Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Going Nuts for THE DEAD MAN

The Ginger Nuts of Horror blog loves THE DEAD MAN. They say, in part:
  Goldberg and Rabkin, have created one hell of an opener for this series.  Yes it's short, but what you get is one hell of a ride, filled with great characters, and a possible series spanning big baddie that will chill your socks off.  They manage to create a story full of gore suspense, and humour, that will grab you from the first page and won't release you from it's icy grasp until the final page.
[...]this is a punchy novel, in fact it's punchier than a Dundonian after two bottles of Buckfast.  [...]Do yourselves a favour folks and download this book now.  I guarantee you love it.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

DEAD MAN is a Refreshing Beer

The folks at Planet All-Star really liked THE DEAD MAN. They say, in part:
In all of the best ways, “The Dead Man: Face of Evil” by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin is a good, refreshing beer, solid and unpretentious and enjoyable in every way, a call back to Pendleton and Murphy/Sapir but with a distinctly modern feel.[...]Goldberg and Rabkin’s treatment of Cahill is one of the book’s strongest suits, making him a far deeper and interesting individual than is typical in the genre. Not a trained killer, far from a superman, either blessed or cursed with a supernatural ability, Cahill feels like the guy who know who’s there to jump your dead battery and has your back in a bar fight, and he’s far the more interesting for it. By the end of the story, you’re rooting for Cahill and eager for more.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dead Man #2: Ring of Knives

Coming April 4...

Matthew Cahill is an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changes everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that nobody else does. Now each day is a journey into a dark world he knows nothing about, a quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become... and a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.

DEAD MAN #2: RING OF KNIVES by James Daniels

Matt believes a madman may hold the secret to defeating Mr. Dark, the horrific jester with the rotting touch. But to reach him, Matt must infiltrate an
asylum, where he is soon caught up in a spiral of bloodshed and madness. His only chance of escaping with his life and sanity intact is to face the
unspeakable terror that awaits him deep in the asylum's fog-shrouded
woods...within the Ring of Knives.

A Strong Bookgasm from TIED IN

The reviewers at Bookgasm have given a rave review to TIED IN: THE BUSINESS, HISTORY, AND CRAFT OF MEDIA TIE-IN WRITING, which includes contributions by DEAD MAN authors Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin and Burl Barer. Here's an excerpt: 
TIED IN: THE BUSINESS, HISTORY, AND CRAFT OF MEDIA TIE-IN WRITING is a perfect book for the Bookgasm audience. When this site started, it was books like tie-in novels that were the impetus, since at the time, no other places would dare cover them. Edited by Lee Goldberg, this collection of essays and interviews gives a wide overview of those books that populate countless bookstores, supermarket aisles and airport gift shops.[...]One of the best essays deals with a movie barely anyone saw, as Burl Barer explains how he filled massive plot holes when writing the novelization of STEALTH — you know, the movie where a plane has a mind of its own. [...]These are just a few of the pieces that make up this fascinating look into books which most people just think of as guilty pleasures. But we here at Bookgasm have nothing but love for them. 

Praising The Dead

THE DEAD MAN keeps winning praise in the blogosphere. Tomb It May Concern said, among other things:
What stood out to me here is that authors Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin aren't really shooting, so far, for Mack Bolan's title, but the prose the pair wield is like one guy holding a pump shotgun and the other a sniper rifle. Sex. Violence. Gore. Humor.  It all works. The plot rolls with a surprising ease and doesn't offer up cardboard characters just blasting away.  
I'm ready to read and enjoy...and learn a bit...about how to be so accurate with the right way to get a reader involved.  Both are novelists and work in the TV series paperback field and I think both styles are on show here.  The Dead Man is a perfect novelette in a can, ready to be adapted by whatever cable channel is ready to mix equal parts soulful sexual pounding with pulse smashing pulp action and a touch of horror.
The folks over at Might Blowhole had a good old time reading the book.
Very well-written and fast-moving, with suitable gore and some effective creepiness (chapter 7 could work as a very scary short story all by itself) and good action scenes. There's a lot of humor, too, but it's handled the right way; it doesn't compromise the horror or the action.
Wag the Fox blog liked the down-to-earth elements of the first book in the series...
The book carries a blue-collar charm that provides a nice counter-balance to the more fantastical and gruesome elements of the story.[...]The book is a short novel, running probably closer to novella in length. And that's kind of a kick in the teeth, since the book only offers a small measure of closure in the time the story is told. This is the first book in a series, though. As such, it feels like the season premiere to a very promising show.  
We really appreciate all the great reviews and look forward to bringing you many more DEAD MAN books over the months to come.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Scribes Among The Dead

Mark Ellis (aka "James Axler"), the writer/creator of Gold Eagle's enormously successful OUTLANDERS series will be penning a DEAD MAN book. And if anybody knows this genre inside and out, it's him.

We're also pleased to welcome Lisa Klink, an acclaimed TV writer/producer on shows like STAR TREK VOYAGER, ROSWELL, MARTIAL LAW and MISSING who we've lured to print for a DEAD MAN novel..

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DEAD MAN has a Bookgasm

Bruce Grossman at Bookgasm praised THE DEAD MAN today, saying that "I've not seen a writing tandem like this since the glory days of Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy."

We are extremely flattered by the review. The comparison means a lot to us. We were not only big fans of the "Destroyer" novels, but we had the good fortune of working with Warren Murphy many years ago on the TV series "Murphy's Law," which was loosely based on his "Trace" and "Digger" novels. We have remained friends, and admirers, of Warren's ever since.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top Suspense Giveaway

0300 Top Suspense_'13'_10 Hold on tight for a literary thrill-ride into the wickedly clever, frightening, and exhilarating world of  Top Suspense, a sizzling collaboration of twelve master storytellers at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales...including DEAD MAN authors Bill Crider, Joel Goldman, Harry Shannon, and Lee Godlberg.

This unforgettable anthology – packed full of cold-blooded killers, erotic tension, shady private eyes, craven drug dealers, vicious betrayals, crafty thieves, and shocking twists – is coming out on APRIL 1 and is only a taste of the thrills you will find in the breathtakingly original ebooks by these authors at

But you can get a FREE ADVANCE READING your e-format of choice.

Here’s all you have to do:

1. Send me an email tot with the subject FREE TOP SUSPENSE BOOK and give me your name and the address of your website or blog (don’t have one? That’s okay. Read on).
2. Agree to post a review, positive or negative (but with no spoilers!) on your blog, website, Goodreads page, Facebook page, or the Amazon listing for TOP SUSPENSE in the next 60 days. (You don't have to buy the book on Amazon to review it there, you only need to have an account).
3. Email me a copy of the review or a link to the post.

Each Top Suspense author has been alotted just 25 copies to giveaway (so that gives us 100 between the four of us), so if you're interested, you'd better hurry. And once you get your book,  sit back, bite down on a piece of strong leather, and prepare to get hit by some gale-force suspense and writing so sharp it will draw blood.

DEAD MAN Hauls like a Brooligan

Today, we're guest posting about THE DEAD MAN on famed UK author/screenwriter Stephen Gallagher's terrific blog, Hauling Like a Brooligan. Stephen is a good friend of the DEAD MAN gang...several of us, namely Lee Goldberg, Joel Goldman, Bill Crider and Harry Shannon... are also teamed up with him at Top Suspense, a partnership of a dozen highly-acclaimed and successful authors. But we'll have more to say about that, and the upcoming Top Suspense anthology, very soon...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pulp Serenade Serenades THE DEAD MAN

Pulp Serenade, one of our favorite blogs, really enjoyed FACE OF EVIL and has very high hopes for THE DEAD MAN. They say, in part:
So, what makes me want to check back for the next installment? Matt Cahill, for one. The book begins with a stable character, one described as “a practical man, not one for pondering the philosophical meaning of things. He took events as they came.” The book ends a man who is now questioning everything around him, even his own perceptions. He’s still pragmatic, something every action hero should be (to some extent). Cahill’s character is just beginning to evolve, and I’d like to see where Goldberg, Rabkin & Co. are going to take him. 
There’s also a good amount of humor in the book. When Matt gets overwhelmed by the nightmare spinning around him, Matt’s instinct is that “he needed to chop some wood.” And as soon as he gets out of the hospital, regardless of how screwed up everything is, he still wants his two hotdogs. Humor is an organic part of his character—a sign of his pragmatism—but it’s also a clever counterpoint to the supernatural craziness that is only just beginning to build. Also, I am hoping that soon Matt’s axe skills will be used on something other than logs.
A third reason that I’m looking ahead to the other books is the lineup of authors in store for the future. More of Goldberg and Rabkin, plus James Reasoner, Bill Crider, Mel Odom, Matthew P. Mayo, Harry Shannon, Marcus Pelegrimas, David McAfee, Joel Goldman, James L. Daniels, Burl Barer, and Matt Witten. That’s one hell of a lineup in store for The Dead Man, and I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of hell they can drag Matt Cahill through. These writers span any number of genres—horror, crime, mystery, western, and more—so I am curious to see how this diversity will affect the evolution of The Dead Man series.
We hope to live up to Pulp Serenade's high expectations!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Marcus Pelegrimas Joins THE DEAD MAN

Vampire Uprising (Skinners)We're thrilled to announce that Marcus Pelegrimas has joined the team of Dead Man writers! He's written a bunch of westerns and he's the author of the pulse-pounding SKINNERS series of action/horror novels. It's like he was made to write THE DEAD MAN.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Behold the Child" .99 on Kindle

Behold the Child (Novella)The Dead Man author Harry Shannon's horrifying new novella Behold the Child is now just 99 cents on the Kindle. This horror classic first appeared in the Cemetery Dance anthology "Brimstone Turnpike."
Sam Kenzie is an LAPD cop who can't escape his obsession with a serial killer due to demons of his own...
The novella earned raves from no less than Shroud Magazine, which said:
"Behold the Child", by Harry Shannon, is the perfect mix of classic Noir and the supernatural. A maverick, burned-out cop haunted by his last city case ignores advice and a "wrong" turn en route to his retirement gig in the isolated desert town of his youth. It's dark, brooding, and reminds us that unfortunately, not everyone takes advantage of divine second chances."
Do yourself a favor and check it out now!

Lessons Learned

33 A.D.On his blog today, DEAD MAN writer David McAfee talks about self-publishing his kick-ass vampire thriller 33 A.D.(and others as well) and shares the lessons that he's learned in the last 12 months. The biggest lesson? Here it is:
The readers OWE YOU NOTHING. It’s YOU who owe THEM.
You owe them entertainment. You owe them a quality product. You owe them your gratitude and respect. They have a right to expect top quality fiction. Remember: there is no such thing as “close enough.”

More Writers Join DEAD MAN ranks

We are pleased to welcome authors Mel Odom, Matthew P. Mayo and Harry Shannon to the roster of fantastic DEAD MAN authors. But you don't have to wait for their DEAD MAN tales to sample their terrific writing.

Mel Odom's many books, under his own name and several pseudonyms, include Rancho Diablo, Loser Friendly, Lost Souls: Burning Sky, Blood Evidence, Apocalypse Dawn, Forgotten Realms: Rising Tide, Rogue Angel: Destiny, Hellgate: Exodus, and scores of others.

Matthew P. Mayo has written westerns in the Slocum and Ralph Compton series, as well as the novels The Wrong Town, and Winter's War, and award winning stories in the anthologies Steampunk'd, A Fistful of Legends, and Timeshares, to name just a few of his works.

Harry Shannon writes the acclaimed Mick Callahan mysteries, including Memorial Day and One of the Wicked, as well as the classic horror novels Daemon, Dead and Gone, and Night of the Beast.

Amazon Showcases THE DEAD MAN

Today Amazon's Kindle blog spotlighted The Dead Man...and shared our hope that the series will spark a resurrection of the men's action adventure series genre. We want to thank Amazon for their support...and all of the Dead Man fans (and fans of our crack roster of authors) who are spreading the word. Thanks to you, sales soared and we ranked #992 among all of the books on Amazon by late afternoon.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

News from the Dead

Bill Crider talked about THE DEAD MAN an an interview with the Tense Moments Blog about his career and what's in store for him:
I have a new two-book contract with St. Martin’s for Sheriff Rhodes, so I’ll be continuing that series.  I’m working on two e-book ventures, too.  One of them is Rancho Diablo, a western series, with James Reasoner and Mel Odom. The other is the Dead Man series, created by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin.  I’m excited about the possibilities for both of those ventures.
His Rancho Diablo co-writers James Reasoner and Mel Odom are also on the roster of DEAD MAN authors, which also includes Matthew P. Mayo, Joel Goldman, James Reasoner, David McAfee, James L. Daniels, Burl Barer, and Matt Witten.

The next books up in the series are HELL IN HEAVEN by Goldberg & Rabkin later this month and RING OF KNIVES by James L. Daniels in April.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Origins of THE DEAD MAN

THE DEAD MAN began as a TV series idea that Bill Rabkin & I started pitching around Hollywood over 20 years ago. Here's an excerpt from my original notes...
Bret Wallace was once a simple man, a lumberyard foreman who loved simple pleasures: a cold beer, a warm Barcalounger, and the Portland Trailblazers
Now he is a soldier in the unseen, eternal battle between good and evil...between gifted mortals and dark entities only hinted about in lore...a battle waged every day in front of our eyes...and yet we cannot see.
We all know it is there.
But only Bret Wallace can see the afflicted, and stop them before they strike.
Only Bret Wallace can defeat the Dark Man, a mysterious, supernatural figure who, with the help of his fearsome minions, lives for evil, and will do anything to stop him....and holds the secret to Bret's miraculous rebirth.
Only the Dark Man can tell Bret whether he is still a man...or the walking dead.
For Bret Wallace, each day is a journey...into a supernatural world he knows nothing about...a quest for the answers to who he is, and what he has become...and a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.

The network and studio execs always enjoyed the pitch, but we were never able to make the sale, though we came very close in the early days of the USA Network, close enough that we were compelled for some crazy reason to write the script on spec, thinking that would close the deal. Not only that, but we came up with twelve story ideas to show the idea had legs.

But for reasons I don't remember any more, it didn't happen. We filed the idea away, coming back to it every few years and remembering how much we liked it. A few months ago, I pulled the pitch and the script out again and, although my fondness for the teleplay itself had dimmed considerably, I still loved the concept and the last few lines of the pitch lingered with me...
There is good, and there is evil.
On November 12, Bret Wallace died, buried in an avalanche of snow.
On February 23rd, Bret Wallace came back to life.
Nothing has changed
There is still good, and there is still evil.
Only now... he can see it.
It suddenly occurred to me that it would be make a kick-ass series of books...and we already had the story lines for twelve of'em. It didn't take more than 30 seconds to convince Bill to go along with idea...and then I ran the notion past a few trusted friends, just to see if we were nuts. But they were as enthusiastic about it as we were.

So now, convinced that we were on to something, all we had to do was write the book that would serve as our "pilot" and the second book, which would serve as "the first episode." We scrapped the script, but kept the basic story structure, the essence of the character and, of course, the concept of the series (We also changed the hero's name from "Bret Wallace" to "Matt Cahill" because, as author James Reasoner pointed out, "Bret Wallace" was the name of THE NINJA MASTER, the hero of an action-adventure series from the 1980s).

Writing the first book, The Dead Man: Face of Evil, was an absolute blast... we had so much fun, we knew we could enjoy writing these books for a long time to come. But we also knew we wanted to work with writers the way we have done on our TV series... and to harken back to the heyday of those "men's action adventure" paperbacks, most of which were written by scores of writers, each offering their own take on the character in adventures that they came up with.

On a TV series, freelance writers get credited for their episodes. But in most "men's action adventure" book series, the freelance writers do not. Either the "original writers" are credited for every book (like Don Pendleton on MACK BOLAN or Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir on THE DESTROYER) or all the credit goes to a shared house name (like "Tabor Evans" on LONGARM, etc.) The freelance writers are buried in small type on the copyright page ("Special thanks and acknowledgment to Kevin Dangler for his contributions to this work")...if they even get mentioned at all.

But we knew we didn't want to do it that way on THE DEAD MAN. We wanted the writers credited in big type on the everyone would know it was their unique take on our character, like a singer covering someone else's song. We were eager to see what writers who we greatly admired, with similar sensibilities to ours, would do with the character and the concept. In some ways, that's the most exciting part of THE DEAD MAN to us.

So while we were still writing DEAD MAN: FACE OF EVIL, we reached out to writers we know to see if they'd be interested. Every writer we approached said "hell yes!." We gave them the twelve stories ideas we came up with two decades ago...and while a few of the writers chose them as jumping off points for their books, others came up with their own ideas.

We are now close to finishing DEAD MAN #2: HELL IN HEAVEN. After that, we've got DEAD MAN: RING OF KNIVES from James L. Daniels and THE DEAD MAN: THE DEAD WOMAN by David McAfee on deck, and books coming from my fellow Top Suspense authors Joel Goldman and Bill Crider, as well as Mel Odom, Burl Barer, Matt Witten...and, mixed in with those, probably another book or two by Bill Rabkin and me.

We can't wait to read them and, we hope, you'll soon feel the same way.