Rick Ollerman edited Blood Work, a collection put together to honor Gary Schulze, long-time owner of the Once Upon a Crime bookstore in Minneapolis. Gary won a Mystery Writers of America Raven Award for his many contributions to the crime fiction world, a world he was very active in until he died in 2016 due to complications from leukemia. All proceeds will go to Memorial Blood Centers in Minnesota.
When Rick asked me to contribute to this collection, he said the story had to be either about books or tubas. The books part I got in connection to Gary (who I didn't know), but tubas? If I remember correctly, Rick said that Gary played the tuba. I hope I'm recalling that right. In any event, I sent a story to Rick, and he proved to be a tough editor. What I thought would be a quick revision of an old story I had lying around turned into multiple drafts under Rick's demanding eye. It was worth it, though, and the story, called "The Stolen Arm", was much better in the end after all Rick put it through than it was when I first sent it to him. Overall, the lineup for Blood Work is strong, and since I don't want to neglect anyone, I've listed all the contributors below:
Edited by Rick Ollerman. Alphabetical list of contributors: Scott Adlerberg, Eric Beetner, Kristi Belcamino, Michael A. Black, Michael Bracken, Don Bruns, Gary R. Bush, Austin Camacho, Dave Case, Jessie Chandler, Reed Farrel Coleman, Jen Conley, John Gaspard, Lois Greiman, Libby Fischer Hellmann, David Housewright, William Kent Krueger, Jess Lourey, Michael Allan Mallory, Terrence McCauley, Jenny Milchman, Stuart Neville, Rick Ollerman, Nick Petrie, Gary Phillips, Lissa Marie Redmond, Michael Stanley, Duane Swierczynski, Randy Wayne White, and Case Younggren.
There's a couple of launch events for the book coming up.
One is this Saturday, October 14th, at 12 noon at Once Upon a Crime. If you live in the Minneapolis area and can make it over....why not?
The second event will be Wednesday, October 24th at the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan. I'll be attending that one, as will some of the other contributors who live in or around New York.
The other anthology I mentioned is Deadlines, a tribute collection to writer and crime fiction lover William E. Wallace. It's edited by Chris Rhatigan and Ron Earl Phillips and comes from Shotgun Honey.
I have to say I was surprised to get an invite to contribute to this one because I didn' t know William Wallace all that well. I never met him and just had some online (mainly Facebook) contact with him. I do have a little anecdote about him, though:
William Wallace reviewed crime fiction, particularly from small and indie presses, on his Pulp Hack Confessions blog. A few years ago, I sent him my book, Jungle Horses, and he dropped me a note saying he'd review it on his site in the next few weeks. As it turned out, he never reviewed it. So it goes, no big deal, though I did think, "That son of a bitch."
(I'm kidding about thinking son of a bitch).
Anyway, time goes by, a couple years pass, he and I have nothing more than the occasional casual back and forth on Facebook, and at some point, it became known that William Wallace had cancer. He kept plugging away, however, doing his fiction and writing book reviews for his blog. Then one day I happen to see that he reviewed my next book, Graveyard Love, for his site. I hadn't even sent him the book. But the capper was what he wrote at the end: "This review will be the last that I produce for this blog...." His illness, as he put it, had left him with only a fraction of his previous energy and he simply no longer had the energy to post frequently in social media.
Out of the blue (and months after the book came out, mind you), he spent some of his valuable time being kind to another writer's book before he signed off from his site for the last time. I must admit: I was touched.
The mandate for this anthology was crime stories about corruption, vice, and consequence. Mine's called "The Dedicated Bureaucrat" about...well...the title tells it - a city government functionary who goes above and beyond the call of his civil service title to help a member of the public who's the victim of a deed fraud.
The lineup for this: Preston Lang, Jen Conley, Joe Clifford, Will Viharo, Paul D. Brazill, Patricia Abbott, Rob Pierce, Sean Craven, Eric Beetner, Sarah M. Chen, Nick Kolakowski, S.W. Lauden, Scott Adlerberg, Gary Phillips, Renee Asher Pickup, Eryk Pruitt, Todd Morr, Travis Richardson, Anonymous-9, Sean Lynch, Alec Cizak, Greg Barth, C. Mack Lewis.
Proceeds from sales go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
On Amazon you can find Blood Work here.
And you can get Deadlines right here.