Archive for July, 1998

F.O.M.A.C. Newsletter – July 1998

Wednesday, July 1st, 1998

Dear F.O.M.A.C. (friends/family/fans of Max Allan Collins),

This will be a somewhat brief edition of the newsletter, as to write it I’m stealing time from the new Nate Heller, the deadline for which looms (August 1). This one is — thus far, anyway — entitled MAJIC MAN and deals with Roswell.

This year has been (and will be) jam-packed with work. Already delivered is THE TITANIC MURDERS, which will be a paperback original from Berkley Books next April; the title to some degree speaks for itself, but be advised that it is to the Agatha Christie mystery what the Heller books are to the Hammett/Chandler/Spillane school. Every character — including the detective and the suspects and even the murder victims — in THE TITANIC MURDERS are figures from history.

When the Heller has been delivered, I am off to Des Moines for a week of post-production work on the new film project, “Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane,” a documentary on the great man. The rest of August and a little of September will be devoted to the FLYING BLIND book tour (info follows!); the rest of the year will be devoted to the movie-tie-in novel of THE MUMMY (from the author of MOMMY — THE MUMMY!) and, I hope, the screenplay for another independent film, if the backing comes through (not a “Mommy,” though, expect to see such “family” members as Phil Dingeldein and Steve Henke behind the camera, and Patty McCormack, Mike Cornelison and Rachel Lemieux in front of it).

FLYING BLIND charts the meeting (and more) of Nate Heller and Amelia Earhart. I believe this to be the best of all the Hellers, including STOLEN AWAY; but the opinion that really counts is yours. Also on the stands are the paperback of DAMNED IN PARADISE and a particularly interesting movie tie-in, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, my first war novel; I like it a lot and there’s a good chance you will, too.

U.S. MARSHALS is still out there, and again, I urge you not to avoid these dreaded “novelizations.” I write these with both hands on the keyboard and both eyes open, and my brain fully engaged, so check ’em out. The novel of MOMMY’S DAY is out and has done very well, though not hitting as many bestseller lists as MOMMY.

Also out is ROAD TO PERDITION, which has been nicely received, the first printing sold out, but there may not be a second printing of this epic graphic novel about a prohibition era hitman and his son; so grab it when you see it. It’s the best comics work I’ve ever done, and who knows? It could be my comics swan song.

Barb and I have sold our first novel — to Leisure Books — and Barb is working on the first draft; I will take the second “pass.” It’s an expansion of our short story, “Regeneration,” which will appear in the next HOT BLOOD. We hope this will open a whole new phase of collaboration for us.

Barb has short stories appearing in the anthologies LETHAL LADIES II, STREETS OF BLOOD, and MARILYN: SHADES OF BLONDE.

The movies “Mommy” and “Mommy’s Day” are finally available at sell-through prices, but distribution (from VCI) has thus far been spotty. There are two versions: “plain jane” (just the movie); and widescreen collector’s edition (each movie plus a Patty McCormack interview, coming attractions trailer, still photo gallery). Info on purchasing the videos directly from M.A.C. Productions follows.

My displeasure with the Bogart-style reading of Sunset Productions’ DAMNED IN PARADISE has led to me reading the books myself in the Rock Island studio of Greg Ballard, who did sound design on “Mommy’s Day.” The long-out of-print TRUE DETECTIVE is available in an excellent, long abridgment; and I’ve done TRUE CRIME, with FLYING BLIND up next; also, Patty McCormack has read both MOMMY and MOMMY’S DAY for Sunset.

Nate (Collins, not Heller) has designed a F.O.M.A.C. web page; his proud parents think he’s done a terrific job. If you’re online, check it out, at And my e-mail address is anti-spam e-mail image.

Recently I was elected president of the Iowa Motion Picture Association. For some reason, my friends in California seem unimpressed.

Oh, and my band Crusin’ seems to be back together; we’re getting ready for our gig at the ’99 Bouchercon in Milwaukee. My musical cohort Paul Thomas and I may be compiling a “best of” collection soon, gathering recordings from as far back as 1967 and making the various songs from the “Mommy” movies available on CD for the first time. It will be a limited edition of 200 and F.O.M.A.C. will be first in line. Whether that’s a threat or a promise is up to you.

Hope to see you on the tour!