Heart-Felt Pt. 2

January 12th, 2016 by Max Allan Collins

Last week I anticipated going in for my heart surgery on Tuesday, but time is being allowed for me to recuperate from my carotid surgery first. I may be going in this coming Thursday (Jan. 14), but won’t know till Wednesday. If it doesn’t happen then, it will likely be Jan. 25.

Since we’ve spent many months having this surgery face one postponement after another, Barb warned me not to do a posting like the one I did last week. She said I didn’t want to sound like the Little Boy Who Cried Surgery. I had wanted to keep my situation to just family and a small handful of friends, until the surgery was literally under way, not wanting to put people in a position where they had to comment or show support or feel concerned.

In retrospect, while Barb was (typically) right, I am not sorry I posted last week, because I found myself – recuperating somewhat uncomfortably at home – comforted and complimented and touched by the messages here and on Facebook (and some e-mail ones, too). It’s nice to know that people prefer you alive.

Among the joys was hearing from long-out-touch friends going back decades, and from folks – particularly in the writing game – who know me only in passing but who nonetheless showed support and indicated the mystery genre would be a lesser place without me. I happen to agree with that, but it would be ungracious of me to say, wouldn’t it? Anyway, it’s nice to know I’m not entirely delusional.

I will keep you nice people posted here and on Facebook, and if I’m not able to – the first several days after the surgery are tough, I’m told – my son Nate will. You may have already guessed that Barb and Nate have been incredible in this situation. I think when you’re faced with something like this, which is (let’s face it) a matter of life or death, you realize – at least if you’re lucky like me – that there’s a wonderful, boring little existence waiting for you that you do not want to let go of.

My thanks and love to all of you who took time to send support. Those who didn’t can make it up by buying books.

* * *

Here’s a delightful review of QUARRY – described as a “classic.” I begin to suspect that the word “classic” might be a synonym for “f**king old.”

The QUARRY TV series – not yet scheduled by Cinemax, with summer 2016 looking more and more likely – has its own Wikipedia entry.

Here’s a very positive and, I think, intelligent take on my BATMAN issues, as reprinted in BATMAN: SECOND CHANCES.

The great Jeff Pierce at Killer Covers shows off the cover of QUARRY IN THE BLACK here.

Finally, here’s a really smart review of Mickey’s 10th Mike Hammer novel, THE BODY LOVERS.


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12 Responses to “Heart-Felt Pt. 2”

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Glad to see you’re hanging in there and still keeping your sense of humor. That’s not as easy as it seems. Seeing the mentions of Quarry and Spillane reminded me that I have a photo of you, Spillane, and me taken at the long-ago Bouchercon in Milwaukee. I was hanging in the background, but I’m there. It was taken when both you and Spillane signed the Quarry book you dedicated to him. Good times.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Good luck. I went into emergency surgery Oct 1 for a ruptured esphoghagus and spent 10 weeks in the hospital. Since not getting around well. Read some Quarry books while off.

  3. MAC, had the pleasure of following your work over the years including Ms. Tree and your collaborations with Mickey, and enjoyed seeing you on-panel at 2015 Bouchercon. Best wishes for a swift recovery.

  4. Edmond D. Smith says:

    To quote the always sagacious George Costanza (albeit in a completely different context :)), “Live, dammit. Live”.

    Get better soon, Max. Your public awaits your swift recovery.

  5. Wishing you all the best, MAC.

  6. Mark and Becky says:

    Al and Barb, Just returned from a week in Texas and catching up on ‘stuff’. Please call on us if there is anything that we can help with. Thinking of you and wishes for a speedy recovery. If you’ve got to be cooped up, at least it’s when it is like a frozen tundra around here.

  7. Jan Griffin O'Reilly says:

    Hi, Max, Thanks for the update. I’ve been wondering what’s going on and now I know that you’re with us and just getting stronger, a good thing. I imagine you’re impatient after these months of dealing with worry about all of this, Barb and Nate, too. How lovely to have them to watch over you. All all of us are sending love and good wishes. My son Jack lives in New Orleans (Algiers Point) and he runs into film crews all the time. I thought Quarry was being filmed there. Perhaps I had that wrong. I told him to look out for it. Meantime can’t wait to watch it when it airs! You’re our Hero, Max! Best to Barb and you, Love, Jan

  8. Max Allan Collins says:

    First, an update: The heart surgeon today decided that I have not recovered enough from the first surgery to go on the bigger one, which had been scheduled for tomorrow. He’s moved it till Tuesday Jan. 26.

    My apologies for sounding like the Little Boy Who Cried Surgery, but if the surgeon says we should wait, I’m not arguing.

    Bill, I would love to see that pic!

    Steve, ten weeks in the hospital is the worst vacation idea ever!!!

    And to Jan and the rest, thanks for the love and support. You know, being a writer is a fairly lonely profession. No man could be too lonely with a gorgeous wife like Barb around, but beyond that significant perk, a writer often feels like he or she is working in a vacuum. As I’ve said from time to time, when you finish a book and send it off to the publisher, it’s like you dropped it down a well and didn’t hear a splash. So this warmth toward a man who has created some of the most cold-blooded crime novels around comes as a pleasant surprise, a relief, and a generally wonderful thing.

  9. Al and Barb, thanks for the update. The older we get, the more we appreciate keeping in touch and reconnecting with friends from long ago. So many of my memories include great times with you and Barb….in band…..in your musicals…..and just in the neighborhood as Barb brought over the first Beatles record or we looked at the baseball stats. As a band director, wanting to play some of the tunes we did, I realized what phenomenal trumpet players you two were. To be able to do the original Buglar’s Holiday……didn’t you guys do double or triple tonguing in Jr Hi?!?!

    You both are sooo talented and I have enjoyed your writings and am addicted to the Antiques Mysteries. Much love, prayers, and hugs to you guys for a speedy recovery brought on by gifted surgeons working with the Great Healer.


  10. Tom Zappe/St Louis says:

    Max, we are your fans and friends. We love you. You are stuck with us through sickness and in health and so forth and so on. Just don’t pull a move like Jackie Gleason in “Gigot”.

  11. Christine Burmeister says:

    Your update is welcomed by all who care and share in this journey you are on. Plenty of rest before surgery can prove to be very helpful with the outcome. Sending daily prayers for the Collin’s family for strength, compassion and healing. Take Care~ God Speed~

  12. Thinking of you, sending good thoughts your way, much love to you and yours.