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Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed

Clute and Edwards

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Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed
Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed

Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed

Clute and Edwards

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Followers
0
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About Us

Authors of hard-boiled, pulp, mystery, and suspense reveal secrets about their fiction, and the writing life. All interviews are conducted by Clute and Edwards, creators of the popular podcast "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir." More info at www.noircast.net

Latest Episodes

Episode 28: Michael Connelly Revealed

THE BRASS VERDICT, the nineteenth novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, gives definitive proof that Connelly is the most gifted crime writer since Raymond Chandler. Those with a debt to Chandler typically lack either the research skills, the knowledge of Los Angeles, or the soul for the job. Connelly has it all. Utilizing his skills as a former journalist, he not only nails the facts of legal and police business, he captures the complex psychology of his characters. Defense lawyer Mickey Haller and detective Harry Bosch are not pure heroes, they are men: they are not lovable, but they are competent and often admirable. To paraphrase Chandler, they have a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to them by right, because it belongs to the world they live in. It is above all in this melding of characters and setting that Connelly excels. Los Angeles is not a scenic backdrop, it is the master force that shapes all else, and we could not imagine H...

44 MIN2008 OCT 15
Comments
Episode 28: Michael Connelly Revealed

Episode 27: Scott Phillips Revealed

EIt is hard to imagine a sequel that is any more tightly intertwined with, or distinct from, its predecessor than Scott Phillips's 2002 THE WALKAWAY. His 2000 debut novel THE ICE HARVEST was a tight tale of one day in the tragicomic life of small-time Wichita mobster Charlie Arglist. THE WALKAWAY is an ambitious prequel-sequel to that bestseller, a complex narrative that alternates between first and third person points of view, and three different time frames. It opens in the immediate aftermath of the fateful accident that ended the first book, then traces the life of Gunther Fahnstiel, from his morally ambiguous young adulthood the prepared him for that fateful accident, to his current advanced age as he tries to remember how he became the man he is—and how he might still profit by it. If the first novel was the portrait of a man in his boudoir, THE WALKAWAY is like one of those vast tapestries you see on castle walls: caught in the weft and warp of fragile memory are entire genea...

40 MIN2008 OCT 13
Comments
Episode 27: Scott Phillips Revealed

Episode 26: George Pelecanos Revealed

THE TURNAROUND, George Pelecanos's fifteenth novel, is the work of a mature writer at the top of his game. It is a thoughtful examination of one event that permanently alters the lives of six young men—three black, three white. The story is both as straightforward and as complex as the characters it involves, and pulls the reader in through their palpable suffering. By creating such intimacy with this ensemble cast, Pelecanos is able to explore some of the most pressing issues facing America today—race, class, and the foreign war that districts us from these domestic battles—with depth and nuance, and without any trace of artificiality or authorial tampering. A less experienced or less gifted writer would have been tempted, in handling such material, to deliver a message, and so would have ruined a story that is infinitely more rich because it stays focused on the people it involves. Pelecanos reveals how his youthful aspirations to be a filmmaker, his experience writing for HBO'...

49 MIN2008 AUG 17
Comments
Episode 26: George Pelecanos Revealed

Episode 25: Mark Coggins Revealed

That Coggins is a disciple of Chandler and Hammett is abundantly clear in his most recent August Riordan novel, RUNOFF. Riordan is in many ways analogous to Chandler's iconic Philip Marlowe. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. Coggins turns his man loose in one of the most hard-boiled of towns—San Francisco. The setting is no mistake. It's Coggins's home, and thus a place he can write of with authority. It was also Hammett's city, and Sam Spade's. Most importantly, it's a place that lends itself perfectly to a plot that is at once classic-hardboiled and thoroughly modern, a tale of real estate moguls and political hopefuls in collusion to rig elections and reap the profits. In other words, Coggins has the literary savvy to revisit Chandler and Hammett in order to develop character, place, and plot in a timeless fashion, but also has ...

40 MIN2008 AUG 1
Comments
Episode 25: Mark Coggins Revealed

Episode 24: Jonathan Santlofer Revealed

Jonathan Santlofer is an artist and author of exceptional talent, a master of virtually any visual or linguistic medium. His work has been displayed in fine galleries around the world,and his art-themed crime fiction has drawn comparisons to the work of Michael Connelly. He is the author of five novels, three starring NYPD detective turned art historian Kate McKinnon (THE KILLING ART, COLOR BLIND, THE DEATH ARTIST) and two featuring NYPD sketch artist Nate Rodriquez (ANATOMY OF FEAR and THE MURDER NOTEBOOK). He joins Clute and Edwards in June to discuss this last title, a June release from William Marrow. For more information on his fiction, or to experience his stunning artwork (some of which is incorporated into his novels), visit Jonathan's elegant, flash-driven website: www.jonathansantlofer.com

43 MIN2008 JUL 1
Comments
Episode 24: Jonathan Santlofer Revealed

Episode 23: Christa Faust Revealed

Christa Faust's latest novel, MONEY SHOT, distills all the darkest and most addictive spirits of 1940's film noir and 1950's hard-boiled into a lethal elixir. Such a statement is necessarily contradictory, for Faust's unique blend of a noir atmosphere of inescapable doom with the campy, two-fisted action of Gold Medal-era pulp, gives us characters who die so that they might be reborn, and action that destroys in order to redeem. Protagonist Angel Dare, former porn star and savvy businesswoman, kind-hearted sucker and cold-hearted avenging angel, is the very embodiment of contradictions, yet makes so much sense she'll break your heart. She is the antidote to the uni-dimensionality of today's genre fiction, capable because of her flaws, vulnerable because of her toughness, and of a moral complexity few can touch and none can sully. Far from being anachronistic, MONEY SHOT is a thoroughly modern tale, the work of an author who brilliantly revisits the past in order to reinvigorate a li...

40 MIN2008 JUN 3
Comments
Episode 23: Christa Faust Revealed

Episode 22: Seth Harwood Revealed

Long before Seth Harwood's JACK WAKES UP went to print with Breakneck Books it came roaring into our homes as a series of expertly-produced podcasts, a serialized publication in the tradition of classic pulps, but with a throaty growl and lightening agility like that of Jack Palms's one true love—his 1966 Mustang Fastback K-Code GT. And in this car we find a fitting metaphor for Harwood's project: retro, but fit for today and the future; fast, really fast, but not so fast it ceases to be user-friendly. For when it does allow us to catch our breath, we also catch sight of the craft Harwood honed while earning an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop. His prose has an immediacy befitting the action, and a poignancy that allows us to glimpse, however fleetingly, the backstory wounds that formed the characters who go flying past at breakneck speed. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to...

48 MIN2008 MAY 17
Comments
Episode 22: Seth Harwood Revealed

Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Cybernoir Panel

Shannon Clute, Seth Harwood, and Richard Edwards presented this Cybernoir panel on April 5th, 2008, as part of the Noircon Conference in Philadelphia. Clute and Edwards kick things off with a discussion of how noir style and pulp publishing models seem to provide the fundamental structuring logics of emerging digital media—from blogs to podcasts, mashups to video games. Seth Harwood then relates his own experience of podcasting his first novel, JACK WAKES UP—from producing the initial audio, to embracing various new media in order to cultivate an audience and tap their enthusiasm and skills to promote his work. Finally, all three panelists consider how pulp-logic productions in these various media are likely to change the ways books are published and marketed. This special edition podcast includes all Powerpoint slides from the panel, synchronized with the audio, for your viewing pleasure. Moreover, there are embedded links at the bottom of the images, which allow you to surf rela...

41 MIN2008 APR 28
Comments
Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Cybernoir Panel

Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Wise Guys and Femmes Fatale

Wise guys and femmes fatale form the central focus of these next panel discussions from Noircon 2008. In the first half of the podcast, Clute and Edwards talk with authors George Anastasia and Anthony Bruno. Anastasia and Bruno are two seasoned mob-watchers who uncover life on the mean streets-Philly style. Based on their Noircon panel, Wise Guy Noir, they give us an inside look into the Godfathers and Goodfellas of Philadelphia. In the second half, Clute and Edwards lead a lively roundtable discussion on the femme fatale with four authors who have strong female characters at the center of their novels: Megan Abbott, Christa Faust, Vicki Hendricks, and Jonathan Santlofer. The discussion touches on many different aspects of the femme fatale and the homme fatale (fatal man). For more information about Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net

45 MIN2008 APR 14
Comments
Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Wise Guys and Femmes Fatale

Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 2: Editors and Publishers Tackle Noir

Clute and Edwards discuss the editing and publishing of noir fiction with three members of this Day 2 Noircon panel: Charles Ardai, Stacia Decker, and Michael Langnas. Charles Ardai is the editor and publisher of the Hard Case Crime series. Stacia Decker is an editor who has worked with such writers as Ray Banks, Declan Burke, Allan Guthrie and John McFetridge. Michael Langnas is the editor-in-chief of Murdaland Magazine, a crime-fiction journal put out by Baltimore-based publisher Cortwright McMeel. The three guests offer us a behind-the-scenes look into the world of noir publishing. The panelists address violence in noir fiction, the complex appeal of noir, and the challenges and pleasures of editing and publishing noir writing. For more information about Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net

17 MIN2008 APR 13
Comments
Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 2: Editors and Publishers Tackle Noir

Latest Episodes

Episode 28: Michael Connelly Revealed

THE BRASS VERDICT, the nineteenth novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, gives definitive proof that Connelly is the most gifted crime writer since Raymond Chandler. Those with a debt to Chandler typically lack either the research skills, the knowledge of Los Angeles, or the soul for the job. Connelly has it all. Utilizing his skills as a former journalist, he not only nails the facts of legal and police business, he captures the complex psychology of his characters. Defense lawyer Mickey Haller and detective Harry Bosch are not pure heroes, they are men: they are not lovable, but they are competent and often admirable. To paraphrase Chandler, they have a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to them by right, because it belongs to the world they live in. It is above all in this melding of characters and setting that Connelly excels. Los Angeles is not a scenic backdrop, it is the master force that shapes all else, and we could not imagine H...

44 MIN2008 OCT 15
Comments
Episode 28: Michael Connelly Revealed

Episode 27: Scott Phillips Revealed

EIt is hard to imagine a sequel that is any more tightly intertwined with, or distinct from, its predecessor than Scott Phillips's 2002 THE WALKAWAY. His 2000 debut novel THE ICE HARVEST was a tight tale of one day in the tragicomic life of small-time Wichita mobster Charlie Arglist. THE WALKAWAY is an ambitious prequel-sequel to that bestseller, a complex narrative that alternates between first and third person points of view, and three different time frames. It opens in the immediate aftermath of the fateful accident that ended the first book, then traces the life of Gunther Fahnstiel, from his morally ambiguous young adulthood the prepared him for that fateful accident, to his current advanced age as he tries to remember how he became the man he is—and how he might still profit by it. If the first novel was the portrait of a man in his boudoir, THE WALKAWAY is like one of those vast tapestries you see on castle walls: caught in the weft and warp of fragile memory are entire genea...

40 MIN2008 OCT 13
Comments
Episode 27: Scott Phillips Revealed

Episode 26: George Pelecanos Revealed

THE TURNAROUND, George Pelecanos's fifteenth novel, is the work of a mature writer at the top of his game. It is a thoughtful examination of one event that permanently alters the lives of six young men—three black, three white. The story is both as straightforward and as complex as the characters it involves, and pulls the reader in through their palpable suffering. By creating such intimacy with this ensemble cast, Pelecanos is able to explore some of the most pressing issues facing America today—race, class, and the foreign war that districts us from these domestic battles—with depth and nuance, and without any trace of artificiality or authorial tampering. A less experienced or less gifted writer would have been tempted, in handling such material, to deliver a message, and so would have ruined a story that is infinitely more rich because it stays focused on the people it involves. Pelecanos reveals how his youthful aspirations to be a filmmaker, his experience writing for HBO'...

49 MIN2008 AUG 17
Comments
Episode 26: George Pelecanos Revealed

Episode 25: Mark Coggins Revealed

That Coggins is a disciple of Chandler and Hammett is abundantly clear in his most recent August Riordan novel, RUNOFF. Riordan is in many ways analogous to Chandler's iconic Philip Marlowe. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. Coggins turns his man loose in one of the most hard-boiled of towns—San Francisco. The setting is no mistake. It's Coggins's home, and thus a place he can write of with authority. It was also Hammett's city, and Sam Spade's. Most importantly, it's a place that lends itself perfectly to a plot that is at once classic-hardboiled and thoroughly modern, a tale of real estate moguls and political hopefuls in collusion to rig elections and reap the profits. In other words, Coggins has the literary savvy to revisit Chandler and Hammett in order to develop character, place, and plot in a timeless fashion, but also has ...

40 MIN2008 AUG 1
Comments
Episode 25: Mark Coggins Revealed

Episode 24: Jonathan Santlofer Revealed

Jonathan Santlofer is an artist and author of exceptional talent, a master of virtually any visual or linguistic medium. His work has been displayed in fine galleries around the world,and his art-themed crime fiction has drawn comparisons to the work of Michael Connelly. He is the author of five novels, three starring NYPD detective turned art historian Kate McKinnon (THE KILLING ART, COLOR BLIND, THE DEATH ARTIST) and two featuring NYPD sketch artist Nate Rodriquez (ANATOMY OF FEAR and THE MURDER NOTEBOOK). He joins Clute and Edwards in June to discuss this last title, a June release from William Marrow. For more information on his fiction, or to experience his stunning artwork (some of which is incorporated into his novels), visit Jonathan's elegant, flash-driven website: www.jonathansantlofer.com

43 MIN2008 JUL 1
Comments
Episode 24: Jonathan Santlofer Revealed

Episode 23: Christa Faust Revealed

Christa Faust's latest novel, MONEY SHOT, distills all the darkest and most addictive spirits of 1940's film noir and 1950's hard-boiled into a lethal elixir. Such a statement is necessarily contradictory, for Faust's unique blend of a noir atmosphere of inescapable doom with the campy, two-fisted action of Gold Medal-era pulp, gives us characters who die so that they might be reborn, and action that destroys in order to redeem. Protagonist Angel Dare, former porn star and savvy businesswoman, kind-hearted sucker and cold-hearted avenging angel, is the very embodiment of contradictions, yet makes so much sense she'll break your heart. She is the antidote to the uni-dimensionality of today's genre fiction, capable because of her flaws, vulnerable because of her toughness, and of a moral complexity few can touch and none can sully. Far from being anachronistic, MONEY SHOT is a thoroughly modern tale, the work of an author who brilliantly revisits the past in order to reinvigorate a li...

40 MIN2008 JUN 3
Comments
Episode 23: Christa Faust Revealed

Episode 22: Seth Harwood Revealed

Long before Seth Harwood's JACK WAKES UP went to print with Breakneck Books it came roaring into our homes as a series of expertly-produced podcasts, a serialized publication in the tradition of classic pulps, but with a throaty growl and lightening agility like that of Jack Palms's one true love—his 1966 Mustang Fastback K-Code GT. And in this car we find a fitting metaphor for Harwood's project: retro, but fit for today and the future; fast, really fast, but not so fast it ceases to be user-friendly. For when it does allow us to catch our breath, we also catch sight of the craft Harwood honed while earning an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop. His prose has an immediacy befitting the action, and a poignancy that allows us to glimpse, however fleetingly, the backstory wounds that formed the characters who go flying past at breakneck speed. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to...

48 MIN2008 MAY 17
Comments
Episode 22: Seth Harwood Revealed

Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Cybernoir Panel

Shannon Clute, Seth Harwood, and Richard Edwards presented this Cybernoir panel on April 5th, 2008, as part of the Noircon Conference in Philadelphia. Clute and Edwards kick things off with a discussion of how noir style and pulp publishing models seem to provide the fundamental structuring logics of emerging digital media—from blogs to podcasts, mashups to video games. Seth Harwood then relates his own experience of podcasting his first novel, JACK WAKES UP—from producing the initial audio, to embracing various new media in order to cultivate an audience and tap their enthusiasm and skills to promote his work. Finally, all three panelists consider how pulp-logic productions in these various media are likely to change the ways books are published and marketed. This special edition podcast includes all Powerpoint slides from the panel, synchronized with the audio, for your viewing pleasure. Moreover, there are embedded links at the bottom of the images, which allow you to surf rela...

41 MIN2008 APR 28
Comments
Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Cybernoir Panel

Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Wise Guys and Femmes Fatale

Wise guys and femmes fatale form the central focus of these next panel discussions from Noircon 2008. In the first half of the podcast, Clute and Edwards talk with authors George Anastasia and Anthony Bruno. Anastasia and Bruno are two seasoned mob-watchers who uncover life on the mean streets-Philly style. Based on their Noircon panel, Wise Guy Noir, they give us an inside look into the Godfathers and Goodfellas of Philadelphia. In the second half, Clute and Edwards lead a lively roundtable discussion on the femme fatale with four authors who have strong female characters at the center of their novels: Megan Abbott, Christa Faust, Vicki Hendricks, and Jonathan Santlofer. The discussion touches on many different aspects of the femme fatale and the homme fatale (fatal man). For more information about Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net

45 MIN2008 APR 14
Comments
Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Wise Guys and Femmes Fatale

Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 2: Editors and Publishers Tackle Noir

Clute and Edwards discuss the editing and publishing of noir fiction with three members of this Day 2 Noircon panel: Charles Ardai, Stacia Decker, and Michael Langnas. Charles Ardai is the editor and publisher of the Hard Case Crime series. Stacia Decker is an editor who has worked with such writers as Ray Banks, Declan Burke, Allan Guthrie and John McFetridge. Michael Langnas is the editor-in-chief of Murdaland Magazine, a crime-fiction journal put out by Baltimore-based publisher Cortwright McMeel. The three guests offer us a behind-the-scenes look into the world of noir publishing. The panelists address violence in noir fiction, the complex appeal of noir, and the challenges and pleasures of editing and publishing noir writing. For more information about Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net

17 MIN2008 APR 13
Comments
Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 2: Editors and Publishers Tackle Noir