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.