Stuff & Nonsense 007: The Ledge

An earlier draft of this newsletter started with a long vent about air travel, but I figured I'd spare you. The last week has been busy and I've felt all over the place and not fully able to do all the things I wanted or committed to doing, but such is life. I think?

Writing-wise, I finished up and submitted a short story, started work on a collaboration I'm really stoked for and printed out Pete Book 3 for eventual notes (we are now in the "letting it simmer" stage). I'm also a few thousand words into Pete Book 4, which is scary and exciting to type.

ANYWAYS. I was on a panel Thursday hosted by Publishing Perspectives discussing how to market/design books for "#millenialreaders." The entire event featured various discussions that were geared toward figuring out how to engage with the younger market. I found the panel I was on to be a lot of fun, and while Archie as a company has been around a long time, the energy it gives off is very vibrant and new - akin to a startup. At least I think so. It didn't feel out of place to be on the stage with two relatively young brands discussing what things we're all doing to appeal to a newer demographic. The response to the Fiona Staples Archie redesign was also fun to experience live, too. Lots of oohs and aahs. Digital Book World had a nice recap.


Noir at the Bar Queens III was a great time - I was really impressed/pleased with the lineup of authors and happy that, despite rain and general NY event apathy, we had a decent crowd at ODradeks Coffeehouse. Everyone really brought their best stuff and it made for a varied and entertaining night of noir. Excited to have another one soon, perhaps in May. The Author MVP award was split between Tom Schreck and Chris Irvin for coming to Queens from the distant lands of Albany and Boston, respectively. Go buy the new Duffy Dombrowski book, The Ten Count, and Burn Cards.

As you may know, I'm one of the guest editors for the Pen American Center's #PENTen interview series. My second interview, with the great Megan Abbott, went live this week. I love Megan's work and she's a delightful person and friend. Really grateful she took the time out of her schedule to chat. Buy all her books - they're worth it.

What I'm reading:

Still on Ghettoside, which continues to wow me. Please read it.

What I'm watching:

We finally caved and started Better Call Saul, and I'm so glad we did. My first thought was "What the hell took me so long?" For whatever reason, I didn't think this was going to be any good. I have an aversion to spinoffs, especially when they're spiraling out of something I really enjoy, like Breaking Bad. They usually strike me as unnecessary. I didn't realize Breaking Bad creator/exec producer Vince Gilligan was heavily involved, which would have alleviated any worries I may have had. Someone I was talking to over the weekend explained Saul pretty well, so I'm going to swipe his mini-review: The show is to Breaking Bad what Frasier is to Cheers. Couldn't agree more, at least so far. I'm curious to eventually get to Netflix's Bloodline, too, though I've heard mixed things. Same for House of Cards season 3.

A few links of note:

Chuck Wendig's blog post on whether you should quit writing was great. Don't quit writing, please.

My friend Erin Mitchell expressed my thoughts on the whole Clean Reader drama before I even had them.

The second issue of The Black Hood is out - hope you grabbed a copy. If you've enjoyed the first two, I think you'll dig #3. Keep in mind that comic shop retailers have to order copies of books way in advance and their last chance to edit orders for #3 is Monday. Let them know you'd like a copy, if you can!

I'm not a "Ripper-ologist," nor am I a huge fan of the True Murder podcast (though it has its moments, production issues aside), but I found this episode pretty fascinating. It focuses on the murders that predate the "canonical" Jack the Ripper murders. The author of The Bank Holiday Murders, Tom Westcott, has done his research and speaks to the case with authority. Curious to check the book out.

David Simon and Obama had a nice chat.

Speaking of - why is Homicide: Life on the Street so underrated?

Murder Boy author, pal and fellow Polis Books writer Bryon Quertermous on why writers make the best characters.

I've been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac this week, particularly Lindsay's songs on Tusk.