Steve Ulfelder

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AA Procedural: Lawrence Block’s A Drop of the Hard Stuff

Posted by on Apr 13, 2011 in Reading, Writing |

A Drop of the Hard StuffBy Lawrence BlockMulholland Books How’s this for daunting? May 10, I fulfill a lifelong dream by publishing my first novel. Purgatory Chasm introduces amateur sleuth Conway Sax. He’s a recovering alcoholic, and AA is tightly woven into (indeed, inseparable from) the story. Two days later, there’s another novel...

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The TBR shelf, worth-a-thousand-words style

Posted by on Jun 23, 2010 in Reading |

Thing is, I do have a Kindle. But I prefer hardcopy for biography and history (hence the U.S. Grant, Dylan and Churchill); Joe Finder was available to autograph Vanished for me, and I couldn’t turn that down; and Day One, by my pal Bill Cameron, has generated so much buzz and praise that I knew hardcover was the way to go on that...

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Godspeed, Travis McGee

Posted by on Jun 15, 2010 in Reading, Writing | 3 comments

For some time after the great John D. MacDonald died in 1986, there were rumors he’d written a final Travis McGee novel in which McGee – hero of MacDonald’s best-known work, boat bum, under-the-table salvage expert, knight in rusty armor on a swaybacked steed – died himself. The rumors persisted, veered and flared awhile, as rumors...

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In which I stock up on nonfiction

Posted by on Oct 9, 2009 in Reading |

I don’t like to read fiction while I’m writing it – I find myself unconsciously aping my favorite writers. (I can flip through my first book and say That’s a James Ellroy sentence, or That’s a Travis McGee-style minor character.) I need to be reading at all times, so the solution is to load up on nonfiction for the six or eight...

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In like a lion

Posted by on Mar 1, 2009 in Palaver, Reading |

Ouch. February was truly a lame month for el blog. March will be much better. Random notes, some of which I’ll elaborate on soon in meatier posts: I came, I saw, I Kindled! Took delivery of my Kindle 2 the other night. I won’t issue a verdict until I’ve used it more, but my initial impression is very favorable. Amazon paid Apple-like...

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Books, lists, mortality

Posted by on Dec 28, 2008 in Palaver, Reading |

Years ago, when I left my cushy feature-writing job for the wilds of freelancing, one of the many benefits was the ability to see a movie by myself at 12:30 on a weekday afternoon (without lying to my boss, that is), a practice I loved, love, and will always love. After a year or so, in an effort to quantify and thus better appreciate this bennie, I began...

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