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Kevin Burton Smith

Sunday, January 29, 2006


calgflames: Jan Long
dpwhite237: Dave White
g_so: Gerald So
harryhunsicker: Harry Hunsicker
jamesrwinter: Jim Winter
kevinburtonsmith: Kevin Burton Smith
maclean7777777: Mike MacLean
ponyrl: Robert S.P. Lee
renaisscents: Nora

g_so: Okay, if you have a question for Kevin type a ? and I'll call on you.

ponyrl: ?

g_so: go ahead, Robert.

ponyrl: uhoh

ponyrl: Have you heard about the new mag called Murdaland? and what do you think about its mission statement?

kevinburtonsmith: I've heard of MurdaLand.

dpwhite237: ?

kevinburtonsmith: Their mission statement sounds a little juvenile, although I understand what they're getting at.

kevinburtonsmith: Well, unless they've revised it, I think they're dumping on EQMM and AHMM just because they think they're not "hard" enough.

kevinburtonsmith: Which, if you read some of the stories, really doesn't seem fair. And anyway, AH and EQ publish all sorts of crime fiction -- that's what they're about. Petty sniping at someone more successful than you makes you look like a rank amateur.

ponyrl: do you think it's the next level like plots with guns just in print? cause there are a lot of writers that may feel restricted by the language content in hitchcock and queen.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, I see... Robert is part of MurdaLand... sorry 'bout that, Rob, but the mission statement seemed a little too heavy if you're trying to attract writers who may also want to sell to AHMM and EQMM. They don't publish just wimpy stuff, after all...

g_so: Dave next.

renaisscents: ?

dpwhite237: When you and Gerald receive submissions what do you look for in a story? I mean say I've read your submission guidelines and want to send in a story... what is the thing that you usually notice that gives it that oomph?

calgflames: ?

kevinburtonsmith: Ooomph? Well, I like stories about people. Preferably real people -- people who react in realistic ways. I'm not big on contrived characters or plots, people who do the things they do because it's "that kinda story."

g_so: Nora's question next, then Jan's.

renaisscents: ready? I'd like to know why you felt compelled to blog.

kevinburtonsmith: Compelled? Well, since I find it so hard to express myself, my therapist suggested trying this blog thing...Actually, I got tired of hearing everyone from She to Duane Swizerhubbahubbatoilandtroublecazinski saying "You, of all people, should be blogging."

renaisscents: lol

renaisscents: so, Kevin, if your friends all jumped off a bridge...?

maclean7777777: ?

renaisscents: Mz Jan's turn

calgflames: Nora, he wasn't pissing off enough people with just list posts.

renaisscents: think you've got the right of it, Jan.

g_so: Jan's question next, then Mike.

calgflames: Just wondered how the Thrillies voting was going?

kevinburtonsmith: That's Mike MacLean, right?

maclean7777777: yeah

kevinburtonsmith: Cool. Hi, mike, Nora, Jan, Jan, etc...

dpwhite237: what the.... left out again...

renaisscents: hiya Kevin, couldn't get DL to join, eh?

renaisscents: Dave, you're filed under "etc." :D

kevinburtonsmith: The votes are, as usual, off and on. I have a few more to add, probably tomorrow, plus several comments from the blog...

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, you're Wicked Co. Nora... yeah, she's out back... next time she swings by, I'll plop her down...

renaisscents: thx, coz she'd tell the truth about you.

kevinburtonsmith: One sec... beer break...

dpwhite237: go for it MacLean

dpwhite237: ask the BIG question.

maclean7777777: So about how many subs do you get per issue of Thrilling? Do you have any idea how many people read it?

g_so: I would say we get about 20 subs an issue.

g_so: Hi, Jim.

kevinburtonsmith: We do? Wow!!!

jamesrwinter: Hello, everybody.

renaisscents: hi James

harryhunsicker: Hiya, Jim

dpwhite237: Winter and Robert Lee in the same room... can we handle it?

kevinburtonsmith: Mind you, most of them are from this loser guy from Cincinatti or so -- OH HI, JIM!!!

jamesrwinter: Depends. Are we playing darts?

ponyrl: MEN WITH HATS!!!!!!!!!

kevinburtonsmith: You can dance if you want to!

g_so: S-A-F-E-T...

kevinburtonsmith: Congrats, Robert, for the first Montreal reference. Ivan and the boys were from Montreal.

maclean7777777: quick somebody ask another question, for the love of god

g_so: the mic is open. who's next?

dpwhite237: ?

g_so: go ahead, Dave.

dpwhite237: I remember when TD was just a reference site, way back in the late nineties... what made you make the switch to make it more magazine like and add fiction?

kevinburtonsmith: Nobody else was doing it, and then Elizabeth Cosin asked if I'd like to run an excerpt.

g_so: she's the Zen and the Art of... author.

kevinburtonsmith: But I'd always thought of doing fiction, once I saw that some folks were actually visiting the site, which really started almost as a joke.

dpwhite237: hmmm

g_so: next question, anyone?

ponyrl: ?

dpwhite237: oh boy

g_so: Go ahead, Robert.

ponyrl: with plots with guns throwing its hat into the ring of publishing, would you ever to that with TD?

calgflames: ?

g_so: I'd be game if Kevin asked.

kevinburtonsmith: Yes, I'm considering it.

ponyrl: an all detective anthology. different styles of detectives all in one book.

g_so: Jan's q next.

kevinburtonsmith: But I'm not sure if it would be reprints or all originals, or a combination of the two...

kevinburtonsmith: No, it would be all private eyes, I think.

kevinburtonsmith: Nora, D.L. says hi!

renaisscents: hey DL!! Thanks for letting him out play.

kevinburtonsmith: Are you kiddin'? She encourages it.

renaisscents: (I would, too.)

kevinburtonsmith: Preferably far far away from the sacred writing chamber...

kevinburtonsmith: Ooops! There I go putting descartes before deshorse again...

kevinburtonsmith: I dunno... I haven't shopped it around to any publishers yet, and having been burned once, I'm more than a little leery about POD...

kevinburtonsmith: But is anyone interested in a THRILLING DETECTIVE collection?

dpwhite237: YES

harryhunsicker: YES.

dpwhite237: but I'm biased.

renaisscents: I am

g_so: we're still on Jan's question...

jamesrwinter: Hell, yes!

kevinburtonsmith: Once, but penicillin cleared it right up.

ponyrl: al long as I'm in it. ;) come on, I'm just saying what ewe all think. :)

calgflames: What have you read lately that you can recommend to the rest of us?

kevinburtonsmith: I guess you all want to know what's knocked my socks off lately. the short answer is nothin'...

ponyrl: The nameless detective?

ponyrl: bill's latest is good

kevinburtonsmith: Lemme look over my recently read pile... just a sec...

g_so: does Pronzini have a new one out?

ponyrl: yup

calgflames: Is Michael Siverling planning to publish another book?

ponyrl: just got it

g_so: ah.

kevinburtonsmith: Yeah, I think i may have a copy of that somewhere...

calgflames: (that's for anyone who knows, not just Kevin)

ponyrl: really good read. Bill's got the goods.

g_so: he often does.

g_so: who's next in line with q?

kevinburtonsmith: Mike's been working on one, but actually, I'm expecting an e-mail any day now from him...

dpwhite237: How do you know Mike?

kevinburtonsmith: I do his web site...

dpwhite237: oh okay.

g_so: next q, anyone?

kevinburtonsmith: Okay, recentish books I've liked... SCHOOL DAYS and THE WHEELMAN

dpwhite237: Both quality reads.

harryhunsicker: Yeah, THE WHEELMAN rocked.

dpwhite237: Kevin and me, still liking Spenser.

kevinburtonsmith: Yep.

ponyrl: I'm getting the wheelman soon

kevinburtonsmith: I met Duane, and he didn't realize who I was, then when he did he wrote a really nice thing in my copy of WHEELMAN.

kevinburtonsmith: Then we had sex.

dpwhite237: okay...

jamesrwinter: Isn't Duane great in the sack?

harryhunsicker: Gret book, but you will be physcially tired after reading it.

dpwhite237: let's back up the truck.

dpwhite237: what did he write in the copy?

dpwhite237: and

dpwhite237: why did you have sex?

kevinburtonsmith: That's what the barmaid said...

jamesrwinter: Well, I gave him $40 at Bcon.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, didn't you read the fine print in the TD contract?

jamesrwinter: Strictly business, mind you.

dpwhite237: NOOOOOOO

dpwhite237: I'm staying out of LA

g_so: does anyone have an on-topic question?

ponyrl: HAH!

dpwhite237: God knows how much I owe you.

kevinburtonsmith: So, how old is Tom today, anyway, G.?

g_so: 61.

dpwhite237: ?

ponyrl: ?

kevinburtonsmith: Oh. too old. Let's kill him and sell him for parts. I heart Robert wants his glock.

ponyrl: I'll take a glock.

g_so: He seemed to look more his age in Night Passage.

calgflames: Well, I suppose I have to display my ignorance. What is Night Passage?

g_so: Night Passage is the movie Tom Selleck did recently based on Robert Parker's book.

calgflames: So, when are you going to tell us about Gerald? :)

kevinburtonsmith: Gerald?

calgflames: That teaser in your list posts.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, yes, Gerald is often called a teaser.

dpwhite237: Earlier you said that TD sorta started as a joke. Care to explain?

kevinburtonsmith: Well, it was done as a way to practise html. Then, long story short, I posted it to practise ftp.

kevinburtonsmith: By the way, loved the story in TD, Mike.

maclean7777777: Thanks

dpwhite237: I still haven't read Mike's second story but the first is one of my favorites ever to appear in TD.

kevinburtonsmith: I mean, yer detective is soooooo sleazy, he should team up with Ray's guy...

g_so: Barry DeSilva?

kevinburtonsmith: Sure, G., if that's your story, you should stick with it.

g_so: :)

maclean7777777: thanks dave, Jackson probably wouldn't like him much, huh?

dpwhite237: probably not... but that's okay.

g_so: Next q, anyone?

kevinburtonsmith: Yeah, the anti-Cal, as Ray calls him.

maclean7777777: who is the anti-cal?

g_so: Barry DeSilva is the antithesis of Banks' other p.i. Cal Innes.

maclean7777777: thanks G

kevinburtonsmith: we have had some good P.I.s introduced in TD, I'm sorta proud of that.

ponyrl: ?

renaisscents: Kevin, you want an inside story on an episode of Magnum, PI for the TD site?

kevinburtonsmith: Inside dirt? Sure!

renaisscents: happy to.

renaisscents: ok, I'll find your email addy in WC and send it to you.

g_so: Go ahead, Robert.

dpwhite237: TD always puts out quality stuff... and then they let me in and it all goes downhill.

ponyrl: I've recently become apart of the writersdigest forum. I've taken polls, done some inquiring, and have come to the conclusion that the genre we write isn't really aspired to by many writers by the gist of the site. My question to you, if we as genre writers are the most entertaining, and by the hits from that site I received on my own site, why do writers not aspire to write the detective, or crime?

calgflames: ?

kevinburtonsmith: By the way, whenever any of you guys mention us publicly, PLEASE refer to us as the THRILLING DETECTIVE WEB SITE, not just THRILLING DETECTIVE, okay? Just in case...

g_so: to jump in on Robert's q, I think mystery is harder to write than other types of fiction.

renaisscents: it has to make sense, for one thing.

g_so: to come up with an intricate plot takes creativity.

renaisscents: and lots of hair-pulling, Gerald.... I know.

kevinburtonsmith: You write what you like, then if that doesn't pan out, you write what pays. But you always aim to do both.

kevinburtonsmith: Well, intricate plots don't matter as much as people matter.

renaisscents: ?

jamesrwinter: Write what pays. Too bad most science fiction is too pretentious for my tastes.

calgflames: Ooh! Disagree!

harryhunsicker: Yes, character is the important thing.

g_so: but there also has to be a mystery element.

renaisscents: if the plot sucks, doesn't matter how much character the characters have.

g_so: characters come easy to me because I'm interested in people.

renaisscents: I gotta ? for Kevin

harryhunsicker: Create an interesting character and the odds are good the plot won't suck.

jamesrwinter: Actually, it doesn't have to have a mystery so much as it has to have a crime. Now, if you're writing a PI story or a procedural, then yeah, it needs a mystery.

g_so: Jan's q, then Nora's.

renaisscents: not true, harry, especially in mysteries.

ponyrl: ah. thanks.

calgflames: Amen, Nora!

kevinburtonsmith: You have good characters, the plot can endure a few glitches (although, occasionally, a good plot can trump weak characters). But guys like Chandler sufficed with style and well-drawn characters. Their plots were intricate, but didn't always make sense.
jamesrwinter: I disagree with that. If the characters don't grab me, it can have the most wonderful plot ever devised, but it'd be boring as hell.

g_so: I think, though, what Harry means is an interesting character invites interesting things to do.

harryhunsicker: Guess it depends on how you define interesting or good plots.

renaisscents: just so

calgflames: Do you get much feedback on the stories you publish? And is it mostly from people who like or dislike the stories?

renaisscents: just plopping an interesting character or characters with nothing to do... show me the door!

kevinburtonsmith: No, it's "Gerald" "Just" is his brother.

renaisscents: oh gawd, somebody slap him lol

g_so: little joke there.

g_so: From my end, [the feedback]'s been mostly positive.

g_so: but then I usually ignore the negative.

calgflames: Thanks, I think.

g_so: no time to let it get me down.

calgflames: Was curious because I've never written in about the ones I liked, only the one that made me boiling mad.

maclean7777777: ?

g_so: I don't get much feedback overall.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, no, my dear Jan, it's simply that with me seeing myself twice, it's almost impossible to scroll backwards. Okay, yes, we get feedback. Not a lot -- maybe four or five messages a story -- not counting the author and the author's friends, but that's good--but we do get it.

g_so: I think Nora was next, then Mike.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, I don't count the "You're such a %$#$@ because you %$%##" etc., etc., etc.

kevinburtonsmith: Some of the nastiest stuff I've ever received ewas from rejected authors... who'll never write in my town again...

jamesrwinter: I said I meant it nicely.

g_so: :)

jamesrwinter: BUT I MEANT IT IN A GOOD WAY, KEVIN!!!!

renaisscents: ok.. it' s my belief we're doing the mystery a serious disservice by nitpicking the books into categories and more categories - creating formulaic descriptions. Do you agree or disagree?

g_so: I have to end the chat in 20 mins or so. Heading out to a Chinese New Year gathering.

renaisscents: gung hay fat choy

renaisscents: I think.

g_so: thank you.

kevinburtonsmith: Well, depends, Nora. I LOVE P.I. stories, but that can include stuff from Chandler to the experimental stuff from whatsisname with his tourette's syndrome P.I., to, well, I guess I mean, i love the genre but not necessarily the formula.

renaisscents: glad I got it right.. would hate to insult someone.

maclean7777777: ?

g_so: I'm not sure you got it, but I understood. :)

renaisscents: rofl, thank you for your generosity, Kind Sir.

g_so: Go ahead, Mike.

maclean7777777: KEVIN Someone mentioned in a blog that only writers read webzines like TD and Plots and Thug Lit. Do you think that's true?

calgflames: No. I'm not a writer and I read them.

calgflames: (Sorry, I'm not Kevin either. :))

g_so: Difficult to tell who does read us.

harryhunsicker: How many unique hits do you get a month?

g_so: then again some of our stories have been really well notices.

jamesrwinter: The question would be how many hits a site gets. I generally distrust bloggers making grandiose statements.

kevinburtonsmith: I think all my vistors are unique, in their own special way...

ponyrl: hey, I had mentioned after a panel I was on that I had a story on plots with guns and that fact encouraged that person to purchase a copy of my self published collection.

g_so: who's next with a q?

jamesrwinter: I got outed at a George Pelecanos signing because of my online work. (I was a tad embarrassed.)

ponyrl: so you came out the closet jim?

maclean7777777: Outed?

kevinburtonsmith: I don't have the latest stats, because we burned out our free counter, but the homepage alone was getting at least 70,000 hits a year, and we have 2000 or so pages on the site now, none of which have counters on them. Last time I did the math, the homepage counter represented less than 10 per cent of our traffic.

renaisscents: wow... good show, Kevin

ponyrl: ?

jamesrwinter: "Hey, aren't you that guy who wrote..." And like an idiot, I said, "Yup." Not the swiftest move at someone else's signing.

g_so: go ahead, Robert.

calgflames: How much did you pay the person to say that, Jim?

kevinburtonsmith: well, no. If George liked your story enough to mention it, that's good, isn't it?

jamesrwinter: That's the problem. It wasn't George.

maclean7777777: JAMES did Pelecanos read PLOTS

jamesrwinter: Think so. It was one of the audience. Next big signing, I shut up and sat in the back.

ponyrl: so when is kevin and So goijng to make an appearance on one of the Law & Order shows?

g_so: Law and Order makes me sleepy.

renaisscents: me too, Gerald, but that's coz L&O is on a dialysis night. The others I'm bright and bushy-eyed.

renaisscents: but I'm boycotting NBC anyway coz they dumped "Book of Daniel."

kevinburtonsmith: I'm saving my show biz virginity for HOMICIDE, if it ever comes back. Hmmm... maybe if I drop a hint to Laura Lippman. Seems she knows this guy...

ponyrl: how bout the shield?

g_so: I'd like to appear as a dead body on NCIS.

kevinburtonsmith: THE SHIELD? Little boy noir. Look, look, LOOK how tough we are. It doesn't do it for me, for some reason. I like the WIRE, though, and DEADWOOD.

renaisscents: you should, coz the residuals will keep you in pizza for many a year.

maclean7777777: Deadwood is amazing

harryhunsicker: DEADWOOD is awesome. When does the new season of WIRE start?

jamesrwinter: Yeah. Did you see the episode where they said fuck a lot?

ponyrl: I've got 66 episodes of spenser for hire ondvd. ENVY ME!

calgflames: lol, Jim.

g_so: all of them, you mean?

maclean7777777: How about the "cocksucker" episode, JAMES

kevinburtonsmith: I dunno. We don't get HBO, but we do have NetFlix. In fact, Season 2, Disk 1 of the WIRE is waiting...

jamesrwinter: Seriously, it's a great show. And when is the new WIRE starting? And where is Season 3 on DVD, dammit?

renaisscents: Netflix rocks

g_so: not a fan of the show too much, Robert.

ponyrl: Hawk was my main reason

calgflames: ?

kevinburtonsmith: Spenser For Hire? Envy isn't quite the word...

ponyrl: I want to write a hawk novel

renaisscents: anywho, thanks Kevin... I'll be in touch about Magnum. Gotta get back to bed before my head explodes.

g_so: the portrayals were off. It's just that with Avery Brooks it didn't matter.

renaisscents: thanks so much, Gerald, happy new year!! and nice chatting with you all.. :)

g_so: Bye, Nora. good to have you aboard.

renaisscents: ty.. ta ta!!

kevinburtonsmith: Yeah, Robert, do a Hawk-like character, but don't do Hawk.

harryhunsicker: Bye

ponyrl: awwww.....:(

renaisscents left the room.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, see ya Nora. Sorry SHE dodn't want to party -- she's nose-deep in a MS.

g_so: Hawk is Spenser's good friend these days anyway. He's lost a ton of menace.

ponyrl: only towards spenser. ;)

kevinburtonsmith: I think one of the reasons I liked SCHOOL DAYS so much was that Spenser was flying solo.

jamesrwinter: Double Deuce should have been a Hawk novel. The Spenser/Susan subplot drove me insane. I was praying Pearl would shoot them both and start backing up Hawk herself.

maclean7777777: OKAY don't shoot me. I've never read a whole Spenser novel. What would be his best book? Could I jump into school days?

kevinburtonsmith: Gee, this is fun, Gerald. Can we carry on without you, somehow?

g_so: You can. I have to leave, but you can stay.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh, cool...

ponyrl: bye G

maclean7777777: thanks G.

kevinburtonsmith: We'll turn off the light, pick up the empties, etc. Promise.

ponyrl: I tried to read 3 spenser novels at once, going form one to the other cause I can keep them separate in my head, bu the only thing I got out of all three was spenser complaining about his missing susan. Pissed me off hearing him whine.

harryhunsicker: Pick up a copy of No. 1, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT.

jamesrwinter: For my money, MORTAL STAKES was the best. It has pretty much all the elements of the whole series, but it works so well in this one.

g_so: Spenser is not for everyone. He's a bit too perfect for my taste.

calgflames: Question for everyone: What did you think of the Edgars shortlist?

harryhunsicker: LINCOLN LAWYER will win.

g_so: Okay, bye, everyone. Don't break the chatroom.

jamesrwinter: Reed and Allan got nominated. I'm so cool with that, even if they ignored mine.

jamesrwinter: Not that I took that personally.

kevinburtonsmith: Are they up? I've been busy the last while...

ponyrl: I like Reed, he's a good friend,

calgflames: I'm thrilled about THE JAMES DEANS.

g_so: Al Guthrie.

kevinburtonsmith: Oh. Cool beans.

maclean7777777: For KISS?

harryhunsicker: Sarah's got the list on her blog.

g_so: yes.

jamesrwinter: That be the one.

kevinburtonsmith: She has everything on her blog.

jamesrwinter: JAMES DEANS and KISS were both awesome books.

maclean7777777: I have kiss on my shelf, but I haven't read it yet.

jamesrwinter: If I didn't know better, I'd have thought Ken Bruen wrote it.

ponyrl: I gave up looking at the Edgars because no one I read, of the current writers, will ever be on it.

kevinburtonsmith: I liked THE JAMES DEANS, but I didn't LOVE it.

ponyrl: here comes a big list. beware!

(18:30:20) jamesrwinter: KISS, that is.

calgflames: Kevin:


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