Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stand Your Ground ... Ward Churchill & Genocide ... Barry Graham ... Drumming fool ...


Sometimes I live in a bubble, so it was a particularly difficult shock to my system when I learned of the Stand Your Ground laws that apparently 31 states have on their books (or something similar to it). Probably like many people wrapped up in their own survival, I had no idea of such a law until the uproar over the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. Apparently, if not for the uproar from activists (legitimate and otherwise), this particular tragedy might well have been swept under the rug (as so many unjustifiable homicides/manslaughter/reckless disregard for human life--take your pick) too often are.

It appears to me the law is way too ambiguous; a person may use deadly force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat, without an obligation to retreat first. The problem, of course, is who gets to determine what is a “reasonable belief of a threat”? And how great should that “threat” be? We all know the case details as they’ve been presented thus far: George Zimmerman profiled a 17 year old black kid wearing a hoodie for no other reason than he was a black kid wearing a hoodie in a mostly white neighborhood. He made a 911 call and then ignored the advice of the operator to “not pursue” ... there was an altercation and he wound up killing the kid.

The police “investigation” is an entire other enchilada even more suspicious than the shooting itself, which may be the result of a wannabe with some serious racial issues and a gun. What the police did (and didn’t do) trends way beyond incompetence and reeks of cover-up.

Without getting into the character assassination attempts by some against the victim (and setting aside the shooter’s contention that his life was in danger), the fact the shooter has the opportunity to claim self-defense in a shooting he initiated (by ignoring the 911 operator) seems to me a bit absurd. Zimmerman keeps his distance and does what he’s told, there’s no shooting. At least not that night.

The fact 31 states have the same or similar laws is pretty frightening. Conservatives argue that the tripling of deaths where the new law was used in Florida may prove there were that many potential victims saved, but the fact the shooter in the Martin case used it suggests otherwise. There’s no way to know how many of the number of tripling deaths could be assigned one way or the other (it may well be that more potential victims were saved than unjustifiable deaths occurred), but in this case, at least one victim was killed for no other reason than being a black kid wearing a hoodie. That, it seems to me, is more than enough reason to rewrite (or do away with) the law itself.

For those who haven’t seen the video of the shooter after he was brought to the police department (allegedly 34 minutes after the shooting), that’s it above. Claims have been made he feared for his life and was pummeled by the 17 year old. The video shows no signs of anyone being pummeled; no broken nose, no bloody clothes, etc. It looks more like he did what he wasn’t supposed to do, wound up in a fight he couldn’t win with his hands and then shot the kid ... because he could ... because he had a gun on him and a potential defense as the law is written on the books. Unless there’s a witness (probably with a video camera) to prove otherwise, it’s the words of the shooter vs. the only other person who could’ve told his side of the story, except he’s dead.

It’s a bad, bad law ...

A Little Matter of Genocide ... Ward Churchill is an author and activist unjustly removed from his college position at the University of Colorado (for speaking his mind). He’s written numerous books and articles that focus on the treatment of Native Americans as well as genocide throughout the world and the effects of U.S. policy home and abroad. He also writes about the trials and tribulations of political dissenters within America (to include the Black Panthers, the American Indian movement and the American communist party); how they were (and are) targeted by the FBI.

In the book above, Churchill offers well documented essays on the issues of genocide throughout history and links, quite effectively, how Hitler’s use of Lebensraum (living space) could be linked to what happened here in the United States during our expansion west (at the cost of Native American life and culture). There’s an essay on the Columbus myth we were sold in our earliest years and how his genocidal imprint extended centuries forward as European imperialism spread to the Americas.

Churchill also takes on those who insist the Jewish holocaust during World War II was “unique”; the only genocide (or the most significant); that those who make such claims do as great an injustice to other people and cultures that have gone through much more enveloping genocides; that to make such a claim is as great a disservice to humanity as those who deny any genocide.

Dealing with the genocide of Native Americans, Churchill offers many counter arguments to the population numbers handed down from both defenders of the government (usually conservative) and scholars who would like us to believe the number of America’s indigenous population was miniscule (thus minimizing any potential genocidal guilt). There is very little in this book of essays anyone can deny as fact. While the numbers may (or may not be) disputed, I have to lean on the side of Churchill’s figures for the same reason so many in the Tea Party claim they are against big government -- because it (the government) can’t be trusted.

No shit.

You bet your ass it does, kid.

The fact this government, since its inception, hasn’t honored a single treaty with the native population might suggest they have something to hide. Try selling that to conservative blind faith thought (as I recently tried) and what you’ll get in response is EXACTLY what Churchill points to at the start of this intriguing read (what is often the response): “Quit your whining.”

No matter how FOX news and Bill O’Reilly treat Mr. Churchill and his reputation, the man is a scholar and a hell of a nice guy. We exchanged books (he’s written for more and far better books than I ever could) and I’m making the time to read as many as I can between my MFA requirements and other readings/projects.

For those of my Italian heritage who want to hang on to the celebration of the Columbus Day Parade, perhaps it’s time to read something other than what we’ve been sold growing up (as naive kids who have to take the word of government approved text books). Not to mention there remains quite a bit of doubt regarding Columbus’s true ethnicity, but for Native Americans (here I'll go one better than Mr. C), celebrating Columbus Day is akin to Jews celebrating Hitler’s birthday.

When It All Comes Down To Dust ... Barry Graham  is a hidden treasure who writes with an openness that is refreshing. In this wonderful read, his protagonist (Laura Ponto) has a short fuse when it comes to bullies and the like (one of my favorite scenes is how she handles an asswipe who has just set a kitten on a barbecue). When a man (Frank del Rio) is released from the joint, she is exceptionally upset (he’s done bad things to kids, including her). Her job is to find mitigating evidence in death penalty cases, but her temper sometimes precludes her from acting within the law. Graham writes without hesitation; sex scenes aren’t abbreviated, violence isn’t whitewashed and his characters are recognizable (in each of us, the good and the bad). It’s another winner from the Dogo himself.

Graham’s The Wrong Thing has been nominated for Spinetingler Magazine’s best novel of the year award. It’s time to buy another Graham novel ...


Drumming fool ... neck collar and all, I’ll be jamming with a new band (auditioning really) ... Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ... the playlist has some CREAM, STONES and CCR and a general jam ...

Did he mention CREAM?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Football Exclusive ... Change We Can Billlieve In! ... Saints get leveled ... Yets & Tebow (oy vey) ...


My beloved New York State Buffalo Bills mean business, baby ... “First, Mario Williams. Now, Mark Anderson. The Buffalo Bills weren't kidding when suggesting how much they wanted to improve the pass rush this offseason. The Bills on Wednesday signed Anderson, their second significant free-agent splash in less than a week.”

With Darius and Williams and Super Mario and Mark Anderson, where (oh, where) is the prime of Miss Tom Brady gonna hide now?

I almost went out and had my other arm tattooed! This is truly Change We Can Billlieve in!

Good on Goodell ... it’s a beautiful thing what Roger Goodell did to the Aints’ (even if it was just to offset the class action suit against the NFL by former players who suffered recurring concussions) ... it’s about time the league took their game serious. Yeah, it’s a violent game played by super humans (super fast and super strong) and that’s all the more reason cheap shots shouldn’t be tolerated. While we wait to see what Goodell does to the players involved, we sure hope Jonathan Vilma gets to join his coach on the sidelines (and effectively end his dirty career).

The only thing left, in TK’s opinion, was to strip the super bowl title from the Aints for 2010 and leave it a blank (no winner), the same as they should officially do to those other Cheaterfaces, the New England Cheatriots for Spygate. For now we’ll all have to settle for every other team in the league NEVER acknowledging both teams super bowl “wins”.

Yets and Tebow ... well, the deal is done and all I can sing is:

Ground Control to Mark Sanchez;
Ground Control to Mark Sanchez,
Take your protein pills and put your earplugs in.
(ten) Ground Control (Nine) to Mark Sanchez (Eight)
(Seven, six) Commencing crash down (Five), engines off (Four)
(Three, two) Check your parachute (One) and may God’s (Uh-oh) love be with you.

This is ground control to Mark Sanchez, you really are screwed.
The papers want to know what t-shirts Tebow wears.
Now it’s time to leave the pocket if you dare.

This is Mark Sanchez to ground control, I’m running a QB draw
But nobody is blocking and I’m suddenly on the floor.
And the stars look very different today.
Here I am sitting on my cute ass, far, far from a first down.
Tebow’s in the game and there’s nothing I can do.

Though I’m the $40 million man, the crowd is calling for Tim;
I think my Jets are his!
Tell Rex I loved him very much, the fat bastard, you know.
Ground control to Mark Sanchez, you’re being pulled.
Can you hear them Mark Sanchez?
Can you hear them Mark Sanchez?
Can you hear them Mark Sanchez?

Here I am sitting on the sidelines;
Tebow’s in the game.
We’re 8-8 all over again;
The line wouldn’t block, they really hurt my head.

This is ground control to Mark Sanchez,
the Jets screwed you to the wall.
The crowd wants Tim and there’s nothing you can do.

Can you hear them Mark Sanchez?
Can you hear them Mark Sanchez?
Can you hear them Mark Sanchez?

And so on ...

It’ll be interesting to say the least ... I can just hear the Moonachie Green fans now ... Sanchez throws a pick-six and the crowed begins to rumble ... Te-bow! Te-bow! Te-bow!

Rex Ryan, et al, have proved they can’t control their team, they have big mouths they haven’t backed up (no rings, there’s nothing to talk about) ... they fell apart last season and now that they’ve brought Santonio (pain in the ass) Holmes back (great teammate, eh?), they’ll have their Moonachie Green fans screaming for Te-bow every time Captain Check-Down (my son Dustin’s name for Sanchez) throws a pick. Great team management there, Moonachie Green.

Even Joe Willie Namath was shocked ... “I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there.”

So, yes, it’s official, the Y-E-T-S, Yets, Yets, Yets are now the dumbest organization in all of sports.

Of course the really sucky thing now is we all have to sit through 162 pointless games so MLB can get to its yearly tournament of also-rans (the teams with the best records hardly ever play in the last round). Oy vey ... it’s like sitting through a coma.

Go Bills!


Check this video out, Bowie (which is close to Tebow) is wearing a Chia Pet on his head.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Super Mario … Johnny Porno goes ebook … St. Patrick’s Day … Goldman’s Muppets … When the right is right … The new NBA Contract … Kevin Harrison …


Bills sign Super Mario (a.k.a. Mario Williams) … how cool is that? Tom Brady, your days are numbered. The last time the Bills opted for a premier pass-rusher, they drafted the great Bruce Smith … the NFL has been put on alert, the Bills mean business ($50 million guaranteed worth). I almost feel sorry for the Cheatriots, Yets and Dolphinations. Almost ...

Super Mario to the rescue!

Johnny Porno goes ebook … Kindle here:

Nook here:

Freckles Rule!

St. Patrick’s Day … oy vey, this means between Jim (“Doc”) Nyland and my wife, the Principessa Ann Marie, I’ll have to eat that stuff that takes all friggin’ day to cook and smells up the entire house. Us eye-talians take issue with this day mostly because of the chow we’re forced to eat (or starve, she tells me) … We have an ongoing joke war going on at casa Stella; the wife is half eye-talian/half Irish (so I make exceptions [name the movie that line is from and win a cookie). She points out that I’m half Sicilian, which is why my knuckles continue to drag on the floor.

So, here’s the chant I torture my much better half with hourly during this festive day: orin begorrin (my teasing of the green/my wife’s Irish side), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills QB who broadcasts each throw by winding up like a pitcher with no runners on base) and Ed Shaughnessy (great drummer featured on the old Johnny Carson show) … now can we order pizza?

Say it a few dozen times fast (especially if your spouse is half Irish). Orin Begorrin, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ed Shaughnessy ... now can we order pizza?

The Goldman Muppets … excuse me for not being surprised over this one, but what did some of their clients think they were being called behind their backs? There’s a mob protocol that requires certain types of introductions, usually preceded with an exchange of cheek kisses (whether the two men greeting one another hate each other or not). Introducing a third party determines third party status. “Friend of mine, friend of ours”; the difference being, one means the third party is either a “somebody” (someone who’s taken the “oath”) or a “nobody” (someone outside the realm of a made guy). And behind each other’s backs there’s often as much respect as Rush Limbaugh has for Sandra Fluk and/or Bill Maher has for women in general (we’ll get to that one next). The point being, amici, if Goldman treats their million dollar customers like that, is it any wonder they pissed all over the public (demanding a no strings attached bailout from their lackeys in the government)? Not to mention the snarky way they dealt with their lackeys on capital hill during those Congressional “hearings”.

When the right is right … if what dopey Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluk upset the Democratic party (not just women in general), one has to wonder why and/or how people like Bill Maher and Lewis CK (who was supposed to be the featured comedian at the white house media dinner) get a pass. Forget the $1,000,000 contribution Maher gets to make from his ivory tower (and Obama gets to keep while ignoring the misogynistic rhetoric).

While driving home at night I have a few options. Listen to Mike Francesa on WFAN or Mark Levin on WABC … both get on my nerves, but sometimes Mark Levin (a lunatic of the far right, make no mistake) has a point and he drives it home as well as MSNBC (or, as he labels them, MSLSD) … last week he played two clips on different nights. One of Lewis CK spouting some nasty dialogue (rivaling the characters from my novels) about Sarah Palin. Another night he featured a young Al Sharpton spouting anti-white rhetoric (although he did point out that the right reverend has apologized for his comments over time). Needless to say, he mentioned Bill Maher’s calling Palin the dreaded C-word and that nobody in the white house seemed to have a problem with it; the defense being he’s a comedian first, political analyst/contributor second (even if programs like CNN and MSNBC/LSD continue to seek his opinions on pretty much everything except, notably, the Limbaugh controversy).

Aside from the fact Maher’s HBO show features politicians and political analysts weekly, he gets to cling to comedian as an excuse for calling Palin the C-word.

And the white house has no problem with that as their defense.

It’s sort of how they treated public worker union members in Wisconsin last year. Ignoring them completely.

Which leads to the new NBA contracts for superstars. Last week it was reported that Dwight Howard of the Magic was basically offered the option of having both the coach and general manager fired if it would keep him in Orlando. From what I heard (and it could be wrong), Howard was decent about the option and said he wanted nothing to do with those decisions. Good for him/Bad for the NBA.

Less than a week later Camelo Anthony (no matter what his spin on it is) put coach Mike D'Antoni on the hook (and D'Antoni resigned forthwith). This is the new NBA contract for superstars … if a superstar isn’t happy, before he goes anywhere, the coaches are sent packing.

The End of Linsanity … now that Carmelo Anthony has had his way and Mike Woodson has replaced Mike D’Antoni on the bench, Jeremy Lin’s days of being the team’s offensive catalyst are a thing of the past.

I can’t wait to see how that goes over … thus far the Knicks have rebounded with 2 consecutive blow out wins (against two so-so teams). Personally, I think it’ll prove yet another disaster just as soon as the superstar doesn’t produce against the teams that count. And then the New York Knicks organization will rival the Philadelphia Eagles for the honor of being the dumbest organization in all of sport.

— Knucks

That Jersey kid mentioned above, Kevin Harrison, live ...

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Reading ... SNHU MFA Published Poets ... Whistle while you work ... Mefistofele (Opera) ...


Last night at KGB ... Scott Wolven’s new collection (100 Proof) sounds every bit as good as his last award winner (Controlled Burn) ... Scott is truly one of the best voices out there these days (literary and/or genre) and by the end of 100 Proof (one of the short stories he read last night), we were all left yearning for the collection.

Shanna McNair read from her novel in progress and it was intriguing to say the least. I spent some time in my youth in one of those “institutions” (South Oaks) and what goes through the minds of people trapped in those places is always interesting. A Mom pimping her daughters to truckers is about as Noir as it gets. Big Ups to Shanna and we can’t wait to read this baby when it’s finished. Michael Kimball rocked the house as well with his thriller about a guy looking to collect on his own death by faking his death with just his wife and the gravedigger knowing he’s alive in the coffin. You think maybe the wife and gravedigger decide a 50-50 split is better than 33 1/3? It’s a thriller alright ...

Dedicated Fans ... Okay, so it wasn’t like in the picture above, but, hey, what can any writer say, we’re lucky S.O.B.’s (and we know it) ... especially when people go out of their way to show up to these readings. And talk about going out of their way ... last night the Godmother and her family (husband Tommy & son Nolan) were in town visiting the big apple (seeing shows, etc.) and they stopped in for the reading at KGB ... now, it’s not like they’re driving in from Brooklyn or Jersey. They came from Houston, Texas. How cool is that?

Above a picture of Michelle, Tommy, Nolan, Ann Marie & the ugly one in Little Italy when they took us to dinner about a year or so ago. We consider the Islers famiglia--fact.

And we were further surprised when two of my younger son (Dustin)’s roommates were there (Dustin was working); Brion and Frank ... as was Sir Patrick of Lambe (hell of an artist and writer--came all the way from Lambertsville, NJ), Todd (Thug Lit) Robinson (also a terrific writer), Mr. Ronnie (a dear friend from way back in the day -- Ronnie reminded me that his 24th anniversary is coming up next week--I was his best man in Las Vegas 24 years ago and wound up writing a play that was produced off-off Broadway called Mr. Ronnie’s Confession) ... and how about my older son (Charles, not Charlie) and his wife Leslie and one of the Leslie’s bridesmaids and her husband showing up)? How cool is that.

We gave my poor daughter and her husband Anthony a pass because Nicole travels to New York from Jersey every day to work and doing that to her on a Sunday night is kind of an extra dose of torture nobody should experience.

But Nicole provided us with a quote from Momma Stella speaking to Nicole: Nani: "You know your two brothers, those little bastards, all they do is sit on their phones and twixt."

The Poets Corner ...

Okay, on to other terrific (published) writers ... from our SNHU MFA program, the poets gave permission to let post their work. From Measuring Twine, Edited by James Massao Mitsui, Word Write (publisher), Stephanie (Irish) Milligan & Tyler M. Fish.

Buy it here:

Stephanie Milligan, Quietude

It feels so good in that room where we love,
the suggestion of snow in the sky out our window.
Nudging blankets and sheets to the bottom of the bed,
waves from the act of love keep us warm.
We don’t complain but slowly we unwind
finally admitting our pretzel is not comfortable.
I get up and turn on the outside light, looking
for pre-dawn signs of a snow-day.
Contracting from a chill you slide into my territory,
blindly feel for life and rope your arm around me.

Phantom Limb

No seatbelt, the guillotine, half the man
he was. Days now spent erect, propped
up with only her devotion for a crutch, unable
to race from the haunting shape
of his past. Born a new intimacy, interrupted

when pride flickered and confidence wavered. The phantom
limb she could no longer take, grieved for by both. Mourning
of manhood would cease for one day. Down on her
knees, mimicking the act, inducing a shudder,
sending his head back. At times a glimmer

of illusion emerged. He swore he could feel
what his mind had discharged. The ghost
of what was for that day let him be. When finished
his gaze affixed to her face, that moment
a reminder of what he had gained.

Tyler Fish, Pocket Full of Razorblades

I came to this place in my youth,
one of many days where boredom
lent itself to near disaster, when a moment later,
or sooner would have seen blood and tears
from unknowing eyes.

Those dozen cool metal blades tucked slyly away
slipped through unprotected openings,
grazing delicate ridges and nail
without the slightest of slices.

Innocent bliss until the moment discovered,
when my hand was forced
from my pocket,
I stood exposed
as my secret
rattled to the floor.

In Bastogne,
the snow fell

black like tar.
The wind wound its way
into the shallows
of foxholes,
cutting through clothing,
its bitter fury
clawing into skin.

Tree tops exploded
in orange bursts
burning the clouds,
felling branches and needles
and limbs from men
who cried out
for help
or died silently.

Though they ran
through the unsettled
snow and smoke,
the medics carried
no stitch
that could repair
the wounds
the war left behind.

Whistle While You Work ... well, maybe you shouldn’t ... or I shouldn’t; that was the word last week when I was “into it” (Beethoven’s 9th) while inputting some data ... although it could just as easily have been Cream’s Stormy Monday ... I get carried away while working sometimes and become a whistling fool. A complaint was issued (a just one at that; whistling can be very annoying) and my boss called me in to solve the problem). This guy is the best boss I’ve ever worked for (and I don’t go easy on management--no commie ever does). He said he liked that I was happy while working and wanted me to stay happy. He gave me a choice: move to the back and keep whistling or stay up front and stop whistling. It doesn’t get more fair than that ... Domani I’ll be whistling in the back.


And on that note, it’s another whistling fool’s turn (the devil, a.k.a. Lucipher and/or Mefistofele). Arrigo Boito (composer), Samuel Ramey (Mefistofele), singing Son lo spirito ...

Son lo spirito
I am the Spirit that always denies everything;
The star, the flower.
My ghingno and my bega
Disturb their leisure time to the Creator.
I want nothing and Created
The universal ruin,
And 'my atmosphere,
And 'my atmostera vital,
What is called,
What is called sin,
Death and Pain.
I laugh and coming this syllable:
"No!" "No!"
Fret, try, hissing:
"No!" "No!"
Fret, try, hissing:
Whistle! Whistle! Whistle!
Eh! Eh!

I am part of a latebra
Much of everything: Darkness.
I am the Son of Darkness
What Darkness will return.
usurps the light and grabs
My scepter rebellion,
Just go,
Soon will his tension:
There is the Soul,
There is the Sun and Earth
Destruction! Destruction!
I laugh and coming this syllable:
"No!" "No!" etc. etc..

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reading this Sunday at KGB … Scott Wolven … Shanna McNair … Michael Kimball … Charlie Stella …


I’m gonna read from the new one, I think … Rough Riders

March 11, 2012
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Scott Wolven’s stories have appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories seven years in a row, which marks the most consecutive appearances since Houghton Mifflin began the Best American series in 1915. Wolven is one of only fifteen living authors to be selected for The Best American Noir Of The Century, by guest editor James Ellroy and series editor Otto Penzler. His collection of short stories, Controlled Burn, was selected for the fiftieth anniversary list of Books To Remember by The New York Public Library. Controlled Burn was selected as Best First Fiction by Poets & Writers and received awards from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. He has been called a Master Of Noir by Library Journal and his novel False Hopes is forthcoming from Grove/Mysterious Press, along with his second collection of short stories, Hundred Proof.

Shanna McNair is the founding editor and publisher of The New Guard. Publications include Maine Magazine, Naugatuck River Review, Village Soup Times, and Fact-Simile. She was a Summer Literary Seminar 2010 fellowship recipient for work in both fiction and poetry. McNair is an award-winning journalist, works in the visual arts, and performs music. She lives in Knightville, Maine.

The London Express has called Michael Kimball “one of the finest new exponents of the classic thriller.” Kimball’s 1996 novel Undone received the Fresh Talent Award in the U.K. and rose to #4 on the London Times’ bestseller list. Together with Mouth to Mouth, Green Girls, and Firewater Pond, Kimball’s novels have been translated into 13 languages and read worldwide. Stage plays include Ghosts of Ocean House, nominated for the 2007 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, and The Secret of Comedy, recently seen at the Abingdon Theatre. “The best suspense stories are the ones that creep up on you, breathe on your neck and jump back into the shadows when you turn around. Michael Kimball plays that game with unnerving skill.” – New York Times Review of Books

From Publishers Weekly
It takes a finely tuned ear to write dialogue that rings true, and Charlie Stella (Charlie Opera, etc.) has it. With his hapless crooks and wry humor, he belongs in line behind Elmore Leonard and Donald E. Westlake. Stella remains a master of creating complex and believable characters. Stella has quickly become one of crime fiction’s leading lights. His latest novel, Johnny Porno, is available from Stark House.

About the Series: KGB Bar Sunday Night FictionThe KGB Bar Sunday Night Fiction showcases the finest in contemporary fiction from new and emerging writers.

This Sunday, March 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. …

85 East 4th Street, New York, NY
(212) 505-3360


Johnny Porno trailer ...

Visit the phat man at (some scumbag stole my .com website, the piece of shit) ...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Len Wanner … Jess Anthony … SNHU MFA Poets … DeSean Jackson … The Knicks can’t sleep … Dustin bone marrow transplant …


Len Wanner has been a friend to crime fiction authors on both sides of the pond for several years now. He also has a vocabulary that challenges Mr. Webster any day of the week (i.e., it is voluminous). He runs a crime fiction blog (The Crime Of It All where he interviews authors, reviews books and champions the little guys as much as the big ones). Len pretty much does it all. And his first book of interviews is now available on Amazon.UK.

I had the pleasure of reading this way back and found The Scotts take on crime fiction, the writing process, what brought them to this genre, etc. truly intriguing.

From Amazon: Len interviews the following Scottish crime authors: Engaging, informative and shot through with humour, Len Wanner's collection of in-depth interviews is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary crime fiction. His interview subjects are nine of today's most successful Scottish crime writers: Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, Karen Campbell, Neil Forsyth, Chris Brookmyre, Paul Johnston, Alice Thompson, Allan Guthrie and Louise Welsh.

My Blurb for his interview book: Some say tomata, others say tomato, but they all share a similar trait; a genuine passion for their chosen craft—crime fiction writers; whether they accept the genre label or not. Interviewer Len Wanner pokes and prods with his usual intellectual inquisitiveness at what makes these Scottish authors tick and then tock … a must read for writers of all genres and their fans alike. —Charlie Stella (author of Johnny Porno)

It should be noted that I had already read The Existential Detective by Alice Thompson, an excellent read. Len’s interview with her was amazing. She is one very smart and talented woman. So much so, I enjoyed this book, I reviewed it on TK in November of 2010:

Jessica Anthony (MY MENTOR this semester in the SNHU MFA program) will be reading at Joe’s Pub this Wednesday, March 7 (this coming week, amici). This is in New York City and very doable for most of yous already living here/there. The wife and I are going to do our bestist to make it but coming from Jersey through rush hour, with the wife’s new job (she nailed her RN position in Princeton-one interview, one job) and me getting off at 6:00 it will be tough for us to make it in time. Jess’s first book, The Convalescent is on my TBR pile soon as I clear off the reviews still pending. I’ve heard her read from her first one and it was absolutely hilarious. See Jess (and hear her read) Wednesday night at Joe’s Pub … Jess has a new book out, Chopsticks (with Rodrigo Corral) , which is some kind of amazing graphically enhanced, website/book/an app ... forgetaboutit ... it’s got it all!

Stephanie Milligan & Tyler Fish … Measuring Twine

Speaking of great writers and SNHU’s MFA program, how about a couple of published poets (and fellow students)? You’ve already had a Stephanie Milligan sample here at TK, but there are four more in this collection of poems. I’m not sure I can reproduce them here, so I’m going to say buy the thing (link above) and you’ll get two SNHU MFA poets in the mix. Tyler Fish also has four poems in this collection.  In my humble opinion, the SNHU MFA babes rocked this collection with their works.

If I learn it is okay to use one or two of their poems from the collection, I will post them in the upcoming weeks, you can count on that, amici.

DeSean Jackson … (From some web paper) "The Philadelphia Eagles placed the franchise tag on Jackson on Thursday, assuring the two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver at least $9.4 million next season if he signs the tender."

“I am honored that the Philadelphia Eagles organization perceives me as a franchise player. I look forward to getting a long-term deal done soon and being an Eagle for many years to come,” Jackson said in a statement.

TK translation: “I am a dick. I have always been in a dick (see my college tapes). I could care less about my teammates, the score of the game or anything else that doesn’t feature me. I am eternally grateful to my creator for finding the dumbest organization in all of sports (The Philadelphia Eagles), although I should’ve known this might happen once they signed the dog killer, Michael Vick. They make Knucks’ Buffalo Bills organization appear genius by comparison … and they (the Buffalo Bills organization) are as close to brain dead as a stick of gum. How cool is that these morons, the Eagle organization, are going to pay me to toss another football at the Moonachie Blue Team’s coaching staff and negate a 51 yard play from scrimmage (and then watch the same Moonachie Blue Team go on to win the Super Bowl)? I mean, seriously, one week they bench me for being a great big dick, the next week I’m their franchise player.

How stupid are the Eagles? They left him in the game after that 51 yard penalty.

Stevesanity! Steve Novak Rises To Prominence … and the Knicks can’t sleep … the other night Steve Novak was on the fan explaining how the adrenaline rushes from winning in such exciting fashion is precluding our NY Knicks their proper sleep.

Dustin bone marrow transplant … how proud is the Stella familgia to learn Dustin (youngest of the Stella brats) is donating bone marrow to help save a leukemia patient. The procedure is in May and we (the rest of the family) learned about it just yesterday. That is one cool kid, amici.


What’s a TK without an aria ... how about my favorite (aria) ... Una Furtiva Lagrima from L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love), Gaetano Donizetti’s hilarious opera.

Okay, so that was pushing it. Here it really is: