A Sense Of Community

“Crime writers are the nicest people.”

You hear it everywhere you go, from bookstores, readings and signings, to magazine articles, blog posts and podcasts. For a genre that seems to revel in darkness, death and desperation, crime authors can be some of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet. Need proof? Read on!

Bouchercon 2018

I recently spent four days with my crime writer pals at the Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida for the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. There are a few prominent crime fiction conventions throughout the year—many focused on a specific crime sub-genre—but Bouchercon is probably the best known. I was on a couple of interesting panels while I was there, but spent most of my time doing interviews for the Writer Types podcast with my co-host Eric Beetner. We’ll have long-form interviews with Lawrence Block, Lee Child and Ian Rankin in upcoming episodes, but for now you can listen in as we ambush 30+ authors on the convention floor and in the bar. There were so many talented authors there that we split our coverage into two episodes:

Deadline: A Tribute To William E. Wallace

In 2017 we lost William E. Wallace who was a writer, a fan, and a friend to all who loved the crime fiction genre. A retired crime reporter, William pursued his love of writing producing short stories, novellas and short novels that he published on his own or through small presses like Shotgun Honey and All Due Respect. Aside from promoting his own works, he diligently trumpeted the underdog and promoted the works of indie publishers and authors alike.

This collection is a tribute to William, for all he had given and all that he has left behind. The stories within these pages are written by authors and colleagues who wrote with and wrote about. Featuring stories by Jen Conley, Eric Beetner, Joe Clifford, Sarah M. Chen, Rob Pierce, Renee Asher Pickup, Eryk Pruitt and Travis Richardson, among many others. My contribution is called “Hot Water.”

Pick up your copy of DEADLINE: A TRIBUTE TO WILLIAM E. WALLACE. All proceeds will benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, whom, like William, speak for the underdog and uphold freedom of speech.

Noir at the Bar LA: Chilled To The Marrow

Oct. 28th will be a very special Noir at the Bar reading event in Los Angeles. Beyond an amazing lineup we will be raising money for crime author Duane Swierczynski whose daughter, Evie, has been battling leukemia.

The incredible Noir at the Bar LA line up—one of many such #TeamEvie Noir at the Bar fundraisers across the country this same weekend—includes Sara Gran, Attica Locke, David J. Schow, Christa Faust & Gary Phillips, Anna Snoekestra, Aaron Phillip Clark, Dennis Palumbo and the man himself, Duane Swierczynski.

But why wait until Oct. 28? Donate to #TeamEvie NOW.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novella, CROSSWISE, and the sequel, CROSSED BONES. His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME. He is also the co-host of the Writer Types crime, mystery and thriller podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

“The Long Dance” Podcast Review

Like most podcast listeners way back in 2014, I couldn’t get enough of Serial. I wasn’t quite as taken by Serial’s second season, but plenty of other true crime options started popping up in my feed. A couple of all-time favorites include Dirty John and S-Town.

My favorite new true crime podcast is The Long Dance. Here’s a description of the 8-part series from the show’s website:

A disclaimer before we begin. One of the show’s creators, Eryk Pruitt, is a friend of mine from the Indie crime fiction community. You’ll also hear my voice at the beginning of each episode because Mr. Pruitt and his team were kind enough to let us promote our crime, mystery and thriller fiction podcast, Writer Types, with a quick ad. If all of that will keep you from taking this review seriously, stop reading now—but definitely don’t let it stop you from checking out Episode 1 of The Long Dance. I have a feeling you’ll be hooked, just like I was.

Which brings us to my review…

Producing a podcast about an unsolved 46-year-old double homicide seems like a tricky business. Not only is the evidence old or missing, but many of the people you’d naturally want to interview have long since shuffled off this mortal coil. This includes everybody from law enforcement officials, witnesses and suspects, to family and friends connected with the victims. So it’s really impressive that Pruitt (pictured at left), Adamek (pictured below) and Kessler manage to weave a captivating tale despite the many roadblocks built up by the sands of time. Even more impressive is their ability to pull the story into the present by essentially re-opening the cold case themselves. In many ways, their dogged persistence is the real engine that moves this gripping story forward.

This mostly works because of the professional relationship Pruitt and Adamek developed with Major Tim Horne of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. If this story was one of Pruitt’s dark rural noir novels, Horne’s thorough approach, cautious optimism, and even-keeled demeanor would almost be clichéd—which makes him that much more engaging as the de facto third narrator of the series. That alone is worth investing 8 hours of your podcast-listening time, but it’s not even my favorite part of this series.

The main thing that kept me bingeing The Long Dance over the course of a couple of days was the well-developed sense of time and place. Durham, North Carolina is not the town it was 46 years ago, and neither are the people most affected by the Mann/McBane murders. Many of the interviews included in the series highlight how the world moves on, even from something as heinous as the brutal murders of a young couple. It’s possible to listen to The Long Dance as a straight true crime narrative and you definitely will not be disappointed, but the real triumph of this podcast is the way it showcases the pain, regret and anger that lives on inside the people touched by this almost forgotten tragedy.

Highly recommended.

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S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novella, CROSSWISE, and the sequel, CROSSED BONES. His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME. He is also the co-host of the Writer Types crime, mystery and thriller podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Writer Types Podcast—Episode 17

The May episode has arrived!

This time around we interview Kellye Garrett, Alex Segura and Naomi Hirahara.

Bill Fitzhugh, Ellen Byron, Mike McCrary and Andrew Shaffer tell us their secrets for writing funny crime fiction.

And May author, Marietta Miles, helps us debut an occasional new segment called “Between The Lines.”

But, wait—there’s more!

Kate Malmon reviews Blackout by Alex Segura, and Dan Malmon reviews The Oracle Year by Charles Soule.

If you like what you hear, please leave a review on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud—or wherever you listen to podcasts. And please tell your friends about Writer Types on social media, at your favorite bookstore, and in the alley behind the car wash.

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

Defending Your Influences

We recently had award-winning author Michael Kardos as a guest on the Writer Types crime and mystery podcast. We started out by asking Michael—who is also a drummer—about his musical influences instead of his writing influences. Michael was a good sport about it, admitting that Billy Joel and his long-time drummer, Liberty DeVitto, were two of his heroes growing up.

My co-host and I both come from mostly punk/Indie rock backgrounds, so his response gave us a (hopefully) funny bit that ran throughout our discussion. At some point we even got around to Michael’s excellent books, including BLUFF, BEFORE HE FINDS HER, and THE THREE-DAY AFFAIR.

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Writer Types Podcast—Episode 16


The April episode dropped late, but it’s definitely worth the wait!

This time around we have interviews with Gillian Flynn, Michael Kardos, John Shepphird and Robert Hartley.

We also talk about what makes for a great crime fiction short story with Rusty Barnes from Tough, Scotch Rutherford from Switchblade Magazine, and Alec Cizak from Pulp Modern.

And we have a special report featuring several crime and mystery authors from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

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“Dü You Remember?” Podcast Review

I was stoked when I heard about The Current’s Husker Dü documentary podcast—and then totally forgot about it. Ironic considering the title of the series. Although, it might be more accurate to say that I wasn’t ready to listen.

“Dü You Remember?” includes 5 episodes that originally coincided with the release of the excellent Savage Young Dü box set from Numero Group. Unfortunately, it also served as a heart-felt farewell to talented songwriter/drummer/artist Grant Hart who died in September of last year—a month before the release. So as excited as I was about listening to the podcast, I just couldn’t get myself to dive in. That all changed when the algorithm gods gave me a much-needed kick in the ass last week. The timing was perfect.

I recently played on two songs for a friend’s new album, the first recordings I’ve done in a few years. It got me thinking about my long relationship with drumming and the people who inspired me along the way. The long list includes everybody from John Bonham, Charlie Watts and Keith Moon to Bun E. Carlos, D.J. Bonebrake and Alan Myers. And, of course, Grant Hart. I’ve long found it hard to describe Hart’s drumming, but I’ve never heard another drummer play with the same combination of intensity, style and outright musicality. He was also one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation, right up there with his bandmate Bob Mould.

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“Books on the Bus”—Complete Podcast Mini-Series

Rock and reading have long been two of my biggest obsessions, but I’ve discovered a third in the last few years—podcasts. A combination of all those influences led me to create Books on the Bus, a five-part podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading.

Each episode features a musician sharing about their favorite books and authors, how books inspire their lyrics, the best rock biographies, and what they like to read on the road. I originally posted them over the course of a week in January, but have collected all five episodes here. Enjoy.


S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 5

 

For the fifth and final episode of the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series, I connected with Jim Lindberg, lead singer of Southern California punk band Pennywise. I’m thrilled to connect with Jim because Pennywise is among a handful of legendary South Bay bands—along with Black Flag, Descendents and Circle Jerks—that fueled my Greg Salem punk rock P.I. novels including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, GRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME.

In addition to writing the autobiography PUNK ROCK DAD, Jim writes most of the lyrics for Pennywise, with self-reliance as a running theme throughout their catalog. He also has a degree in English and counts Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau among his influences, citing them as America’s “first punk rockers.” We also discuss DARK MONEY by Jane Mayer, FLOW by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac, among many others.

Here’s “Books on the Bus,” episode 5:

Find out more Jim Lindberg’s passion for music and reading HERE. Find out more about Pennywise HERE.

Here are the four previous episodes of Books on the Bus:

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 4

For the fourth episode of this podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading, we’re hitting the road with Marko DeSantis.

He’s probably best known as the lead guitarist for Sugarcult, but Marko has also played with Bad Astronaut, The Ataris and Nerf Herder. These days your likely to catch him DJing at a club in LA or Tokyo, or find him lecturing about the entertainment industry at a handful of Los Angeles music colleges.

This episode features discussions about everything from PLEASE KILL ME and HAMMER OF THE GODS, to THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway, FOREVER by Judy Blume and OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO by Dr. Seuss. Buckle your seat belts because we cover a lot of highway with this one.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 4:

Follow Marko on Twitter HERE. And on Instagram HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday, and Todd Pasternack of Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump on Wednesday. I’m posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Our final guest on Friday is Jim Lindberg from Pennywise.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 3

For episode 3, Books on the Bus is shifting gears from punk rock to jam band.

Our guest today is Todd Pasternack of the bands Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump. He is also the author of LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: MUSICIANS AS BUSINESS LEADERS.

This episode features rock autobiographies by Bruce Springsteen and Levon Helm, in addition to deep discussions about Howard Zinn in the tour van. Todd’s a smart guy and talented musician who has written a really interesting book.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 3:

Find out more about Todd Pasternack HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday. I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Thursday’s guest is Marko DeSantis from Sugarcult.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.