Saturday, June 21, 2008

It sounds so much easier than writing them

Perusing the impressive biography of Andrew Malcolm on the LA Times political blog page, I came across this startling sentence:
He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four.

Friday, June 20, 2008

All well and good until it rains

My sister Sandra, who is an artist, spotted this cool blog post about an artist who doesn't just scrawl "wash me" on dirty car windows.

And if you want to see some of Sandra Cvar's work, click here:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Go crows!

A story from Reuters about my favorite birds, defending their homes. And wreaking a little havoc at the same time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cover for The Messenger!

Here it is -- there will be a few changes, but this is the preliminary cover for the new book, which will be out in January.

I'm on my way to Texas for the Southwest Chapter of MWA's writing conference, "Hardboiled Heroes and Cozy Cats."  See you there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"The Fallen"

He watched her for a moment before he left for work, thinking that he could have drawn a map of her body, served as a kind of cartographer of every plane and curve of her surface, as it was not so very long ago. Jared McKay believed he could trace — strictly from memory — Catherine’s body as it had been, when he had been her explorer, eager to know the line of her neck, the curve of a shoulder blade, the dimple behind her knee.

These are the opening lines of "The Fallen," my newest short story, which is appearing in the August 2008 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (aka EQMM).  

Jared is a police detective who returns from leave to take an assignment on a surveillance job, looking for distractions from his troubles at a difficult time.  It's an assignment that will result in revelations about his own life, and the lives of those closest to him.

I find that Jared is still on my mind, many months after I finished the story.  I hope you will enjoy reading "The Fallen."

A couple of people have told me they've received their copies of the August EQMM magazine, so subscribers should have it in their mailboxes any day now. If you aren't a subscriber and want to see the story, I have information below about how to get the magazine.

Those of you who follow my short story writing know it has been a while since I've had a new one out. I fell behind on my novel manuscripts, so I had to catch up there before I set time aside to write a story. The most recent story was "Zuppa Inglese," really a novella, I suppose, which appeared in 2006 in Otto Penzler's Murder at the Racetrack.

As I've stated elsewhere, I love the short story form, both as a reader and a writer. I'm proud to be included in this issue of EQMM — the magazine has a rich and wonderful history, and here in the Burke household we continue to look forward to each issue.

Now -- for the promised info about getting a copy of the story:

If you want to subscribe to the magazine, you can do that online, at Dell Magazines' Mystery Place Web site.  I don't think the July issue information is up yet, so I'm not sure when they'll have information about the August issue, but you can get subscription information there, or subscribe on

If you don't want a subscription but want a copy of the magazine, there are several ways to get one.  

If you want an electronic version (many formats available), it should soon be available through Fictionwise.  The August issue isn't posted on Fictionwise yet, but I imagine it will be there soon.

You can find EQMM at many newsstands, at some independent mystery bookstores, and at retail outlets including the following:

B Dalton
Barnes & Noble
Eastern Lobby Shops
Gateway Newsstands
The Great Canadian News Company

Keep in mind that limited copies are available, so you may want to order one in advance from your local store.

Finally, you can also order individual copies as back issues from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.  Details can be found by clicking here -- see item #3.

If you do get a copy of it, let me know what you think of the story!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

An Overdue Update

I'm excited to say that The Messenger, my next book, is a step closer to actually being a book. The revisions are in, cover art is nearly ready (I'll put it up here and on my Web site as soon as possible), and it looks as if the publication date will be set for January, 2009.

As some of you already know, this book has a supernatural element. It has thriller elements as well, and I think those who read the Irene Kelly series will enjoy meeting Tyler Hawthorne and friends.

Especially those of you who love dogs. Wait until you meet Shade! I'll talk more about him, and the plot of The Messenger, very soon.

I'm also working on a new Irene Kelly book. That one will possibly be out in the fall of 2009. The main reason you haven't seen much of me here is that I'm trying to get two manuscripts finished this year -- hoping to make it up to all of you for not getting a book out this year.

I'll soon have a story coming out in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, too. I'll give details about that and tell you how you can make sure you get a copy of it in my next post!

It was great seeing those of you who came to Mayhem in the Midlands. That's one of my favorite conventions, and next year I'll have the pleasure of serving as its toastmaster. The guest of honor is my good friend Dana Stabenow, so we'll have fun. When the 2009 registration links are available, I'll let you know.

Mayhem is held in Omaha. A lot of my extended family can be found in the midwest, so I arrived a little early, and drove through four states during my visit there. I saw cousins, aunts, uncles, and nieces and nephews. One day I joined cousin Martha Burke and one of her friends, artist Paula Fagan, for lunch in Kansas City, Missouri. We had lunch in the city's art district, at a fabulous place called Pizza Bella. Just down the street on Baltimore Ave is the historic TWA Building, recently restored, Moonliner II and all. You can see a better photo of it than the one above on this Wikipedia link, but this is one I snapped with my iPhone. If you have a chance to visit this part of the city, go!

This is a beautiful time of year to be driving past farmland, and some of the most lovely and serene vistas can be found in the Flint Hills of Kansas. I spent a lot of hours in the rental car this trip, and I think that part of the drive remains my favorite.

My next public appearance will be June 13-14, at the Hardboiled Heroes and Cozy Cats Writers Conference, which is sponsored by the Southwest Chapter of MWA. If you live anywhere near Dallas, Texas, and are working on a manuscript, I hope I'll be see you at that event.

Now I'm going back to work on a manuscript of my own....