .

The first interview out of the gate is live now and that’s a rather unique interview I did with Dan Malmon over Facebook that was posted to the Crimespree Blog.

In addition to online events, I’ll also be popping up several places in person. The tour will kick off June 11-12 in Chicago, IL for the Printers Row Lit Fest where I will be doing panels and book signings with the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America as well as interviewing debut author Shaun Harris. Then it’s off to a trio of amazing indie bookstores: Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ on June 14, Murder by the Book in Houston, TX on June 16 with debut author Gina Wohlsdorf, and Seattle Mystery Bookshop in Seattle, WA on June 18 with non-debut author Bill Cameron. My local book launch will be at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor where I will be appearing with wine and cake in addition to fellow Polis Books author Patti Abbott. If you’re close to any of these stores, I’d love to see you and sign your books. If you can’t make it when I’m there, be sure to contact any of these store in advance to order a signed (or the more rare and valuable unsigned) copy. Again, info is available on the appearances page of my website.

For anyone concerned about what they’ll be in for when buying a copy of Riot Load, the first chapter is available to read for free on this here website.

Finally, these things always seem to end with recommendations of things the author has experienced that they enjoyed and I have a few of those. In books I’ve really been enjoying Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. This hits the sweet spot for me between computers and author interviews. In music I’ve been listening to Wynonna and the Big Noise. I’d been out of country music for a while because the mainstream stuff was just so awful and I had no idea how to find the good stuff I knew was being produced. Thankfully I found Outlaw Country on my XM radio and that opened a big new world to me. In addition to reacquainting me with one of my favorite artists it’s helped me find great new artists like Derek Hoke who reminds of the great voice, great guitar, and happy-go-lucky spirit of Vince Gill.

Dates, Ruts, And Adventurous Eating

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Becky and I have been lucky our entire time together to enjoy each other’s company and have a nice dating life. We’re blessed with parents who are okay taking the kids once in a while overnight or on the fly so we can do fun stuff together. Now that Natalie is getting a little older, I’m really hoping we can do more traveling together. But for now, we make sure to focus  on our dating life though we’ve been falling into the trap of quantity over quality. We had a run of a couple funky dates because we pushed the chain restaurant/movie date too far. So when we decided it was time for another fancy date night, I wanted to do something different.

The Holly Hotel is a fancy Victorian building in the old village part of Holly, a ruralish area about 20 minutes south of Flint. They have a fine dining restaurant and a basement comedy club. A quick look at the menu showed us this was going to be more adventurous than most outings because the menu tended to change frequently and you were at the mercy of the chef most of the time. But feeling adventurous, we dove in. The atmosphere was indeed excellent, nicely quaint and historical enough to trigger my imagination a hundred different ways. When it came time to order though, I did something uncharacteristic for me, I picked the most adventurous option. It was an 8 course chef’s selection meal when I wouldn’t know what the next course was until it was brought out to me. I’m usually a pretty picky eater but as a writer looking for the next interesting thing to inspire me and as a person who doesn’t want to die early from eating crappy food too much, I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort area more.

And for the most part I was rewarded for the effort. There was nothing that completely grossed me out and everything was amazingly fresh which contributed to some intense and delightful flavors. The only thing that really disappointed me was the entree course, a tiny little quail that I didn’t care for, but by that point I was so full, and the side dishes were so good, that it didn’t matter. The dinner took so long to serve that we ran a bit late to the comedy show and they served the last two courses, a cheese course and desert course, down there. The comedians were funny in a solid pro, but nothing original kind of way and the first pushed really heavy on weight jokes and the second relied a lot on relationship/ men v women jokes.

Becky got the duck. She did not care for it.