Monday, 10 April 2017

Inner Ghosts

This week our sister blog, Behind The Walls of Nightmare, is featuring a Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming feature film INNER GHOSTS.

Selected to the Work in Progress section of the 2016 Frontières Co-Production Market at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, this film is written by Paulo Leite and directed by João Alves. It stars Celia Williams, Elizabeth Bochmann, and Norman MacCallum. 

To find out more, check out Behind the Walls of Nightmare!

Monday, 3 April 2017

A Little Change of Pace

Yesterday I took a little break from routine and drove in to Ottawa for the semi-annual Community Record Show at St. Anthony's Hall. As those of you know who follow this blog, I love attending this show and always come home with a pile of vinyl to add to my collection.

Last October I missed the show, so I was especially looking forward to the spring version. Here's a small sample of my purchases:


One objective is to fill holes in my collection, and another is to take a chance on stuff I've never heard of before. We have a little of both here.

The Nighthawks are a Washington, DC-based blues-rock band especially known for their live performances, which is what this album captures. Although you can't see it in the pic, the album cover is autographed by the band members and dated "Ottawa 82." $2.50. How could I resist?

"Home" was Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett's first album, their only one with Stax, the legendary groove label ($2.50). Canadian guitarist Domenic Troiano was the guy whose band backfilled for Ronny Hawkins when Levon Helm and the rest set off to seek their fortune as The Band ($2.50). "The Three" is an interesting soul/jazz recording featuring Joe Sample (the Crusaders), Ray Brown and Shelly Manne. This is the NY Inner City Records release of the Japanese recording ($5.00). "Oblique," issued in 1985, has been described as one of the best recordings to come out of the Netherlands. They were a latter-day progressive rock band led by Gerard Stokkink and Tommy Backmann ($5.00). New to me.

A great way to relax and have an afternoon's fun for not a lot of money!

Monday, 27 March 2017

BURN COUNTRY - Another Milestone Reached!

It's always exciting to review the proof copy of a new novel from the printer, and this time was no exception, particularly given how long I've waited for it!

As you can see, the paperback version of BURN COUNTRY, the second March and Walker Crime Novel, is now a reality.

Don't forget, if you want a review copy, check out our previous post to find out how to obtain one.

I can't wait to get out on the road to start selling BURN COUNTRY. I think you're going to like it.

Monday, 20 March 2017

BURN COUNTRY is Now Available for Review!

BURN COUNTRY, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2015 Hammett Prize finalist SORROW LAKE, is now available for review.

The Plaid Raccoon Press is pleased to make review copies available in paperback or eBook format (mobi for Kindle, ePub, or PDF).

If you are a journalist who reviews books for print or electronic media, an online book blogger who reviews crime fiction, or a fellow published author interested in providing a testimonial, please contact us at the e-mail address below to obtain a print or eBook review copy.

If you post reviews to Amazon, contact us and we will arrange to send you a courtesy review copy for your Kindle device.

If you post reviews to Goodreads, send us an e-mail and let us know which eBook format you'd like!

Contact us at theplaidraccoonpress@mjmccann.com and let us know you're interested!

Read the back cover blurb here: http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.ca/2017/02/burn-country-whats-story.html

Monday, 13 March 2017

BURN COUNTRY - Why Has It Taken So Long?

If you've read SORROW LAKE, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, you probably noticed the back-page ad stating that BURN COUNTRY, the second story in the series, would be coming out in the spring.

Spring last year, that is. Now that BURN COUNTRY is in full production mode and will be published this spring, you may wonder what caused the delay.

In fact, the title was ready to be produced last June. However, not long after the announcement that SORROW LAKE would be a finalist for the Hammett Prize for best crime novel, I was contacted by the acquiring editor of a major New York publisher who inquired about the US rights for SORROW LAKE and the North American rights for BURN COUNTRY.  I won't say which publisher, but let's just say this acquiring editor is extremely well known for her work in the US with Scandinavian noir in translation and that Amanda Hocking, the very successful paranormal romance author I studied closely when deciding to become an independent several years ago, had blazed a glorious trail to this particular publisher back then. I was very excited.

They held onto the manuscript of BURN COUNTRY through the rest of 2016. Once the winner of the Hammett Prize was announced at the end of October and Lisa Sandlin had gone home with the statue, I thought my chances had dimmed significantly, but still no word. Finally, I queried in December but received no response. A month ago, in February, I queried again and was told the publisher was not adding any new authors to their list at this time. I said thanks, and the next day obtained an ISBN for BURN COUNTRY to start the production process.

Essentially the publisher took out an option on the story while the Hammett Prize process unfolded, and afterward lost interest. I completely get it. While writing is a joy and a passion for me, publishing is a business. Understood. I wish I was a better businessman, I guess.

At any rate, explanation completed. Those of you who have waited patiently for more than a year to find out what happens next with Ellie March and Kevin Walker, I thank you very, very much. I hope you'll like what happens next!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Rural Policing in Ontario

Photo (c) Michael J. McCann
How does a large-scale police bureaucracy deliver effective service in a thinly-populated rural area?

BURN COUNTRY, the second March and Walker crime novel, continues to follow detectives of the Ontario Provincial Police featured in SORROW LAKE as they investigate homicides occurring in rural/small town settings.

Ontario is the most populated province in Canada, and it includes this nation's largest city, Toronto, and fourth largest city, Ottawa--our nation's capital.  This province is also the fourth largest in terms of area in square kilometres. While the larger municipalities in Ontario have their own police service, of course, the OPP's jurisdiction outside these metropolitan areas covers over one million square kilometres and well over two million people. As a result, the OPP is one of the largest police services in North America, with more than 6,200 uniformed officers.

As Kevin Walker reflects as he rushes out to the crime scene at the beginning of BURN COUNTRY,  the OPP Leeds County Crime Unit is responsible for investigating criminal offenses in "a rural jurisdiction covering 2,100 square kilometres with only 35,000 inhabitants scattered along county roads and back lanes that hooked and bent around countless lakes, swamps, and rivers. "

One of the questions explored in this series, then, is how such a large police bureaucracy with such an extensive mandate can still deliver effective service to a thinly-populated rural area like Leeds County.

Detective Inspector Ellie March, born and raised in Toronto, is a resource assigned out of OPP General Headquarters to lead the investigation of major cases in East Region, including homicides. Detective Constable Kevin Walker, on the other hand, was born and raised in Leeds County and comes to the crime unit from a defunct local village police service. Together, they represent the meeting point between a large, bureaucratic force and its individual boots-on-the-ground.

Readers who enjoyed Henning Mankell's portrayal of rural policing in Sweden in Faceless Killers, for example, his first Kurt Wallander novel, will want to see how it's done in Canada. BURN COUNTRY will be available for review in two weeks.

Monday, 27 February 2017

BURN COUNTRY - What's The Story?

As I've mentioned in past posts, one of the things I enjoy watching people do at craft shows and art festivals is walk up to my table, pick up a copy of one of my books and turn it over to read the back cover blurb.

Is there any better way to get a quick sense of what the book is about, and whether or not you might be interested in reading it?

With that in mind, I'm happy to present the back cover of BURN COUNTRY, the much-anticipated sequel to 2015 Hammett Prize finalist Sorrow Lake. Enjoy!