Hello, Bye Bye

May 24th, 2011 by Max Allan Collins
Bye Bye, Baby

Here is the cover of the new Heller – first in ten years – BYE BYE, BABY. It’s out mid-August from Forge, a hardcover. A lot of people seem to like this cover very much, and it’s certainly handsome, but I protested the lack of historical accuracy…particularly since the Heller books are noted for historical accuracy. I was also concerned about the detective centerstage who resembles Mickey Spillane (which sends a mixed, weird signal for a non-Spillane/Collins title) and who might be taken for Nate Heller…who this image resembles not a bit. Heller is more a Peter Gunn type at this age and stage.

There were a number of photos taken at the cover photo shoot that I liked a lot better, but there was concern that the model looked too overtly like Marilyn, whose image is copyrighted or trademarked or something. I may be able to share some of this photos with you later.

Don’t mean to be complaining, because a great deal of effort went into this and, as I say, a lot of people think it’s strong.

I hope everybody’s out there reading the new Mike Hammer, KISS HER GOODBYE. We’ve already had a lot of great reviews, but here are some nice ones at Goodreads.

And I was really pleased by this insightful KISS HER GOODBYE review at “Ed’s Blog” (not Ed Gorman, surprisingly!).

Also, Matt Clemens and I received a terrific review of the second Harrow, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, at Kindle Taproom.

Here’s an interesting blog post about Sally Rand, dealing in part with my use of her as a character in a number of the Nate Heller books (and complimentary about how I did so). This comes at a funny moment, since I’m working on the new Heller right now (the JFK book) and Sally Rand (aka Helen Beck) is back. She is, in fact, the love interest – a man and a woman in their late fifties having sex…romantic or sickening? Your call.

Here’s an odd list that ROAD TO PERDITION made – not a comic book list, but a film noir list. A lot of negative comments about the list follow, because it really should have been labelled neo-noir or in some fashion separated itself from the real noir films of the forties and fifties. Still, I’m glad we were included.

Back to work! Nate Heller has just left a murder crime scene….


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4 Responses to “Hello, Bye Bye”

  1. Joe Menta says:

    I received my advance review copy of the new Heller yesterday, and my thoughts about the cover echoed yours exactly, especially your bit about the Spillane resemblance. Issues like this are why so many mid-listers are now simply skipping publishers completely and selling their wares directly to e-books, with a small self-produced print run for those who still prefer their books the old-fashioned way. Who knows what the best way to go is? Not me, I’m just a humble reader.

    Despite the nitpicks, though, I do think the cover will do a very good job drawing in the general reader not familiar with Heller. Many will think, “wow, a mystery about Marilyn Monroe and how she died”, and pick it up. Not enough novel covers employ good ol’ carnival barker showmanship to sell their book’s contents. Leave the subtlety to the story, I say. That could have been the thinking of Forge’s art department.

  2. mike doran says:

    I still can’t find your new books in any major bookstore in the Chicago area.

    Not in Borders, not in Barnes&Noble, not in Books-A-Million.

    Not the Hammer, not the Harrow, not even the Brandy.

    This is getting to be damned frustrating.

    You’re not the only one getting shut out. I haven’t seen a new Bob Randisi or Ed Gorman on a shelf in town (or in the suburbs for that matter) for at least a year, maybe more.

    Confession: I haven’t been to Centuries & Sleuths in far too long. If Augie Aleksy has any or all of these in stock, I will gladly drop a bundle his way next payday (barring unexpected payroll deductions).

    I’ve been wondering why this is happening just now.
    Are certain publishers being shut out? I might be mistaken about this, but I don’t seem to see new books from certain houses: for example, Kensington, Minotaur- Thomas Dunne, Pegasus,Forge – I’d hate to think this is a pattern.

    A couple of weeks back I told how I saw Bob Goldsborough hustling his new novel store-to-store.
    Is this your future?
    God, I hope not.

    See you when and if.

  3. Brad Schwartz says:

    Well, the cover is eye-catching, which is always a plus, and it certainly won’t hurt the book. An illustrated cover harkens back to the pulp days, even if it is a photograph, and certainly will distinguish it from others on the rack. But I can agree that the detective’s lack of resemblance is annoying if that’s not what you’re going for, because I would’ve thought it was meant to be him if I didn’t know better. I can totally see the Spillane resemblance, although my first thought was Robert Mitchum, and I suppose the people that resonates with is the audience you’re going for. Does a “Peter Gunn” Heller mean we’ll be getting a catchy theme tune?

    Glad to hear Sally Rand will be coming back, and considering the demographics of this country, I’m sure more people will find it romantic than sickening (even if my generation might not agree).

  4. Mike, I have spotted KISS HER GOODBYE in Barnes & Noble, but not Borders (they aren’t getting in much new product for obvious reasons). Barnes & Noble has NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU in the Fiction section, not mystery. ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF was a Barnes & Noble bestseller the first several weeks it was out, and they tend to have some backlist on the series.

    Possibly the problem for you in Chicago is that the outlets have had a few copies in and sold them out and not re-stocked. Stores don’t re-stock unless there is a “modeling” number that requires them to. Sucks, but there you go. The books are easily available on line. Augie probably does have some of them — hope to get there for BYE BYE, BABY.

    Brad, can’t promise you a jazzy theme, but Heller is very much “the kind of man who read PLAYBOY,” as the old ads used to say. Not a dumpy guy in a trenchcoat. A lean, mean fighting machine and as randy as ever.