California Crime Writers Killing It


March has been a great month for fans of California crime fiction. A few weeks ago, LA-based author Eric Beetner published the full omnibus edition of his serialized novel THE YEAR I DIED 7 TIMES on Beat To A Pulp press. And just today, SF-based author Tom Pitts published his baseball-themed crime novel KNUCKLEBALL on One Eye Press.

I was lucky enough to interview both of these Golden State crime writers earlier this year. You can check out a couple of quotes from those interviews below, or click the link and go straight to reading their books. That’s what this all supposed to be about, right?

[Tom Pitts Interview excerpt] How does KNUCKLEBALL differ from HUSTLE stylistically or thematically?

Tom Pitts Photo 2I wrote KNUCKLEBALL back in 2011, right before PIGGYBACK and HUSTLE. It was my first longer work, and therefore holds a special place for me. I had to go back in last year and bang out some dents, fatten up the ending, but it’s still the book that warms my cold black heart. It’s definitely got a different feel than
HUSTLE. The theme of family, no matter how discordant, is at the core of the book.

The impetus for the story came to me while I was in Golden Gate Park walking the dogs. The whole Bryan Stow thing was happening at the time. Bryan Stow was the poor bastard who was Knuckleballbeat down at a Giants game at Dodger Stadium and to this day has never recovered. The search was on for the assailants and that afternoon a police artist’s sketch came out with an
accompanying description: 5’10” Latino male. That was it. The sketch, the description, it could have been anybody. They were describing half of L.A. So I wondered … man, if you knew someone who looked even remotely like that, you could really fuck them up if you fingered them. All it would take is some hatred and a phone call.

Read the Tom Pitts INTERVIEW

Buy the BOOK

[Eric Beetner Interview excerpt] In addition to RUMRUNNERS, what other publishing plans do you have for 2015?

Eric Author photo SMAfter 2014, which held several scrotum-kicking setbacks and bad news writing-wise for me, I’m really looking forward to 2015. Down and Out books will release two novels I wrote with co-authors. OVER THEIR HEADS which is my 4th collaboration with JB Kohl and THE BLACKLIST which is my first collaboration with Frank Zafiro. OVER THEIR HEADS is a wild, speeding
bullet of a cluster fuck. So much fun to write that book.

THE BLACKLIST is the start of a series (hopefully) and was another easy and fun collaboration. I think people will really love the two characters in that one.

I’ll also have the full omnibus edition of my serialized novel THE YEAR I DIED 7 TIMES from BeatSeven Times To A Pulp press. Plus, I’m involved in a collaborative novel that will be out this year and I’ve submitted a novella which hopefully will be accepted.

Read the Eric Beetner INTERVIEW

Buy the BOOK

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Akashic Books, QuarterReads and Crimespree Magazine. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by in 2015. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. You can read one of his recent short stories right HERE.


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