Jack Getze
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Jack Getze's Discussions

France Calls Amazon "Destroyer of Bookshops"
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Started this discussion. Last reply by John McFetridge Jun 7, 2013.

Austin Carr's Blog

The Soul of an Indian

While researching The Black Kachina, I ran across the story of a special man named Charles Alexander Eastman and his book, The Soul of an Indian. Born in 1858 with the name Hakadah, later called Ohiyesa, finally renamed Charles, this awe-inspiring Native American spent the first fifteen years of his life living the nomadic, natural life of a Santee Sioux (or Dakota tribe) of southern Minnesota. Then Eastman went to college, graduated from Dartmouth, earned his medical degree at Boston University, became famous writing popular books, and served two U.S. Presidents.

$2.99 Until August
If you haven't read Soul of an Indian, you should. His spiritual ideas about nature not only gave heart and meaning to my novel's half-breed character, Asdrubal Torres, they helped create a villain many readers will root for. I know I did. Even more personally, the book critically changed my view of the world.

The son of a mixed-race Sioux leader and an army officer's daughter, Charles certainly experienced an unusual life. A few highlights:

As revenge against the white man for killing his father, the 15-year-old Ohiyesa was planning an attack when the supposedly dead father showed up to claim him.

When the U.S. Army killed several hundred Sioux at Wounded Knee, Eastman was one of the first physicians to treat victims on the battlefield.

President Theodore Roosevelt asked him to find a better way of protecting Native American property rights and land titles.

He served President Calvin Coolidge as an U.S. Indian Inspector.

Charles was one of three founders of an organization that became the Boy Scouts of America.

Toward the end of his writing and speaking life, he purchased land and lived alone in the woods.
It's that last entry that helps explain my personal attachment, I think -- how Charles' book, by delving into the spiritual side of man, nature, and what he calls "The Great Mystery" of the "Unseen and Eternal," twisted my worldview.

I'd never thought about nature the way Charles Eastman did, and I bet few of you have either. Basically, he saw nature (like all Native Americans, he said) as God. He didn't believe in churches when he could worship on a mountain top or inside a virgin forest.

"One of the things that makes you feel good is to get out into nature," he wrote. "Go walking, go hiking, go swimming in the ocean, or wherever you live, in a river or a lake, experience the beauty of America, experience how America is such a sacred place. Everywhere you go in this land, our people have been there and they have said, 'This place is sacred.'"

I won't directly discuss religion or politics. Promise. But like many people, I love the beach and ocean for the sense of calm it gives. Until reading Eastman's book, however, I never considered lakes and oceans might be a deity. I don't think I do now either, but I obviously feel something of what Eastman wrote about when I'm alone in nature. I feel part of the living things around me. I sure did when I walked alone in the deserts and badlands around California's Salton Sea for research on my novel. My attachment to nature was undeniable. The noisy talking of birds; the memories that might be in the rocks; the opposing gifts of wisdom and death provided by bark from an elephant tree: All of these ideas ended up in my story as the result of Eastman's writings.

"The spirit of God is not breathed into humans alone," he wrote in The Soul of an Indian. "We believe the spirit invades all creation and that every creature possesses a soul ..."

What works for a tribe of hundreds might not work for millions, but I offer another Eastman quote, not as criticism of any economic system, but as an example of Native American ideas that influenced my novel's character and perhaps myself. I'm still reading, still trying to understand everything Eastman suggested.

"It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome," Eastman wrote. "Children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving."

First published on Janet Rudolph's blog, 8-16-2017

How Does Giving Away Your Book Work?

Over 80,000 people have downloaded BIG NUMBERS since it went free more than a year ago. Reviews have climbed from 50 to 118, maintaining over 80% 4 or 5 star average. The other three books in the series are selling better than before, and while The Famous Author and his publisher Down & Out Books are reasonably pleased with the campaign strategy, I -- Austin Carr -- am NOT!

Why? Because that stupid, rat face, lying bastard TFA is working on another thriller without me! Can you believe this guy? I get him some percentage of 70,000 new readers (A bunch of people download but never read it. Hey it's free, they say. Maybe I'll read it. Maybe I won't. Who cares, it's free!) and TFA is still hacking away every day, writing a new tale about some female Air Force officer.

It really is outrageous. I'm the star of an award-winning series, TFA. Stop ignoring me! I know for a fact he has Austin Carr #5 in the works. It's outlined, kinda. Maybe 100 pages of a first draft. I've had a lot happen to me in three years. I'm not the same man. Come on, TFA. Be nice.

Ultimately, there is nothing I can do about this situation, of course. TFA never listens to me. But he might listen to you. Buying additional books in the series might convince TFA to get busy. Or maybe not. How about trying BIG NUMBERS free, see if you like my sarcasm and one liners? Might help.

Download a free copy of BIG NUMBERS from AMAZON.


Or iTunes.  Or Kobo.

Blog Tour Hides TFA's True Villainy

Scoop! The Famous Author (TFA) signed me up for another blog tour this fall, but I've learned the whole thing's a rope-a-dope. (Don't we all miss Ali, The Greatest?) Not that there's anything wrong with my wonderful tour people or the nice, mostly lady bloggers who've promised to review BIG SHOES, my fourth novel.
The problem is TFA. He's flipped. I found out for a fact that the next "Austin Carr Mystery" he's writing won't even have me in it! And I mean absolutely no mention whatsoever. TFA's writing some historical mystery that takes place in 1963 when I wasn't even born.

The novel is only an Austin Carr Mystery because it's about one of the other Austin Carr characters,  Angelina "Mama Bones" Bonacelli, and two murders twenty years apart in Asbury Park.

How could he do such a thing? How do you write a book for a series without the main character in it?Actually, I understand. Totally reasonable for TFA. The man is nuts. The question is, WHY?

"Mama Bones is more popular than you," he said. "She gets more favorable mentions in reviews."

I don't believe him, but that's his excuse -- he's giving the fans what they want. If anybody disagrees, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section.

TFA added: "I'm going to show how Angelina -- "the little angel" -- Bonacelli from Asbury Park turned into a Sig Sauer-toting bookie from Branchtown."

Well, good luck with that one, TFA. A little bit, this reminds me of that plan you had to get rich on the undersea treasure hunting stock. Remember that one?

Anyway, we'd love if any pals showed up on the blog tour, trying to win some cash and free books. TFA and I both love a friendly face in the audience. Here's a link to more information about my Book Nerd tour and even a sign-up sheet if you blog and want to receive a review copy of BIG SHOES and the chance to offer your readers a cash prize.

Meet Hilary Davidson and Reed Farrel Coleman

If you're a crime and mystery fan or, heaven forbid, a writer of such things like The Famous Author, I can think of at least two big reasons why you'd want to attend this weekend's Deadly Ink Mystery Conference at Hyatt Regency hotel in New Brunswick, N.J.

1. Hilary Davidson
2. Reed Farrel Coleman

These two crime writers are among the best in the business. They sell tons of books. Each will be available next weekend -- Friday August 5 through Sunday August 7 -- to meet and greet, answer questions, and perhaps sign a book if you're interested. Deadly Ink's 2016 line-up may be the best ever! Other authors in attendance will include Jeff Markowitz, Jeff Cohen, Steve Rigolosi, Susan Solomon (now known as S.A. Solomon) and New Jersey's fabulous Sisters in Crime chapter, sponsors of the event.

You can catch both Hilary and Reed Saturday morning at 11:20 a.m. when Toastmaster Davidson interviews Guest of Honor Coleman.

Hilary Davidson has won the Anthony Award, the Derringer Award, the Crimespree Award, and two Ellery Queen Readers' Choice Awards. Her life of crime started when she published her first short story in Thuglit in 2007. She has published more than 30 short stories Beat to a Pulp, Spinetingler, All Due Respect, Ellery Queen and many other publications. Her debut novel, THE DAMAGE DONE, won the 2011 Anthony Award for Best First Novel.

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the noir poet laureate in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the New York Times Bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone series. He is also the author of the recently released Where It Hurts, featuring retired Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy. Reed is a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the Year and a three-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories. He has also won the Macavity, Barry, Audie, and Anthony awards.

I'll be there, too, hanging out inside The Famous Author's briefcase. If you ask to see me, you'll win a prize. TFA is pretty excited this year. He's bringing me along because our 2015 release from Down & Out Books, BIG SHOES, was nominated for Deadly Ink's annual David Award -- honoring the best mystery published during the prior calendar year. The prize is in memory of David G. Sasher, Sr.

The David Award nominees for the best mystery of 2015 are:

Ornaments of Death by Jane K. Cleland
Big Shoes by Jack Getze
What You See by Hank Philippi Ryan
Forgiving Maximo by A. J. Sidransky
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

If TFA wins there'll be no talking to him for months. The egomaniac. But my money's on Hank Philippi Ryan.

F Y I -- Sake

They serve sake in Japan however you like it -- hot, cold or room temperature -- although the quality of the sake and the season are often factors. Heated sake -- a wine made from rice -- is a winter drink, but the best is rarely consumed hot because taste and smell are reduced. Old sake and the lower-quality stuff are often heated before serving.


Jack Getze

Do Writers Need to Learn?

A former reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Herald-Examiner, author Jack Getze writes the Austin Carr Mystery Series, some short fiction, and is Fiction Editor for Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet's oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. In 2011 Spinetingler was nominated for an Anthony.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Richard Ford:

"To the extent I know how to write clearly at all, I probably taught myself while I was teaching others -- seventh graders, in Flint, Michigan, in 1967. I taught them with a copy of Strunk & White lying in full view on my desk, sort of in the way the Gideons leave Bibles in cheap hotel rooms, as a way of saying to the hapless inhabitant: 'In case your reckless ways should strand you here, there's help.' S&W doesn't really teach you how to write, it just tantalizingly reminds you that there's an orderly way to go about it, that clarity's ever your ideal, but -- really -- it's all going to be up to you."

It recently came to The Famous Author's attention (Somebody called him a "clown") not every writer holds in high regard THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, Strunk and White's classic guide to "plain English." TFA was shocked. After he was given a desk and a typewriter, TFA's only other first-day gift as a reporter for The Los Angeles Times was a copy of Elements, and a warning to learn and follow its principles.

But do writers of fiction, especially "literary" authors, have to worry about Strunk and White's guidelines? You read what Richard Ford said. Pretty sure you could call him a writer of literature. Here's how William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946) starts his Introductory:

"This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style."

S&W is about clarity -- telling the reader exactly what you mean, showing what you want him to see and hear. Maybe writers don't have to follow rules. But they should know what those rules are, and why they exist, before breaking them. Strunk put it this way at the end of that Inroductory:

"It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature."

Thanks to Richard Ford, William Strunk, E.B. White, and Amazon


Jack Getze's Blog

All Kinds of Mystery Prizes Today

Posted on May 4, 2013 at 1:50am

Who is This Man and Why is He Smiling?

Meet Dan Brown, whose new novel, THE LOST SYMBOL, drops today with a print run of five million copies. Wow. No surprise, of course, as his previous novel, THE DA VINCI CODE, is the bestselling hardcover adult novel of all time. 81 million copies in print.

THE LOST SYMBOL will once again feature protagonist Robert Langdon. Brown’s longtime editor, Jason Kaufman, Vice President and Executive Editor at Doubleday said, "Nothing ever is as it… Continue

Posted on September 15, 2009 at 10:45pm — 1 Comment

Redhead of the Week is Hot, Hot, Hot

Firestar (Angelica "Angel" Jones) is a fictional mutant superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. She can generate and manipulate microwave radiation, creating intense heat and flames. She can also fly. In the comics, Firestar has been a member of the Hellions, the New Warriors, and the Avengers. In the cartoon from which she originated, she was a member of the X-Men and, later, of the Spider-Friends.

Firestar was originally created for the… Continue

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 12:19am

Anybody Else a Sherlock Fan?

If so, you have to try this new promotional website.

Fill in the five gray boxes with the password, IRENE, and you will hear and see Warner Bros. video for the new Holmes movie set to open Christmas Day.

If you're a Holmes fan, you know the password IRENE remembers Irene Adler, the woman who once tricked Sherlock into revealing the…


Posted on August 23, 2009 at 1:30pm

Profile Information

New Jersey Shore
About Me:
Currently Fiction Editor of Spinetingler Magazine, Jack Getze spent fifteen years covering national economic news for the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and the London Times. His two crime novels, BIG NUMBERS and BIG MONEY, feature New Jersey stockbroker Austin Carr. www.jackgetze.com
I Am A:
Reader, Writer, Editor
Books And Authors I Like:
Anything and everything by Elmore Leonard, Robert Crais, Thomas Perry, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich. Old School: Edgar Allan Poe, A. Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, John D. MacDonald.
Favorite Novel: Hound of the Baskervilles, or Thomas Perry's "Sleeping Dogs"
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
Godfathers 1 and 2. Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The Deer Hunter, The Unforgiven. TV: I'm a cop show and Star Trek junkie, but The Sopranos was the best series ever. Right now enjoying Dexter, and trying to catch up with The Wire.

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Comment Wall (70 comments)

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At 3:04am on April 20, 2013, Tim Griggs said…

Thanks for the invitation, Jack. That makes you my first CrimeSpace friend! Let me know what you think of the books, if you get the chance to pick one or two of them up.

At 12:33am on July 20, 2012, I. J. Parker said…

Jack, we might suit each other.  I usually exchange chapter by chapter or story by story, never more than 30 pages, and I use track changes.  I need someone honest, and I tend to be pretty darn frank myself.  My feeling is that you take what you can use and ignore the rest.

At 2:06am on September 7, 2011, I. J. Parker said…
Actually, I've been your friend all along! :) I always like what you have to say.
At 11:43am on March 15, 2011, Tanis Mallow said…
Hi Jack! Thanks for the invite. Currently on vacation (Vancouver/Whistler - it's rainin') will respond to your e-mail when I get a sec. See you around Crimespace and Spinetingler...
At 3:13pm on September 14, 2010, Copper Smith said…
Remember Goofus and Gallant?
Read all about Goofus's drift to the dark side in 'Always the bad example.'
At 8:20pm on July 8, 2010, Lindy Cameron said…
Thanks for the 'friending' Jack.
At 6:15am on May 2, 2010, Mike Dennis said…
Thanks for the invite, Jack. See you on Crimespace.
At 6:33am on April 16, 2010, B.R.Stateham said…
Jack--I see you have a new avatar. Makes you look more 'successful authorish.' How's that for a term, eh?
At 2:19am on January 25, 2010, Kris Neri said…
Thanks for the friend-invite, Jack.
At 9:35am on September 23, 2009, RONALD FEASEL said…
are the yankees a socccer team

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