Tuesday, February 21, 2023

No Apology Needed - The Next Year

February 21, 2023

First, I apologize to those who follow and often visit my blog. It has been a year since my last post. There is no excuse not to find the time to write a paragraph or two, considering that I wrote almost half a million words during the past year. Shame on me.


Second (see above and below), I was also too busy. Lame excuse #2.


And the last year has been something; read on:

§  I joined Wolfpack Publishing and Mike Bray a year ago. Four publishing imprints comprise Wolfpack Publishing: Wolfpack Publishing, Rough Edges Press, Wise Wolf Books, and CKN Christian Publishing. Three of these imprints have released or republished my books.


§  Last fall, Wolfpack published the first two Deputy Sheriff Jordan Tynes mysteries, One Yellow Dog and The Killings in Paradise Valley. (This spring, we will publish Blood in the Yellowstone).


§  Rough Edges Press published White Rabbit last summer.


§  Rough Edges also republished The Chronicles of Sharon O’Mara (my second favorite redhead), the Max Adler WWII duology, and the five-book series of 1933 Chicago Detective Tony Alfano. These are all eBooks series – multiple books for the price of one.


§  I was also delighted when they rereleased The Cherry Pickers under their young adult imprint, Wise Wolf Books.


Hard to believe I published four new books last year, and this does not include the series compilations. When I joined Wolfpack, they promised a lot, and we have all been down that road. In their case, they delivered.


Hard to tell what the coming year will bring. As mentioned, a new Jordan Tynes modern Montana western, a new Max Adler WWII (under the new CIA) post-war mystery and thriller, possibly a new SF story, and maybe get back to Sharon O'Mara and Tony Alfano. Too many options, and then there is the siren call of new books and adventures. Never a dull moment.


Do me and my characters a big favor and download or order one (or all of my stories). I genuinely believe you will love them.


All the best, more later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


I’ve been pounding the old keyboard telling stories now for more than twenty years. In fact, my first book, a non-fiction work titled America’s Original GI Town, Park Forest, Illinois, was published in 2000 (and I just got a residual check for $26 bucks this spring – it’s still alive!), with Johns Hopkins University Press. Since then, I’ve written and published over 22 novels in just about every category and genre. I’ve been privileged to be under contract with Thomas & Mercer for two books and self-published or indie-published (your choice) twenty others. I’m calling this my apprenticeship. You learn a lot writing more than two million words, like what to leave in, what to take out; whatever passive voice is/was (still confused); that, like an atom, you can split an infinitive, and to be careful with those things that dangle. I also learned the importance of editors, all sorts, from story to line to proof. There is/are editors for everything. So, when a good friend suggested that I follow up with a new publisher who might be interested in a new series I was writing (a modern western), I jumped at the chance.

Drum roll here . . . .

I am thrilled and proud to announce that I have just signed on with Wolfpack Publishing. I want to thank Mike Bray, Jake Bray, and James Reasoner, for this opportunity to work with them and their team on both re-releasing my old catalog of fourteen novels as well as offering new titles to my readers. For me it’s a three for one deal. My young adult novel, The Cherry Pickers, will be re-released through their young adult focus, Wise Wolf Books, thirteen other mysteries and thrillers will be by Rough Edges Press, and my new series of modern westerns through Wolfpack Publishing. I am looking forward to a long and mutually prosperous partnership.


It is so easy to become discouraged in this business and art of writing, the hardest part is pounding out the words, the second and closest to the hardest is marketing. You are required to sit and work, there’s no other alternative – and there is no one to make you do it. Discipline, patience, clarity, imagination, vision, and creativity become skills that are honed and then polished. If writing excites you, then you are half the way there. If you are in it for the money, it is a steep climb. There’s a lot of nicked knuckles and skinned knees it the process. And don’t get me started with marketing – six years of blog posts are there for you to read through. A good friend and now (after many fits and starts for him), an incredibly successful author, told me once, “It’s also a lot of luck, plain luck.” Right place at the right time, and maybe Wolfpack Publishing is that moment for me.

I will let you know about release dates, covers, schedules, even promotions as they come along. This is all new to me, so we will make this journey together.


All the best . . . . . until next time.

Monday, November 15, 2021



Experiment gone bad, that’s all I can say. As you can read below, back in August, I was high on the use of Amazon’s newest trick, VELLA. A new source for serialized electronic books in a half dozen genres. Everything I have read (and on YouTube) about the experiences of the users was negative. No marketing support, hard to use, hard to find your own serial, etc.

So, I bailed. On November 16, 2021, I published Seven Hours to Barstow in its entirety. It’s a short novelette as I call it, just about 15,000 words (most full novels range between 60,000 to 140,000 words—and longer). And it will always be $0.99, or sometimes free when I want to juice up the ‘sales’ numbers. And besides I love the cover I designed.


It’s an irreverent road trip down the back side of the Sierra Mountains. Enjoy.

To quote the first paragraph:

Don’t do this if you’re sober, or straight, or even got your head on right. No one should do this—ever. You must be certifiably stoned, plastered, over-religious, missing a body part, even a Democrat. This is what it takes: peyote, a lid of LSD, a handful of Cubans, a bottle of mescal, the Bible, and one of those anti-COVID masks. You need seventy-five horses between your legs, steel and chrome up the ass, big tires, a bag of Snickers, and Johnny Cash bleeding his fucking heart out and crying about June over the speakers. That’s all it takes, that and a plan; oh, and a Teflon jock strap printed with the fucking Milky Way hand-stitched with gold thread.


Go here and download. 




The publishing game is getting crazier. There’s more consolidation in the future (big fish eating other big fish). A year ago, Penguin Random House (already a collection of imprints) announced plans to buy/merge Simon and Schuster (another collection). Here it is one year later and it’s, as far as I can tell, not been consummated. The Gov’ment is stepping in, a little concerned about the free market and monopolies – which I find to be quaint and self-serving. Hillary Clinton’s thriller (with Louise Penny) is at Simon & Schuster. Barack Obama’s first volume, A Promised Land, is a Penguin Random House, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Crown (owned by Penguin Random House). Kamela Harris is also with Penguin books. To balance, Dick Cheney is with Threshold (Simon & Schuster), and the apolitical John Grisham is with Knopf (Penguin Random House). To balance this out even more, James Patterson (and President Clinton - new mystery series) is with Little, Brown and Company (part of the Hachette Book Group), and Nora Roberts is probably keeping Macmillan Publishing alive. No sour grapes here, but more of a concern over the concentration of thoughts an ideologies in the hands of a few on the streets of New York. Also note that Simon & Schuster is owned by ViacomCBS (talk about eyeball coverage).


There are dozens if not hundreds of smaller publishing houses, groups, and companies. Some were established to support a particular writer, then grew. Others came into being because a person loved the idea of a genre such as sci-fi, westerns, or romance. But it still is a business, you must sell books (paper, ebook, audios) to survive, and it is getting tougher. I know this well.


This publishing merger (and others) all about control, control of the market, control of the message (thoughts), and control of the politics. Books are the preeminent force of change, education, and enlightenment. In reality, who cares about a chip company merger, a tool and die conglomerate, two automobile companies forming an alliance. But two companies under the control of a particular political persuasion, now that is a different type of monopoly. After the invention of the Guttenberg press, the powers that be (state and church), feared what would happen when knowledge was easily acquired by the people through cheap books and pamphlets. Would Martin Luther (for better or worse) have had such a profound impact if the printing press had not been invented only forty years before his birth? He used it deliberately and sharply, to both government and church dismay.


Mein Kampf, written by he who will not be named, is a preeminent example of how words can change a nation – and how a publishing house was acquired and used to disseminate that ideology.


I am very concerned about concentrations of power (or aquisitions) for whatever reasons or rationalizations. Free and open competition is the backbone of capitalism, whether in goods, services, or words. It is imperative that more than a glossy review be taken of this merger. I could care less about pricing (the merger will help keep pricing fair – phooey), this is about control of ideas, the words that make those ideas real, and the minds that are manipulated by those words.


More later . . . . . .



Friday, August 6, 2021

7 Hours to Barstow - Kindle Vella

7 Hours to Barstow - then Turn Left

Alert, Alert, Alert . . . I am trying something new – and maybe you should too. Amazon Kindle has this new serial format that allows us writers to serialize our books (not old ones, mind you). From just a few episodes to an unlimited number – all your decision. It’s called Kindle Vella. I’ve just published the first five episodes of my first serial titled 7 HOURS TO BARSTOW – THEN TURN LEFT. New genre, Slipstream and new character, the Gray Rider. Ten episodes are available, the first three are free, more to be added. Check it out here.

Years ago there was the opportunity to use Amazon Kindle as a way of serializing our stories, even novels. Hugh Howey used this as a stepping stone to his success, Wool, and so did Andy Weir and his amazing novel The Martian. Both started by publishing one chapter (episode) at a time. Eventually they became the novels we enjoy. But they started in the old fashioned Dickens-Victorian way (England) on weekly episodes in the newspapers or magazines.

I don't know whether Amazon will pull this off, there's some concern (on my part) about the issue of buying Tokens (credits) to be used to acquire new episodes (complicated) and the split for the author. Time will tell and they will adjust as needed. However, I believe that this will provide opportunities for writer to strut their stuff, try new genres, styles, even go over the edge (as does 7 Hours to Barstow - Then Turn Left).

Here's a peak at the scope of VELLA:

7 Hours to Barstow comes from an idea my trainer and I cooked up. He was taking a motorcycle ride down the backside of the Sierra Mountains on Highway 395 last summer and we starting wondering what he'd run into along the way: ghosts, sheep, hitchhikers, etc. I started a run of text that I liked and it became what you will find.

There's an obscure genre out there called slipstream (WIKI HERE). My fascination with this style came from a book an old friend (who sadly has passed) gave me. It is Robert F. Jones' Blood Sport, A Journey Up the Hassayampa. It is without a doubt one of the weirdest novels I've ever read and totally embodies the goal of slipstream as "nonrealistic fiction with a postmodern sensibility."


7 Hours is sort of an homage to Jones and his story. What I'm hoping to do is keep adding episodes (10 posted or soon will be), that continue the travels of my man, the Gray Rider, as he cruises the back roads of America. Let me know what you think.

More Later . . . .

Thursday, May 13, 2021


 >>>>>BREAKING NEWS<<<<<

On October 5, 2021, I'll be publishing two new novels.

Two on the same day!

click to pre-order: This Face of Evil


Now a word from our sponsor:

We survived – or at least that’s what it looks like. We’ve been through a lot this past year, for the first time in maybe forever, we have all been in the battle together. And we won! Yeah, for us. Three huzzahs. Our thoughts go to those families that lost someone, and to those that will never know what their future could have been. Sometimes humans need to be reminded how delicate and fragile life really is. Hug your family, have lunch with friends, dream of that vacation . . .


Now, get back to work, we have a much to repair.


Lots of great things have happened this year to me and here at Windsor Hill Publishing—and others are promised.


Chicago Boogie Woogie was published in February. For those that know Detective Tony Alfano, his latest case takes him from Chicago to Hollywood to chase down a killer. Yes Hollywood, film fantasyland for the incredible 1930s. The reviews are great. Get it here.


Two books are being studied by my wonderful agent, Kimberley Cameron. Both with new and modern characters, as well as exotic settings. You will not be disappointed. More as they develop.


This October it’s twins. 

What can I say . . . What better way to celebrate a new character (actually two!) than to release two books on the same day – October 5, 2021. Introducing OSS Captain Max Adler and MI6 agent Sophie Norcross. I’ve worked on these two novels for the last five years (more like forever). Both are chockablock full of action, adventure, politics, Nazis, Rome, Paris, Cairo, London, Chicago – what a ride. These novels have been promised for the last two years – and finally they are here. Pre-order at Amazon, send me a message if you want a reviewable copy, go to my website for more information (www.gregorycrandall.info). They will make great Christmas presents.

click to pre-order: This Face of Evil


And a reminder that all the other characters in the Gregory C. Randall universe are waiting for you. There are the seven Sharon O’Mara action-adventure thrillers, the three Alex Polonia international thrillers, and the aforementioned Detective Tony Alfano stories that take you back to 1933.


Have a great and safe summer.


Look for me on Facebook (become my friend), send me an email at rpd@lmi.net, or just pick up one of my novels and get lost in the worlds that I have created.


Stay Tuned: