Showing posts from 2011

"The Final Bough"

If you pop over to Angry Robot's site, you'll find a little present from yours truly, in the form of free fiction . "The Final Bough" has everything a good holiday story should: dames, deceit, dentistry—and at the center of it all, an elf who wants answers even more than he wants another swig of nog. Merry Christmas, and enjoy.

The Magic Box

I've spent a lot of (virtual) ink talking about my Papa Burns' influence on my reading (and therefore writing) habits. There's no question he hardwired me from a young age to always think of story—and life—in terms of mystery. What I haven't talked as much about is my introduction to the world of science fiction and fantasy. That's due in large part to the fact that my love of all things fantastical came about almost passively. I was born into the era of Star Wars and Stephen King, the two being so ubiquitous during my formative years, it's hardly a surprise that I, a voracious consumer of any and all forms of entertainment, internalized them into my worldview. But Star Wars and King were as mainstream as can be. If I'm to pinpoint the moment I tumbled down the rabbit-hole of hardcore science fiction and fantasy fandom, I've got to to give credit to my Grandpa Holm, and to a box of musty, yellowed old paperbacks, which I devoured by flashlight (fitting

"The Putdown" to Appear in Grift #1!

I just got word from ace editor (and damn fine crime writer in his own right) John Kenyon that my short story "The Putdown" will be appearing in the inaugural issue of Grift Magazine! Grift Magazine is a thrice-yearly print mag dedicated to crime fiction of all stripes. In addition to the print publication, which will debut February 2012, Grift's website is already a major source of news, opinion, and interviews, and it's well worth checking out. If the print mag is half as slick as the site, I lucked out, getting in on the ground floor before John gets too big to take my calls.


Okay, I let my Angry Robot overlord Marc Gascoigne have his fun breaking the news of my gorgeous, gorgeous covers (on account of he designed them) but I just couldn't wait any longer to post the images myself. The covers were Marc's brainchild, an homage to the classic Marber-era Penguin covers of the '60s and '70s , and they were executed brilliantly by the crazy-talented Amazing 15 Design . DEAD HARVEST is scheduled for release February 28, 2012, and is now available for preorder! THE WRONG GOODBYE will be released November 2012.

"Sweet #$%#ing Mother of #$#@%!" Or, "An Announcement"

Dear Everyone Ever: If the interwebs are to be believed, it would seem I have a book deal . Not only a book deal, but a two-book deal. Not only a two-book deal, but a two-book deal with one of the hottest publishers in all of speculative fiction. (Yes, I'm aware that if the interwebs are really to be believed, the world is going to end on Saturday. Which would be a bummer, because I've been assured on many nonconsecutive occasions that I do, indeed, really for-seriously actually have a book deal, and that this isn't some kind of elaborate prank.) Said book deal, for those who've yet to click through (quite possibly due to the same baffling paralysis that struck me upon hearing the news, which, in addition to greatly hindering my jumping up and down, also prompted me to exclaim to my agent, " I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE! ") is with Angry Robot . If you're not familiar with them, well, you should be. They've been amassing accolades left and right since thei

"The Hitter" Nominated for an Anthony!

It's been a good day. So good, in fact, I forgot to blog about it until it was almost over. Today, "The Hitter" was nominated for an Anthony Award. "The Hitter" first appeared in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and is scheduled to appear in THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011, edited by Harlan Coben and Otto Penzler. Thanks to Steve and John at Needle. Thanks also to crack Bouchercon organizer and official nomination announcer-guy Jon Jordan. But most of all, thanks to everyone who put my name down on your Anthony ballots; you have my eternal gratitude. And congrats to all my fellow nominees!

Kat Debuts on Criminal Element!

Some of you know my lovely wife through her Twitter feed. Others from her mystery reviews at The Season, or on her blog, The Maine Suspect . (If you don't, that's fine; I can wait while you go bookmark them.) But it seems the missus has fallen in with a dodgy crowd of late. A Criminal Element , as it were. Peep her inaugural post here . And keep an eye out; there's more to come. (No, really. Particularly on account of today's post kinda sorta used to be half of a Katrina Niidas Holm double-feature.) UPDATE, May 3: Boom: Part Two . (Or one, or whatever it is. This crazy post-splitting thing is getting tougher to follow than Inception.)

Shorts Weather

As I write this, it's a beautiful Saturday morning in Maine, the temperature climbing, the sun shining bright. I should be raking my yard, or spreading mulch, or whatever it is normal, decent folk do instead of killing imaginary people messily on the page. Instead, I've been killing imaginary people messily on the page. See, a while back, Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan cooked up an anthology idea. They wanted pulp tales inspired by tracks from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. And they invited me to contribute one. Of course I said sure. The track I was assigned was " Royale with Cheese." So I popped onto iTunes and gave it a listen. (What? Mr. Self-Styled Pulp Writer doesn't own a copy of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack? As a matter of fact, he does. It just doesn't have tracks per se , on account of it's a store-bought cassette.) Anyways, today I put the finishing touches on my contribution to the PULP INK anthology: "A Night at the Royale ."

Two Quick Bits of Business

Stuffed though I am with Easter ham (happy nondenominational whatever to all of y'all, by the by), I wanted to pop in for two quick announcements. Firstly, I've just received word from ├╝ber-editor David Cranmer that my short story "The Man in the Alligator Shoes" will be appearing at Beat to a Pulp this coming June! Beat to a Pulp's one of the best fiction sites going, and I'm always delighted to grace its hallowed (web)pages. Secondly, I've finally succumbed to the gray-matter-noshing virtual zombie plague that is Facebook. Yes, just now. Feel free to justify my existence by friending me or whatever it is the kids (and my grandmother, and everybody else on the planet who isn't me) say these days.

8 POUNDS Nominated!

8 POUNDS has been nominated for a Spinetingler Award in the category of Best Short Story Collection! Many thanks to Jack Getze, Brian Lindenmuth, Sandra Ruttan, and the whole Spinetingler crew. The Spinetinglers are cool in that voting is open to the public, so if you enjoyed 8 POUNDS, I'd be honored to have your vote. Just pop on over to Spinetingler anytime after 6 AM April 1, and make with the democracy. And hey, even if you weren't a fan, go peruse the ballot anyway. A lot of tremendous folks are up for awards in a whole host of categories. Just think of every vote as a down-payment toward making someone's day.

"The Hitter" to Appear in THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011!

A few months back, Steve Weddle told me he and John Hornor Jacobs were putting together a new print mag, and asked if I'd like to contribute something to their second issue. I said sure. I started kicking around a couple ideas. One was lean and mean at maybe 3,000 words. The other was a monster, a behemoth. The kind of story you know could get away from you. The kind you know could be a risk. It was big and burly and ambitious as all hell. Here's what I said to Steve about the latter when I emailed him to see which he'd prefer: I had this idea about a week ago. Got me out of bed. Sat down in the dark and cranked out a bunch of notes, all the while thinking I really had something... it's big, and it's dark, and there's no place else for it. I told him how long I thought it'd be. I pitched the other story, too. I thought for sure he'd take the safe bet. The one that looked like all my other stories. But then, I hadn't seen issue #1 of