Anyway, it's getting towards the end of the year and in terms of professional advancement, it's been my best year ever thanks to some new associations with a great new forward thinking publisher and the hard work ethic of my soon to retire agent, Janet Benrey.
What will the new year bring?
My prediction is that Kindle sales will double or perhaps even triple this year's sales. Same for other e-book readers. Paper will remain strong however, but there will be shorter runs as the old model of bookstore returns goes the way of the dinosaur, and indie presses go from little and obscure to formidable and much sought out. One thing that won't change however, is great writing. So who are the authors who will be leading the way? I can't say I really know for sure, but I can wager a few intelligent guesses. Here's a list of just a few authors who via indie press, traditional small press, self-published press or even major New York press, are absolutely going to turn the hard-boiled lit scene on its head. They are as follows, off the top of my head:
1. Heath Lowrance. Heath is fast becoming one of the most sought out experts on noir and all things hard-boiled. He's also one hell of an author, and the good people at New Pulp Press are putting out his first novel, The Bastard Hand, early next year. Watch and see this one hit the number 1 spot in hard-boiled fiction.
2. Richard Godwin. Richard's English but he doesn't right cozy Victorian mysteries. He writes dark, horror-filled, police procedurals with a poet's grace and accuracy of language. His first novel, Apostle Rising, is blurbed by me and it was an honor to do so.
3. Dean DeLuke. Who's Dean DeLuke you ask? An upstate New Yorker like me, who decided to dust off a manuscript he'd been storing in his drawer to maybe try and get published. When there were no takers, he put up the dough to self-publish it on Kindle, and in hardcover. Now Shedrow is a bestseller in hard-boiled, medical thrillers, and one of "Suspense Magazine's" top Medial Thriller picks for 2010. Mr. DeLuke is currently writing another.
4. Aaron Patterson. I love this guy because like me, he started out as a construction worker. Also like me, he can't spell worth of crapp, but boy oh boy, can he write serious thrillers or what. He also writes "clean" thrillers, a concept that was only introduced to me some months ago. At first, I didn't think a hard-boiled "clean" novel could be done, but he's proven not just me, but the whole freaking world wrong. His Sweet Dreams has been in the top 10 for bestselling hard-boiled thrillers for months and months and months, and he sells way more Kindles than many majors like Harlan or Mr. King.
5. Charlie Huston. Actually Charlie has already made his mark as a major player backed by a major house. I include him here however because he hasn't peaked. Not by a long shot. I've said it before and I'll say it again, young Mr. Huston writes the best noir prose word for word, sentence for sentence, graph for graph, than anybody in the business, never mind me. He is, quite simply, the best of us all. And he's only just getting started with books like, Caught Stealing, that have already become classics.
6. Les Edgerton. I just read his newest hard-boiled effort, The Bitch, and I realized I didn't once breath through the entire thing. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it is one of the most fun, dangerous, if not pyromanic literary performances of the past year (word up is that parts of it are taken from Les's own life. Holy crap, this guy shouldn't be alive!). From what I understand, he's looking for a publisher. I would try and persuade the old school bestselling pro to perhaps seek out a new, e-book-based, indie pub like New Pulp or StoneGate for this novel, but I think Les wants to try and persuade one of the New York editorial cats to take a gamble. Listen up NYC, The Bitch ain't a gamble. Like Les's previous bestselling nonfiction effort on writing, Hooked, this novel is a sure bet.
Well, obviously there are another 100 authors that aren't exactly coming to mind right now, but I also don't know what freakin' day it is. But you can take my word for it and look these guys up. Buy up their books for the holidays and tell all your friends that you got in on the ground floor of hard-boiled fiction's future.
See ya when I get home!