Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ten Literary People on the Web that you Absolutely Need to Know


Smokey, my friend, you are entering a world of pain.

The great thing about the web is that its a never-ending source of hidden treasures. It's also renewable. You won't be done discovering the marvels is has to offer and another layer of equally great people, sites or sources of information. Today, since I don't have anything constructive to say about myself, I'll introduce you to ten of my favorite literary people on the internet. A writer never has enough interesting people to hang around and after I'm done with this post you will want them hanging around you too.


Jed Ayres: One of the mad geniuses of crime and the mind behind the Noir at the Bar public readings (who are now all over the United States). Two of his short stories, A FUCKLOAD OF SCOTCH TAPE and VISCOSITY are being adapted to film right now and will hopefully give him the spotlight he deserves. His world is full of hairy biker-types and awesomely violent people in general. If I had half of Jed's creativity, my head would explode. He blogs at Hardboiled Wonderland.


Ingrid: The three girls behind The Blue Bookcase are awesome, but I have a weak spot for Ingrid for she's the female Rambo of book reviewers. She reviews books from the likes of Joan Didion, Louise Erdrich and Cormac McCarthy (This particular book), works that are often avoided by book reviewers. Her eyes probably bleed from the intellectual effort sometimes, but that's what puts her ahead. She's one of the only reviewers I never miss.


Allan Guthrie: If crime fiction is nearing another golden age, it's because of people like Allan. He's a bestselling writer (seriously, try BYE BYE BABY), a successful agent and an ePublisher all at once. I suspect Allan has eight pair of arms, six brains and needs about twenty minutes of sleep a night to for optimal functioning. If you're looking for new writers that will blow your mind, visit his publishing company's website, Blasted Heath. Unlike major publishers, Allan and his partner Kyle McRae don't bother with anything but great writing.

Brian Lindenmuth: If you're not closely involved with the development of the crime fiction scene, you might have overlooked Brian, because he's the quiet type. I've been working for him at Spinetingler Magazine for a few months now and I still find him mysterious. What you have to know is that he's the driving force behind Snubnose Press, who brought me AMAZING readings in the last few months. They are a small, fearless unit who aren't scared to take risks with their publications. 


Ellen Rhuddy: If Ingrid is the Rambo of female book reviewers, Ellen is the Indiana Jones. I have to admit, sometimes her blog, FAT BOOKS AND THIN WOMEN, intimidates the shit out of me. Especially her Long Reads Wednesday which always triggers deep and involving discussions. While she's more book-focused than me, I'd say she's more of a cultural blogger. FBATW is the closest thing to Dead End Follies on the web. If you like my place, you WILL like hers.



David Cranmer: Beat to a Pulp Publishing is a fascinating animal. Unlike other pulp venues, it doesn't focus only on crime fiction and extremely violent stuff. BTAP (for the initiates) captures the whole bouquet of Men's Adventure Magazines. Noir, Hardboiled, Westerns, Science-Fiction or straight up adventure, David only publishes the wildest, most original stuff. He made a name for himself to only accept the highest quality work and it shows because both his web sites and his books rock.


Craig Clevenger: Some of you might know him already, some might not. He had impressive success already with his novel THE CONTORTIONIST'S HANDBOOK. When Lit Reactor came alive last Fall, I found a new place to spend hours on. They had the best literary news and the best writing advice pieces on the internet. More often than not, I found myself reading Clevenger's pieces, which I found incredibly precise and helpful. He's my favorite writing-advice person next to Donald Maass (and you know me. I don't have many writing-advice people I like). He's a regular contributor to Lit Reactor and you can find his essays here.


Jennifer Hillier: She's 1) a great writer and 2) runs a blog you want to follow if you're looking to get in the business yourself and have two cents of perspective on what you do. Th best part of it is that Jennifer is not even awar of how valuable her work is to unpublished writers. On The Serial Killer Files, she chronicled her journey from total unknown to big six published writer in diary-style entries. If you're looking to succeed with your pen and have a mind of your own, you might understand that there is PRECIOUS INSIGHT to be picked up there. Like I said, the best part is that it's 100% candid.


Vincent Zandri: This is a writer with a huge cultural importance that will be understood better as time goes on. On his blog The Vincent Zandri Vox, he chronicles his fall from grace as a big six author and his reinvention through eBooks, small time publishing companies and ultimately up to a deal with Thomas & Mercer, Amazon's publishing company. Vincent Zandri beat the publishing game and therefore his online presence is a testament to the fact that ePublishing IS a revolution and that you can use its elements to succeed as long as you stay smart. Plus, his posts have a huge motivational value.


Kent Gowran: With his colleagues Sabrina Ogden and Ron Earl Phillips, he created Shotgun Honey, an eZine that takes more and more of an important place as months go by. Its peculiar format (700 words and less), makes it somewhat of a samples-bar of crime fiction. I've became fan of so many authors that were published there, it's not even funny. On top of that, Kent is one of the most original writers in hardboiled fiction, but he's very modest about that, so you'll have to seek it. If you're interested, they are listed on his personal site. I can't recommend it enough as he's one of my favorite short story writers.

23 comments:

  1. well, i trust your taste so i am very curious to check these out. i read Ellen's blog and love it!

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  2. Heh! I almost included you into this top 10 Petya, but we don't know each other well enough yet! Maybe in the second one.

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  3. Oh man, Ben. You just made my day. Thank you! Also funny to read, because so many of YOUR posts intimidate the shit out of ME.

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  4. Oh, come on! I am SO unintimidating. I'm just peculiar, like my mom always say.

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  5. Thanks for this list! I agree, Ellen and Ingrid are on their game. Ellen especially can review the shit out of a book. Sometimes I don't even comment on her reviews because anything I have to say will only be half as intelligent of what she just covered.

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  6. See Brenna, here's the thing I found out while commenting. It's prescribed to comment as much as you can, but I came to disagree. I don't comment all the time on her reviews either. I only do it when I have something to add.

    For example, I read your review of THE SNOW CHILD, but I don't know anything about it outside of what you have written. So I gave up on the "Interesting..." comments, you know? I will read it eventually and then we'll be able to discuss it.

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    1. Ben, I feel the same way. I don't like to comment just for the sake of a comment. Hence my lack of commenting on a lot of your reviews lately. I read them but since I'm not familiar with many of the authors I don't feel like I have anything constructive to contribute.

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  7. Just followed the few who I don't already. Cheers, Ben!!

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  8. Ben! You are the best!! I question myself a lot but it's awesome people like you that keep me going.

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  9. Questioning oneself is a very healthy outlook on life, dear.

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  10. hey, thank you very much, Ben. You are way too kind, and it is much appreciated.

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  11. A lot of you guys are undermining your own value. I've started from nothing two years ago and if I have the tiniest bit of success as a writer and as a reviewer, knowing the ten of you (even Craig C. who I don't know personally) had something to do with it.

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  12. There's a lot of talent that you are highlighting here sir! Good of you to give them some shout outs, whether or not they are aware of it.

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  13. Thanks for this. I've just added a few new blogs to my reader

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  14. Great list - as someone who still doesn't feel very connected to the blogging community, it's great to be pointed in the direction of some awesome people; I shall check out all their sites and look forward to losing a few hours of my e-life!

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  15. Hey man. I won't lie to you. There's a lot of crap out there. I'm trying to keep the stuff I promote here targeted towards an audience that want to challenge themselves, but there are all kinds of different people in the end. I pride myself in being a window to different parts of the blogosphere and I'll be happy if I help you get what you seek.

    I suscribed to your blog too. Looking forward to your posts.

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  16. I am so unbelievably flattered to have made this list! Thanks Ben. :)

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  17. Interesting & Useful & Funny to read, Ben. I only knew about half of your suggestions, so I guess I'm in for a treat as I'm about to check out the missing ones!
    There's a lot of stuff out there and so little time to spare, on an average day, so being able to reach the cream of the crop in just a few clicks is a lot of value to me.

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  18. Right on Ben...Thanks for the nod in this...Very cool and much appreciated...
    Vin

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  19. Some good choices here, but Jed Ayres was not the first mind behind Noir at the Bar, and he has gracefully and amusingly acknowledged this. How about calling me the infection that is Noir at the Bar, and Jed one the sluts who is doing his best to spread it?
    =======================================
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
    http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

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  20. My bad, sir. Jed indeed contacted me about that when I posted the article. Good thing you commented.

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  21. Thanks. And thanks for this list. I know some of the folks on it, but you've also introduced to some people I didn't know before.

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  22. spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

    Lee Shin
    www.trendone.net

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