From: Racerick75@aol.com
Date: 21 Feb 2006

 Jim Doherty said:
<<The traditional PI novel isn't dead. It's not even slumbering. It's certainly much more ubiquitous and much more healthy now than it was in the early '80's when Bob Randisi founded PWA primarily to get the PI novel noticed again. At that time, virtually no one was getting hardpvers published except Pronzini, Block, and Michael Collins. Suffice it to say that there are a lot more now.>>
  I'd be the first to agree that the genre isn't dead. On the other hand, my assertion stands. At this point in American publishing, it is damned difficult to get a new, traditional, male PI series sold to one of the major publishers. I applaud what the folks at Five Star are doing. I've corresponded with them on several occasions and have found them to be top shelf folks, but at best Five Star has to be considered a large small press, perhaps on the order of Poisoned Pen.
  I'm also very happy to see John Connolly's success with the Charlie Parker series. Well deserved, as is that of Ken Bruen. On the other hand, I've also seen some damned fine PI authors dropped by major houses, including Shamus winners Daniel Judson and Andy Straka, and Edgar nominee Ken Wishnia.
  As for St. Martin's, I was a judge for the Best First PI Novel contest they sponsor with PWA. I'm the one who sent Michael Kronenwetter's book up the line to eventually win. I also know they didn't award the prize the next year. Having slogged through dozens of manuscripts to find FIRST KILL, I don't think for a second that this had anything to do with St. Martin's commitment to the genre, but rather that it was probably just an 'off' year for manuscripts. On the other hand, how many "traditional" mystery series and standalones did they launch that year compared to "traditional" PI series?
  What I reported came from the mouths and keyboards of people buried deep in the business. The message was very clear. When it comes to traditional, hardboiled, knuckles-and-know-how PI stories, the market is largely supported by voices that have been in the biz for ten years or more. The glass basement ceiling for shiny new PI writers is a little thicker than it is for other genres. I think this trend will continue until there's a change in the reading culture, which will probably result from a change in the general culture, or the emergence of an exciting new twist in PI storytelling. In the interim, the niche markets are going to have to continue to pick up the slack. R
  Richard Helms Two-Time Shamus Award Nominee CORDITE WINE (0-9710159-6-1), the second Eamon Gold PI novel, from Back Alley Books! website: http://hometown.aol.com/murdvoocarre
"Cordite Wine is tough, funny, exciting, and very good!" - Robert B. Parker

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 21 Feb 2006 EST