Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Q and A at Julie Morrigan's Blog

I sat down recently with Julie Morrigan for a little question and answer session about writing, Lost Exit, and the world of publishing (she makes me sound almost coherent).  You can check out the interview here.

She's also got some other Q and A's with writers and creative types like Paul D. Brazill, Chris Rhatigan, Charlie Wade, and Iain Rowan that you can check out.

Friday, December 2, 2011

More Updates About Pushcart Prizes (and Literary Whatnot)

For the second time in less than two weeks I’m honored, flattered, and humbled by a Pushcart prize nomination….
I’ve just been notified by Kate Pilarcik (publisher of "At the Bijou"), that my short story WHO’S GOT THE ACTION has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in literature (You can read it here).
What makes this one special and fun is that some of my fellow nominees are not only friends, but writers whose work I greatly admire like Joseph Grant, Anthony Venutolo,  Eric Beetner, and Sean Patrick Reardon.  It’s great to share the stage with them.

Some times you just run out of words…..I’m truly honored and flattered.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fisticuffs, Palookas, and Noir

The November Noir feature over At The Bijou continues to roll along even as the calendar slides out of November and into December.  Up for the next couple of days is my story BEFORE THEY FALL - a tough, gritty homage to boxing and the less than glamorous aspects of the sport.  The Fisticuffs, Palookas, and Noir showbill featured Anthony Venutolo's AN UNLIKELY PARTNER last week, and will soon showcase a new short story from LA Detective and writer Paul Bishop.

You can read BEFORE THEY FALL right here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pushcart Prize

I'm honored and tremendously humbled that my short story, NO TEARS FOR CRYING has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  It's flattering to not only be nominated for the literary prize that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" (especially the whatnot part in which I clearly fall), but one that has recognized the work of some of my heroes like Junot Diaz, Raymond Carver, Tim O'Brien, and William Monahon.

You can read the story here

Thanks very much.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Noir Update

An update on Noirember AT THE BIJOU (as rechristened by Harry Sanderford).

Some excellent stories so far this month, including today's feature from Joe Grant.  Joe is a long time friend and as part of the AT THE BIJOU feature I got the opportunity to take a minute of his time and ask him some questions about writing, writing, and dead Russian writers.

Check it out here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Noir

Check out At The Bijou tomorrow - my story "Love Struck Trouble" will be part of the initial November Noir lineup, along with Graham Smith, Julie Morrigan, and Chris Rhatigan- more great writers will follow all month.  It should be a great month with some killer stories from excellent writers (this will be my attempt at channeling a little Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler).

You can read At The Bijou right here.

And you can read my story here

Be sure to check back all month At The Bijou for some great stories....... 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Adopt An Indie

LOST EXIT is one of the books that will be featured during November’s “Adopt An Indie” Month.  You can check it out here

“Adopt An Indie” is about bringing authors, readers and book bloggers together to dispel some of the indie myths and show readers that “if you’re missing indie, you’re missing out.”  As part of the month-long event, readers will be able to talk to published authors and learn about their experiences while authors will be able to find out what really matters to readers and if they really care about the ‘indie/SP/small press’ labels.

You can find out more info about AAI and all the books featured!

Thanks to Donna Brown for including Lost Exit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fiction Daily

My story "CANDY'S SMILE" from A Twist Of Noir was featured in yesterday's Fiction Daily in the genre section (thanks to Paul D. Brazill for flagging that for me).  If you haven't yet checked it out, you can find this story as well as some other great fiction at:
Good Stuff To Read In Places You Wouldn't Normally Look

Friday, September 30, 2011

COMING SOON - Nine In The Morning

NEWEST VERSION......would look a little better if you could see the outline of the book and not just an image an words against a white background.....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Candy's Smile

I have a new story: CANDY"S SMILE up at A Twist of Noir as part of Christopher Grant's 600-700 word challenge (my first story was NO TEARS FOR CRYING).  You can check it out at the following link:

There are also some excellent stories from Christopher Grant, Matthew McBride, Richard Godwin, and Albert Tucher to check out while you're there.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Reviews For Lost Exit

A couple of excellent new reviews for LOST EXIT at both Amazon and Goodreads from Paul Bishop (author and one of the stars of ABC's Take The Money And Run) and Jeff Dawson.  "Basketball noir" and "A compelling read" that is "brutally honest and thought provoking."

Friday, September 9, 2011


Over the past few years I’ve written stories about 9/11 and its impact, especially on those of us who lost friends, neighbors, and people we knew.  With the 10th anniversary of the attacks this Sunday I’m re-running one of my stories written about that day (part of the collection: THINGS WE LOST ON TUESDAY ).

Hardly a day passes that I don’t think about that day, friends who are no longer here, and what so many have sacrificed and lost since then.

          It looked like snow falling from the buildings but in reality it was raining flesh; the streets were covered in it as Fire Fighter Michael Stone rushed into the South Tower and headed up the B stairs with five others from Ladder 10/Engine 10.  Over his handie-walkie radio Stone could hear “MAYDAY’S” as they joined other fire fighters and climbed the stairs, pushing past single file lines of evacuees streaming down from the lower floors.  Everyone was reasonably calm considering the chaos inside the building although Stone was scared about what he would be facing – when he had entered the Tower it looked like at least fifteen floors were burning and he had never seen a fire that big; Stone didn’t know how they would ever get it under control.  Around the twenty-first floor they came upon a pregnant woman taking the stairs one step at a time and one of the Lieutenants from Engine 21 told Stone to get her down while the rest of Ladder 10 kept going up.  Stone had the woman wrap her arms around his neck so it was easier to carry her; there was a mixture of fear and panic in her face and he gently reassured her that everything would be okay.  He thought of his own wife, due with their first child in a few weeks, and wished he had called her before entering the building to let her know everything was alright so she wouldn’t worry.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Nick Triplow has a new site: STATUS STORIES (which features short fiction in 100 words or less).  One of my stories: My Holocaust, is up there - you can also check it out below:

My Holocaust
My father left when I was two – just walked out the front door and never looked back.  I grew up in a world suddenly different than the one my friends shared, shaped by something that had been out of my control, but carrying a pain that stayed with me forever.  I spent too many years emotionally crippled, chasing the shadows of ghosts I hoped could fill his space. 
I could never erase the longing.
The emptiness lasted a lifetime.
I wish I could explain to my own children why I left their mother, but those words never come out right.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My newest story: SOUVENIRS is up this week at Jeanette Cheezum's CAVALCADEOFSTARS.  You can check it out at:

Thanks to Jeanette and her readers for debuting this story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin'

My latest post/rant about the WSJ, publishing, and noted author and literary giant from The Jersey Shore - Snooki is up at SLIDING DOWN THE RAZOR'S EDGE.  You can check it out at:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lost Exit Climbing The Amazon Best Seller Charts

Not a misprint of today, LOST EXIT is now #43 on Amazon's list of Best Selling Sports Fiction, ahead of books by greats like Dan Jenkins, Frank Deford, Peter Gent, and Don deLillo.  It comes as a little bit of a surprise since I never considered LOST EXIT much of a sports book, even though the central theme revolves around basketball.  For me it is more about a troubled kid coming of age, with a few mobsters, drugs, and dead bodies thrown in for good measure, along with a little sex and some more violence added to round out the good, wholesome fun......but I'm excited about the book's climb up the charts.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have a Father's Day post up at my other site (Sliding Down The Razor's Edge) entitled Dear Dad.  You can check it out at:
Thanks (and happy Father's Day to the men who are their for kids - whether they are fathers or not).

Monday, June 6, 2011


I posted a new story over at Six Sentences last week (a little different fare than the usual blood, guts, and violence indicative of a Kevin Michaels story):

     We were in the fourth grade the first time I walked you home that cold, rainy October day after one of the neighborhood kids had picked on you, and I promised to always be there to protect you.  By the time high school rolled around I walked you home from the bus stop every afternoon, pretending I needed help with my homework, looking for reasons to talk while working up the courage to admit I wanted to be more than friends.  During a summer break from college, I walked you home that same day the doctors said there was nothing more they could do for your mom; I held your hand and let the tears fall, remembering the promise I had made that afternoon in grammar school.  And for years, after long, hard days at work I walked you home to the house we shared, unsure how we would pay all the bills yet still have something left in the bank to build a future, but certain about the depth of our love with the strength only the young or the foolish possess.  We raised five kids, filling our house with love, laughter, and many more good times than bad, and each night after dinner when we walked up and down the neighborhood streets before turning for home, it felt as good as that first time I walked you home.  Now an emptiness surrounds me with each step I take on those same streets filled with memories of our conversations, and an overwhelming loneliness comes over me while I hold you close in my heart and walk home alone.

Thanks for checking it out-

Monday, May 30, 2011


This originally ran in Six Sentences a few years back - for Memorial Day and in honor of everyone who ever served our country:

The sand felt warm, the way it usually was on Saturday afternoons in Seaside Heights; face down on the beach under a hot July sun that burned my back and shoulders while Jenny was getting cheese fries and Cokes from the boardwalk concession stand.  Later we would jump the waves, venturing farther from shore until the life guards motioned us back, their shrill whistles straining above the roar of the surf and the cacophony of voices that filled the air - ready to save us if we needed help.  As the waves rolled into our bodies she would squeeze her arms around my neck and try to drag me under but I could always kick free, riding the wave to the beach and tumbling out of the water with my stomach red, raw, and bleeding from the shells and pebbles that tore my skin and filled the waistband of my trunks; the water would surge forward over the chairs and towels of people too close to the tide line, sending them in a frantic scramble towards drier ground before pulling back with the empty cans, baggies filled with left-over snacks, and cheap plastic toys that had been left behind.  Later Jenny would shiver as she held me close on the blanket, towels wrapped around our shoulders, her lips cold, salty, and wet as they pressed against mine, and the warmth we shared would spread throughout my body and stay with me on the drive home.   I could feel that warm sand under my face as I opened my eyes in an unfamiliar expanse of desert, just north of Tikrit - a world away from New Jersey and the cool waves of the ocean; the ground was wet with the blood that poured from the gaping hole in my stomach and the mangled pieces of flesh and bone that had once been my legs.  I heard the voices of the soldiers around me, the fear and panic in their screams as they tried to help, and felt the searing wave of heat and pain that swept over me - I closed my eyes and wanted only to be home again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


            It was barely past noon but it felt like nightfall.  The pine trees formed a thick, dark canopy over the winding dirt road – sunlight barely pierced the cover of the branches in spots overhead.  Burnt, stunted, twisted pygmy pine trees with multiple trunks dotted the sides of the road, needles shooting out at odd, random angles.  A few feet past those trees, beyond the scrub oaks, moss, and ferns, sand pits that could swallow a car the same way the Bermuda Triangle consumed ships were hidden by the underbrush.  And in other spots the ground was still scorched black from the fires three summers earlier.
            Dance grit his teeth as he steered the Jeep down the road.  He hit every bump and ditch hard enough to lift him out of his seat, no matter how slowly he drove.  His shoulder banged against the roll cage as he jerked the wheel back and forth, trying to avoid the ruts carved deep in the sand but it was useless.
            He hadn’t been down this road in a few years; probably not since the fires.  It was his bad luck to be the only deputy on duty when Sheriff Cole called.
            “Need you to swing by Tilden Brown’s place,” the Sheriff had said.  “He hasn’t been seen in days.”
            “So?  Nothing unusual about that.”
            “His Momma’s starting to worry.  Ain’t like him not to show.”
            “Probably just lost track of time,” Dance said.
            “Maybe,” Cole said.  “But I still need you to drive out there and make sure everything’s okay.  You never know what that boy is into.”
            That was what worried Dance.  Everything about Tilden was trouble.  He just hoped this didn’t have anything to do with the meth lab Tilden kept on his property.

Check out the rest of the story at:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Six Sixes at Six Sentences

A six story collection of my shorts is being replayed at 6 Sentences (some oldies but goodies).  You can check them out at:

A little gritty, but two of my favorite characters Twist (Catching Paradise) and Bone (The Steps You Take) have shown up in other stories here and there, and are part of my novel: STILL BLACK REMAINS.

A big debt of gratitude to Rob McEvily over at 6S - about three years ago he was one of the first to take a chance on a little known writer, and since then, Six Sentences has been a great place for me to test my skills, try out new ideas, push the envelope, and have a lot of fun as a writer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Guest Post - No Such Thing

I'm guesting over at Paul D. Brazill's excellent site: You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?  

Head on over there and check out my story NO SUCH THING, which is being featured at:


Monday, April 11, 2011

New Things To Check Out

A couple of interesting reads to check out:

First, Matt Hilton makes his AT THE BIJOU DEBUT with a RatPack inspired piece abut Bobby Darin.  You can read it (as well as some other great stories) at:

Then, there's been some great commentary as well as more follow up dialogue on social networking and its use in promoting writers' work at both Angel Zapata's blog: A RAGE OF ANGEL and  Anne R. Allen's.  Check each out at the following links:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

5 X 5 Fiction

A short time ago Angel Zapata launched a new site for writers called 5 X 5 Fiction.  A simple and cool premise: complete stories exactly 25 words long, told in exactly five sentences, with each sentence exactly 5 words.  The first issue entitled Murder, Monsters, and Misfortune is out with stories by some great writers who are not only friends, but whose work I thoroughly admire.  My own story, Bleed it Out was also included.

Take the time to check it out at:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


My recent interview with David Wisehart about the release of Lost Exit on Kindle is up today.  No violence or cursing (at least nothing usually associated with a Kevin Michaels story), but it's still a good read.  If you're interested, you can check it out at:


Saturday, March 12, 2011


A little tweaking on LOST EXIT.....within the past week we've changed the cover to one that's a little grittier, and better reflects the Atlantic City in the story.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WHO'S GOT THE ACTION (featured - At The Bijou)

Recently I was invited by Absolutely Kate Pilarcik to be a part of a fun new series of stories featuring the Rat Pack (Sinatra…Dean Martin…Sammy Davis….how cool is that?) at At The Bijou. With a cast of great writers/talent: Eric Beetner, Paul Brazill, Julie Morgan, Sean Patrick Reardon, Anthony Venutulo, Kate, and Robert Randisi headlining the action, it was a no-brainer. My first story – Who’s Got The Action - kicks off the collection with a little tale about friendship, loyalty, and the 500 Club in Atlantic City where Sinatra was known to hang out (and Martin and Lewis got their start).
You can read it here at:

Friday, February 25, 2011

NO TEARS FOR CRYING (published in A Twist Of Noir)

It was a little after ten on a quiet night but Ice didn’t care about the time. Ten o’clock or eleven o’clock didn’t matter much either way. All he needed was a couple of hours to establish an alibi in case somebody showed up with questions and search warrants.
Ice had his Nine tucked inside a sweatshirt pocket and his hood pulled low over his head as he moved along the sidewalk. The street was quiet. A few heads poked out apartment windows, a couple of corner boys huddled together sharing cigarettes in the doorway of the Korean grocery store, and a hip-hop beat blasted from a radio perched on somebody’s second story window ledge. A few blocks away a siren wailed but the sound faded as the car raced towards another street
None of that was important.
A neighborhood kid named Derrick who had been Ice’s cellmate in county lock-up a few years back had been hit while he was standing on the corner talking to friends. Nobody saw it coming. A dark blue Honda Civic had rolled quietly down the street, pulling alongside Derrick. Two shooters with Glocks leaned out windows and opened fire before he could even turn around. They cut down Derrick before he made it halfway across the sidewalk, leaving him facedown on the concrete in a pool of blood.
Nobody knew anything, but Ice was certain the guy behind it was a punk named Jayson.
Jayson and Derrick ran in a Pacific Avenue crew, slinging rock and pills to tourists and casino workers near Trump Plaza, across the street from Convention Hall. Somebody said Jayson got greedy and wanted a bigger share of the profits. There was no such thing as an amicable end to business partnerships in their neighborhood, and nobody walked away when somebody wanted you gone. Things got settled without handshakes and buyouts.
Now Ice wanted him dead.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


With the release of LOST EXIT last week, I’ve taken the next step in a long journey. In some ways, writing the book was the easy part – the hard work of growing an audience, building demand, and increasing sales for that book starts now. The next few weeks will be consumed with book reviews, ARC’s, blog posts, and press releases (while waiting for Oprah to call….). While all that is going on I will still be writing – moving forward with three or four short stories that I’ve committed to writing and plunging into my third book. Time was never a friend but for years we maintained an uneasy balancing act and tenuous alliance. Going the independent publishing route has changed that dynamic but I’m okay with that.

As always, there are critics. I’ve been told that I’m going to lose focus, worse, that my artistic vision will suffer.

Artistic vision and voice are very important as a writer, but exposure is equally critical. Writers write but we also want to get our words and stories in front of as many readers as possible. You can’t rely on somebody else to do it for you. You need to make it happen yourself – take every opportunity to find that audience and get every reader’s attention by any means possible. Every one of us who writes is confident people will fall in love with our words once they read them, but first you have to convince someone to pick up the book and shell out their cash to read those words. That means doing what you have to do to create a buzz, find an audience, and sell your books.

Writing is a business. Plain and simple. Always has been and always will be.

You can’t change the world if nobody hears you.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Recently I decided to go the indie route with the release of my first novel (LOST EXIT). It wasn’t an easy decision, especially since I consider myself a traditionalist – I love book stores, enjoy the feel of an old hard cover in my hands, and get tremendous pleasure browsing the aisles or discovering a previously unknown author. As a writer I followed the path millions had taken over the years: querying agents, submitting manuscripts, looking for connections, waiting months for a response (if one even came), and trying to beat the odds to get published. But like many other writers, I have realized that this business model is dead and no longer works. The future is e-publishing. Aside from the ease at getting books into print and the benefits of making more money, e-publishing allows writers to get their stories to market much faster (and isn’t that the goal of every writer: to get what we’ve written in front of readers…).

A few days ago while wandering the aisles of a nearby bookstore I struck up a conversation with another customer. Before long it came out that I was a writer, and within minutes the conversation veered towards the topic of e-publishing. I listened to her condemnation of Kindles, Nooks, Ipads, etc. but offered my opinion that as a writer I believe it is a viable and realistic option. Her expression of horror was followed by one of outrage then indignation. She loudly proclaimed to everyone that it was my fault that bookstores as big as Borders and as small as the independent store on Main Street were crashing and burning…….

I never knew I had that kind of power.

Time to face the future: the same way that the music business has gone from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to downloadable songs….and the same way we have transitioned from quill pens/ink wells to ball point pens to typewriters and then laptops, publishing has to change and evolve. I don’t see too many people driving 1957 Chevy Bel-Airs any more, and the cars on the road today have better features than what our parents and grandparents drove -writing, like transportation, is all about going from one place to the other faster, quicker, and more efficiently. The publishing industry has to move forward, and I’m ready to be a part of that evolution.

So yes, I’m the one who killed book stores……I only wish I had done it sooner.