The Little Death

June 8th, 2009 by Max Allan Collins

I have just written a Mike Hammer novel for audio that will be produced this summer in Chicago by producer Carl Amari and stars Stacy Keach himself as Hammer (with a full cast). This is the second of the “NEW ADVENTURES OF MICKEY SPILLANE’S MIKE HAMMER”from Blackstone Audio. It’s called “The Little Death” and will be out in the fall of this year.

This marks several firsts, probably the least of which is me writing a script in radio format. More important is that this will be the first time Keach — who has appeared as Hammer on film more often than any other actor — will be featured in a Hammer story actually based on Spillane material. The sources are the short story “The Night I Died” by Mickey and an unproduced screenplay that I developed under Mickey’s supervision. (Interestingly, “The Night I Died” was an unproduced 1950s radio script I found in Mickey’s files years ago, which he allowed me to short-story-ize for our NAL anthology, PRIVATE EYES.)

In the Audie-nominated first installment of THE NEW ADVENTURES (not written by me), there were two episodes. When I was invited to write the second installment, I asked if we could do one story — a novel for audio. Keach and Amari loved the idea. This will be the new Hammer novel for 2009 (although THE GOLIATH BONE is due in trade paper soon from Harcourt). The next prose novel, THE BIG BANG, will be out in the spring of 2010, and is a “lost” novel from 1964 — truly vintage Spillane.

I’m thrilled about “The Little Death,” as it was my opportunity to bring the Keach TV Hammer more in line with the novels. I promise you will never have seen (or anyway, heard) Keach’s Hammer this tough.

In other news, Crusin’ is performing this Sunday, June 14, in Muscatine, IA. The concert, from 6 pm to 7:30 at the Pearl City Plaza patio (adjacent Elle’s Tea and Coffee), will cover the history of the band. In the event of rain, we will perform inside the Port City Underground restaurant. Food will be available.


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