A Week in the Life

September 15th, 2009 by Max Allan Collins

I don’t have any news to report that I can think of, but I hear all the time from people wondering how I write so much, when do I sleep, etc.

And I have frequently talked about how by nature I am lazy (a fact, not an opinion). But when I’m working, really working, I work my ass off and I work steadily. This week is a case in point. I wrote six of the seven days, taking off Friday (Barb and I went to the nearby Quad Cities and saw the very funny EXTRACT and had a nice meal and shopped). But every other day I wrote in the morning, the afternoon and later that night, spending the evening watching stuff with Barb (last week, we ran through both seasons of the wonderful MAD MEN as well as a new MIDSOMER MURDERS from England on a PAL disc).

That’s a typical week when I am in the “bunker,” really, really working. I turned out four Heller chapters (not hacked out or churned out — worked many, many hours on them, with much revision and polishing). I also did my drafts of the synopsis and first chapter for the second serial-killer book for Kensington (the first, YOU CAN’T STOP ME, will be out in March), working from Matt Clemens’ excellent rough drafts (Matt and I spent several hours discussing plot problems and tactics on that project as well).

Other things I did last week include take my 84 year-old mother out to dinner, talk Heller and historical research concerns (and original art collecting) with George Hagenauer, decide to buy the Beatles mono box and not the stereo, talk my wife into letting me buy a second new keyboard for the latest version of Crusin’ (I have now replaced two mid-’80s keyboards with current ones, a Nord and a Roland Juno) . I had no Crusin’ rehearsal last week, though I did rehearse myself several times, and bass player Chuck Bunn and I prepared (with Matt’s help) a lengthy history of the band with photos for use as promo and possibly to help get us into the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. (Daybreakers are in, but Crusin’ would like to get in separately — next year is the Crusin’s 35th anniversary.)

Speaking of which, if you’ve ever enjoyed Crusin’ over the years, live or on record/CD, go to the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association web site and nominate Crusin’ for next year’s Hall of Fame.

That’s a fairly typical week in the life, for when a major project is under way. Before you say, “Wow!”, please note that this is my job. I do not teach or go to a law office or greet at Walmart (yet).

Please observe that Nate is going to have an ongoing list of forthcoming books, right at the top, from now on — the first of many new and exciting changes here at FOMAC.


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