Hey, all! Chris Holm here. Wait. Who?
Oh, right. Since this is my first official post as a contributor to Maine Crime Writers, I should probably introduce myself. Here’s my fancypants official bio:
Chris Holm is an award-winning short-story writer whose work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011. His critically acclaimed trilogy of Collector novels, which blends fantasy with old-fashioned crime pulp, appeared on over forty Year’s Best lists. He lives in Portland, Maine.
One or two of you might read that and think, “Oh, I remember that guy from his guest posts, or Maine Crime Wave. He’s the one who writes the weird stuff.” And it’s true, my Collector series tips more toward fantasy than crime. So what the heck am I doing here?
The fact is, my most of my short fiction is straight-up crime. The first story I ever published was in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Doyle, Poe, and Christie were among my earliest literary loves. And as it happens, my upcoming novel, THE KILLING KIND, returns me to my criminal roots—it’s a big ol’ thriller, with nary a supernatural element to be found.
THE KILLING KIND, which comes out September 15th from Mulholland Books, is the story of Michael Hendricks. He kills people for money—but that aside, he’s not so bad a guy. Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the U.S. military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life—and beloved fiancée—and set out on a path of redemption… or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.
Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts: he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he’ll make sure whoever’s coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living—but a great way to make himself a target.
It’s early yet, but thus far, buzz has been good. David Baldacci called THE KILLING KIND “a story of rare, compelling brilliance.” Chelsea Cain said, “THE KILLING KIND crackles with muscle and moxie and wit. I will read it again and again.” (Bonus points to Chelsea for inadvertently referencing Maine’s State Soft Drink!) And according to Joseph Finder, “THE KILLING KIND is sleek and smart, and will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.”
Mighty kind of them to say, particularly because I’m such a fan of theirs. I’d like to think it’s because I wrote a terrific book—but chances are, they were just relieved to open their advance copy and discover it wasn’t more weird stuff.
Speaking of advance copies, my publisher will be giving away 500 of them at BEA this year, and I’ll be on hand to sign ’em. If you’re attending, be sure to grab one! And if you can’t attend, maybe next post I’ll give a few away. I expect I’ll give some copies away on Facebook and Twitter in the coming months as well, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you’d like a sneak peek, you can download Publishers Marketplace’s free Buzz Books 2015 sampler to read an excerpt of THE KILLING KIND and thirty-two other upcoming releases!
Can’t wait to read your posts on MCW, Chris! And I’ll preorder my copy of The Killing Kind, asap. On another topic: nice PR photo for a tough crime writer. You may recall that I have a picture of you. It shows me, a sweet little old gray-haired lady, and a lovely young man with a warm, open smile who obviously teaches Sunday School. For a small consideration, I might be willing to part with this photo…..?
Welcome to Maine Crime Writers blog, Chris. Looking forward to The Killing Kind and to your future posts.
Heidi, the favorable lighting of that author photo aside, I’m pretty sure I can give you a run for your money when it comes to gray hairs. And your attempts at blackmail won’t work. Anyone who reads your fiction won’t be fooled by your sweet exterior. We know what darkness lies within.
And thanks, Kathy! I’m delighted to be on board.
Looking forward to ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT weird stuff from you, sir.
Shh, Steve. We don’t want to spook the crime-fic folk.
Weird is good if it is written by Chris. Actually, I did not find The Collector books weird, at all. Fascinating and well-written, oh yeah.
I am so looking forward to The Killing Kind.
Kind of you to say, Brenda! I confess, the crime-fic community has been wonderfully supportive of the Collector books on the whole. But every time I do an event, someone either tells me, “Oh, I don’t read that sort of book,” or asks “When are you going to write a normal novel?” So I now consider them contractually obligated to go buy THE KILLING KIND.
Enjoyed meeting you at Maine Crime Wave, Chris — welcome to Maine Crime Writers! Sometimes we all need a little weirdness … and maybe even a hitman!
Thanks, Lea! Let’s HOPE you don’t need a hitman… and in completely unrelated news, have I mentioned how nice you look today?
Welcome, Chris! I’m so excited about you and Brenda Buchanan joining us. And I look forward to The Killing Kind.
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Great post, Chris! Glad we met at Maine Crime Wave and look forward to seeing you again soon (New England Crime Bake?). Will definitely be picking up a copy of The Killing Kind!
Thanks, L.C.! I’ll see you at Crime Bake for sure. Looking forward to it!