Thursday, July 21, 2016


Recently, Thriller Guy’s alter ego Allen Appel was going through boxes of old manuscripts and correspondence having to do with past books. He’ll take it from here…

I can’t remember why I thought it was important to save various drafts of my novels that had been marked up with edits. Because I’ve written so many books these edits add up to many thousands of pages, pages that are heavy and a pain-in-the-ass to dispose of. Amongst all these manuscripts I found piles of letters from readers who wrote on actual paper and sent them to me, usually via the publisher. That’s the way we used to do it back in the Paleolithic era; now every bozo with a computer can hunt you down on Google and send you a death threat because he doesn’t like your attitude or your writing. The vast majority of these letters were positive, but there was one, ONE! That was so brilliantly vituperous I’ve decided to put it up here in its entirety.

My original thought was to use the name and address of the writer, but after having Googled him I’ve decided that he is probably a usually reasonable fellow and that my book Till the End of Time, the third in my series featuring time traveler Alex Balfour, for some reason pushed him over the edge into madness. I will say that his last name is the same as that of a past president who was both loathed and adored. Without any further ado…

Dear Mr. Appel:
            After reading “Till the End of Time”, it didn’t take too much effort to deduce that you are a member of that sleazy band of a low-life parade of bozoes who would, for the sake of free love, marijuana and a snort of just about any foreign substance that would fit up your nose, flush down the toilet all those positive and decent values (Love of country, respect toward authority, the Golden Rule, etc.) taught us all in grammar school. And at a time when so many of us fought long and hard in the jungles, mountains and rice paddies of Vietnam in defense of the same democratic principles that allow even an asshole such as yourself to put out the pathetic rubbish that is representative of “Till the End of Time.”

            And how do you know that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy slept with Marilyn Monroe? Are you some kind of long lost eyewitness (perhaps from a nearby closet in panting, wheezing, drooling observation?) of this so-called infidelity? Or have you filled that airhead of yours with all that sensational tripe which appears, quite strongly, to be the framework for this “Literary Dud” of which you must surely have bribed someone at Doubleday to publish.

            You should give up writing, Allen Appel. And then get down on your knees and thank the Good Lord that, for the moment, John Kennedy isn’t around to defend himself. Because if he were, he would put a foot so far up your cowardly ass, that you would taste shoe leather “Till The End Of Time.”

                                                                                                M. R.

I didn’t write back to M.R. perhaps the only person who bothered to write and never received a response from me, because he seemed balanced on the knife-edge of homicidal madness, and I did not want him turning up on my doorstep with some of the many weapons he probably owns.

But everyone is entitled to an opinion, I guess. About the same time I received this letter my publisher sent me a review by a columnist somewhere in Idaho who had written in his local newspaper that Till the End of Time was “perhaps the best book that had ever been written in the history of the world.” Which is just the other side of the same coin.

I’d be glad to hear from you.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Buy This Book

In Thriller Guy’s last blog entry (see below) TG explained why he doesn’t flack his writer friends’ thrillers on the blog. The short version is that when he does he gets nasty emails from readers who bought the book and didn’t like it, usually because most of his friends – even the writers – especially the writers – who buy the recommendation don’t really read many thrillers, even though they think they do. Last week TG suggested helping pal Larry Kahaner out by giving his novel a vote in the Kindle publishing program. Thanks for all of you who did so.

TG would now like to recommend Dodgers, a new novel by writer pal Bill Beverly.  
Why is TG breaking his custom the second time in a row? Because Dodgers is one motherfucker of a book. (In the book business, when a prepublication review for a book comes in, the marketing people always look for a line they can “pull out” from the review to use as a blurb on the cover, usually when the book comes out in paperback. Hence the term “pull out line.”) In this paragraph TG has given Bill and his publisher Crown, a hellofa pull out line. “Bill Beverly’s Dodgers, hailed as “One motherfucker of a book,” by noted book reviewer and blogger Thriller Guy.

You’re welcome, Bill.

Here’s the pitch: A fifteen-year-old LA gang-banger, known as East, is sent on a mission to kill a man who witnessed a crime that involves East’s uncle. The hook is, the witness is hiding in Wisconsin and East has never been out of LA. He and three other young men like him take off on an epic road trip in a van to do the job. On the way to the Midwest and when they arrive, shit happens, as you might expect.

The thing is, Beverly can really write. Not like TG’s alter ego, Allen Appel, whose efforts can be bought here and which in reviews are usually described as “workmanlike” (Hey, workmanlike gets the job done!) but writes like, well, TG hesitates to compare him to anyone because he has his own compelling style, one that leaves you pulling out lines to be mused over and admired from every angle. TG hates the term “literary thriller” because it is usually applied to a thriller that’s authored by a writer who is considered of literary quality, rather than the usual genre ghetto that the rest of us dwell in. This is not the case here. Beverly would be a terrific writer of great quality no matter what sort of novel he was writing. We are lucky he chose thriller as the type if not the genre. It’s sort of like watching someone from your own crappy part of town do well in the larger world. Go get’em, Bill.

TG readers: Go buy his book. You’ll thank me, for a change.