26 November 2010

Haunted Computer Books: A Mystery to Me

My guest blogger today is Scott Nicholson whose e-book DISINTEGRATION I reviewed a couple of days ago. Scott has been on a non-stop blog tour since the beginning of September.

It is always interesting to find out what makes an author "tick", where the ideas for their books come from.
Please feel free to leave a comment for Scott, or pose a question for him, or to visit his site at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm
At the foot of this post you will find instructions about how to try to win a free Kindle as part of the tour.

Scott writes
I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew.
I thought she was pretty cool, with her sweaters and her Ned and her fearless attitude. I also liked the Hardee Boys, and Scooby Doo, and though I somehow bypassed Encyclopedia Brown, I probably would have liked him, too.

My teen self read a lot of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents anthologies, which used to mix horror, psychological thriller, and crime stories in a rich blend, something the namesake magazine got away from in the 1980s and 1990s. They seemed a lot milder, along with Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and I send both of those editors a stack of submissions in the 1990s. Though I never cracked those pages, I did get some stories published in Blue Murder and Crimewave and a few other projects just a notch below in respectability.

I have enjoyed humorous mysteries by the likes of Charlotte McLeod, Janet Evanovich, Lawrence Block, and Donald Westlake, and Agatha Christie was a little too classist for my taste, but I trend toward the edgier psychological suspense instead of the puzzle-building mystery writers. Patricia Highsmith is one of my favorites, and Ira Levin, and William Goldman, who regrettably seems to have traded in his novelist hat for screenwriting. His style in “Magic” and “Marathon Man” leaves me in awe while simultaneously compelling me to turn the pages. Levin’s most famous for “Rosemary’s Baby,” but “A Kiss Before Dying” is a taut personality study, as is his play “Deathtrap.”

These days I read mostly independent writers like Debbi Mack, Vicki Tyley, and Simon Wood, all talents who will become widely known in the next few years. But I’m also likely to come full circle again and head back for the funny stuff. One of the best crime novels I’ve read recently was Jonathan Lethem’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” and the Dexter series is a riot. And though my “serious” novels like Disintegration and The Skull Ring rely on psychological tension, I’m having a blast plotting Albert Shipway’s evolution from insurance negotiator to claims investigator, complete with black magic, in the Cursed!series.

And I would be surprised if I caught up on all those Nancy Drews I’ve missed over the years. I wonder if she ever married Ned. I always thought she was too good for him. Or maybe I was just jealous.


Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Disintegration, As I Die Lying, Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. He’s also written the YA paranormal romance October Girls and, with J.R. Rain, the urban fantasy Cursed! His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, Curtains, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX or Kindle 3, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm


doreen lamoureux said...

Yahoo for another super post. Love the pic...it's kind of freaky because you are so small compared to your friend...lol

dorcontest at gmail dot com

bibliolathas said...

Fascinating post! As well as the Nancy Drew books, I also loved (still do, in fact) the 'Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators' series. Those kids were good role models - brains over beauty! (skiourophile AT gmail DOT com)

author Christa Polkinhorn said...

Nancy Drew, how funny. I discovered her books as an adult after moving to the United States. I read the whole series and loved it. Since I'm a little old-fashioned, I love the traditional mysteries the best (Agatha Christie, Hitchcock, etc.). Another favorite is the Swedish writer, Henning Mankell. His stuff can be pretty gruesome. And then of course Scott Nicholson (you all must have heard of him!).

I started to read Forever Never Ends and I already love Al. Too bad the little old lady . . . but no spoiler here, you all got to read it!


Monster A Go-Go said...

You forgot to mention Playgoat and the Sears catalogue (lingerie section) getting you through puberty.

Studying for my first biomedical statistics test---YIKES!---otherwise, I'd mention... (Shhh! NEVER MIND!!)


Bibliophile said...

I wonder what the "you are what you read" camp would make of this list of favourite authors?

Anonymous said...

Scott's writing is wicked! please enter me gwendolyn_gwen@hotmail .com

VickyTinky said...

Awesome post!


Unknown said...

Nancy Drew used to rock . . . now Scott does. :-)


Barbarawr said...

Ooh - Nancy Drew AND Scooby Doo?!! You're my hero!

Email address is in blogger profile

Inanna said...

I loved Hitchcock. I could still watch them over and over!

inannajourney at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I'm sad to say I've never read a Hardee Boys or Nancy Drew book in my life. Perhaps I should go pick some up. :)

calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

hufflepuffgrl13 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I was never a Nancy Drew fan. I don't know why, I just never read her books, even though I read everything else in sight.

Recently, I've discovered geopolitical thrillers and have gotten more into mysteries.


anamlgrl said...

happy black friday!!


Unknown said...

Never one to read Nancy Drew, myself. Had a box full of Hardy Boys books when I was a kid, but read very few of them. Even as a kid I thought the writing and mysteries were too hokey and vanilla for my tastes.


jpearson said...

I read Trixie Belden---My mom had given them to me. she was the clean cut, version of nancy drew.. i.pearson@comcast.net

Harper said...

Never a fan of mysteries in reading unless they're so good they don't make me feel like I'm reading a mystery. I do love Nancy Drew games though!


Riva said...

I lean towards the humorous mysteries myself.

dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

Horror Books said...

I loved the Nancy Drew Mysteries. When my folks moved to Cleveland Heights, I discovered Nancy Drew in the library (Where decades later, I'm now working) and I read everything they had in that series. I tried one Hardy Boys mystery but never went back.

I also read Encyclopedia Brown, too. I liked the short mysteries but never solved any of them on the first reading. I had trouble solving them even when I read them a second time.

Mostly I read science fiction and comics at that time. I loved horror movies as a kid but I wouldn't fall in love with horror books until I was a teenager.

Amazing, I thought I was the only guy who read her. And yes, she was too good for Ned.

Thanks for the contest,
Greg "The Undead Rat" Fisher

theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

Cici said...

I just unpacked a few Nancy Drew books my mother had given me. I used to enjoy her, but liked the Hardy Boys a little bit better. I do enjoy reading Janet Evanovich. I hope this blog tour has been a great experience for you...you have done well at coming up with great blogs.

Great to meet ya on the tour!

Weston Kincade said...

It's always interesting to see where people got their start.

wakincade AT gmail DOT com

chey said...

I used to read Nancy Drew too!

chey127 at hotmail dot com

tikilights said...

would love to win!


Paul McMurray said...

Scott, good post, he said mysteriously.
Count me in for the Kindle, please!

Bookhound78 said...

I love to see what influences folks when it comes to their creations. Very interesting, Scott.


monapete said...

Great Post!

monacart32 at hotmail dot com


love the picture!!! spvaughan@yahoo.com

Cathy M said...

Fabulous author list, I see so many of my favorite's listed here.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

Enter me please!

ashleysbookshelf at gmail dot com

sohamolina said...

Thank you for the post


Estella said...

I loved Hitchcock. Never read Nancy Drew.

kissinoak at frontier dot com

As I Lay Bleeding said...

Have you read The Memory of Running? Good book. Nice Journey...

nedsped at verizon dot net

Hank Brown said...

I graduated from comic books to fiction via the Hardy Boys. I still love a good whodunit, when they can be found.

Twitter: MachineTrooper

Dee Martin said...

Now you have me mad curious to know if Nancy ever married....darn it.


Anonymous said...

But yet another interesting stop.

Nadine stacypilot at yahoo dot com

byonge said...

I, also, read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I moved to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, James Fenimore Cooper and many others. Why do you think so many of those authors used three names? Anyway, now I'm all over the place with mysteries, thrillers, and just good literature. Anyway, Scott Nicholson fits right into my reading habits.


Brenda Wallace said...

I couldn't get enough Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a kid, and now my daughter is reading them. She's got me reading all her various Little House series. The Little House books are actually page turners, too. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

Anonymous said...

Loved those stories when I was younger. The Hardy Boys were good, really liked the show as well, but maybe liked it more for the actors than the stories.
Fun to be digging up old memories, thanks for another good read Scott!


Jeff said...

As a young fella I spent most of my time playing in creeks, woods, and on fields. Since beginning to read later in life, I enjoyed Tom Clancey, Tony Hillerman, Aimee Thurlo, Bernard Cornwell, Lilian Jackson Braun (a three-namer), Patricia Cornwell, Colin Dexter, Tom Morrissey, Rita Mae Brown, Sue Henry (another newspaper person), Nevada Barr, etc. I've not read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie. Enjoyed the movies made of their work. Wow, especially the new Sherlock Holmes that was on PBS just a bit ago, set in modern times! Fantastic! You can see them through Dec. 7th or 8th online at PBS Mystery. I liked the Nancy Drew movie that was made recently, but never read any of those books either. My wife told me that her Nancy Drew books were so dated that my daughter would have had a hard time with them when younger. She said that when Nancy went shopping, they would sit down and have the clothing modeled, and that they wore gloves and other barbaric practices of our very past. I got the impression that the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books were written by various people who would follow the formula. Is this so? There have been a lot of Star Wars, Star Trek, and many other books written this way as well recently. An awful glut of Pride-and-Prejudice-type books too. It must be fun to try to write something like that...like finishing some of the famous "unfinished symphonies" I suppose. Judged then by what can be brought to the work and how to handle the past...sincerest form of flattery, maybe.

When we go "HOME" on the 30th, you'll kick off a home blog marathon, right? This tour has been very educational and meets my need for some type of obsession without a great cost or terrible personal injury (yet).

Read you tomorrow,
Jeff White.... whitejw@ameritech.net

Cathy W said...

cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

bluefrog said...

I always thought Nancy should kick Ned to the curb and hook up with George. :)


misskallie2000 said...

Hi Scott, Another great post. I don't think I missed any of the
Alfred Hitchcock Presents shows or movies. He could really keep you on your seat edge. When large flocks of birds fly over when I am outside I always think of The Birds movie. It still scares me.
I am still following you..

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I used to love Nancy Drew. And I loved Encyclopedia Brown before that. I wonder if I can put some Nancy Drew on the Kindle?


Jaidis said...

Awesome post! Thanks!

brandy_jolene at yahoo dot com

Emily K said...

Huh. I've never read Nancy Drew... Maybe I should give it a go. :)

emilyking630 at yahoo dot com

Deanna said...

I would LOVE a Kindle DX. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! :)

P.S. Click on my name for my contact info. ;)

Gail said...

Thanks for sharing the authors you currently read, they are now on my TBR list.
Gail in Florida
cowgirl AT gmail DOT com

Bev said...

Scott, it is possible that you more resemble the character on your T-shirt than the giant standing behind you. ;-)

Write2Bev AT gmail.com

Scooter said...

I never read very much of the "Hardy Boys" mystery series. I was an "Alfred Hitchcock's: The Three Investigators" fan. I don't know how much input/influence Alfred had on the stories, but I found them a lot more entertaining that the HB's.

Scott, too!

Margay Leah Justice said...

I wasn't a huge mystery fan when I was a kid, though I did try to read some of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Back then, I liked watching mysteries on tv instead. These days, I'm more neutral.


Unknown said...

I loved YA mysteries as a kid. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and The Boxcar Mysteries to name a few.


Douglas Dorow said...

Great pic!


slehan said...

I read all the old books you mentioned. I tend to shelf read: find an author I like and read the shelf. It will be nice to have a Kindle and pack it with books. Thanks for the contest.

Sharon S. said...

cursed sounds like a great read. I love the giant Alfred

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed the post and look forward in reading more.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail.com

Em said...

I'm with you on the Nancy Drew love! As I've gotten older I've also re-discovered my love for Doctor Who :)
emily_erickson at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

fun post. lovin this blog tour!

dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

~J said...

Love it!


Joe F.

Beth said...

I was just tempted to buy a "WWNDD?" t-shirt. What Would Nancy Drew Do, of course!

James Rasmussen said...

I cut my teeth on the Three Investigators (Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators) series back in the day. I don't read much pure mystery anymore...

jamesemr (at) gmail (dot) com

jessica said...

I read Nancy Drew too and my aunt and my mom. . . I don't think that they have gotten around to making her an adult and marrying anybody yet but I'm curious about that myself. .

jessangil at gmail dot com


Kristie said...

I hated the Scooby Doo T.V. show as a kid. Too scary!! Ha ha! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com

Katie said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

kt1969 at comcast dot net

Unknown said...

Thank you for the post and I'd love to win ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

Unknown said...

i read thanks to nancy drew =)
hancoci_s at msn dot com

Sirhijinx said...

Keep up the good work Scott!

Jesse said...

I read some of the Nancy Drew books as a kid and enjoyed them. Never read any Hardy Boys books. I'm not a big mystery fan or just haven't really gotten into them yet. I can't really think of any mystery books or authors I've read that really blew me away. Great post.

conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

Stacey Smith said...

You take some of the most entresting Pic's that i have ever sean .

Teawench said...

I'm not much into mysteries now. Though I did read Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and the Three Investigators growing up. And some Encyclopedia Brown. I dunno. My mom is huge into mysteries.
teawench at gmail dot com

A.P. Fuchs said...

Hmmm, growing up reading.

Unlike most writers, I never got into reading until I decided I wanted to be a writer. A large part of why I didn’t was because, during my school years, you were told what to read, and a lot of those books were dry and boring. And being a kid with no money, I couldn’t just go out and pick up a paperback or two for my own pleasure.

I do remember indulging in John Grisham in junior high, but that’s pretty much as far as I went. Sure, The Chronicles of Narnia were somewhere in there, too. I remember the day my mom bought them for me. But as for regular reading? No. However, when I started writing, I bought books by the caseload, signed up for book clubs, bought used paperbacks--and now my office is full of them.

I admire those who grew up on a steady diet of fiction and I’m trying to get my kids passionate for storytelling as they grow. Would love to see them one day have their own library in their bedroom and me constantly having to remind them it’s dinner time because they’re so lost in a good book.

Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com


POSSESSION OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT (and others) at the Amazon Kindle store. Grab your copies here!

hendy said...

AHHH, memories-Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys-I wonder if this was most people's first tastes of mystery writing? AND Where did you get that shirt, it's Amazing! I'm going to have to read the Dexter series, I've heard a lot about it.
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I too was a big fan of Nancy Drew. I still have my books from when I was a girl! I love the Dexter cable series. I have the first book and I need to read it someday (among many, many others).


Author Scott Nicholson said...

@bev Why, soitenly! @Hendy someone gave me that because I think the Stooges are high-brow surreal existential genius. DOINK

@Kristie? Scooby-Doo too scary?

@julie clean-cut Nancy Drew? What, she solved the mystery of the missing Sunday school crayon?

@jeff yes, Nancy Drew was written by rotating writers who didn't get paid very well considering the series' success


Carol said...

I love the humorous mysteries as well. Janet Evanovich is my favorite! ;-)

gautami tripathy said...

I loved Nancy Drew! Also Hardy Boys too!

Count me in for the Kindle!


Sally Jo said...

Woot! Sign me up, Scott!

Sallyjo AT gmail.com

Andrea I said...

I loved those Nancy Drew books, but then I moved on to other things - the mystery section in our small town library.


Miss Delirious said...

Love a good mystery!

gem dot wood at gmail dot com

monapete said...

Great contest Scott!!

monacart32 at hotmail dot com

Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

I started following along on this tour as a way to hopefully score a kindle, but I became facinated and now you have a new reader!
Gigglesandlollipops at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I am also started with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I concentrated on juvenile mysteries for quite a while and then switched to science books. Spent all of high school and college with my nose in the textbooks and didn't have much time for any other reading. Have been reading a little bit of everything ever since. I loved the Hitchcock show and picked up the anthologies and magazine a time or two.
I remember a story I read in an anthology 40 years ago. Can't remember the author, bit the title was THE BAMBOO TRAP. Gave me nightmares for weeks. (Just googled it, Duh. author is Robert S. Lemmon - he won the 1923 O. Henry Memorial Award for it.) You would probably enjoy it if you haven't yet read it.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Anonymous said...

Love mysteries.

Sara said...

Scott, how much reading do you get done in between writing?

sweetbrier at shaw dot ca

Pink Panther said...

Thanks for the lovely post! I simply love mysteries!
You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

Author Scott Nicholson said...

86 lovely entries! Thanks everyone, and thank you, Kerrie, for hosting us. I am sure we'll all be back soon.

@Sara sadly my reading time has diminished greatly. If not for audiobooks, I'd probably get in eight or 10 books this year--but that's not counting the books I edit. I've never been a fast reader, but I usually work on several at the same time.


Consuelo Saah Baehr said...

You can always tell the writers who began as reporters or copywriters. They know how to convey complicated ideas in a few words. People who at one time had to write to count (fit a lot of info into a small unyielding space)figure out the importance of the right word. That's why Scott is so successful. I want to be like Scott.

Consuelo Saah Baehr

Asylumgirl said...

Jealous of Ned, eh. That's one marriage we may never know about. lol

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Kerrie said...

Scott, it has been my pleasure to be your host on this blog tour. All the best with your writing. You certainly have afollowing.

Armand said...

Another great post... now, put me down for a Kindle already, lol

Armand Rosamilia



Blog Widget by LinkWithin