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by Ed Gorman





I wrote Rough Cut and New, Improved Murder, both of which deal with the advertising business, while I was still in the business myself. At that time I owned a very small shop of my own, not anything Iíd recommend if you donít have the stomach for worrying constantly about meeting payrolls and getting one or two of your most important clients picked off by roving bands of competitors.

While Iíd sold close to thirty short stories to a variety of downmarket menís magazines and to some obscure literary magazines, Iíd never finished a novel. God knows Iíd started a lot of them. Probably fifty or more over the years. But after three or four chapters I always got a better idea and abandoned the one Iíd been working on.

About this time I met my friend Max Allan Collins who gave me the best advice Iíve ever received about finishing a book. Keep writing straight through until youíve reached the end. Donít look back. Even if you think itís poor at the end youíll have a complete draft to work on. A real novel.

I wrote both the books here in the mornings before I went to my little agency. I started at five-thirty and wrote till eight six mornings a week. Then I ate breakfast, showered and headed for the shop. I had tried writing at night but I was too churned up from the day to concentrate on anything but nitwit TV shows.

I decided that when I sold my fifth novel Iíd go full-time. I couldnít have done this without my friends Gail Cross, who ran the place far better than I ever had (and who is now an highly acclaimed book cover artist and designer), and Maxine Gill. They kept the place going for a few years. My wife Carolís help was most critical of all. I couldnít have even attempted to go full-time without her supportósupport in every sense.

There isnít much to say about either of these books. They speak for themselves. New, Improved Murder was the first of the Jack Dwyer mysteries. They got darker as they went along, culminating in The Autumn Dead, which many people think is my best book, and A Cry of Shadows, a book that a few libraries chose to take off their shelves.

Iím glad to have them back in print. Reading a few of their pages takes me back to frosty mornings in my basement office at home when golden dawns were shining in the windows. I think most writers look back nostalgically on the innocence of their first few years and first few books. Itís never quite the same again.

Ed Gorman

June 2008


Jack Dwyer series:
New Improved Murder (1985)
Murder Straight Up (1986)
Murder in the Wings (1986)
The Autumn Dead (1987)
A Cry of Shadows (1990)
Tobin Series: 
Murder in the Aisle (1987)
Several Deaths Later (1988)
Jack Walsh Series: 
The Night Remembers (1991)
Robert Payne Series: 
Blood Moon (1994;
	as Blood Red Moon, UK 1994)
Hawk Moon (1995)
Harlotís Moon (1998)
Voodoo Moon (2000)
Sam McCain Series:
The Day the Music Died (1999)
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (2000)
Wake Up Little Susie (2001)
Save the Last Dance for Me (2002)
Everybodyís Somebodyís Fool (2004)
Rough Cut 1985
Graveís Retreat (1989)
What the Dead Men Say (1990)
Cage of Night (1992)
Daughter of Darkness (1997)
Rituals (1998)
Short Story Collections: 
Prisoners and Other Stories (1992)
Dark Whispers (1993)
Cages (1995)
Moonchasers (1996)
Famous Blue Raincoat (1999)
Such a Good Girl (2001)
The Dark Fantastic (2001)
The Long Silence After (2001)
Different Kinds of Dead (2006)
Out There In the Darkness (2007)
The Moving Coffin (2007)
As E.J. Gorman:
The Marilyn Tapes (1993)
The First Lady (1995)
Senatorial Privilege (1997)


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