cover

Meet Donald Evans

There are lots of well-known Donald Evanses – the artist known for his hand-painted postage stamps of fictional countries, the 34th U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, the software engineer, the telecommunications lawyer, and the Chicago crime writer. All right, Donald Evans the-Chicago-crime-writer is not well known. He only broke into the [...]

Anniversary for a bookstore

On Saturday, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park, Illinois kicks off a month-long celebration of its 20th anniversary. Twenty years in the book biz! What are the numbers? Sixty percent of start-up businesses don’t survive their first year, and 90 percent are gone before the end of their third? So to make it 20 [...]

Newspaper book sections disappearing

Those of us Midwesterners who are book readers and either subscribe to the Chicago Tribune or buy the Sunday edition at the store groaned when the Trib shrank its book section a couple years ago and then shifted it from the Sunday to the Saturday paper. We loved that three-pound Sunday newspaper and all the [...]

Glenn Beck writes a novel

Glenn Beck has written a novel – The Overton Window – and I don’t intend to read it. I picked up one of his books – An Inconvenient Book, really, that’s the title – Beck’s observations of things going on in the world . . . his observations intended to be funny. I bent a [...]

How fast a writer are you?

I can write and polish 2,500 to 5,000 words a day. My problem is life interferes, so I can’t do it every day. Not even every other day. I envy mystery/thriller writer Joe Konrath. He shuts down everything for the month of February and writers his next Jack Daniels mystery. In round figures, he writes [...]

Bones writes a mystery

“It’s not about sex. It’s about forensics,” Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan told a Japanese interviewer in a recent episode of the Fox Network show, “Bones”. “It is about sex,” the interviewer responded. The episode’s premise is that Bones has written a mystery – the characters based loosely on herself and her colleagues in the fictional [...]

Pen names

Kiss Carson, Cameo Sunset Brown, Jack Kilborn, and Terry Devane are not real people. Well, Kilborn and Devane aren’t, that I know. Kilborn is a pen name for Joe Konrath and Devane for Jeremiah Healy. Kiss Carson could be a real name. She writes fantasy romance novels. But, come on, what father is going to [...]

Going electronic, the writer’s choices

Let me say at the top that I have an e-book out there. Five Star published my crime novel, Early’s Fall, last year as a hardcover book. This year, they signed a deal with Amazon to release it as a Kindle book – an e-book. I’m new in the business, so I was tickled to [...]

The Wylie Agency gets into the e-book act

Literary agent Andrew Wylie last month caused an uproar in the executive suites of the big publishing houses. It wasn’t enough that he said Random House and the others wouldn’t pay the writers and writer’s estates he represents enough money for e-book publishing rights. He said he’d start his own e-book publishing company – Odyssey [...]

Amazon sells a mountain of e-books

July 20 may one day be considered a historic day in publishing. On that day, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced to the world that his company was selling more electronic books than it was the traditional ink-on-paper kind – 143 digital books for every 100 hardbacks during the previous three months. The sales curve is [...]