Monday, November 14, 2011



When I was a kid, I had a soft spot for tough guys. I loved them in the movies, on television, and the guys I met in real life. Okay, maybe I still have a soft spot for them. That’s one of the reasons I loved all the Spenser books Robert B. Parker wrote.

A few years ago, I had a chance to write a boxing novella for an editor, something I’d always wanted to try. That one had a supernatural element to it, but the boxing was clean and the 1950s atmosphere was strong, at least in my opinion. I also loved the first-person voice I came up with for the character and I enjoyed sinking into the world.

At any rate, I released the short story on Kindle and it caught the attention of Paul Bishop, a career LAPD detective, who — like me — grew up on pulps, Gold Medal novels, and the idea of tough guys. We ended up talking about the story, about our mutual loves and wistfully wishing that someone still wrote stories like that. The more we talked, the more we realized we wanted to do that. BTW, Paul is a bestselling writer and a television star as well (Take The Money And Run).

So we decided we would write those stories. We set them back in the 1950s. My character, Mickey Flynn, is a merchant marine sailor who’s tough as nails. Paul’s character is Patrick Flynn, an LAPD detective on Chief Parker’s infamous Hat Squad. The brothers grew up in an orphanage in Chicago where they were taught the “sweet science” by Father Tim. The orphanage is nicknamed Our Lady of the Glass Jaw.

Once other writers found out what we were doing, a few of them wanted on board and we gladly let them. (There were a lot of orphans that went through Our Lady of the Glass Jaw!) Next up is Eric Beetner’s Split Decision, and that will be out in December.

These beautiful covers are by Keith Birdsong.

Paul and I had a lot of fun with these first two books, and we’re already planning the next round for our characters. So if you like tough guys, boxing, noir, crime stories, and pulps, I hope you’ll find something in these books that you like. Let us know.

1 comment:

  1. I really dig tough guys.
    I like boxing.
    I LOVE the shadows of noir.
    I like crime stories,
    and who in their right uncauliflowered mind
    doesn't want to groove to pulp?

    As for the delight in the design of this site (I'm an aesthetic author, who cringes when poor design takes a good writer down for his or her wordcount), Mr Birdsong's DYNAMIC FEEL of your covers to bring this whole Fight Card Series together . . . and natch the classy author guys I already admire and can never get enough of -- well geeeez, all puns inclusive, you don't have to take a dive -- this is a clean knockout.

    That applause is me.
    I scored a front row seat and just turn my head in some of the more painful punches -- but I'm gonna be ringside ... all the way.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate,
    shedding some spotlight this week, as NOVEMBER goes NOIR ~ AT THE BIJOU on BISH shedding some spotlight on all of youse tough guys.

    I like tough guys, I mention that?