Sunday, September 27, 2009

Megan Abbott signs two-book deal with Little, Brown!

We are always excited to tout other projects by Busted Flush Press authors, and September has been a busy month for Edgar Award-winning crime writer Megan Abbott (Busted Flush Press's A Hell of a Woman), with her signing two nice book deals, one for novels and another for a graphic novel...

Reagan Arthur Booksa new imprint at Little, Brown headed by esteemed editor Reagan Arthur—picked up Megan's next two novels ("brokered by the brilliant Dan Conaway at Writers House," Megan says). The first, scheduled for spring 2011, will be entitled The End of Everything, and will be Megan's first contemporary novel, told from the point of view of a 13-year-old girl whose best friend disappears.

Acquiring editor Reagan Arthur (whose authors include George Pelecanos, Kate Atkinson, and Ian Rankin) confessed, "I was late to discover Megan's talent. Kate Atkinson told me she's great, a recommendation I take seriously. So I read her books and joined the club, and was thrilled to get the chance to read her new novel... and also that it's contemporary, a new direction for her."

Another fan of Megan's is fellow NYC crime writer Alison Gaylin, who, with Megan, just signed a deal with DC Comics for a graphic novel! According to Megan, the work—Normandy Gold—is still in the early stages.

There's a little mutual admiration going on between these ladies: Megan calls Alison simply "fabuolous," and Alison praises Megan's previous novels as "some of the most haunting and evocative writing that's out there today. Megan is also a great friend, and a lot of fun to work with."

Which brings us to the graphic novel... Alison said, "Coming up with our treatment for Normandy Gold was a blast! One of those collaborations that gets you all excited just to be a part of it. We had a meeting in person, then brainstormed mostly by email, with one of us coming up with a draft of an outline, and the other adding to it and refining, sending it back to the other, etc. We have very different writing styles, but very similar obsessions, and in so many ways we are on the same wavelength." Sounds like a match made in heaven... Look for it late next year!

(And further congrats to Alison who herself just sold a three-book deal with Morrow. Get a load of the first, to be a series debut: And She Was will be about an investigator with hyperthymistic syndrome—a disorder which makes her remember everything that ever happened to her in perfect, visceral detail, including the disappearance of her sister. What a great concept! Visit her online at

And in other Megan news:

* Nothing new on the Die a Little / Jessica Biel film (in the works for the past two years), but Megan did sell an option on Queenpin to Sony, for a possible TV series!

* But Megan would like to point out that "the real news, however, is my husband Josh Gaylord, on a fast-track to literary stardom!" His first novel, Hummingbirds, comes out from HarperCollins in just a few weeks. His second novel—which Megan describes as "Cormac-McCarthy-Does-Zombies"—is called The Reapers Are the Angels—and comes out from Holt in August 2010.


Megan Abbott is the author of four highly acclaimed historical crime novels from Simon & Schuster: Die a Little, The Song Is You, Queenpin, and 2009's Bury Her Deep. She also edited Busted Flush Press's award-winning female noir anthology, A Hell of a Woman. Her Anthony Award-nominated short story, "Policy" (in Busted Flush Press's Damn Near Dead), was the basis for her Edgar Award-winning novel, Queenpin. She lives in New York City. Visit her website at

Monday, September 7, 2009

TOWER excerpt

Tower, by Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman (978-1-935415-07-7; trade paperback original; $15) On sale in 2 weeks!


“Always be near to them, but make sure they’re far away from you.”
—Jake Arnott, The Long Firm

GRIFFIN COUGHED BLOOD into my face when I made to slip the chains under his shoulders.

The chop on the water slapped the wrecked pilings with the backs of both hands and the thick layer of mist that hung over the West Side of Manhattan rendered the lights of Jersey a blur. They might well have been cleaning up the Hudson, but you couldn’t tell by the stink coming off the river. Or maybe that was just the stink of Griffin’s rotten soul.

“I forgive ya, boyo,” he said through red, clenched teeth.

Stuck my fist against one of the two holes in his gut and pushed. Made his whole body twitch. Making Griffin twitch, now that was something to take pride in.

“Your forgiving me is pretty fucking funny. Like the devil threatening to send me to the principal’s office. Besides, it wasn’t me that killed you.”

“I know that, but yer forgiven just the same.”

“Sure he didn’t shoot you in the head? You’re talkin’ kinda crazy.”

“Do me a favor, Todd, don’t finish me before ya put me back in the river.”

“That’s the one favor I’m inclined to grant. Why?”

“Penance. I’ve a long list of debts.”

“You’re a sick fuck, Griffin, and nuts if you think a few seconds of terror—”

“It’s a start.”

“For a guy had nothing to say while he was alive, you’ve become a talkative cocksucker as a corpse.”

“Near corpse.”

“I stand corrected.”

“Look at me, boyo. Look close.”

“What am I supposed to see?”

“Yer own self.”

“All I see is a dead man.”

“Then yer blind. Are ya sure yer looking close?”

I began threading the chains through the centers of my old weights. Pulled the chains tight and his whole body shuddered. Didn’t like that, Griffin. Gave me the cold stare. The Griffin I knew.
“Fuck that, Griffin. I’m shitting my pants I’m so scared.”

“Ya should be. Ya’ll be here soon enough.”


“Look at me.”

“Not this shit again. I’m nothing like you.”

“The same.”

“Nah, Griffin, I’ve never killed for pleasure, never detonated a car bomb and blown up toddlers and old ladies. Boyle liked telling people about that, scared the hell out of ’em.”

“Yer missing the point.”

“And you’re pissing me off, Dead Man.” Brought together two end links, slipped an old lock through, and clicked it shut. “Remember Jacob Marley, Griffin? ‘These are the chains I forged in life . . .’ ”

“You’ll be wearing 'em someday. They’re God’s commandments, boyo, not his suggestions. If ya think ya’ll escape the chains, yer a fool. It’s a tower of cards ya’ve built for yerself. Recognize the joker in the deck?”

Yanked hard on the chains to make sure they were secure. Griffin’s body convulsed with such fury that he near rolled over. Few more episodes like that and he’d drop into the river without a push. The spasms calmed.

“Heard what you did to Rudi. Least I won’t end up in a pile of lion shite.”

“What, fish shit is more dignified?”

“S’pose we all turn up as worm shite one way or the other. Doesn’t matter if a bullet finds ya or if a plane falls on yer head, you’ll come out the ass end of something. That shield in yer pocket is no protection. Beneath the skin—” The convulsions began anew, struggle for breath. “Beneath the—”
Tapped my watch crystal. “Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick.”

Said something to me, but it was barely a whisper. The blood bubbled and foamed on his lips. I put my ear close to his lips. Felt his faint breath. Kept my ear there. Waited. His breath grew fainter still. Turned to face him, my nose near touching his. His eyes were glassy, fixed.

“Nothing to say? That’s the Griffin I knew in life.”

His head jerked up, lips pressing against mine. Flailed to push him away, but his head fell dead to the pier before my hands touched him. Mouth painted red in his blood, I rolled him into the river, this time for a longer stay.




One line, one simple sentence and I’m off.

Well, almost.

I’m sitting at the counter, peeling the label off a longneck, and the rage is filling my mouth, the bitterness rising like the old bile and I bite down, take a deep breath and try to ease a notch.

The deep breath helps?

Like fuck.

Debbie is the woman who works the bar, not bad looking, a bit of mileage on the odometer but who’s counting? I can see the bruise under her left eye and it’s going to blacken more in a day. I know, I’ve had my share and given them too. But not to women, never hit a woman in my goddamned life. Hurt them?


But that’s a whole other trip and we’ll get to that, like later.

I miss New York, every freaking moment and never more so than now. If this were Brooklyn or even downtown Manhattan, I’d be going to my car, opening the trunk, getting the bat out, taking care of business.

I guess I could say to her

“Suck it up.”

It’s what I’ve been doing for the past ten months and I’m sick of it. This one-horse shithole, this constant rain and the people, as miserable a bunch as you’d ever come across. So, the rain doesn’t help their disposition, like I tell you now, that’s a crock. You put this bunch down in Florida, you know what? They’d be bitching, it’s what they do.

Whine City.

I say to Debbie

“Give me another brew?”

And she gives me the look.

Like, I’m not going to say anything about the shiner or what she just told me. Not today honey.
She sighs, plunks the bottle on the counter, and the way she does it, she’s mad as hell. Disappointed too.

Fuck her.

Disappointment, honey, I wrote the book.

Ask my old man.

I look out the window, the grime-stained panes and I can see the arc of the mill. It’s throwing a shadow, for all the world like the tower, the North Tower, where my old man worked.

That shadow has been with me all my life.


Tower will be published in September 2009. Find copies at your favorite independent, chain, or online bookseller. See the list at the right for some of the indies that support & stock BFP titles. Go here for the list of cities where Reed Coleman will be touring for Tower.

Be sure to get your first printings of Tower while they last! How can you tell they're first printings? They'll have the red Tower cover... Later printings will all have a black cover.

Oh, and in additional Tower news: An 18-month film option of Tower has just sold to Brad Weston (Bad Santa), Gil Adler (Valkyrie) & Shane McCarthy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reed Farrel Coleman's TOWER tour!

Reed Farrel Coleman -- two-time Edgar Award-nominated crime writer (Walking the Perfect Square) and co-author of Tower (w/ Ken Bruen; 978-1-935415-07-7; trade paperback original; $15) -- will travel to the following cities, promoting the new book. We hope you can meet him at one of his stops!

Wednesday, September 30, 7:00 p.m.
Mysterious Bookshop
58 Warren St.
New York City, NY 10007
Signing with Jason Pinter.
(212) 587-1011

October 3-4
NAIBA Fall Conference
Baltimore, MD
All of these events will take place in the Liberty Ballroom of the Sheraton City Center.
Dessert Bar, Saturday, October 3, 9:30-11 p.m.
Noir Bar, Sunday, October 4, 9:30-11 pm.
Bedtime Stories, 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 6, afternoon
Uncle Edgar’s
2864 Chicago Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 824-9984
Stock signing only.

Tuesday, October 6, 7:00 p.m.
Once Upon a Crime
604 W. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 870-3785

Wednesday, October 7, 7:00 p.m.
High Crimes
Boulder, CO
(303) 772-9964
Change of venue! 927 Main Street, Longmont, Colorado 80503. (This is a beautiful Persian and Navajo rug gallery that Cynthia of High Crimes has used for signings in the past. It is owned be a serious collector of noir mysteries.)

Thursday, October 8, 7:00 p.m.
“M” Is For Mystery
86 E. Third Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 401-8077
Signing w/ Russell Hill.

Friday, October 9, afternoon
Moe’s Books
2476 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 849-2087
Stock signing only.

Friday, October 9, 7:00 p.m.
Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Salon
Berkeley, CA
Reed Farrel Coleman will be the Guest of Mystery Readers International at a Literary Salon. Space limited. To RSVP, email Janet Rudolph.
Here's what Janet thought of Tower!

Saturday, October 10, 1:00 p.m.
Mysteries To Die For
2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 374-0084

Saturday, October 10, 5:00 p.m.
The Mystery Bookstore
1036-C Broxton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 209-0415

Tuesday, October 13, noon
Poisoned Pen
4014 N. Goldwater Blvd., Suite 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 947-2974
Signing w/ Michael Connelly.

October 15-18
Bouchercon Mystery Convention
Indianapolis, IN
Panel: Saturday, October 17, 2:30-3:25 p.m. "Dark Books for Dark Times: Are readers drawn to dark books in dark times or to the relief of a happy ending?" Reed Farrel Coleman (moderator), Larry Beinhart, J. T. Ellison, Michael Lister, Duane Swierczynski

Monday, October 19, 7:00 p.m.
Legacy Books
7300 Dallas Pkwy.
Dallas, TX 75024
(972) 398-9888

Tuesday, October 20, 7:00 p.m.
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-5050

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 p.m.
Murder By The Book
2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 524-8597
Signing w/ Michael Connelly.

Sunday, November 1, 3:00 p.m.
Sunny’s Bar
253 Conover St.
Brooklyn, NY
Book sales provided by BookCourt (718-875-3677).
Signing with Megan Abbott.

Saturday, November 7, 5:00 p.m.
41 Main St.
East Hampton, NY 11937
(631) 324-4939

Saturday, November 21, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Clinton Book Shop
33 Main St.
Clinton, NJ 08809
(908) 735-8811

Friday, September 4, 2009

More praise for TOWER!

Booklist: "It's a story as old as hard-boiled fiction, but Bruen, the prolific and gifted Irishman, and Coleman, his new partner in crime, have given it new life... Bruen's prose is some of the leanest, meanest writing crime fans will find, and Coleman's more discursive style amplifies and explicates the story, in the same way that John Coltrane's lyrical saxophone built on the clipped trumpet ideas of Miles Davis. The result is more than the sum of its parts, and it brings to mind Dennis Lehane's brilliant Mystic River. Readers who like their streets mean, and their criminals and cops meaner, will love Tower."

Library Journal: "Plot plays second fiddle to the specifics of sharply etched characters relayed in a prose style that frequently lands a punch to the gut. VERDICT: These two writers have amassed a mantle full of prizes and bevies of fans; much of the fun they must have had playing off each other comes across in this successful collaboration."

Shelf Awareness: "Busted Flush Press has just released its first original novel... billed as a crime tale, and what a tale it is.... Tower is a brutal, and sometimes tender, noir novel that careens through Brooklyn, Manhattan, Boston and Philadelphia, leaving you breathless and stunned."

Publishers Weekly: "Brutally poetic... Bruen and Coleman shine... displaying all the literary chops that have made their novels such cult favorites among mystery fans."

Tower (by Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman; 978-1-935415-07-7; trade paperback original; $15) comes out in 3 weeks! Reserve your copies from your favorite bookseller now! Bookstores & libraries can order Tower from Consortium, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.