Earl Merkel
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Earl Merkel's Page

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About Me:
Earl Merkel is the author of The Law Of Unintended Consequences (Amazon Kindle Direct, 2015), Fallout (Diversion Books, 2015, Fire Of The Prophet (Diversion Books, 2013); Virgins And Martyrs (Five Star, under the name "E L Merkel"); Final Epidemic (Diversion Books - originally published by PenguinPutnam/NAL), a Barnes and Noble national bestseller; and Dirty Fire (Diversion Books - originally published by PenguinPutnam/NAL).

Earl spent more than a decade as a journalist, columnist and commentator; today, while he is a full-time novelist, he continues to contribute to a variety of newspapers and magazines— usually after their editors have had time to extinguish the reader-reaction brushfires from his previous submissions. He is also a talk-radio host & producer (currently, "The Book, With Earl Merkel", as well as an occasional guest of unwary shows on television, radio, and podcast.

During his career, Earl has dodged gunfire, teargas canisters, and verbal brickbats as a journalist (and on occasion as a private citizen, having somehow annoyed armed or vocal strangers); spent years "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable," as an investigative reporter, newspaper columnist and satirist; and as a consultant has advised some of the largest corporations in the world on the merits of open and honest communications — not always with success.

As the "more" on the nationally broadcast talk-radio program Money & More, where he served for nine years through 2012 as co-host and executive producer, Earl left the money-talk to the experts. He admits that he's far more comfortable in other areas —talking with authors like Lawrence Block, Ken Burns, Robin Cook and Neil Gaiman about their books; arguing current events and politics with such guests as Steve Forbes, Jack Welch, Dick Morris, Oliver North and Newt Gingrich; and even cracking-wise with the likes of Mark Steyn, Neal Cavuto and Michael Medved— than he is dealing with financial matters.

"In my own finances, I'm anything but a good example," he laughs. "But I'm a great bad example."

Earl is also the author of The Infamous Chicken Little Article, which is rumored to have gotten him temporarily banned from the op-ed page of a major American newspaper —but which subsequently has become an underground classic on the Internet among journalists, and which is regularly cited in journalism-school classes when a dose of cold (but —at least arguably— hilarious) reality is required.

As a ghostwriter, Earl has had books published by such major houses as Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins— without, he hopes, these houses ever knowing it.
I Am A:
Books And Authors I Like:
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, by Harper Lee-- sheer genius.
Anything by James Lee Burke-- if the guy wrote a telephone directory, I'd read it.
Ditto for the Master, John D. MacDonald.
Ditto for Lawrence Block, especially in his Keller series.
Far too many contemporary authors (some of them friends) to list here. And if I'd forget to list any of 'em, I could inadvertently trigger a vendetta wherein the blood would run ankle-deep in the literary streets...

Earl Merkel's Blog

Spring Housecleaning: An Update (Of Sorts)

Whew— it's been a busy spring...

My new thriller FALLOUT (the third installment in the Beck Casey series) was released April 7.

My new mystery-thriller THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (the first in my new Faulk Carpenter thriller series) was published yesterday (May 28)...…


Posted on May 30, 2015 at 2:53am

Book Marketing: It's Not Just For The Sane Anymore...

Part of any author's life is the "joy" of shouldering the hobo-stick, pulling on the walking shoes... and hitting the highway (literally, or on the Internet's Information Highway) to MARKET the flippin' thing.

That is a "given" for all scribes, whether publisher-published or indie/self-pubb'd variety, if only because nobody will market the everlovin' hell out of your books like YOU will.

It can be akin to an…


Posted on April 19, 2015 at 12:40am

Well— This Video Cracked ME Up...

In this brief "video trailer"for our new, author-centric radio show... uh... I did include my name, as well as the show name, a ...uh... couple of times in the video for "The Book, With Earl Merkel."

Most egregiously, in the closing credits.

In my defense, it is for "branding."

Which I no doubt richly deserve, with a very hot iron.

(Click …


Posted on September 24, 2013 at 11:46pm

Sunday, on "The Book:" Martin J. Smith, & LIVE Call-In...

In a wildly dangerous experiment, this Sunday evening "The Book, With Earl Merkel" will break into our usually pre-recorded programming --in mid-show-- for a "LIVE, on-air listener call-in" chapter-segment...

... where YOU can call in to introduce yourselves --and to interrogate, with waterboarding intensity-- Mary Cummings, the head of the fast-growing publishing house Diversion Books (New York).

In an era where many publishing houses are cutting back, Ms. Cummings' house…


Posted on June 28, 2013 at 12:39am

"E. Merkel Tops Greece In Debt Total" (Author Debt, Of Course)

More indebtedness incurred by author Earl Merkel, rapidly becoming known as "the Greece of the Writing World"-- this from the lovely Lis Wiehl, who writes the "Triple Threat Club" mystery series when she's not doing legal analysis on television:

"If you're at loose ends waiting for Showtime's HOMELAND to return next fall FIRE OF THE PROPHET by Earl Merkel is your salvation. It's…


Posted on June 25, 2013 at 12:56am

Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 9:04am on July 22, 2009, Preetham Grandhi said…
Hi Earl, I want to introduce you to my debut novel "A Circle of souls" which is a murder, mystery, psychological thriller and a tale of justice and hope. Do visit www.acircleofsouls.com to read more about the book. Make sure you sign up to win an autographed copy of the book. You can also read more reviews by clicking on the More Reviews button at the website. Thanks for your time in advance.

Best regards

Preetham Grandhi

Early Endorsements for “A Circle of Souls”

Linda Fairstein, NYT Bestselling Author: "A fascinating debut - this novel takes the reader to the darkest places in the human soul, from a writer with the authenticity to lead us there. A stunning thriller and an important read."

Judge Judy Sheindlin, star of the Judge Judy Show: "The seminal work of this fine author kept me glued to my chair until the adventure was over and the mystery solved. A great read!"

Book Synopsis:

The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. The town s top detective, perplexed by a complete lack of leads, calls in FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children.

Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist at Newbury s hospital, searches desperately for the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope.

The situations confronting Leia and Peter converge when Naya begins drawing chilling images of murder after being bombarded by the disturbing images in her dreams. Amazingly, her sketches are the only clues to the crime that has panicked Newbury residents. Against her better judgment, Leia explores the clues in Naya s crude drawings, only to set off an alarming chain of events.
In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.
At 11:33pm on May 21, 2008, Mitzi Szereto said…
You're very welcome!!
At 9:01am on April 4, 2008, Earl Merkel said…

I thoroughly enjoyed the LIM interview also.

Thanks for the good wishes about VIRGINS AND MARTYRS. Pub date is April 15, but the wait was eased somewhat when, earlier this week, I was informed that the April 1 issue of Library Journal gave a "starred" review to V&M, in the book's first national review. T'was a nice way to start 'er off.

I'll check in on your website, and urge others to do likewise.


--Earl Merkel
At 3:24am on April 4, 2008, Jeff Markowitz said…
I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to interview with you at Love is Murder. The audio is now featured on my website. Good luck with the new release. I hope all is well.
At 11:47pm on March 27, 2008, Earl Merkel said…
Hey, Allan:

Yeah, the picture was taken on Day-O, a Sabre 30 I kept in Florida for years, but ended up using only 10-12 times each year when I could get down there. I sold it, transferring my flag to Witchcraft, my Precision 23, which was the largest sailboat I could get on a trailer, and now ply the Chicagoland waters at least several times each week from March through November.
Final Epidemic is available in hardcover (a relatively recent re-issue, ISBN 13: 978-0-9800977-0-2), and I understand there's a brisk trade in the original Penguin/NAL mass paperback (ISBN 10: 0-451-20730-0).
My latest novel, VIRGINS AND MARTYRS (ISBN 10: 1-59414-635-7, under the name "E.L. Merkel"), has an April 15, 2008 pub date... so with the marketing and related promo travel, I suspect I'll be seeing less of Witchcraft this spring that I'd prefer. Unless, that is, I can convince the publisher to schedule only port cities on the tours. They'd save on hotel-room costs, for sure.
Best, and good to meet you.

--Earl Merkel
At 9:19pm on March 18, 2008, Allan E. Ansorge said…
Is the boat yours?
Could you foward a book number for Final Epidemic please?
At 1:26pm on March 17, 2008, L.J. Sellers said…
Hi Earl
I keep seeing your name on the mystery lists and thought I would introduce myself. You've had quite a career. I'll bet it puts some zing in your stories.
At 3:50am on March 17, 2008, Rick Mofina said…
How the heck are you Earl
At 1:56am on February 15, 2008, shirley dicks said…
Good to hear from you and I wish you a happy valentines day today. Good luck on your books in this coming year. I'm going to try and do more marketing myself this coming year and already have one college asking if I'd speak and so I'm going to try. Haven't done any speaking since I lost my youngest son three years ago. He and I used to speak out together and he was a great speaker, much better than I am or will ever be, so I know it willl be hard to do so without him. ANyway, good talking to you. Shirley
At 10:07pm on February 3, 2008, Earl Merkel said…
Hey, Beth-- many thanx, and I'm honored to be added!

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