Tuesday, March 24, 2015

THE KILLING KIND a Library Journal Prepub Pick!

Two posts in one day? Madness, I say! But this Library Journal piece naming THE KILLING KIND a Prepub Pick for September is too cool not to share, not least because it'll probably be the only time I'm mentioned in the same breath as Salman Rushdie and J.M. Coetzee.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog silence...

David Baldacci on THE KILLING KIND

I confess, when I saw this blurb in my inbox yesterday, I was floored:
"With THE KILLING KIND, Chris Holm has created a story of rare, compelling brilliance with a concept so high you'll need oxygen to finish it. Hit man against hit man, one pure silk and evil, the other not exactly good, but we root for him anyway as the classic antihero. This is a one-sitting extravagant, mind-blowing reading pleasure with a stable of characters who come across as all flesh, bone and folly. You will never look at men hired to kill other humans the same way. You won't merely read this book, you will inhale it."
-David Baldacci, New York Times bestselling author of ABSOLUTE POWER and MEMORY MAN
I've been a fan of Baldacci's since I read his debut, ABSOLUTE POWER, way back in '96. To know that he enjoyed THE KILLING KIND is quite a thrill. Many thanks, David, for your kindness and generosity.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Left Coast Crime Update

Left Coast Crime is days away, and there've been some last-minute updates to my schedule. Remember when I said I'd be front-and-center for Katrina Niidas Holm's panel? Turns out I was off by a few feet, because I'll actually be on Katrina's panel. See, Bill Loehfelm couldn't make it to Left Coast Crime, so the organizers tapped Lou Berney for the panel. Unfortunately, Lou just had to cancel, too, so now Katrina's stuck with me—and I'm stuck feeling like I just signed on to play drums for Spinal Tap.

In addition, I'll be co-hosting a table at the banquet with the insanely talented Hilary Davidson. If you'd like to break bread with us—and maybe take home some fun freebies—don't forget to sign up when you register!

So, barring disaster, here's where you'll find me:

Make Up Your Mind: Writing in More Than One Genre
Friday, 3/13 at 10:15AM in the Holladay Room
Chris Holm (Moderator)
D.J. Adamson
Heather Ames
S.G. Redling
Sheila Simonson

Pants on Fire: A Liars Panel
Saturday, 3/14 at 10:15AM in the Multnomah Room
Simon Wood (Moderator)
Chris Holm
Jess Lourey
Catriona McPherson
Johnny Shaw

Sweet & Lowdown: A Cozy/Noir Summit
Saturday, 3/14 at 11:30AM in the Oregon Room
Katrina Niidas Holm (Moderator)
Hannah Dennison
Chris Holm
Josh Stallings
Marty Wingate

Awards Banquet Table
Saturday, 3/14 at 7:00PM
Co-hosting with Hilary Davidson

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 02, 2015


I've had a charmed run when it comes to covers. The distressed, Penguin-inspired covers for the Collector trilogy beautifully evoke the dime store paperbacks that inspired the series, and garnered no shortage of praise. So the cover for THE KILLING KIND had a lot to live up to.

Lucky for me, Mulholland is no slouch in the design department. Duane Swierczynski's CANARY practically screams to be picked up. The cover for Lauren Beukes' BROKEN MONSTERS is as eerie and unsettling as the novel itself. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention J.J. Abrams' and Doug Dorst's S., which may well be the prettiest book I've ever seen.

But in covers, as in life, there are no guarantees. So how's THE KILLING KIND stack up? Find out after the jump...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Maine Crime Wave 2015

Last year's inaugural Maine Crime Wave proved a huge success. I'm happy to report that it's back for a second year, and this year's program is even more ambitious than last!

The festivities kick off on Friday, April 10 at the Portland Public Library with Two Minutes in the Slammer. Attendees are invited to read a short passage of their own work (!), and the best readings will earn an award from the crack team of judges. (This is a truly one-of-a-kind event, and I would have killed to participate when I was starting out.) Then, anyone who wants can grab dinner/drinks out with one of Maine Crime Wave's featured writers (including yours truly.) Anyone who'd like to participate in the reading or one of the dinners can RSVP here.

Then, on Saturday, April 11, join me, Kate Flora, Paul Doiron, Gerry Boyle, Barbara Ross, and many more at the University of Southern Maine's Glickman Library in Portland for a day of panels, workshops, and critiques. I'll be participating in a panel on the business of writing, as well as leading one of the four hourlong workshops. The workshops are included in the registration fee, and the schedule is set up such that every registrant will have the opportunity to attend two of them. I went to Julia Spencer-Fleming's last year, and it was terrific. Here's the details for mine:
How to Play Fair with Your Mystery and Still Ratchet Up the Suspense 
Thomas Hood once said, “The easiest reading is damned hard writing,” and never is that truer than in crime fiction. Whether you’re penning a cozy mystery or a race-against-time thriller, it’s your job to dole out clues, stage reveals, and manage the pace such that an audience steeped in the genre’s conventions is kept guessing—and frantically turning pages—right up until the very end. This workshop aims to stock your toolbox with tips, tricks, and techniques to craft an exciting, unpredictable tale that hangs together well and keeps even the savviest crime fic fan reading into the wee hours.
If you're interested in attending, click through for details and registration information. And if you're on the fence, perhaps you'll be swayed by Portland's unparalleled food scene, our wealth of tasty beer, or the offerings of our stellar craft distillers. Hope to see you there!