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Robert J. Randisi

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Dave White
Odo6140: Gerald So
RobertT785: Bob Tinsley
RRandisi: Robert J. Randisi
TheRealJWinter: Jim Winter

Odo6140: Hello, Bob and Bob.

RRandisi: I'm here.

RobertT785: Hey, It's working.

RRandisi: Hi.

RobertT785: Good evening

Odo6140: Bob Randisi, Bob Tinsley.

RRandisi: Looks like we got too many chairs.

Odo6140: :-)

RRandisi: Hello, Bob.

RobertT785: I've been a fan of your PI stories for a long time, Bob.

RRandisi: Thanks. That's nice to hear. Haven't done a lot of PI recently.

RobertT785: I know, damn it.

Odo6140: Bob [Tinsley] has a blog where he reviews short stories exclusively.

RRandisi: That's interesting.

RobertT785: I've reviewed several of the Murder and All That Jazz stories.

RRandisi: I'll have to check for reviews of stories from my anthologies. I'll take a look. Did you like them? I have a new antho out this month, but it's western.

RobertT785: For the most part. The only one I haven't liked very much so far is Craig Holden's story.

RRandisi: That was material he didn't use in his book, The Jazz Bird. His agent also gave me fits. Not used to dealing with agents for ss

Odo6140: Jim Winter is here. Welcome, Jim.

RRandisi: Hey, Jim.

RobertT785: Yo, Jim.

TheRealJWinter: Hey, Bob. Bob. Gerald.

RRandisi: One more and we can play poker.

Odo6140: :-)

RRandisi: My father always said 5 makes a game.

RobertT785: You'll find my review of The Listening Room on my blog. A favorable one.

RRandisi: Ah, okay., I'll take a look. I liked that story..and the title.

TheRealJWinter: Damn, that's the book I forgot to pick up last week. ALL THAT JAZZ.

Odo6140: Ah!

RRandisi: Hey, Jim, that was the homework assignment.

TheRealJWinter: Oh. Well, I wasn't home then. So I guess it evens out.

Odo6140: Jim was in New York last week. Good opportunity.

RRandisi: Who's the fake Jim Winter?

TheRealJWinter: Some doctor over in Kennedy Heights.

Odo6140: I did not know that.

RRandisi: Jim did a nice review of a Reed Coleman book in the PWA newsletter.

TheRealJWinter: I had fun reading that one. Thinking of doing Block's next. Or do we need another rave about ALL THE FLOWERS...

RRandisi: Hmm, talk to your newsletter editor. Saw Block of Craig Ferguson the other night.

Odo6140: Which book did you review, Jim?


RRandisi: Not many mystery writers make it to the late night talk shows.

TheRealJWinter: Wish I could stay up that late.

Odo6140: That was a good show, I thought.

RRandisi: He acquitted himself nicely.

Odo6140: I might Block at a signing for Enough Rope.

RRandisi: I'm usually up til 6:30 am. He's . . . different.

RobertT785: So, Bob, is it tough to put together an anthology?

RRandisi: Not if you have the right people. I was telling Gerald I just sold a Deadly Housewives anthology. Started with Paretsky, Muller and Pickard.

RobertT785: What's the publication schedule?

TheRealJWinter: Well timed.

RRandisi: As long as you give a publisher 3 0r 4 big names they can promote, you're in. And a good theme. They want to bring it out for Mother's Day next year. I guess because there's no Housewives' Day. I only gave the book to my agent last week. I think the theme really did it... and the big names.

TheRealJWinter: Is it done, or are you just getting started?

RRandisi: Just getting started. I'm finishing up my Hit Man anthology for an April delivery.

TheRealJWinter: That reminds me. I've gotta go polish my story for Bruen.

RobertT785: You have been busy.

RRandisi: And I'm working on a proposal for two more anthos. Dublin, Jim?

TheRealJWinter: Yeah, Number 3.

RRandisi: Bruen invited me into Dublin Noir, but I didn't have time. Promised him one for a future book. RRandisi: Odd, I'm from Brooklyn and HE was in Brooklyn Noir. So he invites me into Dublin Noir. Setting the balance once again.

Odo6140: That is strange.

TheRealJWinter: Here's an antho idea for you: Tech noir. Stories of crime and violence spawned by flaky technology.

RRandisi: Hmm, that might be another for Akashic. I was going to stop doing anthos, but suddenly I've sold two this year. So I'm planning two more.

TheRealJWinter: I've got three volumes just from when I worked at CompUSA. I'm sure there's more from the customers.

RRandisi: Sounds like one for you to do, Jim.

TheRealJWinter: Sure. Soon as more than 6 people have heard of me, I'll propose it.

RRandisi: It's the contributors people have to have heard of. Talk to writers at Bouchercon

Odo6140: I just heard of an antho I might try. It's based on the Ten Commandments.

RRandisi: What's that, Gerald? Ten Commandments Noir?

Odo6140: It's called Thou Shalt Not. Accepting dark crime and horror stories.

RRandisi: Hmm, paying market? Print?

TheRealJWinter: I saw that. They don't want the easy commandments, either.

RRandisi: Who is doing it?

Odo6140: I'll have to look it up again. Hang on.

RobertT785: You have any plans for another Keough book, Bob?

RRandisi: Sounds like it's down my girlfriend's alley, if it's a paying market. I'm working on a couple of other things right now. Keough's on the back burner.

Odo6140: THOU SHALT NOT Editor: Lee Howard Publication slated for Spring/Summer 2006 by Dark Cloud Press Reading window: April 1 - July 31, 2005 Complete guidelines:

RRandisi: The third book in the Gil & Claire Huint series is coming out in July. Working on a NY thriller now. And I have a book to do about the Rat Pack in Vegas in 1960. Thanks for the info, Gerald.

Odo6140: Sure, Bob.

RobertT785: Where do you think the short story is going in the near future, Bob?

RRandisi: Well, the market was drying up for a while. RRandisi: But as I said, I sold two this year, but they were themed and had big names in them. I don't see much room in major markets for new writers. When I need 15 stories for a book, I like to leave about 3 slots open for new people. I usually have to supply a publisher with about a dozen names. But I think there have been for anthologies in the past decade than any time before.

Odo6140: Like Jack Bludis in Mystery Street? He was new then, yes?

RRandisi: That's right. That's right. Also Tom Sweeney. I was glad to give them both a shot. Hey, Jack said he was gonna be here. Jack got a nom, and I thought Tom's story was excelent.

Odo6140: I'm on the lookout for Jack.

RobertT785: What do you think of the online zines like Hardluck and Shred of Evidence? Do you look for new writers there?

RRandisi: I don't have much time to check them out. But I notice that Gischler done real well for himself. Didn't he start onine? In those markets?

TheRealJWinter: Gisch is my role model. Yeah, helped start PWG, actually. Did a lot of online fic.

Odo6140: I think so. He had his own zine as Jim says.

RRandisi: If I had time to write for non-paying markets I'd send them something. I'd like to write more shorts, but I don't even pout myself in all my own anthologies. I don't feel that should be automatic.

Odo6140: I see.

TheRealJWinter: I look at the non/low paying onlines as advertising. Read one of my stories, you might buy a book.

RRandisi: The Housewives thing is being edited by Christine Matthews. I won't have a story there.

Odo6140: Anything I do helps hone my writing, gets my name out there.

RRandisi: That was why, way back when, I used to write for Armchair Detective and Cap'n Bob.

Odo6140: Thrilling Detective recently became a paying short story market.

RRandisi: Good for TD. That's a nice site.

RobertT785: I've got twelve Brady stories published. I'd like to use them for advertising my book, but I can't seem to get a book written.

TheRealJWinter: Slacker. I'm working on #4. (Actually, I kinda envy you now, Bob T.)

RobertT785: Funny. I was thinking the same thing about you, Jim.

RRandisi: I did a talk the other night at a local library and the librarian had three page print out on mw from Thrilling Detective's site. Bob and Jim, where do you guys live? And Gerald?

RobertT785: I'm in Colorado Springs.

TheRealJWinter: I'm in Cincinnati.

Odo6140: I live on Long Island.

RRandisi: Spread out... Been to all those places.

TheRealJWinter: We don't do that here.

Odo6140: :-)

RRandisi: Ha!

RobertT785: I started out in Texas and found that as I get older I tend to move north. Away from the heat.

RRandisi: I know what you mean.

TheRealJWinter: I loved SJ Rozan's comment when I said that. "Oh. So it is true about that place."

RRandisi: Jim, you must have read all of Valin, your local guy.

RobertT785: I've read a lot of Valin, but not for a long time.

RRandisi: He and Greenleaf were the flavor of the month in the 80's.

Odo6140: Jim is a Valin fan, indeed.

TheRealJWinter: I've read three so far.

RobertT785: Read a lot of Greenleaf too. Sorry he isn't writing as much now.

TheRealJWinter: I'm originally from Cleveland, though.

RRandisi: Greenleaf got real discouraged. Valin just went on to other things.

Odo6140: 14 mins to the hour.

RRandisi: You counting me down, Gerald?

Odo6140: No, just calling out the time. We'll stay as long as you can.

RRandisi: I just have a cherry crumbcake and coffee waiting for me with my, uh, sweetie . . . my co-author...

TheRealJWinter: Valin's doing a stereo magazine these days. Says he likes monthly paychecks.

RobertT785: Bob, what's your take on series characters? Jim has gotten some bad news lately about his, and that has put the fear in me about Brady.

RRandisi: Publishers still prefer to buy series. Any proposal for a book should include two sequels.

TheRealJWinter: Just not existing ones.

RRandisi: Theyt do wind down, though, unless they've got legs like Nameless and Spenser.

Odo6140: Hmm.

RRandisi: It happened to me with Jacoby and Delvecchio. It happened with Jacovich and Cuddy.

RRandisi: Dan Fortune...

Odo6140: I don't know why Spenser has lasted so long.

RRandisi: It's puzzling.

RobertT785: Starting with a small publisher can kill a series character if you want to move to a bigger publisher apparently.

RRandisi: Definitely. The NY houses want you to start a series with them. If you've started a series with small houses you're just honing your craft. Come up with something new if you're going to approach NY.

Odo6140: Cuddy is one of my favorite series.

RRandisi: Was...

Odo6140: Yes, was.

RRandisi: Jerry's gone on to legal thrillers.

TheRealJWinter: If I had to do it over again, I'd have sold Quiet Storm a standalone. But that's what I was working on earlier. New series. Maybe

. RRandisi: If the series doesn't wind down, the author does, like Lehane.

RobertT785: That subject came up on DetecToday. What can be new?

RRandisi: We're going to do a panel on that at BCon. They've asked PWA to do a day of programs. One will discuss the PI and Popular Culture, how he has to change to stay current.

Odo6140: Reed Coleman was saying his daughter keeps him current.

RobertT785: Looks like this is going to be my first BCon. :-)

RRandisi: Jim, I was going to ask you to moderate a panel. I was looking for knowledgeable people.

RobertT785: I think Jim fainted.

TheRealJWinter: YOU FOO... I mean, I'd be honored.

RRandisi: I'll be in touch.

Odo6140: Good luck, Jim.

TheRealJWinter: Guess I'd better book my trip then.

RRandisi: Don't forget the PWA Banquet.

TheRealJWinter: Never, Bob. Bruen owes me a drink from last year. Hey, White says he forgot the chat. Should we let him in?

RRandisi: Yeah.. I got time. I can microwave the java. Bruen owes everybody a drink.

MWhite8482: Hey everybody.

Odo6140: Dave White is here.

RobertT785: Dave!

RRandisi: Welcome...

MWhite8482: Hey Bob, Robert, Jim, Gerald.

RRandisi: John Boy.

MWhite8482: Ha, so what have I missed?

RobertT785: Everything?

TheRealJWinter: Let me say goodnight now before I'm kicked off again.

RRandisi: Dave, we were talking Bouchercon and the PWA Banquet. I'll be in touch, Jim.

Odo6140: Night, thanks again, Jim.

TheRealJWinter: Sure. You know where I'm hiding.

RRandisi: We also talked anthologies and series.

MWhite8482: Ah Bouchercon, oh Robert that's right I did try and join the PWA a few years ago, but um, I had to student teach and missed it... see ya Jim.

TheRealJWinter: Thanks, Bob. Bob T.

RobertT785: See ya.

RRandisi: Adios. So come this year, Dave. Gonna be a blast.

MWhite8482: I'd like to, but I have to join the PWA first.

RRandisi: We're doin' a speakeasy.

MWhite8482: Do I need a secret password?

Odo6140: I'm going to transcribe this chat as well.

RRandisi: You don't have to join to come to the Banquet., Open to the public.

TheRealJWinter: Ooh. I'll need a fedora and wing tips. RRandisi: But you could join, as well.

Odo6140: neat.

MWhite8482: Oh okay, cool. I plan on being in Chicago this year, so...

RRandisi: Yes, there WILL be a password. And an alley... And a slot in the door.

Odo6140: the requirement is you have to have sold a story professionally to join PWA?

MWhite8482: I'm going to have to come.

RRandisi: If you join you'll see the announcement in the newsletter.

MWhite8482: It's what, fifty dollars a year?

RRandisi: Gerald, that's for active membership ($50). You can be an associate member for $40.

Odo6140: Ah.

RRandisi: You get everything, but you can't run for office or vote.

Odo6140: :-)

RRandisi: Dave, email me and I'll tell you where to send your money.

MWhite8482: Okay thanks. Now that I'm gainfully employed I may be able to handle that.

RRandisi: And anybody else who wants to join.

Odo6140: I've sold a few pieces for money, hoping to sell more.

RRandisi: Then join as active. We only require ONE piece.

Odo6140: Ah.

RRandisi: Unlike other organizations.

Odo6140: But does it have to be a P.I. story?

RRandisi: Yes. To be active it needs to be PI.

MWhite8482: Bob, I'm sorry if I missed this but mind if I ask what goes into your picking a short story for the anthology.

RRandisi: Dave, I usually invite, but I like tio leave some spots open for submissions. That's how Sweeney and Bludis got into Mystery Street. When I present a proposal to a publisher I need dot give them names they can promote.Usually three or four TOP names, and the rest reliable professionals.

MWhite8482: cool.

RRandisi: Then I like to take some submissions.

MWhite8482: And did that go well with Jazz?

RRandisi: I feel bad only being able to leave 3 spots open out of 15. Jazz was all invitees. Just happened that way.

Odo6140: where do you announce where to send the submissions, Bob?

MWhite8482: oh, see this is what I missed... submissions for what?

RRandisi: Ah, there's the problem. I keep meaning to put something on the Yahoo boards but the last couple of anthos have been all invitees.

Odo6140: I'm talking just anthologies in general, Dave.

MWhite8482: oh okay.

Odo6140: I see. Feel free to post to DetecToday if things work out.

RRandisi: I'm putting a proposal together now for two companion volumes. They are definite themes. I'd like to post of DetecToday and the Short Story board. If I turn ou tto have three spots open in each book, I will.

Odo6140: I see.

MWhite8482: Nice.

RRandisi: I sent out a call one year for western stories in the WWA newsletter, The Roundup. I didn't get much of a response. Mostly, I had to invite. I goit SOME stories. but not enough to fill two books. I was doing companion volumes, Black Hats and White Hats. So when I did Lone Star Law--which is just out now--I did all invitations. I find when you give people a chance to come in, they hesitate.

RRandisi: I've never hesitated in my life in this business when a door opened. I just sold an antho today called Deadly Housewives. It's all women.

MWhite8482: Oh interesting....

RRandisi: I'm planning to do an antho called Crime Square, and one called Hollywood & Crime. Crime Square being stories involving Times Square, from its inception to the point where Disney took it over.

MWhite8482: Oh, cool.

Odo6140: Neat.

RRandisi: Hollywood and Crime will be stories with at least one scene set on Hollywood & Vine. So you see, you need a knowledge of those cities, and those streets.

Odo6140: Right.

RRandisi: My Hit Man antho was simply hit man stories, but I only had 12 spots. I started with Deaver, Lee Child, Block and James Hall. It's called Greatest Hits, should be out next year.

MWhite8482: That's a great title... hahaha

RRandisi: What HAS dried up is my market for PWA anthologies.

MWhite8482: uh oh.

RRandisi: I did 10 anthos with NAL, most of them PWA. My editor left. RRandisi: Now I might be forming a relationship with Carroll & Graf. They're doing the Hit Man. I'll have to see if they're interested in a PWA antho.

MWhite8482: You never know.

RRandisi: Then you can join PWA, and submit.

RobertT785: I'd really like to see the PWA anthos continue.

RRandisi: So would I. I think I've done about a dozen in the 24 years of PWA. I'd like to continue doing 1 every 2 years. But I have so many themes that are not limited to PI's.

MWhite8482: How do those sell, if you don't mind me asking.

RRandisi: Not as well as I'd like, or the market would not have dried up. The last antho I did for NAL was Murder...and All That Jazz. Not PWA. How that sells remains to be seen. If it does I'd like to do Lowdown Dirty Blues.

MWhite8482: Do you have a favorite anthology?

RRandisi: I really liked Mystery Street and The Shamus Game.

MWhite8482: Cool.

RRandisi: I enjoy original anthos, and try to do as many originals as I can. Sometimes you can't get a big name without taking a reprint.

RobertT785: So with NAL dropping the PWA anthos, do you see a drop in the PI genre in general?

RRandisi: I had to reprint a Keller to get Block into the Hit Man book.

Odo6140: I've noticed that.

MWhite8482: good question Bob.

RRandisi: Not as long as St. Martin's is publishing. They published more than half the books that were submitted for Shamus consideration. No, I think the PI is around forever.

RobertT785: Whew!

RRandisi: Even if it's Jack Reacher or someone like that. Scudder started out without a license.

Odo6140: Versatile character-type, the PI.

RRandisi: Yes, he's very adaptable. The PI and a cockroach, around forever.

RobertT785: Some would say there's a reason for that.

MWhite8482: I think you can go in and out of the PI literally with license... but that type is going to be around for a long time.

RRandisi: I agree. I'd like to start doing PI again, myself.

Odo6140: A new character?

RRandisi: Down the road...Yes, someone new. Although there is still an unwritten Delvecchio in my head.

RobertT785: Where would you like to set it?

RRandisi: Not sure. Keough was in St. Louis, but my heart's still in NY.

MWhite8482: I thought that was San Francisco... okay bad joke.

RobertT785: Dave, go to your corner.

MWhite8482: I will

RRandisi: I'll be writing about Vegas for a while, though.

RobertT785: Vegas has a lot of room for playing around, metaphorically.

RRandisi: Yes, and a lot of history. My next book is about the Rat Pack in 1960 when they were filming Ocean's 11.

MWhite8482: True stuff?

RobertT785: That one's going on my TBR list.

RRandisi: No. Fiction, but with some fact. Dean Martin's life is in danger (fiction). It's called EVERYBODY KILLS SOMEBODY SOMETIME. My main character is a pit boss at the Sands, who is asked by Sinatra to help Dino.

MWhite8482: oh cool!

RRandisi: The Sinatra book would be called LUCK BE A LADY, DON'T DIE. I Iike the research. Gotta listen to the Rat Pack sing.

RobertT785: How do you know when to quit researching?

RRandisi: That's hard, but the time comes when you have to write. Some people get lost in the research and allow it to take over. Books start to read like travelogues.

MWhite8482: All right guys, it's been a long short week for me, so I have to hit the hay... or at least watch the end of the ncaas... Robert, Great to talk to you. Bob Tinsley, again thanks for the mentions and Gerald another great guest as usual

Odo6140: Jack Bludis just contacted me on Yahoo!

RRandisi: Hey, guys, gotta go eat my cake, and do some work. Sorry to miss Jack.

Odo6140: Okay, take care, Bob.

RobertT785: Thanks for chatting with us Bob.

RRandisi: Anytime. Maybe more people, next time. Thanks, Gerald.

Odo6140: You're welcome, Bob.

RobertT785: Goodnight, Irene, wherever you are.


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