Sunday, January 10, 2016

Write? Of Course Write!

...or, The Mystery of the Vanishing Posts Explained in Full

Here's a brief list of my proud accomplishments outside of the blog in 2015.  It was the busiest year for research and writing projects and I learned a valuable life lesson in saying "Sure! I'd love to be a part of that!" way too often. Life has a way of interfering with one's plans and my schedule was thrown off course in a drastic way.

With the declining health of my mother and her eventual death I was overwhelmed with things I've never had to face before. I not only had no more time to write on the blog I had to put away all writing for a period of about three months as the family tended to the business of the estate. As Christmas time rolled around faster than ever (it seemed) I found myself catching up on deadlines and got in my final drafts, some just in the nick of time. Here's what is out and what is coming:

Blondes Are My Trouble by Douglas Sanderson (Véhicule Press, 2015)
Foreword by J.F. Norris

One of the best private eye novels set in Canada. My foreword discusses the unlikely feminist angle in a private eye novel which tend to be hypermasculine in their worldview. The female characters, women's viewpoints and their opinions, even attention to women's clothing are very important in this plot which is centered on a prostitution ring.

-- available for purchase now


Beat Girls, Love Tribes and Real Cool Cats (Verse Chorus Press, 2016)
Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture 1950-1980

Includes my essay on A Sad Song Singing (1963) by Thomas Dewey and a discussion of the folk music scene in New York as depicted in that novel

-- planned for a May 2016 release

As Yet Untitled Anthology edited by Curt Evans (McFarland)

This book is a collection of reviews, essays and biographies on gay mystery writers and how LGTB issues are treated in Golden Age detective fiction. The nineteen contributors cover books written between 1890 and 1969, the date of the Stonewall Riots and the beginning of the "gay revolution".

--- publication slated for late 2016 or early 2017

For the untitled book, still being compiled and edited, I have contributed three essays on three different writers whose work spans a fifty year period, from 1912 to 1969.

Beverley Nichols (circa 1930s) photo by Cecil Beaton
©National Portrait Gallery, London
The Beverley Nichols piece was the most fun to write and research.  I may write a bit more about Nichols and his Mr. Green series for the blog come mid-year. The books are wonderful examples of the British detective novel of the late 1950s and tend to focus on music, theater and Nichols' first love -- horticulture and gardening. It was interesting to learn that Nichols had an undeniable respect for the traditions of the Golden Age formulae and plot mechanics.

I hope this year to be more regular with posts. I have planned a new format for book reviews on this blog that will make it quicker for me to churn out reviews. Most likely I'll be spending more time on new books in an effort to get more freelancing paid work and I plan on looking at more reprints of vintage writers' work now that we are in a Renaissance of Golden Age detective fiction reprint publishing.

Onward and upward!


  1. Very interesting and exciting, John. I have been eagerly awaiting Beat Girls, Love Tribes,... I have had it on pre-order for a long time. I did know that you were contributing to it. I just purchased Hot Freeze by Sanderson; now I will have to get Blondes Are My Trouble also.

  2. Happy New Year and I hope this one is brighter for you personally.

  3. Congrats on all the good writing, John! A belated Happy New Year!