“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.

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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“Summer Reads”

If you’re in the market for some killer “Summer Reads,” look no further than the latest episode of the Writer Types crime/mystery podcast.

For this episode we interviewed a handful of indie booksellers from around the U.S. to hear what they are most excited to read in the next few months. Our panel of well-read experts includes Tom Wickersham from The  Mysterious Bookshop (New York, NY), Meg King-Abraham and Devin Abraham from Once Upon A Crime (Minneapolis, MN), Anne Saller from Book Carnival (Orange, CA), and Scott Montgomery of BookPeople/MysteryPeople (Austin, TX). Plus we hear from our resident reviewers, Kate and Dan Malmon.

We’ve also got great interviews with Meg Gardiner (“Unsub”), John Rector (“The Ridge”), Jordan Harper (“She Rides Shotgun”) and Thomas Pluck (“Bad Boy Boogie”). All that plus a short story by Angel Colon.

If you like what you hear in this episode, or any of the previous episodes, please leave a review and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud. It’s the best way to help other people discover our podcast.

Writer Types Podcast—Episode 5

Episode 5 of the podcast I co-host with Eric Beetner is officially here!

We connect with David Zeltsermen about the new Netflix movie, “Small Crimes,” based on his fantastic 2008 novel of the same name. We also catch up with the host of TCM’s Noir Alley, Eddie Muller. And we chat with Catriona McPherson, fresh off her 2017 Agatha Award win for Best Historical Novel. What else? Tom Pitts talks about his new novel, AMERICAN STATIC, Shaun Harris signs Eric’s copy of THE HEMINGWAY THIEF, and Sarah M. Chen reads some flash fiction from the vaults at Shotgun Honey. We also spent a night at BookPeople in Austin with Scott Montgomery, Mike McCrary and Gabino Iglesias. And did we mention our fabulous reviewers, Kate Malmon and Dan Malmon, of Crimespree Magazine?

Listen to all five episodes of Writer Types on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher

Please consider leaving a review, rating and subscribing wherever possible.

S.W. Lauden is up for two Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice Awards! Voting is open to everybody and no registration is required. Please cast a vote for GRIZZLY SEASON (Best Action/Adventure) and CROSSWISE (Best Mystery). Thank you!

Writer Types—Crime Quiz LIVE!

Hey everybody! Eric Beetner and I—co-hosts of the Writer Types crime and mystery podcast—are very excited about our inaugural “Crime Quiz LIVE!” event THIS SATURDAY at the amazing Book Show LA in Los Angeles.

Everybody in attendance will have the chance to win prizes (aka “books”)! There will be beer and other liquids. Did I mention it’s FREE?

Here’s how the Crime Quiz will work:

  • 10 Fast Rounds—Each contestant is asked 1 question per round.
  • 4 Categories to choose from each round.
  • 15 seconds to answer each question.
  • 3 “Cheats” per contestant…just to keep things interesting.

Come out and watch us grill some of your favorite authors:

Christa Faust is the author of novels and comics such as CHOKE HOLD, MONEY SHOT and PEEPLAND. She has worked in the Times Square peep booths, as a professional dominatrix, and in the adult film industry both behind and in front of the camera. Author website.

Danny Gardner enjoys careers as a comedian (HBO’s Def Comedy Jam), actor, and screenwriter. His debut novel, A NEGRO AND AN OFAY, is published by Down & Out Books. His short fiction will appear in JUST TO WATCH HIM DIE, a Johnny Cash-inspired crime fiction collection, edited by Joe Clifford and published by Gutter Books, and CRIME+POLITICS: THE OBAMA INHERITANCE, edited by Gary Phillips and published by Three Rooms Press. He lives in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. Author website.

Glen Erik Hamilton’s debut, PAST CRIMES, won the Anthony, Macavity, and Strand Magazine Critics awards, and was also nominated for the Edgar, Barry, and Nero awards.  His follow-up, HARD COLD WINTER, was published to rave reviews last year and the latest entry EVERY DAY ABOVE GROUND will be released by William Morrow (US) and Faber & Faber (UK) this July.  Glen grew up aboard a sailboat in Seattle, and now lives in California. Author website.

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Writer Types Reviews & Subscriptions

The more my co-host, Eric Beetner, and I dig into this podcasting thing, the more we realize that it’s a lot like book publishing—creating something can be a lot easier than spreading the word about it. That’s why Subscribers, Ratings and Reviews are sooooo important.

To that end, I wanted to share a couple of recent reviews with you:

And David Nemeth wrote a whole blog post about Writer Types:

If you have listened to Writer Types and you like what you heard, please consider leaving a Rating/Review at iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud. And if you want to hear more, please Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

For those of you who have already Rated, Reviewed & Subscribed—THANK YOU!

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Writer Types Podcast—Episode 3

Episode 3 of the podcast I co-host with Eric Beetner is officially here!

Check out interviews with Johnny Shaw and Sue Ann Jaffarian. Spend a night at Noir At The Bar – L.A. with Glen Erik HamiltonNolan KnightSarah M. ChenTravis RichardsonJohn Lansing and Stephen Blackmoore. Go to rock school with Alex SeguraJoe Clifford and Corey Lynn Fayman. And listen to a haunting short story from Jen Conley. Plus, reviews from Kate Hackbarth Malmon and Dan Malmon. Special thanks to our partners at Shotgun HoneyCrimespree Magazine and the California Crime Writers Conference.

Listen to all three episodes of Writer Types on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher

And please consider leaving a review and rating, and subscribing whenever possible.

crossedbonesx2700-2

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.