Death Wave, Now in Paperback

[imageeffect type=”lightbox” align=”alignright” width=”198″ height=”300″ alt=”Death Wave, available now” url=”” ]This is something I’m really excited about, and I’m hoping that some of that excitement might rub off on you. Death Wave is now available in paperback.

So what’s Death Wave?

Here’s the short pitch…

In Depression-era New York, down-on-his-luck handyman Forty Dollar is hired by his friend, mobster Jerry Gold, to build him a deathray. It should be a simple job. But when Forty gets a little too close to Gold’s wife, Rebecca, the stage is set for a wave of adultery, betrayal, revenge, and death.

And here’s the story behind the story…

There’s this publishing company called Hard Case Crime that publishes “hard-boiled crime fiction.” Their books are short and sharp, a mix of reprints by old masters like Donald Westlake and Lawrence Block and James M. Cain along with new books, like Christa Faust’s marvelous Money Shot, all under gorgeously lurid covers that are a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s.

So a couple of years ago, while I was unemployed, I decided to write a new book, NaNoWriMo-style. And I decided to write a book specifically for submission to Hard Case Crime, something quick and dark and deadly–a tale of adultery, betrayal and revenge, completely the opposite of something like Hero Go Home.

Of course, with me as the author, the book could not be entirely humorless. The opening chapters, especially, carry a lot of humor, because I wanted the book to descend from light into dark. But as the book made that descent, the writing process turned miserable, and when I was done, I was sure I had written a chaotic mess. I let a writer friend of mine read it, and he surprised me by saying he thought it was one of the best things I had ever written. And when I finally got up the nerve to read it myself a couple of weeks later, I was surprised to find myself agreeing with him.

I submitted the book to Hard Case and got back the nicest rejection I have ever received from Charles Ardai, who called the early chapters “charming and a lot of fun.” Unfortunately, Hard Case was cutting back its release schedule to 3-4 books a year and my book was not a good enough fit for their line. And it was too short to have much chance to be published anywhere else.

So I took a deep breath and put it out as an ebook. And now, I’m releasing it again as a paperback though Createspace. But here’s the thing that has me excited.

This edition has been improved over the ebook in every way. The text has been cleaned up to remove a few stubborn typos and formatting errors. What’s more, the book has been redesigned for print, with new fonts, including a gorgeous retro font for the chapter headings. There’s a new improved cover that is my best effort so far at recreating the kind of lurid pulpy illustration I’ve always wanted to have on a book of mine.

And there’s even an extra bonus: an added short story, “Fischer’s Wild Goose,” about a hit man whose job goes terribly wrong. Like Death Wave, the story is a bit of an orphan. You think the market for science-fiction and fantasy short fiction is bad? You should try finding professional markets for short crime fiction. But their loss is your gain.

So that’s the pitch. One of the best things I’ve ever written, in an enhanced edition, with a new, improved cover and a bonus short story, all for $8.95, available right here.

Oh, and if you want to try before you buy, here are some sample chapters.

Chapters 1-3

Chapters 4-6

Teaser from the middle, where things are getting darker

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